Five Songs of Tagore

Song Cycle by Alistair Hinton (b. 1950)

Word count: 343

German (Deutsch) translation: Fünf Tagorelieder

1. Pluck this little flower [sung text not yet checked]

Pluck this little flower and take it, delay not! 
I fear lest it droop
and drop into the dust.
[I may not find]1 a place in thy garland,
but honour it 
with a touch of pain  from thy hand and pluck it. 
I fear lest the day end 
before I am [aware]2,
and the time of offering go by.
Though its colour be not deep 
and its smell be faint, 
use this flower in thy service 
and pluck it while there is time.

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1 Hinton and some editions of Tagore: "It may not have"
2 Hinton (in early performances of the work): "awake"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

2. My heart, the bird of the wilderness [sung text not yet checked]

My heart, the bird of the wilderness,
has found its sky in your eyes:
They are the cradle of the morning,
they are the kingdom of the stars;
My songs are lost in their depths.
Let me but soar in that sky,
in its lonely immensity!
Let me but cleave its clouds
and spread wings in its sunshine.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. I plucked your flower [sung text not yet checked]

I plucked your flower, O world!
I pressed it to my heart and the thorn pricked.
When the day waned and it darkened, 
I found that the flower had faded, 
but the pain remained.

More flowers will come to you 
with perfume and pride, O world!
But my time for flower-gathering is over, 
and through the dark night I have not my rose, 
only the pain remains.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "J'ai cueilli ta fleur", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Then finish the last song [sung text not yet checked]

Then finish the last song 
and let us leave.
Forget this night when the night is no more.
Whom do I try to clasp in my arms?  
Dreams can never be made captive.
My eager hands press emptiness 
to my heart and it bruises my breast.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Peace, my heart [sung text not yet checked]

Peace, my heart, 
let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death 
but completeness.
Let love melt into memory 
and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end 
in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle 
like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, 
for a moment, 
and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you 
and hold up my lamp 
to light you on your way.

Authorship

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]