Verse attributed to Kalidasa

Donald R. Davis, Jr. drdj at UMICH.EDU
Wed Mar 17 16:15:55 UTC 2004

Though another scholar asked this question on the RISA list some time ago,
no response came forth.  I am asking it again here at a student's prompting.
The student is interested in a Sanskrit version of an English verse usually
titled "Salutation to the Dawn" and attributed to Kalidasa.

The only information I was able to find is that "Salutation of the Dawn" is
mentioned in Harvey Cushing's The Life of Sir William Osler (London: Oxford
University Press; 1940): 1041, indicating the poem was inscribed in a copy
of Osler's 1913 Silliman Foundation address, with his note indicating he
didn't know who wrote it. Cushing, in a footnote, comments: "Said to be from
the Sanskrit, the poem was published, as an inserted frontispiece, in 'Words
in Pain', Lond., G.M. Bishop, 1919."

One of several versions I have found reads:

Look to this day! For it is life, the very life of life. For yesterday is
but a dream And tomorrow is only a vision But today well lived makes every
yesterday a dream of happiness And tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well,
therefore, to this day! Such is the salutation of the dawn.

Can anyone provide a Sanskrit original for this verse and/or confirm its
origins in Kalidasa or Sanskrit literature generally?

Thanks for any leads,

Don Davis
Dept of Asian Languages & Cultures
University of Michigan

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