The Gardener

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

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Earlier today, I randomly went through my electronic poetry collection, which includes the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Christina Georgina Rossetti and Rabindranath Tagore, among others.

Rabindranath TagoreOne of the poems that has long since pulled at my heartstrings is The Gardener by Tagore. The entire work is quite lengthy, but it never gets stilted.

I first heard of the author when I was in my first year of high school, at our Values Education class wherein he was quoted in our textbook. I looked him up in the library and eventually came across some of the poetry he had written.

I was proverbially reunited with Tagore when excerpts from The Gardener were quoted in a Rurouni Kenshin fanfiction series, Of Love and Honor. This work, beautifully and lyrically constructed by Tin Mandigma, remains unfinished to date, but is recognized as one of the best fanfic pieces in the RK fandom. The central characters in Of Love and Honor are Aoshi Shinomori and Misao Makimachi - the Oniwabanshuu Okashira and his Itachi Musume.

Excerpts from THE GARDENER
by Rabindranath Tagore

I love you, beloved. Forgive me my love.
Like a bird losing its way I am caught.
When my heart was shaken it lost its veil and was naked.
Cover it with pity, beloved, and forgive me my love.

If you cannot love me, beloved, forgive me my pain.
Do not look askance at me from afar.
I will steal back to my corner and sit in the dark.
With both hands I will cover my naked shame.
Turn your face from me, beloved, and forgive me my pain.

If you love me, beloved, forgive me my joy.
When my heart is borne away by the flood of happiness,
Do not smile at my perilous abandonment.
When I sit on my throne
And rule you with my tyranny of love,
When like a goddess I grant you my favour,
Bear with my pride, beloved, and forgive me my joy.

Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
I have watched all night,
And now my eyes are heavy with sleep.
I fear lest I lose you when I am sleeping.
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.

I start up and stretch my hands to touch you.
I ask myself, "Is it a dream?"
Could I but entangle your feet with my heart
And hold them fast to my breast!
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
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