The Pilgrims' March/The Pilgrim-Band

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The Pilgrims' March by Mohandas K. Gandhi
The Pilgrim-Band
1921.

THE PILGRIM-BAND.

(1)

I hear their voices in the Wind
Rushing through the reeds on the river-bank;
I hear their Song in the surge
Of the Sindhu, Ever-flowing, Ever-full:—
      India the First-born,—
      India the Ancient,—
      India is fettered;
      To live is to cast away fear and be Free.

(2)

Comrades! Will ye still be slumbering.
Afraid of the Light?
Will ye still be sheltered in weakness
Dreaming away your powers in passion and pride,
While a Procession of the pure who are strong.
And the brave who are meek,
Moves on to the music of love a-singing:—
“India the First-born, soon shall be Free.”

(3)


What is the lure
In this thraldom or that strife?
Behold the Pilgrim-Band!
In the Procession are some who stood apart
Shunning the crowds' applause,—
And Soldiers of Freedom,
Proclaimers of the Faith.
In India the Ancient, India the Free.

(4)

And singers of the Secret
Of Holy Hindusthan,—
And silent worshippers
Of Her sacred Name,—
And servants of the Truth that slays,—
Sing at this hour
As the storm is blowing:—
“India the First-born, soon shall be Free,”

(5)

In their hearts is a memory and music
Of the Day when she nourished the Nations;
Their song is swift with the message of the Sindhu:
“To live is to cast away fear and be Free,”
Comrades! our comfort-houses are prisons;
'Tis time to go forward; else we go down;
Comrades! let's have courage and find the Charter of Freedom
In the Defeat of the day.

(6)

Comrades! Can we forget the ancient Legends?
And the Sages and their Songs?
And the Days of India's glory.
When Krishna the Saviour worshipped village-folk
With music and the fadeless flower of love?
Can India's History speak to our hearts
And we ^yet hesitate to join the ranks of Her Pilgrims
Whom the world calls the Vanquished?

(7)

Comrades! There is sorrow in Her heart,
For Her sons give worship to power and pride.
Comrades ! the Procession calls us.
Let us out with our harps and our songs.
And tune the music of old for the healing of the new.
Let us salute the Sages and Heroes,
And sing with the Pilgrims and the Winds and the Sindhu:—
“To live is to cast away fear and be Free.”

T. LVASWANI.