Book 11: The Book of Everlasting Day

Canto 1 – The Eternal Day: The Soul’s Choice and the Supreme Consummation

(S 1)
A MARVELLOUS sun looked down from ecstasy’s skies
On worlds of deathless bliss, perfection’s home,
Magical unfoldings of the Eternal’s smile
Capturing his secret heart-beats of delight.
(S 2)
5 God’s everlasting day surrounded her,
Domains appeared of sempiternal light
Invading all Nature with the Absolute’s joy.
(S 3)
Her body quivered with eternity’s touch,
Her soul stood close to the founts of the infinite.
(S 4)
10 Infinity’s finite fronts she lived in, new
For ever to an everliving sight.
(S 5)
Eternity multiplied its vast self-look
Translating its endless mightiness and joy
Into delight souls playing with Time could share
15 In grandeurs ever new-born from the unknown depths,
In powers that leaped immortal from unknown heights,
In passionate heart-beats of an undying love,
In scenes of a sweetness that can never fade.
(S 6)
Immortal to the rapturous heart and eyes,
20 In serene arches of translucent calm
From Wonder’s dream-vasts cloudless skies slid down
An abyss of sapphire; sunlight visited eyes
Which suffered without pain the absolute ray
And saw immortal clarities of form.
(S 7)
25 Twilight and mist were exiles from that air,
Night was impossible to such radiant heavens.
(S 8)
Firm in the bosom of immensity
Spiritual breadths were seen, sublimely born
From a still beauty of creative joy;
30 Embodied thoughts to sweet dimensions held
To please some carelessness of divine peace,
Answered the deep demand of an infinite sense
And its need of forms to house its bodiless thrill.
(S 9)
A march of universal powers in Time,
35 The harmonic order of self’s vastitudes
Harboured a cosmic rapture’s revelry,
An endless figuring of the spirit in things
Planned by the artist who has dreamed the worlds;
40 Of all the beauty and the marvel here,
Of all Time’s intricate variety
Eternity was the substance and the source;
Not from a plastic mist of Matter made,
They offered the suggestion of their depths
45 And opened the great series of their powers.
(S 10)
Arisen beneath a triple mystic heaven EoS
The seven immortal earths were seen, sublime:
Homes of the blest released from death and sleep
Where grief can never come nor any pang
50 Arriving from self-lost and seeking worlds
Alter Heaven-nature’s changeless quietude
And mighty posture of eternal calm,
Its pose of ecstasy immutable.
(S 11)
Plains lay that seemed the expanse of God’s wide sleep,
55 Thought’s wings climbed up towards heaven’s vast repose
Lost in blue deeps of immortality.
(S 12)
A changed earth-nature felt the breath of peace.
(S 13)
Air seemed an ocean of felicity
Or the couch of the unknown spiritual rest,
60 A vast quiescence swallowing up all sound
Into a voicelessness of utter bliss;
Even Matter brought a close spiritual touch,
All thrilled with the immanence of one divine.
(S 14)
The lowest of these earths was still a heaven
65 Translating into the splendour of things divine
The beauty and brightness of terrestrial scenes.
(S 15)
Eternal mountains ridge on gleaming ridge
Whose lines were graved as on a sapphire plate
And etched the borders of heaven’s lustrous noon
70 Climbed like piled temple stairs and from their heads
Of topless meditation heard below
The approach of a blue pilgrim multitude
And listened to a great arriving voice
Of the wide travel hymn of timeless seas.
(S 16)
75 A chanting crowd from mountain bosoms slipped
Past branches fragrant with a sigh of flowers
Hurrying through sweetnesses with revel leaps;
The murmurous rivers of felicity
Divinely rippled honey-voiced desires,
80 Mingling their sister eddies of delight,
Then, widening to a pace of calm-lipped muse,
Down many-glimmered estuaries of dream
Went whispering into lakes of liquid peace.
(S 17)
On a brink held of senseless ecstasy
85 And guarding an eternal poise of thought
Sat sculptured souls dreaming by rivers of sound
In changeless attitudes of marble bliss.
(S 18)
Around her lived the children of God’s day
In an unspeakable felicity,
90 A happiness never lost, the immortal’s ease,
A glad eternity’s blissful multitude.
(S 19)
Around, the deathless nations moved and spoke,
Souls of a luminous celestial joy,
Faces of stark beauty, limbs of the moulded Ray;
95 In cities cut like gems of conscious stone
And wonderful pastures and on gleaming coasts
Bright forms were seen, eternity’s luminous tribes.
(S 20)
Above her rhythming godheads whirled the spheres,
Rapt mobile fixities here blindly sought
100 By the huge erring orbits of our stars.
(S 21)
Ecstatic voices smote at hearing’s chords,
Each movement found a music all its own;
Songs thrilled of birds upon unfading boughs
The colours of whose plumage had been caught
105 From the rainbow of imagination’s wings.
(S 22)
Immortal fragrance packed the quivering breeze.
(S 23)
In groves that seemed moved bosoms and trembling depths
The million children of the undying spring
Bloomed, pure unnumbered stars of hued delight
110 Nestling for shelter in their emerald sky:
Faery flower-masses looked with laughing eyes.
(S 24)
A dancing chaos, an iridescent sea EoS
Eternised to Heaven’s ever-wakeful sight
The crowding petal-glow of marvel’s tints
115 Which float across the curtained lids of dream.
(S 25)
Immortal harmonies filled her listening ear;
A great spontaneous utterance of the heights
On Titan wings of rhythmic grandeur borne
Poured from some deep spiritual heart of sound,
120 Strains trembling with the secrets of the gods.
(S 26)
A spirit wandered happily in the wind,
A spirit brooded in the leaf and stone;
The voices of thought-conscious instruments
Along a living verge of silence strayed,
125 And from some deep, a wordless tongue of things
Unfathomed, inexpressible, chantings rose
Translating into a voice the Unknown.
(S 27)
A climber on the invisible stair of sound,
Music not with these few and striving steps
130 Aspired that wander upon transient strings,
But changed its ever new uncounted notes
In a passion of unforeseeing discovery,
And kept its old unforgotten ecstasies
A growing treasure in the mystic heart.
(S 28)
135 A consciousness that yearned through every cry
Of unexplored attraction and desire,
It found and searched again the unsatisfied deeps
Hunting as if in some deep secret heart
To find some lost or missed felicity.
(S 29)
140 In those far-lapsing symphonies she could hear,
Breaking through enchantments of the ravished sense,
The lyric voyage of a divine soul
Mid spume and laughter tempting with its prow
The charm of innocent Circean isles,
145 Adventures without danger beautiful
In lands where siren Wonder sings its lures
From rhythmic rocks in ever-foaming seas.
(S 30)
In the harmony of an original sight
Delivered from our limiting ray of thought,
150 And the reluctance of our blinded hearts
To embrace the Godhead in whatever guise,
She saw all Nature marvellous without fault.
(S 31)
Invaded by beauty’s universal revel
Her being’s fibre reached out vibrating
155 And claimed deep union with its outer selves,
And on the heart’s chords made pure to seize all tones
Heaven’s subtleties of touch unwearying forced
More vivid raptures than earth’s life can bear.
(S 32)
What would be suffering here, was fiery bliss. EoS
(S 33)
160 All here but passionate hint and mystic shade
Divined by the inner prophet who perceives
The spirit of delight in sensuous things,
Turned to more sweetness than can now be dreamed.
(S 34)
The mighty signs of which earth fears the stress, EoS
165 Trembling because she cannot understand,
And must keep obscure in forms strange and sublime,
Were here the first lexicon of an infinite mind
Translating the language of eternal bliss.
(S 35)
Here rapture was a common incident;
170 The lovelinesses of whose captured thrill
Our human pleasure is a fallen thread,
Lay, symbol shapes, a careless ornament,
Sewn on the rich brocade of Godhead’s dress.
(S 36)
Things fashioned were the imaged homes where mind
175 Arrived to fathom a deep physical joy;
The heart was a torch lit from infinity,
The limbs were trembling densities of soul.
(S 37)
These were the first domains, the outer courts EoS
Immense but least in range and least in price,
180 The slightest ecstasies of the undying gods.
(S 38)
Higher her swing of vision swept and knew,
Admitted through large sapphire opening gates
Into the wideness of a light beyond,
These were but sumptuous decorated doors
185 To worlds nobler, more felicitously fair.
(S 39)
Endless aspired the climbing of those heavens;
Realm upon realm received her soaring view.
(S 40)
Then on what seemed one crown of the ascent
Where finite and the infinite are one,
190 Immune she beheld the strong immortals’ seats
Who live for a celestial joy and rule,
The middle regions of the unfading Ray.
(S 41)
Great forms of deities sat in deathless tiers,
Eyes of an unborn gaze towards her leaned
195 Through a transparency of crystal fire.
(S 42)
In the beauty of bodies wrought from rapture’s lines,
Shapes of entrancing sweetness spilling bliss,
Feet glimmering upon the sunstone courts of mind,
Heaven’s cupbearers bore round the Eternal’s wine.
(S 43)
200 A tangle of bright bodies, of moved souls
Tracing the close and intertwined delight,
The harmonious tread of lives for ever joined
In the passionate oneness of a mystic joy
As if sunbeams made living and divine,
205 The golden-bosomed Apsara goddesses,
In groves flooded from an argentt disk of bliss
That floated through a luminous sapphire dream,
In a cloud of raiment lit with golden limbs
And gleaming footfalls treading faery swards,
210 Virgin motions of bacchant innocences
Who know their riot for a dance of God,
Whirled linked in moonlit revels of the heart.
(S 44)
Impeccable artists of unerring forms,
Magician builders of sound and rhythmic words,
215 Wind-haired Gandharvas chanted to the ear
The odes that shape the universal thought,
The lines that tear the veil from Deity’s face,
The rhythms that bring the sounds of wisdom’s sea.
(S 45)
Immortal figures and illumined brows, EoS
220 Our great forefathers in those splendours moved;
Termless in power and satisfied of light,
They enjoyed the sense of all for which we strive.
(S 46)
High seers, moved poets saw the eternal thoughts EoS
That, travellers from on high, arrive to us
225 Deformed by our search, tricked by costuming mind,
Like gods disfigured by the pangs of birth,
Seized the great words which now are frail sounds caught
By difficult rapture on a mortal tongue.
(S 47)
The strong who stumble and sin were calm proud gods.
(S 48)
230 There lightning-filled with glory and with flame,
Melting in waves of sympathy and sight,
Smitten like a lyre that throbs to others’ bliss,
Drawn by the cords of ecstasies unknown,
Her human nature faint with heaven’s delight,
235 She beheld the clasp to earth denied and bore
The imperishable eyes of veilless love.
(S 49)
More climbed above, level to level reached,
Beyond what tongue can utter or mind dream:
Worlds of an infinite reach crowned Nature’s stir.
(S 50)
240 There was a greater tranquil sweetness there,
A subtler and profounder ether’s field
And mightier scheme than heavenliest sense can give.
(S 51)
There breath carried a stream of seeing mind,
Form was a tenuous raiment of the soul:
245 Colour was a visible tone of ecstasy;
Shapes seen half immaterial by the gaze
And yet voluptuously palpable
Made sensible to touch the indwelling spirit.
(S 52)
The high perfected sense illumined lived
250 A happy vassal of the inner ray,
Each feeling was the Eternal’s mighty child
And every thought was a sweet burning god.
(S 53)
Air was a luminous feeling, sound a voice,
Sunlight the soul’s vision and moonlight its dream.
(S 54)
255 On a wide living base of wordless calm
All was a potent and a lucid joy.
(S 55)
Into those heights her spirit went floating up
Like an upsoaring bird who mounts unseen
Voicing to the ascent his throbbing heart
260 Of melody till a pause of closing wings
Comes quivering in his last contented cry
And he is silent with his soul discharged,
Delivered of his heart’s burden of delight.
(S 56)
Experience mounted on joy’s coloured breast
265 To inaccessible spheres in spiral flight.
(S 57)
There Time dwelt with eternity as one;
Immense felicity joined rapt repose.