(S 1)
Then with a smile august as noonday heavens
The godhead of the vision wonderful:
“How shall earth-nature and man’s nature rise
610 To the celestial levels, yet earth abide?
(S 2)
Heaven and earth towards each other gaze
Across a gulf that few can cross, none touch,
Arriving through a vague ethereal mist
Out of which all things form that move in space,
615 The shore that all can see but never reach.
(S 3)
Heaven’s light visits sometimes the mind of earth;
Its thoughts burn in her sky like lonely stars;
In her heart there move celestial seekings soft
And beautiful like fluttering wings of birds,
620 Visions of joy that she can never win
Traverse the fading mirror of her dreams.
(S 4)
Faint seeds of light and bliss bear sorrowful flowers,
Faint harmonies caught from a half-heard song
Fall swooning mid the wandering voices’ jar,
625 Foam from the tossing luminous seas where dwells
The beautiful and far delight of gods,
Raptures unknown, a miracled happiness
Thrill her and pass half-shaped to mind and sense.
(S 5)
Above her little finite steps she feels,
630 Careless of knot or pause, worlds which weave out
A strange perfection beyond law and rule,
A universe of self-found felicity,
An inexpressible rhythm of timeless beats,
The many-movemented heart-beats of the One,
635 Magic of the boundless harmonies of self,
Order of the freedom of the infinite,
The wonder-plastics of the Absolute.
(S 6)
There is the All-Truth and there the timeless bliss. EoS
(S 7)
But hers are fragments of a star-lost gleam,
640 Hers are but careless visits of the gods.
(S 8)
They are a Light that fails, a Word soon hushed
And nothing they mean can stay for long on earth.
(S 9)
There are high glimpses, not the lasting sight.
(S 10)
A few can climb to an unperishing sun, EoS
645 Or live on the edges of the mystic moon
And channel to earth-mind the wizard ray.
(S 11)
The heroes and the demigods are few
To whom the close immortal voices speak
And to their acts the heavenly clan are near.
(S 12)
650 Few are the silences in which Truth is heard, EoS
Unveiling the timeless utterance in her deeps;
Few are the splendid moments of the seers.
(S 13)
Heaven’s call is rare, rarer the heart that heeds;
The doors of light are sealed to common mind
655 And earth’s needs nail to earth the human mass,
Only in an uplifting hour of stress
Men answer to the touch of greater things:
Or, raised by some strong hand to breathe heaven-air, EoS
They slide back to the mud from which they climbed;
660 In the mud of which they are made, whose law they know
They joy in safe return to a friendly base,
And, though something in them weeps for glory lost
And greatness murdered, they accept their fall.
(S 14)
To be the common man they think the best,
665 To live as others live is their delight.
(S 15)
For most are built on Nature’s early plan
And owe small debt to a superior plane;
The human average is their level pitch,
A thinking animal’s material range.
(S 16)
670 In the long ever-mounting hierarchy,
In the stark economy of cosmic life
Each creature to its appointed task and place
Is bound by his nature’s form, his spirit’s force.
(S 17)
If this were easily disturbed, it would break
675 The settled balance of created things;
The perpetual order of the universe
Would tremble, and a gap yawn in woven Fate.
(S 18)
If men were not and all were brilliant gods,
The mediating stair would then be lost
680 By which the spirit awake in Matter winds
Accepting the circuits of the middle Way,
By heavy toil and slow aeonic steps
Reaching the bright miraculous fringe of God,
Into the glory of the Oversoul.
(S 19)
685 My will, my call is there in men and things; EoS
But the Inconscient lies at the world’s grey back
And draws to its breast of Night and Death and Sleep.
(S 20)
Imprisoned in its dark and dumb abyss
A little consciousness it lets escape
690 But jealous of the growing light holds back
Close to the obscure edges of its cave
As if a fond ignorant mother kept her child
Tied to her apron strings of Nescience
(S 21)
The Inconscient could not read without man’s mind EoS
695 The mystery of the world its sleep has made:
Man is its key to unlock a conscious door.
