(S 1)
80 Then dawned a greater seeking, broadened sky,
A journey under wings of brooding Force.
(S 2)
First came the kingdom of the morning star:
A twilight beauty trembled under its spear
And the throb of promise of a wider Life.
(S 3)
85 Then slowly rose a great and doubting sun
And in its light she made of self a world.
(S 4)
A spirit was there that sought for its own deep self,
Yet was content with fragments pushed in front
And parts of living that belied the whole
90 But, pieced together, might one day be true.
(S 5)
Yet something seemed to be achieved at last.
(S 6)
A growing volume of the will-to-be,
A text of living and a graph of force,
A script of acts, a song of conscious forms
95 Burdened with meanings fugitive from thought’s grasp
And crowded with undertones of life’s rhythmic cry,
Could write itself on the hearts of living things.
(S 7)
In an outbreak of the might of secret Spirit,
In Life and Matter’s answer of delight,
100 Some face of deathless beauty could be caught
That gave immortality to a moment’s joy,
Some word that could incarnate highest Truth
Leaped out from a chance tension of the soul,
Some hue of the Absolute could fall on life,
105 Some glory of knowledge and intuitive sight,
Some passion of the rapturous heart of Love.
(S 8)
A hierophant of the bodiless Secrecy
Interned in an unseen spiritual sheath,
The Will that pushes sense beyond its scope
110 To feel the light and joy intangible,
Half found its way into the Ineffable’s peace,
Half captured a sealed sweetness of desire
That yearned from a bosom of mysterious Bliss,
Half manifested veiled Reality.
(S 9)
115 A soul not wrapped into its cloak of mind
Could glimpse the true sense of a world of forms;
Illumined by a vision in the thought,
Upbuoyed by the heart’s understanding flame,
It could hold in the conscious ether of the spirit
120 The divinity of a symbol universe.
(S 10)
This realm inspires us with our vaster hopes;
Its forces have made landings on our globe,
Its signs have traced their pattern in our lives:
It lends a sovereign movement to our fate,
125 Its errant waves motive our life’s high surge.
(S 11)
All that we seek for is prefigured there
And all we have not known nor ever sought
Which yet one day must be born in human hearts
That the Timeless may fulfil itself in things.
(S 12)
130 Incarnate in the mystery of the days,
Eternal in an unclosed Infinite,
A mounting endless possibility
Climbs high upon a topless ladder of dream
For ever in the Being’s conscious trance.
(S 13)
135 All on that ladder mounts to an unseen end.
(S 14)
An Energy of perpetual transience makes
The journey from which no return is sure,
The pilgrimage of Nature to the Unknown.
(S 15)
As if in her ascent to her lost source
140 She hoped to unroll all that could ever be,
Her high procession moves from stage to stage,
A progress leap from sight to greater sight,
A process march from form to ampler form,
A caravan of the inexhaustible
145 Formations of a boundless Thought and Force.
(S 16)
Her timeless Power that lay once on the lap
Of a beginningless and endless Calm,
Now severed from the Spirit’s immortal bliss,
Erects the type of all the joys she has lost;
150 Compelling transient substance into shape,
She hopes by the creative act’s release
To o’erleap sometimes the gulf she cannot fill,
To heal awhile the wound of severance,
Escape from the moment’s prison of littleness
155 And meet the Eternal’s wide sublimities
In the uncertain time-field portioned here.
(S 17)
Almost she nears what never can be attained;
She shuts eternity into an hour
And fills a little soul with the Infinite;
160 The Immobile leans to the magic of her call;
She stands on a shore in the Illimitable,
Perceives the formless Dweller in all forms
And feels around her infinity’s embrace.
(S 18)
Her task no ending knows; she serves no aim
165 But labours driven by a nameless Will
That came from some unknowable formless Vast.
(S 19)
This is her secret and impossible task
To catch the boundless in a net of birth,
To cast the spirit into physical form,
170 To lend speech and thought to the Ineffable;
She is pushed to reveal the ever Unmanifest.
(S 20)
Yet by her skill the impossible has been done:
She follows her sublime irrational plan,
Invents devices of her magic art
175 To find new bodies for the Infinite
And images of the Unimaginable;
She has lured the Eternal into the arms of Time.
