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Rabindranath Tagore

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

The Gardener LXXVI: The Fair Was On


The fair was on before the temple.
It had rained from the early morning
and the day came to its end.
Brighter than all the gladness of
the crowd was the bright smile of
a girl who bought for a farthing a
whistle of palm leaf.
The shrill joy of that whistle floated
above all laughter and noise.
An endless throng of people came
and jostled together. The road was
muddy, the river in flood, the field
under water in ceaseless rain.
Greater than all the troubles of
the crowd was a little boy's trouble--
he had not a farthing to buy a painted
stick.
His wistful eyes gazing at the shop
made this whole meeting of men so
pitiful.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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