by Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)
Translation by Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)

I had gone a‑begging from door to door...
Language: English  after the Bangla (Bengali) 
Available translation(s): GER
I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, 
when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance 
like a gorgeous dream and I wondered
who was this King of all kings!

My hopes rose high and methought 
my evil days were at an end,
and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked
and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.

The chariot stopped where I stood.
Thy glance fell on me 
and thou camest down with a smile.
I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. 
Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand 
and say `What hast thou to give to me?'

Ah, what a kingly jest was it 
to open thy palm to a beggar to beg!
I was confused and stood undecided, 
and then from my wallet I slowly took out 
the least little grain of corn 
and gave it to thee.

But how great my surprise when at the day's end 
I emptied my bag on the floor to find 
a least little gram of gold among the poor heap.
I bitterly wept and wished 
that I had had the heart to give thee my all.

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

    [ None yet in the database ]

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG GER GER ; composed by Jan Pouwels.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Marie Luise Gothein (1863 - 1931) , first published 1914 ENG ; composed by Stefan Wolpe.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2009-11-13 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:45
Line count: 25
Word count: 204