(S 1)
In those bright realms are Mind’s first forward steps.
(S 2)
Ignorant of all but eager to know all,
195 Its curious slow enquiry there begins;
Ever its searching grasps at shapes around,
Ever it hopes to find out greater things.
(S 3)
Ardent and golden-gleamed with sunrise fires,
Alert it lives upon invention’s verge.
(S 4)
200 Yet all it does is on an infant’s scale,
As if the cosmos were a nursery game,
Mind, life the playthings of a Titan’s babe.
(S 5)
As one it works who builds a mimic fort
Miraculously stable for a while,
205 Made of the sands upon a bank of Time
Mid an occult eternity’s shoreless sea.
(S 6)
A small keen instrument the great Puissance chose,
An arduous pastime passionately pursues;
To teach the Ignorance is her difficult charge,
210 Her thought starts from an original nescient Void
And what she teaches she herself must learn
Arousing knowledge from its sleepy lair.
(S 7)
For knowledge comes not to us as a guest
Called into our chamber from the outer world;
215 A friend and inmate of our secret self,
It hid behind our minds and fell asleep
And slowly wakes beneath the blows of life;
The mighty daemon lies unshaped within,
To evoke, to give it form is Nature’s task.
(S 8)
220 All was a chaos of the true and false,
Mind sought amid deep mists of Nescience;
It looked within itself but saw not God.
(S 9)
A material interim diplomacy
Denied the Truth that transient truths might live
225 And hid the Deity in creed and guess
That the World-Ignorance might grow slowly wise.
(S 10)
This was the imbroglio made by sovereign Mind
Looking from a gleam-ridge into the Night
In her first tamperings with Inconscience:
230 Its alien dusk baffles her luminous eyes;
Her rapid hands must learn a cautious zeal;
Only a slow advance the earth can bear.
(S 11)
Yet was her strength unlike the unseeing earth’s
Compelled to handle makeshift instruments
235 Invented by the life-force and the flesh.
(S 12)
Earth all perceives through doubtful images,
All she conceives in hazardous jets of sight,
Small lights kindled by touches of groping thought.
(S 13)
Incapable of the soul’s direct inlook
240 She sees by spasms and solders knowledge-scrap,
Makes Truth the slave-girl of her indigence,
Expelling Nature’s mystic unity
Cuts into quantum and mass the moving All;
She takes for measuring-rod her ignorance.
(S 14)
245 In her own domain a pontiff and a seer,
That greater Power with her half-risen sun
Wrought within limits but possessed her field;
She knew by a privilege of thinking force
And claimed an infant sovereignty of sight.
(S 15)
250 In her eyes however darkly fringed was lit
The Archangel’s gaze who knows inspired his acts
And shapes a world in its far-seeing flame.
(S 16)
In her own realm she stumbles not nor fails,
But moves in boundaries of subtle power
255 Across which mind can step towards the sun.
(S 17)
A candidate for a higher suzerainty,
A passage she cut through from Night to Light,
And searched for an ungrasped Omniscience.