EXPLANATION – THE POEM TO MY NATIVE LAND (Stanza wise)
To India – My Native Land
Henry Louis Vivian Derozio
My country! in thy day of glory past–A
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow,–B
And worshipped as a deity thou wast—A
Where is that glory, where that reverence now?-B
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last,–A
And groveling in the lowly dust art thou:-B
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee—C
Save the sad story of thy misery!—C-
Well–let me dive into the depths of time,–D
And bring from out the ages that have rolled–E
A few small fragments of those wrecks sublime,–D
Which human eyes may never more behold;–E
And let the guerdon of my labour be–F
My fallen country! one kind wish for thee!—F.
The poetry is recorded in the form of a Petrarchan sonnet, with the octave (first eight lines) describing how India was worshipped and appreciated in ancient times and how its greatness has slowly declined, and the sestet (last six lines) describing the poet’s proposals to restore India’s glory and consider her as strong and powerful as she once was. The poem is written in iambic pentameter and follows the rhyme scheme ABABABCC DEDEFF.
The poet here depicts India’s magnificent past in an attempt to educate readers about the country’s history. It portrays a comparison between India in the past and India today, under British rule.
1st stanza Analysis
For its regalness and splendour, the poet suggests that India had a strange glow or light surrounding it, like a halo, and that the country was regarded as a god or goddess. However, at the time of writing, the poet does not see this in his glorious nation, and he is depressed as a result of this loss of glory.
2nd Stanza analysis
The poet compares India in his time to an eagle that can no longer fly with elegance, strength, and grandeur as it once could. Something, according to the poet, is suffocating his homeland and stopping it from developing.
The poet goes on to remark that he doesn’t have any flowers with which to make a “wreath” or garland honoring his homeland. His country, which has been polluted and robbed of its riches, has lost everything. He can’t even praise his nation or build a wreath for her because there aren’t any flowers left.
3rd Stanza analysis
The poet swears in the following lines to restore his country to its past glory status. He intends to go into the depths of the magnificent Indian past and bring back the necessary elements for future development. These materials are so delicate and beautiful that they may go undetected by human vision.
Even the British have managed to disguise these by dismissing them as outdated and ineffective. He will do everything in his power to save his nation and restore it to its previous grandeur. This is his final desire for India, his homeland.
The lyricist expands on the idea of national grandeur by stating that he wants to retrieve some artifacts of that greatness in order to show the world India’s former splendor – to demonstrate how great the country was like before losing some of its national might.