(S 1)
THEN suddenly there rose a sacred stir.
(S 2)
Amid the lifeless silence of the Void
In a solitude and an immensity
A sound came quivering like a loved footfall
5 Heard in the listening spaces of the soul;
A touch perturbed his fibres with delight.
(S 3)
An Influence had approached the mortal range,
A boundless Heart was near his longing heart,
A mystic Form enveloped his earthly shape.
(S 4)
10 All at her contact broke from silence’ seal;
Spirit and body thrilled identified,
Linked in the grasp of an unspoken joy;
Mind, members, life were merged in ecstasy.
(S 5)
Intoxicated as with nectarous rain
15 His nature’s passioning stretches flowed to her,
Flashing with lightnings, mad with luminous wine.
(S 6)
All was a limitless sea that heaved to the moon.
(S 7)
A divinising stream possessed his veins,
His body’s cells awoke to spirit sense,
20 Each nerve became a burning thread of joy:
Tissue and flesh partook beatitude.
(S 8)
Alight, the dun unplumbed subconscient caves
Thrilled with the prescience of her longed-for tread
And filled with flickering crests and praying tongues.
(S 9)
Even lost in slumber, mute, inanimate
His very body answered to her power.
(S 10)
The One he worshipped was within him now: EoS
Flame-pure, ethereal-tressed, a mighty Face
Appeared and lips moved by immortal words;
Lids, Wisdom’s leaves, drooped over rapture’s orbs.
(S 11)
A marble monument of ponderings shone
A forehead, sight’s crypt, and large like ocean’s gaze
Towards Heaven, two tanquil eyes of boundless thought
Looked into man’s and saw the god to come.
(S 12)
35 A Shape was seen on threshold Mind, a Voice EoS
Absolute and wise in the heart’s chambers spoke:
“O Son of Strength who climbst creation’s peaks,
No soul is thy companion in the light;
Alone thou standest at the eternal doors.
(S 13)
40 What thou hast won is thine, but ask no more.
(S 14)
O Spirit aspiring in an ignorant frame,
O Voice arisen from the Inconscient’s world,
How shalt thou speak for men whose hearts are dumb,
Make purblind earth the soul’s seer-vision’s home
45 Or lighten the burden of the senseless globe?
(S 15)
I am the Mystery beyond reach of mind,
I am the goal of the travail of the suns;
My fire and sweetness are the cause of life.
(S 16)
But too immense my danger and my joy.
(S 17)
50 Awake not the immeasurable descent, EoS
Speak not my secret name to hostile Time;
Man is too weak to bear the Infinite’s weight.
(S 18)
Truth born too soon might break the imperfect earth.
(S 19)
Leave the all-seeing Power to hew its way:
55 In thy single vast achievement reign apart
Helping the world with thy great lonely days.
(S 20)
I ask thee not to merge thy heart of flame
In the Immobile’s wide uncaring bliss,
Turned from the fruitless motion of the years,
60 Deserting the fierce labour of the worlds,
Aloof from beings, lost in the Alone.
(S 21)
How shall thy mighty spirit brook repose
While Death is still unconquered on the earth
And Time a field of suffering and pain?
(S 22)
65 Thy soul was born to share the laden Force; EoS
Obey thy nature and fulfil thy fate:
Accept the difficulty and godlike toil,
For the slow-paced omniscient purpose live.
(S 23)
The Enigma’s knot is tied in humankind.
(S 24)
70 A lightning from the heights that think and plan,
Ploughing the air of life with vanishing trails,
Man, sole awake in an unconscious world,
Aspires in vain to change the cosmic dream.
(S 25)
Arrived from some half-luminous Beyond EoS
75 He is a stranger in the mindless vasts;
A traveller in his oft-shifting home
Amid the tread of many infinities,
He has pitched a tent of life in desert Space.
