On the Seashore of Endless Worlds

(1914)

"On the Seashore of Endless Worlds" is the fifth song in John Alden Carpenter's song cycle Gitanjali: Song Offerings based on the Nobel Prize winning poetry of Rabindranath Tagore.

On the Seashore of Endless Worlds
by Rabindranath Tagore


On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
The infinite sky is motionless overhead
and the restless water is boisterous.
On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.


They build their houses with sand and they play with empty shells.
With withered leaves they weave their boats
and smilingly float them on the vast deep.
Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.


They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets.
Pearl fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships,
while children gather pebbles and scatter them again.
They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.


The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.
Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children,
even like a mother while rocking her baby's cradle.
The sea play with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.


On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships get wrecked in the trackless water,
death is abroad and children play.
On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.


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