The night darkened | Song Offerings, Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore

The night darkened – is a poem in the Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry collection “Song Offerings” or “Gitanjali” in Bengali. Geetanjali is a remarkable book of verses composed by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), which earned him the Nobel Prize.


The night darkened | Song Offerings, Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore


It was written originally in Bangla during 1908-1909 and later its English version in prose was published under the title ‘The Song offerings’. It was the first English anthology of Rabindranath published in late 1912 by the India Society of London. On 10 November of the following Year (1913), Rabindranath Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for the book Geetanjali.

This recognition introduced Rabindranath worldwide as an exponent of unique poetic talent. Famous Irish poet W B Yeats wrote the introduction of the English version of Geetanjali. Besides, a pencil sketch of the poet drawn by Rothenstain was published in the book. Rabindranath dedicated Geetanjali to WB Yeats.

Serial Number of the song : 51

The night darkened | Song Offerings, Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore

The night darkened.

THE NIGHT darkened. Our day’s works had been done. We thought that the last guest had arrived for the night and the doors in the village were all shut.

Only some said, The king was to come. We laughed and said ‘No, it cannot be!’

It seemed there were knocks at the door and we said it was nothing but the wind.

We put out the lamps and lay down to sleep.

Only some said. It is the messenger!’ We laughed and said ‘No, it must be the wind!’

There came a sound in the dead of the night We sleepily thought it was the distant thunder.

The earth shook, the wails rocked, and it troubled us in our sleep.

Only some said, it was the sound of wheels. We said in a drowsy murmur, ‘No, it must be the rumbling of clouds!’

The night was still dark when the drum sounded.

The voice came ‘Wake up! delay not!’ We pressed our hands on our hearts and shuddered with fear.

Some said, ‘Lo, there is the king’s flag!’ We stood up on our feet and cried ‘There is no time for delay!’

The king has come-but where are lights, where are wreaths? Where is the throne to seat him?

Oh, shame. Oh utter shame! Where is the hall, the decorations? Some one has said, ‘Vain is this cry! Greet him with empty hands, lead him into thy rooms all bare!’

Open the doors, let the conch-shells be sounded! In the depth of the night has come the king of our dark, dreary house.

The thunder roars in the sky. The darkness shudders with lightning.

Bring out thy tattered piece of mat and spread it in the courtyard.

With the storm has come of a sudden our king of the fearful night.

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