Today's Beautiful Gem: "India" by Shoshee Chunder Dutt.

When we are not in possession of something, we long for it and we
pine for it. After obtaining the same, sometimes we fail to
appreciate it. The same applies to freedom too. At times, we cease
to appreciate the freedom for which some of our parents and grand-
parents as well as uncles and aunts sacrificed all that they had
including their lives. On the other hand, during those dark days
of oppression and subjugation, poets dreamed of a free India and
composed songs and poems. Here is one such work written by
Shoshee Chunder Dutt. Dutt was one of the early Indian poets
who wrote in English. He is in fact a contemporary of Derozio,
the first Indian poet who wrote in English.

"And shall I to the future turn my gaze?
The future is a sealed book to man,
And none so high presumes his sight to raise;
God's mystic secrets who shall dare to scan?
But sure it is no mighty sin to dream;
I dreamt a dream of strange and wild delight,
Freedom's pure shrine once more illumined did seem,
The clouds had pass'd beneath the morning light;
On beauty's cheek I mark'd the tear-drops dry,
And sighs and groans for ever fled the land;
Science again aspired to the sky,
And patriot valour watch'd the smiling strand;
A dream! a dream! Why should a dream it be?
Land of my fathers! Cans't thou ne'er be free?"

Om shaantiH Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao.