CWSA.- Volume 2
Part Three. Baroda and Bengal, c. 1900 – 1909
Poems from Manuscripts, c. 1900 – 1906
To the Ganges
Hearken, Mother, to my voice.
Waters colder-pure than ice.
Shiva sits in breathless air,
Where the outcast seeks his refuge, where the demon army moans,
Ganges erring through his hair.
Crowd thy waves untouched by man.
Bursting through Shivadry ran.
Ghauts and temples lightly touched
With thy fingers as thou ranst, laughed low in pureness like a child
To his mother’s bosom clutched.
There thou flowest, there thy hand
Clasps us, Bhagirathie, Jahnavie or Gunga, and thy name
Holier makes the Aryans’ land.
But thou leavest1 Aryavurtha, but thou leapest to the seas
In thy hundred mighty streams;
Nor in the unquiet Ocean vast thy grandiose journeyings cease,
Mother, say thy children’s dreams.
In Patala’s leaden gloom2
Moaning o’er her children’s pain our mother, Ganges of the dead,
Leads our wandering spirits home.
Iron Bhîshma was thy son,
Who against ten thousand rushing chariots could in war endure;
Many heroes fled from one.
Smilingly who gave up full
Joy of human life and empire, that his father’s wish might flower
And his father’s son might rule.
Apter for the cringing slave,
Wrangling, selfish, weak and treacherous, vendors of their nobler parts,
Sorry food for pyre and grave?
Poets singing in their chains,
Preachers teaching manly slavery, speakers thundering in the void.
Cringing, of the whip afraid!
Born to rule the peopled earth,
Shall he bear the alien’s insult, shall he brook the tyrant’s wrong
Like a thing of meaner birth?
And the Kings of Aracan
And the Atlantic pirates helped that hue,– its ruined glory flood
Kîrtinasha’s waters wan.
In Chitore the jackals crowd:
Krishna’s Dwarca sleeps for ever, o’er its ruined bastions march
All the Oceans thundering loud.
Smouldering under smoky pall,
And the deep heart of her peoples to their Mighty Mother turns,
Listening for her Titan call.
In Jessore he loved and made,
Sitaram the good and mighty for his well-loved people’s sake
Leave the stillness and the shade.
Up to far Benares pure,
She shall lead the Aryan peoples to the mighty doom foretold
And her glory shall endure.
By her vibrant speech and great,
She shall lead them, they shall see their destiny in her warm desire
Opening all the doors of Fate.
Even now a flame is born
Which shall kindle all the South to brilliance and the North shall be
Lighted up as with the morn.
Free and holy, bold and wise,
Shall lift up her face before the world and she whom men thought dead,
Into strength immortal rise.
Mother, hast thou power to save
Only, nor dost thou grow old near Sagar, nor our vileness stains,
Ganges, thy celestial wave.
Tell it to our sons unborn,
Where the night was brooding darkest and the curse was on the soil
Heaviest, God revealed the morn.
Earlier edition of this work: Archives and Research: A biannual journal.- Volume 1, No1 (1977, April).- pp.20-23.
1 A&R. 1977, 1: leavst
2 A&R. 1977, 1: glooms