Give Thee My All

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I had gone a-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 the king of all kings!

My hopes rose high and I thought my evil days were at an end, and I stood for alms to be given unasked and for wealth 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 me?"

Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided and 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 grain of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.

--Rabindranath Tagore, in Gitanjali

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