The Emerald

Rabindranath Tagore
Nobel Laureate

The emerald became green in the hue of my consciousness.
The ruby became red.
I opened my eyes to the skies.
And light broke from East to West.
I looked at the rose and said, "How beautiful".
And the rose became beautiful.
You will say, "These are philosophical truths,
These are not the poet's speech."
I say, "These are truths,
And what is poetry but truth?"

My conceit is here,
A conceit on behalf of mankind;
On the canvas of man's conceit is drawn
the masterpiece of universe--
The creation of the Artist.

The philosopher reiterates at every breath
Counting his rosary
"There is no emerald, no ruby, no light and no rose,
Neither you nor me',
While He who is infinite came to realize Himself
Within the boundary of man,
And this is named "I".

In the density of that "I", a conflict arose
Between shadow and light.
There appeared form, the awakening of sap.
The "no" became "yes" at an unknown moment
In line, colour, grief and joy.
Do not tell me these are philosophical truths!
My heart fills with delight
As I stand with brush in hand and paint,
In the creative ground of the universal "I".

The Pundit has said...
That old moon,
It has a cruel and cunning smile.
It is creeping nearer and nearer to the heart of the earth
With the message of Death.
A day will come when it will strike
A final blow to her rocks and seas.
In Eternity's new recording book,
There will be a cipher covering the page of this planet.
It will blot out the totality of her days and nights.

Man's deeds will lose all pretence of immortality,
Man's history will merge into the ink of eternal night,
Man in his farewell glance will take away the colour of the universe,
Man's mind on that final day will leave no trace
Of a fulfilling seed.

The tremor of power will rage from sky to sky,
No light will shine.
In the great concert-hall without a lute,
The performer's fingers will move in the rhythm of a dance
But with no music.

That day God, losing all poetry, will alone
Seated under a blue-less sky,
Bent on a mathematical calculation devoid of personal element,
When in this vast universe
No voice will rise amongst countless people,
From life to life, far or near,
To echo, "I love you", "You are beautiful".

Will then God once again sit in ageless contemplation?
And repeat His prayers from amid night's devastation?
Saying, "Speak, oh speak!"
Uttering, Say, "you are beautiful."
"Say, I am in love?"


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