Leave this Chanting and Singing


4.       Work and Leisure

Leave this Chanting and Singing

Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads!
Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with

doors all shut?
Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!

He is there whore the tiller is tilling the hard ground

and where the pathmaker is breaking stones.

He is with them in sun and in shower,

and his garment is covered with dust.
Put off thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil!

Where is this deliverance to be found?

Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation;

he is bound with us all forever.

Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense!

What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained?

Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow.
                                                                                                -Rabindranath Tagore

A. Find the words from the poem which have the following meanings.

a. Bead: small piece of glass or stone threaded with others to make a necklace

b. Tilling: to prepare and use land for growing crops

c. Garment: a piece of clothing

d. Mantle: a layer of something that covers a surface

e. Deliverance: the state of being rescued from danger, evil, or pain

f. Incense: a substance that produces a pleasant smell when you burn it

g. Stained: covered with marks

h. Toil: hard unpleasant work that makes you very tired

B. Find the modern equivalents of the following archaic words used in the poem.

a. dost: do

b. thou: you

c. thine: your

d. thy: your

C. Answer the following questions.

a. Who is the poem addressed to?

   The poem is addressed to those who engage in religious rituals and worship in solitude, away from the real world.


b. What does the speaker advise people?

   The speaker advises people to leave their religious rituals and to find God in the everyday work and struggles of life.


c. Where do people try to find the god?

   People try to find God in secluded places, like dark corners of temples with closed doors.


d. Where, according to the speaker, does the god actually reside?

   According to the speaker, God resides among the workers, in the fields with the tillers and pathmakers, amidst the dust and toil.


e. How can people have a glimpse of the god?

   People can have a glimpse of God by joining the workers, engaging in the labor, and experiencing the real life struggles.


f. Why can't the god rescue people?

   The god can't rescue people because he is bound with them in the bonds of creation and is a part of their toil and struggle.


g. What does the speaker ask people to do in the last stanza?

   The speaker asks people to come out of their meditations, leave aside their flowers and incense, and join in the toil and sweat of daily life, meeting God in the process.


Grammar II

A. Match the following imperative sentences with their functions.

a. Kindly tell me where the bus park is. - viii. making a request

b. Go straight and take the first turn on your right. - i. giving direction

c. Cook the rice in medium heat until it turns tender. - vi. giving instruction

d. Please join us on the tour. - vii. making an invitation

e. Don't feed the animals in the zoo! - ii. warning

f. Wear warm clothes. - iv. giving advice

g. Put your hands up! - v. making an order

h. Get out of here at once. - iii. making a command

i. Let's go for a walk. - ix. suggesting


B. Change the following imperative sentences into negative.

a. Turn left at the junction.

- Don't turn left at the junction.

b. Please open the door.

- Please don't open the door.

c. Let him tell a story.

 - Don't let him tell a story.

d. Put out the light.

- Don't put out the light.

e. Let's play a friendly football match.

- Let's not play a friendly football match.

f. Please help the man get out of the well.

- Please don't help the man get out of the well.

g. Instruct the people about how they should work.

- Don't instruct the people about how they should work.

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