Verse attributed to Kalidasa

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Tue Mar 30 23:15:04 UTC 2004

This quote came up on the list back in 1995.  If you do a search in the
Indology archives under "Look to this day" you get a number of hits, the
pertinent ones of which have the subjects Nietzsche and Rig Veda, Help
with source, and "Look to this day" quote.  We didn't get very far.
Nothing like it is in Rueckert's translation of the Atharvaveda, and I
never got around to checking the rest of his translations and poems,
which is one line of pursuit that occurred to me.  It was also stated
that there was a slightly similar statement in Kahlil Gibran, whose
style it reminds me of.  Thinking about the issue now, I also wonder if
it might be from one of F. W. Bain's marvelous Orientalist books
(imitations of Kathasaritsagara).  But Bain sticks closer than this to
sentiments actually expressed in Sanskrit.  Could someone have taken
something from him and modified it?

I recently investigated Elbert Hubbard, the late 19th-c. American sage,
publisher, and Arts and Crafts Movement activist, while helping my
parents prune their library.  This sounds like something he might have
used.  I will see if I can check his larger works for it.

Later... I  have looked through Christian Scholz's Computer-Index zu
Friedrich Ruckert (Frankfurt am Main, etc.: Lang, 1978), which contains
the text of Rueckert's poetry as well as a concordance, looking at all
citations for Tag and its inflections, and for Morgen and Moergenrot,
and found nothing similar.  I also scanned the first line or two of the
sonnets or verses or sections in those works which were divided.  So it
looks like Rueckert is one line that can be ruled out.


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian
Southern Asia Section
Asian Division
Library of Congress
Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732
fax 202-707-1724
athr at
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library
of Congress.

>>> drdj at UMICH.EDU 3/17/2004 11:15:55 AM >>>
Though another scholar asked this question on the RISA list some time
no response came forth.  I am asking it again here at a student's
The student is interested in a Sanskrit version of an English verse
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:
University Press; 1940): 1041, indicating the poem was inscribed in a
of Osler's 1913 Silliman Foundation address, with his note indicating
didn't know who wrote it. Cushing, in a footnote, comments: "Said to be
the Sanskrit, the poem was published, as an inserted frontispiece, in
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
but a dream And tomorrow is only a vision But today well lived makes
yesterday a dream of happiness And tomorrow a vision of hope. Look
therefore, to this day! Such is the salutation of the dawn.

Can anyone provide a Sanskrit original for this verse and/or confirm
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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