(S 22)
But still it holds him dangled in its grasp:
It draws its giant circle round his thoughts,
It shuts his heart to the supernal Light.
(S 23)
700 A high and dazzling limit shines above,
A black and blinding border rules below:
His mind is closed between two firmaments.
(S 24)
He seeks through words and images the Truth,
And, poring on surfaces and brute outsides
705 Or dipping cautious feet in shallow seas,
Even his Knowledge is an Ignorance.
(S 25)
He is barred out from his own inner depths;
He cannot look on the face of the Unknown.
(S 26)
How shall he see with the Omniscient’s eyes,
710 How shall he will with the Omnipotent’s force?
(S 27)
O too compassionate and eager Dawn,
Leave to the circling aeons’ tardy pace
And to the working of the inconscient Will,
Leave to its imperfect light the earthly race:
715 All shall be done by the long act of Time.
(S 28)
Although the race is bound by its own kind, EoS
The soul in man is greater than his fate:
Above the wash and surge of Time and Space,
Disengaging from the cosmic commonalty
720 By which all life is kin in grief and joy,
Delivered from the universal Law
The sunlike single and transcendent spirit
Can blaze its way through the mind’s barrier wall
And burn alone in the eternal sky,
725 Inhabitant of a wide and endless calm.
(S 29)
O flame, withdraw into thy luminous self.
(S 30)
Or else return to thy original might
On a seer-summit above thought and world;
Partner of my unhoured eternity,
730 Be one with the infinity of my power:
For thou art the World-Mother and the Bride.
(S 31)
Out of the fruitless yearning of earth’s life,
Out of her feeble unconvincing dream,
Recovering wings that cross infinity
735 Pass back into the Power from which thou cam’st.
(S 32)
To that thou canst uplift thy formless flight,
Thy heart can rise from its unsatisfied beats
And feel the immortal and spiritual joy
Of a soul that never lost felicity.
(S 33)
740 Lift up the fallen heart of love which flutters
Cast down desire’s abyss into the gulfs.
(S 34)
For ever rescued out of Nature’s shapes
Discover what the aimless cycles want,
There intertwined with all thy life has meant,
745 Here vainly sought in a terrestrial form.
(S 35)
Break into eternity thy mortal mould;
Melt, lightning, into thy invisible flame!
(S 36)
Clasp, Ocean, deep into thyself thy wave,
Happy for ever in the embosoming surge.
(S 37)
750 Grow one with the still passion of the depths.
(S 38)
Then shalt thou know the Lover and the Loved,
Leaving the limits dividing him and thee.
(S 39)
Receive him into boundless Savitri,
Lose thyself into infinite Satyavan.
(S 40)
755 O miracle, where thou beganst, there cease!”
(S 41)
But Savitri answered to the radiant God: EoS
“In vain thou temptst with solitary bliss
Two spirits saved out of a suffering world;
My soul and his indissolubly linked
760 In the one task for which our lives were born,
To raise the world to God in deathless Light,
To bring God down to the world on earth we came,
To change the earthly life to life divine.
(S 42)
I keep my will to save the world and man;
765 Even the charm of thy alluring voice,
O blissful Godhead, cannot seize and snare.
(S 43)
I sacrifice not earth to happier worlds.
(S 44)
Because there dwelt the Eternal’s vast Idea
And his dynamic will in men and things,
770 So only could the enormous scene begin.
(S 45)
Whence came this profitless wilderness of stars, EoS
This mighty barren wheeling of the suns?
(S 46)
Who made the soul of futile life in Time,
Planted a purpose and a hope in the heart,
775 Set Nature to a huge and meaningless task
Or planned her million-aeoned effort’s waste?
(S 47)
What force condemned to birth and death and tearscondemned
These conscious creatures crawling on the globe?
(S 48)
If earth can look up to the light of heaven
780 And hear an answer to her lonely cry,
Not vain their meeting, nor heaven’s touch a snare.
