Introduction

To India, written by Sarojini Naidu is a patriotic poem in which the poet is asking mother India to wake up and fight against the British and gain independence. Mother India here represent the people of country who are still the slaves of British.

The poem has been divided into three stanzas having four lines each. We will go through the poem line by line an understand the hidden meanings.

Poem

Stanza 1

O young through all thy immemorial years!
Rise, Mother, rise, regenerate from thy gloom,
And, like a bride high-mated with the spheres,
Beget new glories from thine ageless womb!

In this stanza, the poet is in conversation with Mother India who according to the poet is young (immature) though she is thousands of years old. In other words, India has existed since time immemorial but she is still immature.

In the next line, the poet asks Mother India to wake up and revive from its gloom i.e. sleep. In other words, the poet asks Mother India to give up this immaturity and ignorance.

In the third line, she asks Mother India to bear new glories (hope) from her ageless womb like a high-mated (fertile) bride with the spheres (i.e. those who are willing to stand by her).

Ageless womb means that Mother India, in spite of being thousands of years old, has the capability to bear brave sons who will fight for her dignity and freedom.

Stanza 2

The nations that in fettered darkness weep
Crave thee to lead them where great mornings break
Mother, O Mother, wherefore dost thou sleep?
Arise and answer for thy children's sake!

In this stanza, the poet says that the nations which are fettered (chained) in the darkness week (hopelessness) hope that Mother India may lead them where the great morning break i.e. to the freedom from the clutches of foreigners.

Note that the word “nations” can refer to the Indian society which was divided on the basis of race, language, religion, caste and gender. It can also mean other countries which were under the rule of British and desired freedom. Whatever the nations may be, they all have their belief in Mother India.

In the third line, the poet again asks Mother India what is the reason behind her sleep and ignorance. Why she is waking up and struggling against the foreign rule.

Stanza 3

Thy Future calls thee with a manifold sound
To crescent honours, splendours, victories vast;
Waken, O slumbering Mother and be crowned,
Who once wert empress of the sovereign Past.

According to the poet, the future (freedom) of Mother India is calling with a manifold sound (i.e. in different voices) towards honour, dignity, richness, prosperity and grand victory.

In other words, the India needs freedom and all the Indians are looking forward towards Mother India. they are calling her in their respective languages and ways to lead them towards dignity, prosperity and liberty.

In the third line again, the poet asks sleeping Mother India to wake up and be crowned who was once a queen (ruler) in the past. So, the final lines, the poet reminds Mother India of her glorious past in which she used to enjoy the freedom and power.