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The Rhyme Maker
Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
1861-1941


Theme:   Wine Musings


NOTES:
The indentations in this poem indicate the continuation of the previous line, which does not fit within the specified margins of this web page.  Compare with the printable version.
- S. H. Bass    


Rabindranath Tagore at
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Stop Button Clutter!
O you mad, you superbly drunk!
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Indian poet/philosopher

O you mad, you superbly drunk!
If you kick open your doors and play the fool in
public;
If you empty your bag in a night, and snap your fingers at
 prudence;
If you walk in curious paths and play with useless things;
Reck not rhyme or reason;
If you break the rudder in two unfurling your
sails before the storm:
Then I will follow you, comrade, and be drunken and go to the
 dogs.

I have wasted my days and nights in the
company of steady wise
 neighbors.
Much knowing has turned my hair gray, and much watching has
 made my sight dim.
For years I have gathered and heaped all scraps and fragments of
 things;
Crush them and dance upon them, and scatter them all to the
 winds!
For I know ’tis the height of wisdom to be drunken and go to the
 dogs.

Let all crooked scruples vanish, let me hopelessly
lose my way.
Let a gust of wild giddiness come and sweep me away from my
 anchors.
The world is peopled with worthies, and workers useful and clever;
There are men who are easily the first, and men who come decently
 next:
Let them be happy and prosperous, and let me be foolishly futile.
For I know ’tis the end of all works to be drunken and go to the
 dogs.

I swear to surrender this moment all claim to the
ranks of  the
 sensible.
I let go my pride of learning and judgment of right and of wrong.
I’ll shatter the vessel of memory, scattering the last drop of tears;
With the foam of the ruby red wine, I’ll bathe and brighten my
 laughter.
The badge of the proper and prim I’ll tear into shreds for the
 nonce.
I’ll take the holy vow of being worthless, and be drunken and go to
 the dogs.


from Poetry Magazine (June, 1913)


      
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