Take, O Take

Time after time

I came to your gate with raised hands,

Asking for more and yet more.

You gave and gave, now in slow measure, now

In sudden excess.

I took some, and some things I let drop; some

Lay heavy on my hands;

Some I made into playthings and broke them

When tired;

Till the wrecks and hoards of your gifts grew

Immense, hiding you, and the ceaseless

Expectation wore my heart out.

Take, oh take – has now become my cry.

Shatter all from this beggar’s bowl:

Put out the lamp of the importunate


Hold my hands, raise me from the

Still-gathering heap of your gifts

Into the bare infinity of your uncrowded



Rabindranath Tagore in Collected Poems and Plays


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