In 1926, my great grandfather wrote the college song in literary Tamil. In order to make its meaning plain, and disregarding the original meter, here is my translation of the same.
In the hands, pure as petals, of the blessed of the Lord
Deeply rooted is their heritage—the gospel of the cross.
Like the great white lotus spreads its scent, so from their hand,
May the gospel’s fragrance sweetly pervade through this land.
Blooms the creeper as it climbs, entwined upon a tree;
To the Tree, hold on, everyday, together, steadfastly.
As you blossom forth for India’s sake from Gurukul,
May the Lord Jesus’ blessings in your labour be rich and full.
From the pond the lotus looks up woken by the brightness
With much joy and ardour, and did Luther in that likeness.
With his eyes fixed on the cross, to mankind appealing,
Taught the truth—the word of God—words of life and healing.
Ours to study, discern the truth and hold to the Bible way
Ours, ever transfixed in deep devotion to Jesus dear, to pray
Ours to let the songs ring out; to the Holy One be love and honor,
And at the feet of the Triune God, day by day, be rooted stronger.
Most of what I know about this good man Rev N. Samuel, is from the writings of his son, my grandfather Rev S. Gnanamanickam, whom we called Dhadi thatha because of his flowing beard. Let me read to you from Chapter IV of the book Dhadi thatha co-authored with Rev. J. Sandegren called ‘N. Samuel of Tranquebar‘.
“When the Gurukul at Madras was being planned, he had agreed, in spite of his 77 years, to take one or two lessons a week there. But death intervened before the Gurukul was opened. He did, however write a college song for the Gurukul, which is at present daily used by the students and has become Samuel’s last contribution as teacher of theology.”