(S 21)
Even now herself she knows not what she has done.
(S 22)
For all is wrought beneath a baffling mask:
The aspect wears of an illusion’s trick,
A feigned time-driven unreality,
The unfinished creation of a changing soul
In a body changing with the inhabitant.
(S 23)
185 Insignificant her means, infinite her work;
On a great field of shapeless consciousness
In little finite strokes of mind and sense
An endless Truth she endlessly unfolds;
A timeless mystery works out in Time.
(S 24)
190 The greatness she has dreamed her acts have missed,
Her labour is a passion and a pain,
A rapture and pang, her glory and her curse;
And yet she cannot choose but labours on;
Her mighty heart forbids her to desist.
(S 25)
195 As long as the world lasts her failure lives
Astonishing and foiling Reason’s gaze,
A folly and a beauty unspeakable,
A superb madness of the will to live,
A daring, a delirium of delight.
(S 26)
200 This is her being’s law, its sole resource;
She sates, though satisfaction never comes,
Her hungry will to lavish everywhere
Her many-imaged fictions of the Self
And thousand fashions of one Reality.
(S 27)
205 A world she made touched by truth’s fleeing hem,
A world cast into a dream of what it seeks,
An icon of truth, a conscious mystery’s shape.
(S 28)
It lingered not like the earth-mind hemmed in
In solid barriers of apparent fact;
210 It dared to trust the dream-mind and the soul.
(S 29)
A hunter of spiritual verities
Still only thought or guessed or held by faith,
It seized in imagination and confined
A painted bird of paradise in a cage.
(S 30)
215 This greater life is enamoured of the Unseen;
It calls to some highest Light beyond its reach,
It can feel the Silence that absolves the soul;
It feels a saviour touch, a ray divine:
Beauty and good and truth its godheads are.
(S 31)
220 It is near to heavenlier heavens than earth’s eyes see,
A direr darkness than man’s life can bear:
It has kinship with the demon and the god.
(S 32)
A strange enthusiasm has moved its heart;
It hungers for heights, it passions for the supreme.
(S 33)
225 It hunts for the perfect word, the perfect shape,
It leaps to the summit thought, the summit light.
(S 34)
For by the form the Formless is brought close
And all perfection fringes the Absolute.
(S 35)
A child of heaven who never saw his home,
230 Its impetus meets the eternal at a point:
It can only near and touch, it cannot hold;
It can only strain towards some bright extreme:
Its greatness is to seek and to create.
(S 36)
On every plane, this Greatness must create.
(S 37)
235 On earth, in heaven, in hell she is the same;
Of every fate she takes her mighty part.
(S 38)
A guardian of the fire that lights the suns,
She triumphs in her glory and her might:
Opposed, oppressed she bears God’s urge to be born:
240 The spirit survives upon non-being’s ground,
World-force outlasts world-disillusion’s shock:
Dumb, she is still the Word, inert the Power.
(S 39)
Here fallen, a slave of death and ignorance,
To things deathless she is driven to aspire
245 And moved to know even the Unknowable.
(S 40)
Even nescient, null, her sleep creates a world.
(S 41)
When most unseen, most mightily she works;
Housed in the atom, buried in the clod,
Her quick creative passion cannot cease.
(S 42)
250 Inconscience is her long gigantic pause,
Her cosmic swoon is a stupendous phase:
Time-born, she hides her immortality;
In death, her bed, she waits the hour to rise.
(S 43)
Even with the Light denied that sent her forth
255 And the hope dead she needed for her task,
Even when her brightest stars are quenched in Night,
Nourished by hardship and calamity
And with pain for her body’s handmaid, masseuse, nurse,
Her tortured invisible spirit continues still
260 To toil though in darkness, to create though with pangs;
She carries crucified God upon her breast.
(S 44)
In chill insentient depths where joy is none,
Immured, oppressed by the resisting Void
Where nothing moves and nothing can become,
265 Still she remembers, still invokes the skill
The Wonder-worker gave her at her birth,
Imparts to drowsy formlessness a shape,
Reveals a world where nothing was before.
