I asked nothing from thee; I uttered not my name to thine ear. When thou took’s thy leave I stood silent. I was alone by the well where the shadow of the tree fell aslant, and the women had gone home with their brown earthen pitchers full to the brim. They called me and shouted, “Come with us, the morning is wearing on to noon.” But I languidly lingered awhile lost in the midst of vague musings.
I heart not thy steps as thou camest. Thine eyes were sad when they fell on me; thy voice was tired as thou spokest low—“Ah, I am a thirsty traveller.” I started up from my daydreams and poured water from my jar on thy joined palms. The leaves rustled overhead; the cuckoo sang from the unseen dark, and perfume of babla flowers came from the bend of the road.
I stood speechless with shame when my name thou didst ask. Indeed, what had I done for thee to keep me in remembrance? But the memory that I could give water to thee to allay thy thirst will cling to my heart and enfold it in sweetness. The morning hour is late, the bird sings in weary notes, neem leaves rustle overhead and I sit and think and think.
From Gitanjali (Macmillan and Company, 1916) by Rabindranath Tagore. This poem is in the public domain.