(S 1)
And Savitri too awoke among these tribes
That hastened to join the brilliant Summoner’s chant
And, lured by the beauty of the apparent ways,
Acclaimed their portion of ephemeral joy.
(S 2)
190 Akin to the eternity whence she came, EoS
No part she took in this small happiness;
A mighty stranger in the human field,
The embodied Guest within made no response.
(S 3)
The call that wakes the leap of human mind, EoS
Its chequered eager motion of pursuit,
Its fluttering-hued illusion of desire,
Visited her heart like a sweet alien note.
(S 4)
Time’s message of brief light was not for her. EoS
(S 5)
In her there was the anguish of the gods
200 Imprisoned in our transient human mould,
The deathless conquered by the death of things.
(S 6)
A vaster Nature’s joy had once been hers,
But long could keep not its gold heavenly hue
Or stand upon this brittle earthly base.
(S 7)
205 A narrow movement on Time’s deep abysm,
Life’s fragile littleness denied the power,
The proud and conscious wideness and the bliss
She had brought with her into the human form,
The calm delight that weds one soul to all,
210 The key to the flaming doors of ecstasy.
(S 8)
Earth’s grain that needs the sap of pleasure and tears
Rejected the undying rapture’s boon:
Offered to the daughter of infinity
Her passion-flower of love and doom she gave.
(S 9)
215 In vain now seemed the splendid sacrifice. EoS
(S 10)
A prodigal of her rich divinity,
Her self and all she was she had lent to men,
Hoping her greater being to implant
And in their body’s lives acclimatise
220 That heaven might native grow on mortal soil.
(S 11)
Hard is it to persuade earth-nature’s change;
Mortality bears ill the eternal’s touch:
It fears the pure divine intolerance
Of that assault of ether and of fire;
225 It murmurs at its sorrowless happiness,
Almost with hate repels the light it brings;
It trembles at its naked power of Truth
And the might and sweetness of its absolute Voice.
(S 12)
Inflicting on the heights the abysm’s law,
It sullies with its mire heaven’s messengers:
Its thorns of fallen nature are the defence
It turns against the saviour hands of Grace;
It meets the sons of God with death and pain.
(S 13)
A glory of lightnings traversing the earth-scene,
235 Their sun-thoughts fading, darkened by ignorant minds,
Their work betrayed, their good to evil turned,
The cross their payment for the crown they gave,
Only they leave behind a splendid Name.
(S 14)
A fire has come and touched men’s hearts and gone; EoS
240 A few have caught flame and risen to greater life.
(S 15)
Too unlike the world she came to help and save,
Her greatness weighed upon its ignorant breast
And from its dim chasms welled a dire return,
A portion of its sorrow, struggle, fall.
(S 16)
245 To live with grief, to confront death on her road, —
The mortal’s lot became the Immortal’s share.
(S 17)
Thus trapped in the gin of earthly destinies,
Awaiting her ordeal’s hour abode,
Outcast from her inborn felicity,
250 Accepting life’s obscure terrestrial robe,
Hiding herself even from those she loved,
The godhead greater by a human fate.
(S 18)
A dark foreknowledge separated her EoS
From all of whom she was the star and stay;
Too great to impart the peril and the pain,
In her torn depths she kept the grief to come.
(S 19)
As one who watching over men left blind
Takes up the load of an unwitting race,
Harbouring a foe whom with her heart she must feed,
260 Unknown her act, unknown the doom she faced,
Unhelped she must foresee and dread and dare.
(S 20)
The long-foreknown and fatal morn was here EoS
Bringing a noon that seemed like every noon.
(S 21)
For Nature walks upon her mighty way
Unheeding when she breaks a soul, a life;
Leaving her slain behind she travels on:
Man only marks and God’s all-seeing eyes.
(S 22)
Even in this moment of her soul’s despair,
In its grim rendezvous with death and fear,
270 No cry broke from her lips, no call for aid;
She told the secret of her woe to none:
Calm was her face and courage kept her mute.
(S 23)
Yet only her outward self suffered and strove;
Even her humanity was half divine:
275 Her spirit opened to the Spirit in all,
Her nature felt all Nature as its own.
(S 24)
Apart, living within, all lives she bore;
Aloof, she carried in herself the world:
Her dread was one with the great cosmic dread,
280 Her strength was founded on the cosmic mights;
The universal Mother’s love was hers.
(S 25)
Against the evil at life’s afflicted roots,
Her own calamity its private sign,
Of her pangs she made a mystic poignant sword.
(S 26)
285 A solitary mind, a world-wide heart,
To the lone Immortal’s unshared work she rose.
(S 27)
At first life grieved not in her burdened breast:
On the lap of earth’s original somnolence
Inert, released into forgetfulness,
Prone it reposed, unconscious on mind’s verge,
Obtuse and tranquil like the stone and star.
(S 28)
In a deep cleft of silence twixt two realms
She lay remote from grief, unsawn by care,
Nothing recalling of the sorrow here.
(S 29)
295 Then a slow faint remembrance shadowlike moved,
And sighing she laid her hand upon her bosom
And recognised the close and lingering ache,
Deep, quiet, old, made natural to its place,
But knew not why it was there nor whence it came.
(S 30)
300 The Power that kindles mind was still withdrawn:
Heavy, unwilling were life’s servitors
Like workers with no wages of delight;
Sullen, the torch of sense refused to burn;
The unassisted brain found not its past.
(S 31)
305 Only a vague earth-nature held the frame.
(S 32)
But now she stirred, her life shared the cosmic load. EoS
(S 33)
At the summons of her body’s voiceless call
Her strong far-winging spirit travelled back,
Back to the yoke of ignorance and fate,
310 Back to the labour and stress of mortal days,
Lighting a pathway through strange symbol dreams
Across the ebbing of the seas of sleep.
(S 34)
Her house of Nature felt an unseen sway,
Illumined swiftly were life’s darkened rooms,
315 And memory’s casements opened on the hours
And the tired feet of thought approached her doors.
(S 35)
All came back to her: Earth and Love and Doom, EoS
The ancient disputants, encircled her
Like giant figures wrestling in the night:
320 The godheads from the dim Inconscient born EoS
Awoke to struggle and the pang divine,
And in the shadow of her flaming heart,
At the sombre centre of the dire debate,
A guardian of the unconsoled abyss
325 Inheriting the long agony of the globe,
A stone-still figure of high and godlike Pain
Stared into Space with fixed regardless eyes
That saw grief’s timeless depths but not life’s goal.
(S 36)
Afflicted by his harsh divinity,
Bound to his throne, he waited unappeased
The daily oblation of her unwept tears.
(S 37)
All the fierce question of man’s hours relived. EoS
(S 38)
The sacrifice of suffering and desire
Earth offers to the immortal Ecstasy
335 Began again beneath the eternal Hand.
(S 39)
Awake she endured the moments’ serried march
And looked on this green smiling dangerous world,
And heard the ignorant cry of living things.
(S 40)
Amid the trivial sounds, the unchanging scene EoS
340 Her soul arose confronting Time and Fate.
(S 41)
Immobile in herself, she gathered force. EoS
(S 42)
This was the day when Satyavan must die.