The Borderland

King of Death, your fatal messenger came to me
Suddenly from your durbar. He took me to your vast courtyard.
My eyes saw darkness; I did not see the invisible light
In the depths and layers of your darkness, the light
That is the source of the universe; my vision
Was clouded by my own darkness. That a great hymn
To light should swell from the inmost cavern of my being
And reach to the realm of light at the edge of creation –
That was why you sent for me. I sang,
Aiming in my melody to bring to the theatre of physical
Existence the poetic glory of the spirit.
But my vina could not play the music of destruction,
Could not compose a raga of silent wrath;
My heart could not engender a serene image of the terrible.
And so you sent me back. The day will come
When my poetry, silently failing like a ripened fruit
From the weight of its fullness of joy,
Shall be offered up to eternity. And then at last
I shall pay you in full, finish my journey, meet your call.

– Rabindranath Tagore

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