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Rabindranath Tagore

The Gardener (41)

I long to speak the deepest words I have to say to you; but I
dare not, for fear you should laugh.
That is why I laugh at myself and shatter my secret in jest.
I make light of my pain, afraid you should do so.

I long to tell you the truest words I have to say to you; but I
dare not, being afraid that you would not believe them.
That is why I disguise them in untruth, saying the contrary of
what I mean.
I make my pain appear absurd, afraid that you should do so.

I long to use the most precious words I have for you; but I dare
not, fearing I should not be paid with like value.
That is why I gave you hard names and boast of my callous
strength.
I hurt you, for fear you should never know any pain.

I long to sit silent by you; but I dare not lest my heart come
out at my lips.
That is why I prattle and chatter lightly and hide my heart
behind words.
I rudely handle my pain, for fear you should do so.

I long to go away from your side; but I dare not, for fear my
cowardice should become known to you.
That is why I hold my head high and carelessly come into your
presence.
Constant thrusts from your eyes keep my pain fresh for ever.

Rabindranath Tagore, The Gardener. (BookSurge Classics May 1, 2009) Originally published 1913.

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