I know thee as my God and stand
apart––I do not know thee as my own
and come closer. I know thee as my
father and bow before thy feet––I do
not grasp thy hand as my friend’s.
I stand not where thou comest down
and ownest thyself as mine, there to
clasp thee to my heart and take thee as
Thou art the Brother amongst my
brothers, but I heed them not, I divide
not my earnings with them, thus shar-
ing my all with thee.
In pleasure and in pain I stand not
by the side of men, and thus stand
by thee. I shrink to give up my
life, and thus do not plunge into the
great waters of life.
From Gitanjali (Macmillan and Company, 1916) by Rabindranath Tagore. This poem is in the public domain.