When I give up the helm I know that the time has come for thee to
take it. What there is to do will be instantly done. Vain is
Then take away your hands and silently put up with your defeat,
my heart, and think it your good fortune to sit perfectly still
where you are placed.
These my lamps are blown out at every little puff of wind, and
trying to light them I forget all else again and again.
But I shall be wise this time and wait in the dark, spreading my
mat on the floor; and whenever it is thy pleasure, my lord, come
silently and take thy seat here.
I dive down into the depth of the ocean of forms, hoping to gain
the perfect pearl of the formless.
No more sailing from harbour to harbour with this my weather-
beaten boat. The days are long passed when my sport was to be
tossed on waves.
And now I am eager to die into the deathless.
Into the audience hall by the fathomless abyss where swells up
the music of toneless strings I shall take this harp of my life.
I shall tune it to the notes of forever, and when it has sobbed
out its last utterance, lay down my silent harp at the feet of
From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’
Tagore Short Poems
Tagore Stray Birds