(S 1)
And Savitri looked on Death and answered not.
(S 2)
Almost it seemed as if in his symbol shape
The world’s darkness had consented to Heaven-light
845 And God needed no more the Inconscient’s screen.
(S 3)
A mighty transformation came on her.
(S 4)
A halo of the indwelling Deity,
The Immortal’s lustre that had lit her face
And tented its radiance in her body’s house,
850 Overflowing made the air a luminous sea.
(S 5)
In a flaming moment of apocalypse
The Incarnation thrust aside its veil.
(S 6)
A little figure in infinity
Yet stood and seemed the Eternal’s very house,
855 As if the world’s centre was her very soul
And all wide space was but its outer robe.
(S 7)
A curve of the calm hauteur of far heaven
Descending into earth’s humility,
Her forehead’s span vaulted the Omniscient’s gaze,
860 Her eyes were two stars that watched the universe.
(S 8)
The Power that from her being’s summit reigned, EoS
The Presence chambered in lotus secrecy,
Came down and held the centre in her brow
Where the mind’s Lord in his control-room sits;
865 There throned on concentration’s native seat
He opens that third mysterious eye in man,
The Unseen’s eye that looks at the unseen,
When Light with a golden ecstasy fills his brain
And the Eternal’s wisdom drives his choice
870 And eternal Will seizes the mortal’s will.
(S 9)
It stirred in the lotus of her throat of song, EoS
And in her speech throbbed the immortal Word,
Her life sounded with the steps of the world-soul
Moving in harmony with the cosmic Thought.
(S 10)
875 As glides God’s sun into the mystic cave
Where hides his light from the pursuing gods,
It glided into the lotus of her heart
And woke in it the Force that alters Fate.
(S 11)
It poured into her navel’s lotus depth, EoS
880 Lodged in the little life-nature’s narrow home,
On the body’s longings grew heaven-rapture’s flower
And made desire a pure celestial flame,
Broke into the cave where coiled World-Energy sleeps
And smote the thousand-hooded serpent Force
885 That blazing towered and clasped the World-Self above,
Joined Matter’s dumbness to the Spirit’s hush
And filled earth’s acts with the Spirit’s silent power.
(S 12)
Thus changed she waited for the Word to speak.
(S 13)
Eternity looked into the eyes of Death
890 And Darkness saw God’s living Reality.
(S 14)
Then a Voice was heard that seemed the stillness’ self
Or the low calm utterance of infinity
When it speaks to the silence in the heart of sleep.
(S 15)
“I hail thee, almighty and victorious Death,
895 Thou grandiose Darkness of the Infinite.
(S 16)
O Void that makest room for all to be,
Hunger that gnawest at the universe
Consuming the cold remnants of the suns
And eatst the whole world with thy jaws of fire,
900 Waster of the energy that has made the stars,
Inconscience, carrier of the seeds of thought,
Nescience in which All-Knowledge sleeps entombed
And slowly emerges in its hollow breast
Wearing the mind’s mask of bright Ignorance.
(S 17)
905 Thou art my shadow and my instrument.
(S 18)
I have given thee thy awful shape of dread EoS
And thy sharp sword of terror and grief and pain
To force the soul of man to struggle for light
On the brevity of his half-conscious days.
(S 19)
910 Thou art his spur to greatness in his works,
The whip to his yearning for eternal bliss,
His poignant need of immortality.
(S 20)
Live, Death, awhile, be still my instrument.
(S 21)
One day man too shall know thy fathomless heart
915 Of silence and the brooding peace of Night
And grave obedience to eternal Law
And the calm inflexible pity in thy gaze.
(S 22)
But now, O timeless Mightiness, stand aside EoS
And leave the path of my incarnate Force.
(S 23)
920 Relieve the radiant God from thy black mask:
Release the soul of the world called Satyavan
Freed from thy clutch of pain and ignorance
That he may stand master of life and fate,
Man’s representative in the house of God,
925 The mate of Wisdom and the spouse of Light,
The eternal bridegroom of the eternal bride.”
(S 24)
She spoke; Death unconvinced resisted still,
Although he knew refusing still to know,
Although he saw refusing still to see.
(S 25)
930 Unshakable he stood claiming his right.
(S 26)
His spirit bowed; his will obeyed the law
Of its own nature binding even on Gods.
(S 27)
The Two opposed each other face to face.
(S 28)
His being like a huge fort of darkness towered;
935 Around it her light grew, an ocean’s siege.
(S 29)
Awhile the Shade survived defying heaven:
Assailing in front, oppressing from above,
A concrete mass of conscious power, he bore
The tyranny of her divine desire.
(S 30)
940 A pressure of intolerable force
Weighed on his unbowed head and stubborn breast;
Light like a burning tongue licked up his thoughts,
Light was a luminous torture in his heart,
Light coursed, a splendid agony, through his nerves;
945 His darkness muttered perishing in her blaze.
(S 31)
Her mastering Word commanded every limb EoS
And left no room for his enormous will
That seemed pushed out into some helpless space
And could no more re-enter but left him void.
(S 32)
950 He called to Night but she fell shuddering back, EoS
He called to Hell but sullenly it retired:
He turned to the Inconscient for support,
From which he was born, his vast sustaining self;
It drew him back towards boundless vacancy
955 As if by himself to swallow up himself:
He called to his strength, but it refused his call.
(S 33)
His body was eaten by light, his spirit devoured
(S 34)
At last he knew defeat inevitable EoS
And left crumbling the shape that he had worn,
960 Abandoning hope to make man’s soul his prey
And force to be mortal the immortal spirit.
(S 35)
Afar he fled shunning her dreaded touch
And refuge took in the retreating Night.
(S 36)
In the dream twilight of that symbol world EoS
965 The dire universal Shadow disappeared
Vanishing into the Void from which it came.
(S 37)
As if deprived of its original cause,
The twilight realm passed fading from their souls,
And Satyavan and Savitri were alone.
(S 38)
970 But neither stirred: between those figures rose
A mute invisible and translucent wall.
(S 39)
In the long blank moment’s pause nothing could move:
All waited on the unknown inscrutable Will.