I long to speak the deepest words I have to say to you;
but I dare not, for fear you should laugh.
That is why I laugh at myself and shatter my secret in jest.
I make light of my pain, afraid you should do so.
I long to tell you the truest words I have to say to you;
but I dare not, being afraid that you would not believe them.
That is why I disguise them in untruth,
saying the contrary of what I mean.
I make my pain appear absurd, afraid that you should do so.
I long to use the most precious words I have for you;
but I dare not, fearing I should not be paid with like value.
That is why I gave you hard names
and boast of my callous strength.
I hurt you, for fear you should never know any pain.
I long to sit silent by you;
but I dare not lest my heart come out at my lips.
That is why I prattle and chatter lightly
and hide my heart behind words.
I rudely handle my pain, for fear you should do so.
I long to go away from your side;
but I dare not, for fear my cowardice should become known to you.
That is why I hold my head high
and carelessly come into your presence.
Constant thrusts from your eyes keep my pain fresh for ever.
— The Gardener – Rabindranath Tagore