A Little Grain of Corn
I had gone begging from door to door in the village path
When thy golden chariot appeared in the distance
like a gorgeous dream
And I wondered who was this King of all kings!
My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end,
And I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked
And for wealth to be scattered on all sides in the dust.
The chariot stopped where I stood.
Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile.
I felt that the luck of my life had come at last.
Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say,
“What hast thou to give to me?”
Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg!
I was confused and stood undecided,
Then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn
And gave it to thee.
But how great my surprise when at the day’s end
I emptied my bag on the floor to find
A least little gramme of gold among the poor heap.
I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart To give thee my all.
Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali