Iqbal Inspired by English Poets
By Dr Zafar M. Iqbal
Before he went to England, Iqbal, inspired by some English poets, wrote several poems. In Baang-e-Dara (Part 1, till 1905), for instance, there is one titled, Payam-e-Subha, which is based on a poem by a well-known American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). Although Iqbal did not identify the poem, I think it is probably “Daybreak.”
On Western poets, philosophers and other themes, he wrote many other poems in ‘Payam-e-Mashriq’, which is in Farsi, written in response to West-östlicher Divan or West-Eastern Divan by the German poet-philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
From my forthcoming book on ‘Iqbal: Poetry and Philosophy’, I present here my translation of Iqbal’s poem, and what inspired it.
Dawn’s Message (Payam-e- subha)
(based on Longfellow)
As the starry, sparkling night left,
the breeze brought in the morning light,
awakened the nightingale in the garden
aroused the farmer by the field’s border,
broke the night’s spell with a Qur’anic verse 
snatched golden crown from the dark chamber,
told those sleeping in temples to wake up
informed the Brahmin of the morning sun,
came to the Mosque to say to the Muezzin 
not to worry much about the morning sun,
shouted from the garden wall to the buds
to burst open, ‘you are the Muezzin of Garden’,
ordered the caravans in the desert to move
as every speck of the desert is about to glow,
and said, arriving from the lively town to
the silent cemetery: ‘Keep resting,
I’ll be back again after I put
rest of the world to sleep and
wake you up from your dreams.
 Sura Noor, The Qur’an (The Light, Verse 24).
 One who calls Muslims to prayers (Azaan), 5 times daily.
 Day of Resurrection.
Romanized Urdu Original: ‘Payam-e-Subha’, Makhooz uz Longfellow
Ujala jub huwa rukhsuth-e-jabeen-e-shub ki ufshaan ka
Naseem-e-zindagi paighaam la-yiy subha-e-khundan ka
Juga-ya bulbul-e-rungeen nawa ko aashiyanay main
Kinaray khaith kayshana hilaya is nay daikhan ka
Thilusm-e-zulmuth-e-shub sura-el-Noor say thora
Undhairay main uraya taj-e-zur shama-e-shabisthan ka
Purha khabeedagan-e-dyr pur afsoon-e-baydfaari
Brahmin ko diya paigham-e-khursheed dur-ikshaan ka
Ho-wee baam-e-hiram pur aakay yun goya mo-ezzun say
Nahin khut-ka theray dil main namood-e-mihr tabaan ka
Pukari is therha deewaar-gulshan pr kharay ho ker
Chutuk aw guncha-e-gul! Thoo mo-ezzan haii gulsthan ka
Diya yeh hukm sehra main, chalo aye khafila walo!
Chumknay ko hai jugnoo bun kay her zrra biyabaan ka
Soo-e-gor-e-gharebaan jub ga-ee zindawn ki busthi say
Tho yun boli nazaara daykh ker shahr-e-khamooshaan ka
Abhi araam say laytay rahu mein phir bhi aawoon gi
Sula doongi jehan ko khab say thum ko juga-oon gi.
Daybreak (from Birds of Passage; Flight the First); Longfellow
A wind came up out of the sea,
And said, "O mists, make room for me."
It hailed the ships, and cried, "Sail on,
Ye mariners, the night is gone."
And hurried landward far away,
Crying, "Awake! it is the day."
It said unto the forest, "Shout!
Hang all your leafy banners out!"
It touched the wood-bird's folded wing,
And said, "O bird, awake and sing."
And o'er the farms, "O chanticleer,
Your clarion blow; the day is near."
It whispered to the fields of corn,
"Bow down, and hail the coming morn."
It shouted through the belfry-tower,
"Awake, O bell! proclaim the hour."
It crossed the churchyard with a sigh,
And said, "Not yet! in quiet lie."
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