(S 49)
If thou and I are true, the world is true; EoS
Although thou hide thyself behind thy works,
To be is not a senseless paradox;
785 Since God has made earth, earth must make in her God;
What hides within her breast she must reveal.
(S 50)
I claim thee for the world that thou hast made. EoS
(S 51)
If man lives bound by his humanity,
If he is tied for ever to his pain,
790 Let a greater being then arise from man,
The superhuman with the Eternal mate
And the Immortal shine through earthly forms.
(S 52)
Else were creation vain and this great world EoS
A nothing that in Time’s moments seems to be.
(S 53)
795 But I have seen through the insentient mask;
I have felt a secret spirit stir in things
Carrying the body of the growing God:
It looks through veiling forms at veilless truth;
It pushes back the curtain of the gods;
800 It climbs towards its own eternity.”
(S 54)
But the god answered to the woman’s heart:
“O living power of the incarnate Word,
All that the Spirit has dreamed thou canst create:
Thou art the force by which I made the worlds,
805 Thou art my vision and my will and voice.
(S 55)
But knowledge too is thine, the world-plan thou knowest
And the tardy process of the pace of Time.
(S 56)
In the impetuous drive of thy heart of flame, EoS
In thy passion to deliver man and earth,
810 Indignant at the impediments of Time
And the slow evolution’s sluggard steps,
Lead not the spirit in an ignorant world
To dare too soon the adventure of the Light,
Pushing the bound and slumbering god in man
815 Awakened mid the ineffable silences
Into endless vistas of the unknown and unseen,
Across the last confines of the limiting Mind
And the Superconscient’s perilous border line
Into the danger of the Infinite.
(S 57)
820 But if thou wilt not wait for Time and God, EoS
Do then thy work and force thy will on Fate.
(S 58)
As I have taken from thee my load of night
And taken from thee my twilight’s doubts and dreams,
So now I take my light of utter Day.
(S 59)
825 These are my symbol kingdoms but not here
Can the great choice be made that fixes fate
Or uttered the sanction of the Voice supreme.
(S 60)
Arise upon a ladder of greater worlds EoS
To the infinity where no world can be.
(S 61)
830 But not in the wide air where a greater Life
Uplifts its mystery and its miracle,
And not on the luminous peaks of summit Mind,
Or in the hold where subtle Matter’s spirit
Hides in its light of shimmering secrecies,
835 Can there be heard the Eternal’s firm command
That joins the head of destiny to its base.
(S 62)
These only are the mediating links;
Not theirs is the originating sight
Nor the fulfilling act or last support
840 That bears perpetually the cosmic pile.
(S 63)
Two are the Powers that hold the ends of Time; EoS
Spirit foresees, Matter unfolds its thought,
The dumb executor of God’s decrees,
Omitting no iota and no dot,
845 Agent unquestioning, inconscient, stark,
Evolving inevitably a charged content,
Intention of his force in Time and Space,
In animate beings and inanimate things;
Immutably it fulfils its ordered task,
850 It cancels not a tittle of things done;
Unswerving from the oracular command
It alters not the steps of the Unseen.
(S 64)
If thou must indeed deliver man and earth
On the spiritual heights look down on life,
855 Discover the truth of God and man and world;
Then do thy task knowing and seeing all.
(S 65)
Ascend O soul, into thy timeless self;
Choose destiny’s curve and stamp thy will on Time.”
(S 66)
He ended and upon the falling sound
860 A power went forth that shook the founded spheres
And loosed the stakes that hold the tents of form.
(S 67)
Absolved from vision’s grip and the folds of thought,
Rapt from her sense like disappearing scenes
In the stupendous theatre of Space
865 The heaven-worlds vanished in spiritual light.
(S 68)
A movement was abroad, a cry, a word,
Beginningless in its vast discovery,
Momentless in its unthinkable return:
Choired in calm seas she heard the eternal Thought
870 Rhythming itself abroad unutterably
In spaceless orbits and on timeless roads.
