“Stray Birds” No. 71

by Ravindranath Tagore

The axe begged humbly, ‘O thou mighty oak,

Lend me only a piece of thy branch—

Just enough to fit me with a handle.’

The handle was ready, and there was no more wasting of time.

The beggar at once commenced business—and hit hard at the root,

And there was the end of the oak.

The woodcutter’s axe begged for its handle from the tree.

The tree gave it.


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