The Seashore Gathering
by Rabindranath Tagore
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
On the seashores of endless worlds, earth's children converge.
The infinite sky is motionless, the restless waters boisterous.
On the seashores of endless worlds earth's children gather to dance with joyous cries and pirouettes.
They build sand castles and play with hollow shells.
They weave boats out of withered leaves and laughingly float them out over the vast deep.
Earth's children play gaily on the seashores of endless worlds.
They do not know, yet, how to cast nets or swim.
Divers fish for pearls and merchants sail their ships, while earth's children skip, gather pebbles and scatter them again.
They are unaware of hidden treasures, nor do they know how to cast nets, yet.
The sea surges with laughter, smiling palely on the seashore.
Death-dealing waves sing the children meaningless songs, like a mother lullabying her baby's cradle.
The sea plays with the children, smiling palely on the seashore.
On the seashores of endless worlds earth's children meet.
Tempests roam pathless skies, ships lie wrecked in uncharted waters, death wanders abroad, and still the children play.
On the seashores of endless worlds there is a great gathering of earth's children.
Originally published by The Chained Muse. My translation is based on an untitled text in Bangla (Bengali) first published in 1912 and known as "60" due to its numerical placement. Tagore made history by becoming the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature the following year. Keywords/Tags: seashore, gathering, children, sky, sea, water, dance, sand castles, shells, boats, play, nets, swim, fish, pearls, ships, waves, songs, mother, lullaby, baby, cradle, tempests, death