Child in the Dust


(From Rabindranath Tagore)

Child in the dust sitting, what happy play

Make you all morning with a broken twig,

While I, smiling, toil at my own affair.

If you catch sight of me perhaps you say,

“What foolish games he plays, what business big

And solemn thus to spoil the morning fair.”

O child, from me the art has drained away

Of playing ; I for toys care not a fig.

Collecting gold and silver is my care ;

These costly playthings occupy my day.

You are more happy in your childish game ;

While I spend time and strength in fruitless quest,

In my frail boat waves of desire I breast,

Forgetting I too play, not without shame.


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