— Subramanya Bharathi Tamil poet 1882 - 1921
"When I Think Of My People Broken Down", as translated in "The Poetry of Sri Lanka", in Journal of South Asian Literature, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Fall-Winter 1976), published by Asian Studies Center, Michigan State University, p. 11
Context: Unbearable becomes the pain in my heart —
When I think of my people, broken down,
broken by disease in mind and limb. On the edge of life they always linger;
For countless are the diseases
Of Ignorance and Hunger. And on treacherous paths to Slavery
like children blind, they would walk behind
strangers from over the sea. O, divine Land, blessed by the gods!
O, ancient Mother of Culture and Art!
Thy children today are spineless hordes.