Treasure Island

Rabindranath Tagore

(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941 / Calcutta (Kolkata), Bengal Presidency / British India)

Lover's Gifts XVI: She Dwelt Here by the Pool


She dwelt here by the pool with its landing-stairs in ruins. Many
an evening she had watched the moon made dizzy by the shaking of
bamboo leaves, and on many a rainy day the smell of the wet earth
had come to her over the young shoots of rice.
Her pet name is known here among those date-palm groves and
in the courtyards where girls sit and talk while stitching their
winter quilts. The water in this pool keeps in its depth the memory
of her swimming limbs, and her wet feet had left their marks, day
after day, on the footpath leading to the village.
The women who come to-day with their vessels to the water have
all seen her smile over simple jests, and the old peasant, taking
his bullocks to their bath, used to stop at her door every day to
greet her.
Many a sailing-boat passes by this village; many a traveller
takes rest beneath that banyan tree; the ferry-boat crosses to
yonder ford carrying crowds to the market; but they never notice
this spot by the village road, near the pool with its ruined
landing-stairs,-where dwelt she whom I love.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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