The Gardener LXIV: I Spent My Day

by Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore

I spent my day on the scorching
hot dust of the road.
Now, in the cool of the evening, I
knock at the door of the inn. It is
deserted and in ruins.
A grim ashath tree spreads its
hungry clutching roots through the
gaping fissures of the walls.
Days have been when wayfarers
came here to wash their weary feet.
They spread their mats in the
courtyard in the dim light of the
early moon, and sat and talked of
strange lands.
They woke refreshed in the morning
when birds made them glad, and
friendly flowers nodded their heads
at them from the wayside.
But no lighted lamp awaited me
when I came here.
The black smudges of smoke left by
many a forgotten evening lamp stare,
like blind eyes, from the wall.
Fireflies flit in the bush near the
dried-up pond, and bamboo branches
fling their shadows on the grass-
grown path.
I am the guest of no one at the end
of my day.
The long night is before me, and I
am tired.

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