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I asked nothing from thee

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

I asked nothing from thee; 
I uttered not my name to thine ear. 
When thou took'st 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 heard 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 day-dreams 
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 speecess 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.

Translation(s): DUT FRE GER

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Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages:

  • Also set in French (Fran├žais), a translation by André Gide (1869 - 1951) , no title, from Gitanjali (L'Offrande lyrique), published 1914 ENG GER DUT by Elsa Barraine.
  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist , title unknown ENG GER FRE by Frans Louis Wiemans.

Other available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Das welterf├╝llende Licht", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2010-11-03.
Last modified: 2014-06-23 16:31:51
Line count: 33
Word count: 217

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