(S 1)
Here is the gap, here stops or sinks life’s force;
805 This deficit paupers the magician’s skill:
This want makes all the rest seem thin and bare.
(S 2)
A half-sight draws the horizon of her acts:
Her depths remember what she came to do,
But the mind has forgotten or the heart mistakes:
810 In Nature’s endless lines is lost the God.
(S 3)
In knowledge to sum up omniscience,
In action to erect the Omnipotent,
To create her Creator here was her heart’s conceit,
To invade the cosmic scene with utter God.
(S 4)
815 Toiling to transform the still far Absolute
Into an all-fulfilling epiphany,
Into an utterance of the Ineffable,
She would bring the glory here of the Absolute’s force,
Change poise into creation’s rhythmic swing,
820 Marry with a sky of calm a sea of bliss.
(S 5)
A fire to call eternity into Time,
Make body’s joy as vivid as the soul’s,
Earth she would lift to neighbourhood with heaven,
Labours life to equate with the Supreme
825 And reconcile the Eternal and the Abyss.
(S 6)
Her pragmatism of the transcendent Truth
Fills silence with the voices of the gods,
But in the cry the single Voice is lost.
(S 7)
For Nature’s vision climbs beyond her acts.
(S 8)
830 A life of gods in heaven she sees above,
A demigod emerging from an ape
Is all she can in our mortal element.
(S 9)
Here the half-god, the half-titan are her peak:
This greater life wavers twixt earth and sky.
(S 10)
835 A poignant paradox pursues her dreams:
Her hooded energy moves an ignorant world
To look for a joy her own strong clasp puts off:
In her embrace it cannot turn to its source.
(S 11)
Immense her power, endless her act’s vast drive,
840 Astray is its significance and lost.
(S 12)
Although she carries in her secret breast
The law and journeying curve of all things born
Her knowledge partial seems, her purpose small;
On a soil of yearning tread her sumptuous hours.
(S 13)
845 A leaden Nescience weighs the wings of Thought,
Her power oppresses the being with its garbs,
Her actions prison its immortal gaze.
(S 14)
A sense of limit haunts her masteries
And nowhere is assured content or peace:
850 For all the depth and beauty of her work
A wisdom lacks that sets the spirit free.
(S 15)
An old and faded charm had now her face
And palled for him her quick and curious lore;
His wide soul asked a deeper joy than hers.
(S 16)
855 Out of her daedal lines he sought escape;
But neither gate of horn nor ivory
He found nor postern of spiritual sight,
There was no issue from that dreamlike space.
(S 17)
Our being must move eternally through Time;
860 Death helps us not, vain is the hope to cease;
A secret Will compels us to endure.
(S 18)
Our life’s repose is in the Infinite;
It cannot end, its end is Life supreme.
(S 19)
Death is a passage, not the goal of our walk:
865 Some ancient deep impulsion labours on:
Carried from birth to birth, from world to world,
Our acts prolong after the body’s fall
The old perpetual journey without pause.
(S 20)
870 No silent peak is found where Time can rest.
(S 21)
This was a magic stream that reached no sea.
(S 22)
However far he went, wherever turned,
The wheel of works ran with him and outstripped;
Always a farther task was left to do.
(S 23)
875 A beat of action and a cry of search
For ever grew in that unquiet world;
A busy murmur filled the heart of Time.
(S 24)
All was contrivance and unceasing stir.
(S 25)
A hundred ways to live were tried in vain:
880 A sameness that assumed a thousand forms
Strove to escape from its long monotone
And made new things that soon were like the old.
(S 26)
A curious decoration lured the eye
And novel values furbished ancient themes
885 To cheat the mind with the idea of change.
(S 27)
A different picture that was still the same
Appeared upon the cosmic vague background.
(S 28)
Only another labyrinthine house
Of creatures and their doings and events,
890 A city of the traffic of bound souls,
A market of creation and her wares,
Was offered to the labouring mind and heart.
(S 29)
A circuit ending where it first began
Is dubbed the forward and eternal march
895 Of progress on perfection’s unknown road.
(S 30)
Each final scheme leads to a sequel plan.
(S 31)
Yet every new departure seems the last,
Inspired evangel, theory’s ultimate peak,
Proclaiming a panacea for all Time’s ills
900 Or carrying thought in its ultimate zenith flight
And trumpeting supreme discovery;
Each brief idea, a structure perishable,
Publishes the immortality of its rule,
Its claim to be the perfect form of things,
905 Truth’s last epitome, Time’s golden best.
(S 32)
But nothing has been achieved of infinite worth:
A world made ever anew, never complete,
Piled always half-attempts on lost attempts
And saw a fragment as the eternal Whole.
