(S 1)
THIS too must now be overpassed and left,
As all must be until the Highest is gained
In whom the world and self grow true and one:
Till That is reached our journeying cannot cease.
(S 2)
5 Always a nameless goal beckons beyond,
Always ascends the zigzag of the gods
And upward points the spirit’s climbing Fire.
(S 3)
This breath of hundred-hued felicity
And its pure heightened figure of Time’s joy,
10 Tossed upon waves of flawless happiness,
Hammered into single beats of ecstasy,
This fraction of the spirit’s integer
Caught into a passionate greatness of extremes,
This limited being lifted to zenith bliss,
15 Happy to enjoy one touch of things supreme,
Packed into its sealed small infinity,
Its endless time-made world outfacing Time,
A little output of God’s vast delight.
(S 4)
The moments stretched towards the eternal Now,
20 The hours discovered immortality,
But, satisfied with their sublime contents,
On peaks they ceased whose tops half-way to Heaven
Pointed to an apex they could never mount,
To a grandeur in whose air they could not live.
(S 5)
25 Inviting to their high and exquisite sphere,
To their secure and fine extremities
This creature who hugs his limits to feel safe,
These heights declined a greater adventure’s call.
(S 6)
A glory and sweetness of satisfied desire
30 Tied up the spirit to golden posts of bliss.
(S 7)
It could not house the wideness of a soul
Which needed all infinity for its home.
(S 8)
A memory soft as grass and faint as sleep,
The beauty and call receding sank behind
35 Like a sweet song heard fading far away
Upon the long high road to Timelessness.
(S 9)
Above was an ardent white tranquillity.
(S 10)
A musing spirit looked out on the worlds
And like a brilliant clambering of skies
40 Passing through clarity to an unseen Light
Large lucent realms of Mind from stillness shone.
(S 11)
But first he met a silver-grey expanse
Where Day and Night had wedded and were one:
It was a tract of dim and shifting rays
45 Parting Life’s sentient flow from Thought’s self-poise.
(S 12)
A coalition of uncertainties
There exercised uneasy government
On a ground reserved for doubt and reasoned guess,
A rendezvous of Knowledge with Ignorance.
(S 13)
50 At its low extremity held difficult sway
A mind that hardly saw and slowly found;
Its nature to our earthly nature close
And kin to our precarious mortal thought
That looks from soil to sky and sky to soil
55 But knows not the below nor the beyond,
It only sensed itself and outward things.
(S 14)
This was the first means of our slow ascent
From the half-conscience of the animal soul
Living in a crowded press of shape-events
60 In a realm it cannot understand nor change;
Only it sees and acts in a given scene
And feels and joys and sorrows for a while.
(S 15)
The ideas that drive the obscure embodied spirit
Along the roads of suffering and desire
65 In a world that struggles to discover Truth,
Found here their power to be and Nature-force.
(S 16)
Here are devised the forms of an ignorant life
That sees the empiric fact as settled law,
Labours for the hour and not for eternity
70 And trades its gains to meet the moment’s call:
The slow process of a material mind
Which serves the body it should rule and use
And needs to lean upon an erring sense,
Was born in that luminous obscurity.
(S 17)
75 Advancing tardily from a limping start,
Crutching hypothesis on argument,
Throning its theories as certitudes,
It reasons from the half-known to the unknown,
Ever constructing its frail house of thought,
80 Ever undoing the web that it has spun.
(S 18)
A twilight sage whose shadow seems to him self,
Moving from minute to brief minute lives;
A king dependent on his satellites
Signs the decrees of ignorant ministers,
85 A judge in half-possession of his proofs,
A voice clamant of uncertainty’s postulates,
An architect of knowledge, not its source.
(S 19)
This powerful bondslave of his instruments
Thinks his low station Nature’s highest top,
90 Oblivious of his share in all things made
And haughtily humble in his own conceit
Believes himself a spawn of Matter’s mud
And takes his own creations for his cause.
