More Pages From a Poet's Notebook

SHAME not the flute if it fails as a stick
for the war drum.
Regulation, with its shears, is shocked
because branches are irregular.
Easy success is a small pittance
mercifully allowed to mediocrity.
Praise frightens me
lest it be proved my debt.
The coward is terribly indiscriminate.
The god of the weak is a tyrant.
Proud arithmetic is offended at the shocking insolence
of incalculable profits.
My moments signed by God
need not be appraised at the market.
The slave is busy making whips for his master.
A gourmet in gossip uses indignation as a spice
to enjoy vicarious vice.
The savagery of slander poisons with lies
the arrow tips of broken facts
to make them meanly perfect.
Men may be proud of their misdeeds
while ashamed of their mistakes.
The Devil has his advantage over the divine powers,
for it is easy to hurt and bafflingly hard to heal.
The glass pane to the bewildered sparrow
offers prohibition that ceaselessly invites.
Gods are amused when the busy river
condemns the cloud as an unpractical dream.
Dreamers leave behind them in the dust
failures that sprout into fruition.
The hill veiled by mist
seems like God’s great whisper.
God would remain imperfect
if He could not at the same time be a man.
The suns have floated up like definite bubbles
from the infinite vague.
The gold guards its prestige by its rareness,
the flower fears not the touch of the commonplace world.
The mountains dream of a golden age
when they were birds with wings and a voice.
The storm that shattered my flower has vanished,
but the flower has not died in her death.
Beauty is an overpayment of some love
which keeps no account of our worth.
Creation is an enigma that ceases if the final answer be given.
The meaning of the seed waits in the heart of Time.
But, what is Time?
RABINDRANATH TAGORE