(“Come as you are...”)

By Rabindranath Tagore 1861–1941 Rabindranath Tagore
                                                      VI

Come as you are, tarry not over your toilet.
If your braiding has come loose, if the parting of your hair be not straight, if the ribbons of your bodice be not fastened, do not mind.
Come as you are, tarry not over your toilet.

Come with quick steps over the grass.
If your feet are pale with the dew, if your anklets slacken, if pearls drop out of your chain, do not mind.
Come with quick steps over the grass.

Do you see the clouds wrapping the sky?
Flocks of cranes fly up from the further riverbank and fitful gusts of wind rush over the heath.
The anxious cattle run to their stalls in the village.
Do you see the clouds wrapping the sky?


In vain you light your toilet lamp; it flickers and goes out in the wind.
Surely, who would know that with lamp-black your eyelids are not touched? For your eyes are darker than rain clouds.
In vain you light your toilet lamp; it goes out.

Come as you are, tarry not over your toilet.
If the wreath is not woven, who cares? If the wrist-chain has not been tied, leave it by.
The sky is overcast with clouds; it is late.
Come as you are, tarry not over your toilet.

Source: Poetry (June 1913).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 1913 issue of Poetry magazine

June 1913
 Rabindranath  Tagore

Biography

A native of Calcutta, India, who wrote in Bengali and often translated his own work into English, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 — the first Asian to receive the honor. He wrote poetry, fiction, drama, essays, and songs; promoted reforms in education, aesthetics and religion; and in his late sixties he even turned to the visual arts, producing 2,500 paintings and drawings before his death.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Living, Love, Romantic Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION Asia, South

Poetic Terms Refrain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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