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‘The Song of the Free’ is a poem written by Swami Vivekananda. It talks about his faith in God. The poem encourages people to not lose heart in face of difficulty and believe in God in order to fight on towards their goals.
About the poet:
Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) was known as the saint poet of India. He was a well-known philosopher and a notable author as well. He was the disciple of the mystic Ramakrishna. Famous works oh him include ‘Raja Yoga’, ‘Karama Yoga’ and ‘Bhakti Yoga’.
The main theme of this poem is spirituality. The poem talks about how people ought to believe in God and be undeterred by any obstacles thrown their way in life.
This poem is divided into quatrains, four stanza of which have been provided as an excerpt. It has a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd and so on and so forth.
The wounded snake its hood unfurls, The flame stirred up doth blaze, The desert air resounds the calls Of heart-struck lion's rage.
The poem begins with how a snake that is hurt will raise its hood, meaning to say that it will not be cowed down and will show its power. Then the poet’s persona goes on to state how a flame, when disturbed, burns even more brighter. Lastly, a lion is shown to roar in rage when wounded. These examples are to show how animals, when wounded, do not lose hope but show their might.
The cloud puts forth it deluge strength When lightning cleaves its breast, When the soul is stirred to its in most depth Great ones unfold their best.
This stanza follows the idea of the first stanza. Here, a cloud is shown to pour with the strength of a deluge when lightning strikes the sky. This is compared to that of the attitude shown by great people when life throws obstacles their way and they face it with courage.
Let eyes grow dim and heart grow faint, And friendship fail and love betray, Let Fate its hundred horrors send, And clotted darkness block the way.
This stanza is daring in nature where the persona dares fate. His tone is challenging when he asks people to remain unflinching when they grow exhausted and weary of the challenges of life, when they face failures and betrayals, when fate shows its cruelty them, when darkness blocks their way. Despite facing these struggles, the persona urges people to not lose hope and fight on.
All nature wear one angry frown, To crush you out - still know, my soul, You are Divine. March on and on, Nor right nor left but to the goal.
In this stanza, the persona asks people to fight their obstacles just like how nature does. Even when fate seeks to crush one out, the persona states how every person is divine and how they ought to remain undeterred and walk on to achieve their goal.
Thus, the poem advises people to not cow down in the face of difficulty and face it head on with faith in God. For those who are divine, the poem states, have the strength and will power to do so.