(S 45)
In realms confined to a prone circle of death,
270 To a dark eternity of Ignorance,
A quiver in an inert inconscient mass,
Or imprisoned in immobilised whorls of Force,
By Matter’s blind compulsion deaf and mute
She refuses motionless in the dust to sleep. (MA)
(S 46)
275 Then, for her rebel waking’s punishment
Given only hard mechanic Circumstance
As the enginery of her magic craft,
She fashions godlike marvels out of mud;
In the plasm she sets her dumb immortal urge,
280 Helps the live tissue to think, the closed sense to feel,
Flashes through the frail nerves poignant messages,
In a heart of flesh miraculously loves,
To brute bodies gives a soul, a will, a voice.
(S 47)
Ever she summons as by a sorcerer’s wand
285 Beings and shapes and scenes innumerable,
Torch-bearers of her pomps through Time and Space.
(S 48)
This world is her long journey through the night,
The suns and planets lamps to light her road,
Our reason is the confidante of her thoughts,
290 Our senses are her vibrant witnesses.
(S 49)
There drawing her signs from things half true, half false,
She labours to replace by realised dreams
The memory of her lost eternity.
(S 50)
These are her deeds in this huge world-ignorance:
295 Till the veil is lifted, till the night is dead,
In light or dark she keeps her tireless search;
Time is her road of endless pilgrimage.
(S 51)
One mighty passion motives all her works.
(S 52)
Her eternal Lover is her action’s cause;
300 For him she leaped forth from the unseen Vasts
To move here in a stark unconscious world.
(S 53)
His moods she takes for her heart’s passionate moulds;
In beauty she treasures the sunlight of his smile.
(S 54)
305 Ashamed of her rich cosmic poverty,
She cajoles with her small gifts his mightiness,
Holds with her scenes his look’s fidelity
And woos his large-eyed wandering thoughts to dwell
In figures of her million-impulsed Force.
(S 55)
310 Only to attract her veiled companion (MA)
And keep him close to her breast in her world-cloak
Lest from her arms he turn to his formless peace,
Is her heart’s business and her clinging care.
(S 56)
Yet when he is most near, she feels him far.
(S 57)
315 For contradiction is her nature’s law.
(S 58)
Although she is ever in him and he in her,
As if unaware of the eternal tie,
Her will is to shut God into her works
And keep him as her cherished prisoner
320 That never they may part again in Time.
(S 59)
A sumptuous chamber of the spirit’s sleep
At first she made, a deep interior room,
Where he slumbers as if a forgotten guest.
(S 60)
But now she turns to break the oblivious spell,
325 Awakes the sleeper on the sculptured couch;
She finds again the Presence in the form
And in the light that wakes with him recovers
A meaning in the hurry and trudge of Time,
And through this mind that once obscured the soul
330 Passes a glint of unseen deity.
(S 61)
Across a luminous dream of spirit-space
She builds creation like a rainbow bridge
Between the original Silence and the Void.
(S 62)
A net is made of the mobile universe;
335 She weaves a snare for the conscious Infinite.
(S 63)
A knowledge is with her that conceals its steps
And seems a mute omnipotent Ignorance.
(S 64)
A might is with her that makes wonders true;
The incredible is her stuff of common fact.
(S 65)
340 Her purposes, her workings riddles prove;
Examined, they grow other than they were,
Explained, they seem yet more inexplicable.
(S 66)
Even in our world a mystery has reigned
Earth’s cunning screen of trivial plainness hides;
345 Her larger levels are of sorceries made.
(S 67)
There the enigma shows its splendid prism,
There is no deep disguise of commonness;
Occult, profound comes all experience,
Marvel is ever new, miracle divine.
(S 68)
350 There is a screened burden, a mysterious touch,
(S 69)
Although no earthen mask weighs on her face,
Into herself she flees from her own sight.
(S 70)
All forms are tokens of some veiled idea
355 Whose covert purpose lurks from mind’s pursuit,
Yet is a womb of sovereign consequence.
(S 71)
There every thought and feeling is an act,
And every act a symbol and a sign,
And every symbol hides a living power.
(S 72)
360 A universe she builds from truths and myths,
But what she needed most she cannot build;
All shown is a figure or copy of the Truth,
But the Real veils from her its mystic face.
(S 73)
All else she finds, there lacks eternity;
365 All is sought out, but missed the Infinite.