Your flute plays the exact notes of my pain. (from The Lover of God)

by Rabindranath Tagore

English version by Tony Stewart and Chase Twitchell
Original Language Bengali

Your flute plays the exact notes of my pain.
It toys with me.
Where did you learn such stealth,
such subtle wounding, Kan?
The arrows in my breast
burn even in rain and wind.
Wasted moments pulse around me,
wishes and desires, departing happiness --
Master, my soul scorches.
I think you can see its heat in my eyes,
its intensity and cruelty. So let me drown
in the cool and consoling Yamuna,
or slake my desire in your cool,
consoling, changing-moon face.
It's the face I'll see in death.
Here's my wish and pledge:
that that same moon will spill its white pollen
down through the roof of flowers
into the grove, where I'll consecrate my life
to it forever, and be its flute-breath,
the perfume that hangs upon the air,
making all the young girls melancholy.
That's my prayer.


Oh, the two of you, way out of earshot.
If you look back you'll see me, Bhanu,
warming herself at the week embers of the past.

-- from The Lover of God, by Rabindranath Tagore / Translated by Tony Stewart

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Your flute plays