THE TAME BIRD WAS IN A CAGE
by: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
The tame bird was in a cage, the free bird was in the forest.
They met when the time came, it was a decree of fate.
The free bird cries, "O my love, let us fly to the wood."
The cage bird whispers, "Come hither, let us both live in the cage."
Says the free bird, "Among bars, where is there room to spread one's wings?"
"Alas," cries the caged bird, "I should not know where to sit perched in the sky."
The free bird cries, "My darling, sing the songs of the woodlands."
The cage bird sings, "Sit by my side, I'll teach you the speech of the learned."
The forest bird cries, "No, ah no! songs can never be taught."
The cage bird says, "Alas for me, I know not the songs of the woodlands."
Their love is intense with longing, but they never can fly wing to wing.
Through the bars of the cage they look, and vain is their wish to know each other.
They flutter their wings in yearning, and sing, "Come closer, my love!"
The free bird cries, "It cannot be, I fear the closed doors of the cage."
The cage bird whispers, "Alas, my wings are powerless and dead."
"The tame bird was in a cage" is from The Gardener. Rabindranath Tagore. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1913.