The Gardener XIII: I Asked Nothing

by Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore

I asked nothing, only stood at the
edge of the wood behind the tree.
Languor was still upon the eyes
of the dawn, and the dew in the air.
The lazy smell of the damp grass
hung in the thin mist above the earth.
Under the banyan tree you were
milking the cow with your hands,
tender and fresh as butter.
And I was standing still.
I did not say a word. It was the
bird that sang unseen from the thicket.
The mango tree was shedding its
flowers upon the village road, and the
bees came humming one by one.
On the side of the pond the gate of
Shiva's temple was opened and the
worshipper had begun his chants.
With the vessel on your lap you
were milking the cow.
I stood with my empty can.
I did not come near you.
The sky woke with the sound of
the gong at the temple.
The dust was raised in the road
from the hoofs of the driven cattle.
With the gurgling pitchers at their
hips, women came from the river.
Your bracelets were jingling, and
foam brimming over the jar.
The morning wore on and I did not
come near you.

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