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- The Crescent Moon - 1/9 -


The Crescent Moon

By Rabindranath Tagore

Translated from the original Bengali by the author

with eight illustrations in colour

London and New York: Macmillan and Company, 1913

TO T. STURGE MOORE

[Frontispiece: From a drawing by Nandalall Bose--see cbeach.jpg]

CONTENTS

THE HOME ON THE SEASHORE THE SOURCE BABY'S WAY THE UNHEEDED PAGEANT SLEEP-STEALER THE BEGINNING BABY'S WORLD WHEN AND WHY DEFAMATION THE JUDGE PLAYTHINGS THE ASTRONOMER CLOUDS AND WAVES THE CHAMPA FLOWER FAIRYLAND THE LAND OF THE EXILE THE RAINY DAY PAPER BOATS THE SAILOR THE FURTHER BANK THE FLOWER-SCHOOL THE MERCHANT SYMPATHY VOCATION SUPERIOR THE LITTLE BIG MAN TWELVE O'CLOCK AUTHORSHIP THE WICKED POSTMAN THE HERO THE END THE RECALL THE FIRST JASMINES THE BANYAN TREE BENEDICTION THE GIFT MY SONG THE CHILD-ANGEL THE LAST BARGAIN

LIST OF COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS

FRONTISPIECE THE HOME THE BEGINNING FAIRYLAND PAPER BOATS THE MERCHANT THE HERO BENEDICTION

INDEX OF THE FIRST LINES

Ah, these jasmines Ah, who was it coloured that little frock Bless this little heart Child, how happy you are sitting in the dust Come and hire me Day by day I float my paper boats I am small because I am a little child If baby only wanted to, he could fly If I were only a little puppy If people came to know where my king's palace is I long to go over there Imagine, mother I only said, "When in the evening" I paced alone It is time for me to go, mother I want to give you something, my child I wish I could take a quiet corner Mother, I do want to leave off my lessons Mother, let us imagine we are travelling Mother, the folk who live up in the clouds Mother, the light has grown grey Mother, your baby is silly On the seashore of endless worlds O you shaggy-headed banyan tree Say of him what you please Sullen clouds are gathering Supposing I became a champa flower The boat of the boatman Madhu The night was dark when we went away The sleep that flits on baby's eyes They clamour and fight This song of mine When I bring you coloured toys When storm clouds When the gong sounds ten Where have I come from Who stole sleep from baby's eyes Why are those tears in your eyes, my child Why do you sit there on the floor You say that father writes a lot of books

[Illustration: The Home--from a drawing by Nandalall Bose--see chome.jpg]

THE HOME

I paced alone on the road across the field while the sunset was hiding its last gold like a miser.

The daylight sank deeper and deeper into the darkness, and the widowed land, whose harvest had been reaped, lay silent.

Suddenly a boy's shrill voice rose into the sky. He traversed the dark unseen, leaving the track of his song across the hush of the evening.

His village home lay there at the end of the waste land, beyond the sugar-cane field, hidden among the shadows of the banana and the slender areca palm, the cocoa-nut and the dark green jack-fruit trees.

I stopped for a moment in my lonely way under the starlight, and saw spread before me the darkened earth surrounding with her arms countless homes furnished with cradles and beds, mothers' hearts and evening lamps, and young lives glad with a gladness that knows nothing of its value for the world.

ON THE SEASHORE

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.

The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.

They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.

They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.

The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby's cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.

THE SOURCE


The Crescent Moon - 1/9

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