Collected Poems of Henry Derozio: Preface by Manu Samriti Chander; Edited by Amardeep Singh

To India--My Native Land

My country! in thy day of glory past 
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow, 
And worshipped as a deity thou wast. 
Where is that glory, where that reverence now? 
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last, 
And grovelling in the lowly dust art thou: 
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee 
Save the sad story of thy misery! 
Well—-let me dive into the depths of time, 
And bring from out the ages that have rolled 
A few small fragments of those wrecks sublime, 
Which human eye may never more behold; 
And let the guerdon of my labour be 
My fallen country! one kind wish from thee! 

My dream was it thy spirit came to me 
To visit me in sleep? 
O that my slumber might have been 
More lengthened, and more deep! 
Was it a visitant from Heaven 
That to my pillow came, 
And answered in thine own loved voice, 
Whene'er I named thy name? 
Not half so sweet the nightingale 
Unto the rosebud sings, 
As came thy voice of other days, 
With which my ear still rings. 
It was thine unforgotten form, 
O Heaven! that I did see: 
Thou wast not changed—-thy large black eye 
Still beamed on me, on me! 
And there were words that seemed to burn, 
Words that I may not tell; 
And many a tear that seemed to sear 

Thy bosom, as it fell. 
And there were smiles of other days, 
When days were warm and bright; 
They passed like beams of hope away, 
Or shadows of the night!

O! how my memory loves to cling 
To aught that breathes of thee! 
E'en on this little dream I dwell 
With maddening ecstacy. 
But what am I—and where art thou? 
So bright can visions seem? 
O dreams of bliss are bliss indeed, 
For bliss is but a dream. 

February, 1827.

This page has paths: