THE TAME BIRD WAS IN A CAGE
by: Rabindranath Tagore
- HE 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 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
- The cage bird says, "Alas for me, I know not the songs
of the woodlands."
- There 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
MORE POEMS BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE
"The tame bird was in a cage"
is reprinted from The Gardener. Rabindranath Tagore. New
York: The Macmillan Company, 1913.