(S 33)
910 In the aimless mounting total of things done
Existence seemed a vain necessity’s act,
A wrestle of eternal opposites
In a clasped antagonism’s close-locked embrace,
A play without denouement or idea,
915 A hunger march of lives without a goal,
Or, written on a bare blackboard of Space,
A futile and recurring sum of souls,
A hope that failed, a light that never shone,
The labour of an unaccomplished Force
920 Tied to its acts in a dim eternity.
(S 34)
There is no end or none can yet be seen:
Although defeated, life must struggle on;
Always she sees a crown she cannot grasp;
Her eyes are fixed beyond her fallen state.
(S 35)
925 There quivers still within her breast and ours
A glory that was once and is no more,
Or there calls to us from some unfulfilled beyond
A greatness yet unreached by the halting world.
(S 36)
In a memory behind our mortal sense
930 A dream persists of larger happier air
Breathing around free hearts of joy and love,
Forgotten by us, immortal in lost Time.
(S 37)
A ghost of bliss pursues her haunted depths;
For she remembers still, though now so far,
935 Her realm of golden ease and glad desire
And the beauty and strength and happiness that were hers
In the sweetness of her glowing paradise,
In her kingdom of immortal ecstasy
Half-way between God’s silence and the Abyss.
(S 38)
Awake to a vague mystery’s appeal,
We meet a deep unseen Reality
Far truer than the world’s face of present truth:
We are chased by a self we cannot now recall
945 And moved by a Spirit we must still become.
(S 39)
As one who has lost the kingdom of his soul,
We look back to some god-phase of our birth
Other than this imperfect creature here
And hope in this or a diviner world
950 To recover yet from Heaven’s patient guard
What by our mind’s forgetfulness we miss,
Our being’s natural felicity,
Our heart’s delight we have exchanged for grief,
The body’s thrill we bartered for mere pain,
955 The bliss for which our mortal nature yearns
As yearns an obscure moth to blazing Light.
(S 40)
Our life is a march to a victory never won.
(S 41)
This wave of being longing for delight,
This eager turmoil of unsatisfied strengths,
960 These long far files of forward-striving hopes
Lift worshipping eyes to the blue Void called heaven
Looking for the golden Hand that never came,
The advent for which all creation waits,
The beautiful visage of Eternity
965 That shall appear upon the roads of Time.
(S 42)
Yet still to ourselves we say rekindling faith,
“Oh, surely one day he shall come to our cry,
One day he shall create our life anew
And utter the magic formula of peace
970 And bring perfection to the scheme of things.
(S 43)
One day he shall descend to life and earth,
Leaving the secrecy of the eternal doors,
Into a world that cries to him for help,
And bring the truth that sets the spirit free,
975 The joy that is the baptism of the soul,
The strength that is the outstretched arm of Love.
(S 44)
One day he shall lift his beauty’s dreadful veil,
Impose delight on the world’s beating heart
And bare his secret body of light and bliss.
But now we strain to reach an unknown goal:
There is no end of seeking and of birth,
There is no end of dying and return;
The life that wins its aim asks greater aims,
985 The life that fails and dies must live again;
Till it has found itself it cannot cease.
(S 45)
All must be done for which life and death were made.
(S 46)
But who shall say that even then is rest?
Or there repose and action are the same
990 In the deep breast of God’s supreme delight.
(S 47)
In a high state where ignorance is no more,
Each movement is a wave of peace and bliss,
Repose God’s motionless creative force,
Action a ripple in the Infinite
995 And birth a gesture of Eternity.
(S 48)
A sun of transfiguration still can shine
And Night can bare its core of mystic light;
The self-cancelling, self-afflicting paradox
Into a self-luminous mystery might change,
1000 The imbroglio into a joyful miracle.
(S 49)
Then God could be visible here, here take a shape;
Disclosed would be the spirit’s identity;
Life would reveal her true immortal face.
(S 50)
But now a termless labour is her fate:
1005 In its recurrent decimal of events
Birth, death are a ceaseless iteration’s points;
The old question-mark margins each finished page,
Each volume of her effort’s history.
(S 51)
A limping Yes through the aeons journeys still
1010 Accompanied by an eternal No.
(S 52)
All seems in vain, yet endless is the game.
(S 53)
Impassive turns the ever-circling Wheel,
Life has no issue, death brings no release.
(S 54)
A prisoner of itself the being lives
1015 And keeps its futile immortality;
Extinction is denied, its sole escape.
(S 55)
An error of the gods has made the world.
(S 56)
Or indifferent the Eternal watches Time.