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

Light, oh where is the light?
Language: English  after the Bangla (Bengali) 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
Light, oh where is the light? 
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!
There is the lamp but never a flicker of a flame - 
is such thy fate, my heart? 
Ah, death were better by far for thee!

Misery knocks at thy door, and her message is 
that thy lord is wakeful, 
and he calls thee to the love-tryst 
through the darkness of night.

The sky is overcast with clouds 
and the rain is ceaseless. 
I know not what this is that stirs in me - 
I know not its meaning.

A moment's flash of lightning drags down 
a deeper gloom on my sight, 
and my heart gropes for the path 
to where the music of the night calls me.

Light, oh where is the light! 
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire! 
It thunders and the wind rushes screaming through the void. 
The night is black as a black stone. 
Let not the hours pass by in the dark. 
Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.

About the headline (FAQ)


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, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Jan Pouwels.

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

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-11-03
Line count: 23
Word count: 171