Grandfather’s Holiday

By Rabindranath Tagore, Translated by William Radice

Blue sky, paddy fields, grandchild’s play,
Deep ponds, diving-stage, child’s holiday;
Tree shade, barn corners, catch-me-if-you-dare,
Undergrowth, parul-bushes, life without care.
Green paddy all a-quiver, hopeful as a child,
Child prancing, river dancing, waves running wild.

Bespectacled grandfather old man am I,
Trapped in my work like a spiderwebbed fly.
Your games are my games, my proxy holiday,
Your laugh the sweetest music I shall ever play.
Your joy is mine, my mischief in your eyes,
Your delight the country where my freedom lies.

Autumn sailing in, now, steered by your play,
Bringing white siuli-flowers to grace your holiday.
Pleasure of the chilly air tingling me at night,
Blown from Himalya on the breeze of your delight.
Dawn in Asvin, flower-forcing roseate sun,
Dressed in the colours of a grandchild’s fun.

Flooding of my study with your leaps and your capers,
Work gone, books flying, avalanche of papers.
Arms around my neck, in my lap bounce thump –
Hurricane of freedom in my heart as you jump.
Who has taught you, how he does it, I shall never know –
You’re the one who teaches me to let myself go.