The Banyan Tree


O you shaggy-headed banyan tree standing on the bank of the pond,

have you forgotten the little chile,

like the birds that have nested in your branches and left you?

Do you not remember how he sat at the window and wondered at

the tangle of your roots and plunged underground?

The women would come to fill their jars in the pond, and your

huge black shadow would wriggle on the water like sleep struggling to wake up.

Sunlight danced on the ripples like restless tiny shuttles weaving golden tapestry.

Two ducks swam by the weedy margin above their shadows,

and the child would sit still and think.

He longed to be the wind and blow through your resting branches,

to be your shadow and lengthen with the day on the water,

to be a bird and perch on your topmost twig, and to float like

those ducks among the weeds and shadows.


-Rabindranath Tagore


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