When I give up the helm -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.
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 : 99
When I give up the helm.
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 this struggle.
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.