Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908
Bande Mataram. March 31, 1908
Spirit of God that rulest, lord and king
Of all this universe, who from Thy throne
In heaven, besieged by prayers, lookst down on man,
Immeasurable Spirit, if any thought
Of human frailty in my mind should dwell,
While at Thy feet I lay myself, forgive.
Not for myself but for the land where Thou
Wert once a mighty warrior, lord and king,
For India, for her sons, I pray, who now
Fallen, abject, cringing to a foreign hand,
Forget Thee. Thou immeasurable Lord
Of all this universe, august, unborn,
By Thy unspeakable compassion urged
Enteredst a human body, of Thy huge
Empire a little province earnest down
From foes within and foes without to save.
Again the land is full of Thee and full
Of hope; a stir is in the air, a cry
Is in men's hearts, the whole terrestrial globe
Thrills and vague rumours, huge presentiments
Move like the visions born of mist and dream
Across the places where Thou once wast born
Prophesying Thy advent. Wilt Thou come
Lord, in a form such as Thou worest once
When Mathura was free, when Kamsa fell,
And from Brindavan came the avenging sword
Till then concealed. So would we have Thee come.
The nations of the earth are full of sin;
Greed, lust, ambition are their gods, and keep
Revel with Science for their caterer
To give the food by which they live. All forms
Of mercy, gentleness and love are lost
While strength alone is worshipped, strength divorced
From justice, uninspired by noble aims.
The greatnesses of earth forget their source
And limit; they desire to break and build,
To fill their lust, to hold majestic rule
For ever, but forget the source of strength,
Forget the purpose for which strength is given.
Oppression fills the spaces of the world,
Hatred and pain reply with murder, One
Is needed who will break the strengths of earth
By His diviner strength; and till He comes
In vain we struggle and in vain aspire.
Come therefore, for Thou saidst that Thou wouldst come;
Whenever strong injustice lifts her head
To slay the good,– Thou saidst that Thou wouldst come
For rescue of the world. Today the globe
Waits for Thy coming, as it waited then
When Ravan was the master of the world
And Lanka, full of splendid strength and sin,
Possessed mankind. Now many Ravans rule
And many Lankas. Therefore come; the earth
Can bear no more the burden of their pride,
Hellward she sinks. Unless Thou come, the end
Approaches. Save Thy fair creation, Lord.
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