(S 69)
In an ineffable world she lived fulfilled.
(S 70)
An energy of the triune Infinite,
In a measureless Reality she dwelt,
875 A rapture and a being and a force,
A linked and myriad -motioned plenitude,,
A virgin unity, a luminous spouse,
Housing a multitudinous embrace
To marry all in God’s immense delight,
880 Bearing the eternity of every spirit,
Bearing the burden of universal love,
A wonderful mother of unnumbered souls.
(S 71)
All things she knew, all things imagined or willed:
Her ear was opened to ideal sound,
885 Shape the convention bound no more her sight,
A thousand doors of oneness was her heart.
(S 72)
A crypt and sanctuary of brooding light
Appeared, the last recess of things beyond.
(S 73)
Then in its rounds the enormous fiat paused,
890 Silence gave back to the Unknowable
All it had given. Still was her listening thought.
(S 74)
The form of things had ceased within her soul.
(S 75)
Invisible that perfect godhead now.
(S 76)
Around her some tremendous spirit lived,
895 Mysterious flame around a melting pearl,
And in the phantom of abolished Space
There was a voice unheard by ears that cried:
“Choose, spirit, thy supreme choice not given again;
For now from my highest being looks at thee
900 The nameless formless peace where all things rest.
(S 77)
In a happy vast sublime cessation know, —
An immense extinction in eternity,
A point that disappears in the infinite, —
Felicity of the extinguished flame,
905 Last sinking of a wave in a boundless sea,
End of the trouble of thy wandering thoughts,
Close of the journeying of thy pilgrim soul.
(S 78)
Accept, O music, weariness of thy notes,
O stream, wide breaking of thy channel banks.”
(S 79)
910 The moments fell into eternity.
(S 80)
But someone yearned within a bosom unknown
And silently the woman’s heart replied:
“Thy peace, O Lord, a boon within to keep
Amid the roar and ruin of wild Time
915 For the magnificent soul of man on earth.
(S 81)
Thy calm, O Lord, that bears thy hands of joy.”
(S 82)
Limitless like ocean round a lonely isle
A second time the eternal cry arose:
“Wide open are the ineffable gates in front.
(S 83)
920 My spirit leans down to break the knot of earth,
Amorous of oneness without thought or sign
To cast down wall and fence, to strip heaven bare,
See with the large eye of infinity,
Unweave the stars and into silence pass.”
(S 84)
925 In an immense and world-destroying pause EoS
She heard a million creatures cry to her.
(S 85)
Through the tremendous stillness of her thoughts
Immeasurably the woman’s nature spoke:
“Thy oneness, Lord, in many approaching hearts,
930 My sweet infinity of thy numberless souls.”
(S 86)
Mightily retreating like a sea in ebb
A third time swelled the great admonishing call:
“I spread abroad the refuge of my wings.
(S 87)
Out of its incommunicable deeps
935 My power looks forth of mightiest splendour, stilled
Into its majesty of sleep, withdrawn
Above the dreadful whirlings of the world.”
(S 88)
A sob of things was answer to the voice,
And passionately the woman’s heart replied:
940 “Thy energy, Lord, to seize on woman and man,
To take all things and creatures in their grief
And gather them into a mother’s arms.”
(S 89)
Solemn and distant like a seraph’s lyre
A last great time the warning sound was heard:
945 “I open the wide eye of solitude
To uncover the voiceless rapture of my bliss,
Where in a pure and exquisite hush it lies
Motionless in its slumber of ecstasy,
Resting from the sweet madness of the dance
950 Out of whose beat the throb of hearts was born.”
(S 90)
Breaking the Silence with appeal and cry
A hymn of adoration tireless climbed,
A music beat of winged uniting souls,
Then all the woman yearningly replied:
955 “Thy embrace which rends the living knot of pain,
Thy joy, O Lord, in which all creatures breathe,
Thy magic flowing waters of deep love,
Thy sweetness give to me for earth and men.”