How does mother India express her feelings at the death of her sons in Sarojini Naidu’s poem ‘The Gift of India’?
Mother India is grieved at the death of her soldier sons in the war in foreign countries. She compares her sons who ‘lie with pale brows and brave, broken hands’ in foreign lands to ‘blossoms mown down by chance’. She loves her offsprings so much as every mother does and that is why she is so grieved now at their ill fate. She asks —
Can ye measure the grief of the tears I weep
Or compass the woe of the watch I keep?
Or the pride that thrills thro’ my heart’s despair
And the hope that comforts the anguish of prayer?
The mother’s sorrows and sufferings are unfathomable. But she is not only sad, but also proud and hopeful for her sons. We cannot measure the pride that thrills through her heart, in spite of her despair. The poet suggests that the speaker, despite her sadness and deep rooted anguish, is proud of her sons who have fought bravely and brought victory. She gives expression to the voices of countless Indian mothers whose sons have fought in the war. The poet says that the people of the warring nations can never comprehend the small hope that comforts these mothers from the pain of praying for their sons’ safety.