(S 20)
To eternal light and knowledge meant to rise,
95 Up from man’s bare beginning is our climb;
Out of earth’s heavy smallness we must break,
We must search our nature with spiritual fire:
An insect crawl preludes our glorious flight;
Our human state cradles the future god,
100 Our mortal frailty an immortal force.
(S 21)
At the glow-worm top of these pale glimmer-realms
Where dawn-sheen gambolled with the native dusk
And helped the Day to grow and Night to fail,
Escaping over a wide and shimmering bridge,
105 He came into a realm of early Light
And the regency of a half-risen sun.
(S 22)
Out of its rays our mind’s full orb was born.
(S 23)
Appointed by the Spirit of the Worlds
To mediate with the unknowing depths,
110 A prototypal deft Intelligence
Half-poised on equal wings of thought and doubt
(S 24)
A Secrecy breathed in life’s moving act;
A covert nurse of Nature’s miracles,
115 It shaped life’s wonders out of Matter’s mud:
It cut the pattern of the shapes of things,
It pitched mind’s tent in the vague ignorant Vast.
(S 25)
A master Magician of measure and device
Has made an eternity from recurring forms
120 And to the wandering spectator thought
Assigned a seat on the inconscient stage.
(S 26)
On earth by the will of this Arch-Intelligence
A bodiless energy put on Matter’s robe;
Proton and photon served the imager Eye
125 To change things subtle into a physical world
And the invisible appeared as shape
And the impalpable was felt as mass:
Magic of percept joined with concept’s art
And lent to each object an interpreting name:
130 Idea was disguised in a body’s artistry,
And by a strange atomic law’s mystique
A frame was made in which the sense could put
Its symbol picture of the universe.
(S 27)
Even a greater miracle was done.
(S 28)
135 The mediating light linked body’s power,
The sleep and dreaming of the tree and plant,
The animal’s vibrant sense, the thought in man,
To the effulgence of a Ray above.
(S 29)
Its skill endorsing Matter’s right to think
140 Cut sentient passages for the mind of flesh
And found a means for Nescience to know.
(S 30)
Offering its little squares and cubes of word
As figured substitutes for reality,
A mummified mnemonic alphabet,
145 It helped the unseeing Force to read her works.
(S 31)
A buried consciousness arose in her
And now she dreams herself human and awake.
(S 32)
But all was still a mobile Ignorance;
Still Knowledge could not come and firmly grasp
150 This huge invention seen as a universe.
(S 33)
A specialist of logic’s hard machine
Imposed its rigid artifice on the soul;
An aide of the inventor intellect,
It cut Truth into manageable bits
155 That each might have his ration of thought-food,
Then new-built Truth’s slain body by its art:
A robot exact and serviceable and false
Displaced the spirit’s finer view of things:
A polished engine did the work of a god.
(S 34)
160 None the true body found, its soul seemed dead:
None had the inner look which sees Truth’s whole;
All glorified the glittering substitute.
(S 35)
Then from the secret heights a wave swept down,
A brilliant chaos of rebel light arose;
165 It looked above and saw the dazzling peaks,
It looked within and woke the sleeping god.
(S 36)
Imagination called her shining squads
That venture into undiscovered scenes
Where all the marvels lurk none yet has known:
170 Lifting her beautiful and miraculous head,
She conspired with inspiration’s sister brood
To fill thought’s skies with glimmering nebulae.
(S 37)
A bright Error fringed the mystery-altar’s frieze;
Darkness grew nurse to wisdom’s occult sun,
175 Myth suckled knowledge with her lustrous milk;
The infant passed from dim to radiant breasts.
(S 38)
Thus worked the Power upon the growing world;
Its subtle craft withheld the full-orbed blaze,
Cherished the soul’s childhood and on fictions fed
180 Far richer in their sweet and nectarous sap
Nourishing its immature divinity
Than the staple or dry straw of Reason’s tilth,
Its heaped fodder of innumerable facts,
Plebeian fare on which today we thrive.
(S 39)
185 Thus streamed down from the realm of early Light
Ethereal thinkings into Matter’s world;
Its gold-horned herds trooped into earth’s cave-heart.
(S 40)
Its morning rays illume our twilight’s eyes,
Its young formations move the mind of earth
190 To labour and to dream and new-create,
To feel beauty’s touch and know the world and self:
The Golden Child began to think and see.