Category : Study Aid

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The Harp of India

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio
The Harp of India by H L V Derozio is a patriotic poem that pays a glorious tribute to the rich tradition of the art of Indian poetry which conveys the poet‘s deep anguish at the decline of the age of old art under the slavish shackles of British supremacy. Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was born in Calcutta [now Kolkata]. His father was Indo-Portuguese and his mother English. Though Derozio had very little of Indian blood in him, his upbringing in India greatly inspired in him Indian themes and sentiments. Derozio is generally regarded as the first Indian to write in English. Derozio’s poetic carrier was very short lasting only for about six years. Derozio, who held great promise as poet, unfortunately had premature death at the age of 23 when he was still at his prime. He is modern India’s first poet to give expression to his patriotism in verse, the first to sing of Freedom, the first to contemplate an intellectual renaissance for an ancient civilization through a new perception. In the poem The Harp of India the poet Derozio- an ardent admirer of India’s rich heritage, culture and tradition- laments the decline of the rich tradition of Indian literature during the period of British domination of India.
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The poem takes an autobiographical tone and Wordsworth becomes confessional. He admits that he was inexperienced and was unaware of the perils of trusting his own impulses blindly. Of course, he was not swept away by the winds of passion, yet he opted out to be his own guide committing his faith blindly on his own natural impulses. He has been leading a life of self-indulgence. He had often heard the call of Duty in his heart but on all those occasions, he deferred the carrying out of her summons. He had to turn his back on his life of self-indulgence to listen to the voice of Duty and he did not like to turn away. However, from now on Wordsworth will be different and he will serve Duty rigorously and subjugate himself to her stringent discipline.
Wordsworth humbly implores Duty to subject him to her exacting discipline and to wield her absolute control over him. And then, Wordsworth brings out the reason for his subjugation to the power of Duty. It is not any disturbance or conflict in the mind that makes him seek the guidance of Duty.
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