The great fair of common human life

   The child who is decked with prince’s robes
and who has jewelled chains round his neck
loses all pleasure in his play;
his dress hampers him at every step.

In fear that it may be frayed,
or stained with dust
he keeps himself from the world,
and is afraid even to move.

Mother, it is no gain, thy bondage of finery,
if it keep one shut off from the healthful dust of the earth,
if it rob one of the right of entrance
to the great fair of common human life

– Rabindranath Tagore in Gitanjali 


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