Gandhi Maharaj

Gandhi Maharaj ~ By Rabindranath Tagore

by Rabindranath Tagore

We who follow Gandhi Maharaja’s lead
have one thing in common among us:
we never fill our purses with spoils from the poor
nor bend our knees to the rich.

When they come bullying us
with raised fist and menacing stick,
we smile to them, and say:
your reddening stare
may startle babies out of sleep

but how frighten those who refuse to fear?

Our speeches are straight and simple,

no diplomatic turns to twist their meaning;

confounding penal code

they guide with perfect ease the pilgrims

to the border of jail.

And when these crowd the path to the prison gate

their stains of insult are washed clean,

their age-long shackles drop to the dust,

and on their forehead are stamped

Gandhiji’s blessings.

15 February 1940


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