The First Jasmines

The First Jasmines is the second song from Gardner Read's Songs to Children, Op. 76 song cycle. This song sets the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet and composer.

Date: 1947Text: Rabindranath TagoreSong Collection: Songs to Children, Op. 76

Print vitals & song text


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.


Gardner Read: The Art of Song

(William Blake, Frances Frost, James Joyce, Gardner Read, Henry Russell, Rabindranath Tagore and Jean Starr Untermeyer)


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