The First Jasmines
By Rabindranath Tagore (translated from Bengali)
Ah, these jasmines, these white jasmines!
I seem to remember the first day
when I filled my hands with these jasmines, these white jasmines.
I have loved the sunlight, the sky and the green earth;
I have heard the liquid murmur of the river
through the darkness of midnight;
Autumn sunsets have come to me
at the bend of the road in the lonely waste,
like a bride raising her veil to accept her lover.
Yet my memory is still sweet with the first white jasmines
that I held in my hand when I was a child.
Many a glad day has come in my life,
and I have laughed with merry makers on festival nights.
On grey mornings of rain I have crooned many an idle song.
I have worn ’round my neck the evening wreath
of bakulas woven by the hand of love.
Yet my heart is still sweet with the memory of the first fresh jasmines
that filled my hands when I was a child.