12. Poem ‘Birodh’ (Strife) of the book ‘Bithika’ written at Santiniketan in 1935.

Translator’s note: The Poet does not long for a Utopia, but considers his birth in this imperfect world as a bliss.. He reminds that glory comes the difficult way and we must take it as intent of God that man will always pass through tribulations to reach his noble goal.

In this world many a misdemeanor
Are there, of which you are sore
When you thus announce
In high pitch you pronounce
I thus ponder
That its heated fervor
Is your ego let out
And who doesn’t know but,
That strife between bad and good
Forever stood
At the heart of Creation
But for all its pervasion
Strife wouldn’t blow the trumpet
Of the great.
Do not complain
Against God in vain
As the pain of death you suffer;
Know that whatever life’s treasure,
At death’s price we buy
Which we appraise high;
The ceaseless call of the Creator
Is for onslaught of disaster;
At the heart of the rugged terrain,
All merciless rewards remain,
On his fierce journey, that the pilgrim
As his sustenance does deem.

A great fortune it is
I’m born in a world like this,
Immaculate which is not
Intertwined in many a knot
Of sorrow, humiliation and fear
Harmony of Creation at every step to tear.
When I saw this blemish
That universal mourning I didn’t miss,
That overflows the Ages
Neither the heart that in phases
Keeps up its inspiration
In human history’s rotation
Of the waves of pain
That was not in vain.

From that tortured awakening
A sentinel glory does spring
To set out in the dark of night
My salutation be to his splendid plight.
In various names he appeared,
Variously armed
In thorny road of disgrace
He kept his pace
The Death to conquer
That calamitous traveler
In my blood is his call
For his long haul.