The Student – ‘Asia Awake!’

Primary source material reproduced from The Student 01/03/1906.

Alongside debates, the Edinburgh Indian Association hosted recitals of poetry. ‘To Asia’ (possibly by BK Das, who addressed the association two weeks before on ‘the study of poetry’) was published anonymously in The Student by ‘An Indian’ on 01/03/1906.

‘To Asia’

(After the Fall of Port Arthur)

Asia, awake! The sun is rising fast.

Arms, India, arm thy millions at the wall;

The sleep of silent centuries at last

Is broken by a sudden trumpet call.

Serf of the East, in foreign fetters bound,

Crouching in fear beneath the spoiler’s heel,

Up now, and hearken to the thrilling sound

Mixed with the thunder and the clash of steel.

Stand, Asia, stand to guard they continent,

Gird on thy sword thy citadels to save;

Forth to thy frontiers now, or be content

Now, and for ever, to be Europe’s slave.

Drawn in the East! The red sun flashes low,

Strike for thine own, the right against the wrong,

Now, while the robber reels beneath the blos

Dealt by an Eastern sword, so deft and strong.

Brothers of Asia! Ye are human too,

Your right to justice is the same as ours.

Lands which the Lord has portioned unto you,

Hold to them bravely; flout the tyrant’s powers

Have ye no lives, no liberties to claim?

Have ye no homes, no countries to defend?

Are ye so feeble, cowardly, and tame,

Thus to be robbed and wronged until the end?

Crouch then again beneath the tyrant’s frown.

Be cowards still, be patient, servile, meek,

Europe will smite you, and will crush you down,

And ever rob and wrong and scorn the weak.

An Indian.