(S 26)
Heaven’s fixed regard beholds him from above,
80 In the house of Nature a perturbing guest,
A voyager twixt Thought’s inconstant shores,
A hunter of unknown and beautiful Powers,
A nomad of the far mysterious Light,
In the wide ways a little spark of God.
(S 27)
Against his spirit all is indire league,
A Titan influence stops his Godward gaze.
(S 28)
Around him hungers the unpitying Void,
The eternal Darkness seeks him with her hands,
Inscrutable Energies drive him and deceive,
Immense implacable deities oppose.
(S 29)
An inert Soul and a somnambulist Force
Have made a world estranged from life and thought;
The Dragon of the dark foundations keeps
Unalterable the law of Chance and Death;
95 On his long way through Time and Circumstance
The grey-hued riddling nether shadow-Sphinx,
Her dreadful paws upon the swallowing sands,
Awaits him armed with the soul-slaying word:
Across his path sits the dim camp of Night.
(S 30)
100 His day is a moment in perpetual Time; EoS
He is the prey of the minutes and the hours.
(S 31)
Assailed on earth and unassured of heaven,
Descended here unhappy and sublime,
A link between the demigod and the beast,
105 He knows not his own greatness nor his aim;
He has forgotten why he has come and whence.
(S 32)
His spirit and his members are at war;
His heights break off too low to reach the skies,
His mass is buried in the animal mire..
(S 33)
A strange antinomy is his nature’s rule.
(S 34)
A riddle of opposites is made his field: EoS
Freedom he asks but needs to live in bonds,
He has need of darkness to perceive some light
And need of grief to feel a little bliss;
115 He has need of death to find a greater life.
(S 35)
All sides he sees and turns to every call; EoS
He has no certain light by which to walk;
His life is a blind-man’s-buff, a hide-and-seek;
He seeks himself and from himself he runs;
120 Meeting himself, he thinks it other than he.
(S 36)
Always he builds, but finds no constant ground,
Always he journeys, but nowhere arrives;
He would guide the world, himself he cannot guide;
He would save his soul, his life he cannot save.
(S 37)
125 The light his soul had brought his mind has lost; EoS
All he has learned is soon again in doubt;
A sun to him seems the shadow of his thoughts,
Then all is shadow again and nothing true:
Unknowing what he does or whither he tends
130 He fabricates signs of the Real in Ignorance.
(S 38)
He has hitched his mortal error to Truth’s star.
(S 39)
Wisdom attracts him with her luminous masks,
But never has he seen the face behind:
A giant Ignorance surrounds his lore.
(S 40)
135 Assigned to meet the cosmic mystery
In the dumb figure of a material world,
His passport of entry false and his personage,
He is compelled to be what he is not;
He obeys the Inconscience he had come to rule
140 And sinks in Matter to fulfil his soul.
(S 41)
Awakened from her lower driven forms
The Earth-Mother gave her forces to his hands
And painfully he guards the heavy trust;
His mind is a lost torch-bearer on her roads.
(S 42)
Illumining breath to think and plasm to feel,
He labours with his slow and sceptic brain
Helped by the reason’s vacillating fires,
To make his thought and will a magic door
For knowledge to enter the darkness of the world
And love to rule a realm of strife and hate.
(S 43)
A mind impotent to reconcile heaven and earth
And tied to Matter with a thousand bonds,
He lifts himself to be a conscious god.
(S 44)
Even when a glory of wisdom crowns his brow,
155 When mind and spirit shed a grandiose ray
To exalt this product of the sperm and gene,
This alchemist’s miracle from plasm and gas,
And he who shared the animal’s run and crawl
Lifts his thought-stature to the Immortal’s heights,
160 His life still keeps the human middle way;
His body he resigns to death and pain, EoS
Abandoning Matter, his too heavy charge.
(S 45)
Athaumaturge sceptic of miracles,
A spirit left sterile of its occult power
By an unbelieving brain and credulous heart,
He leaves the world to end where it began:
His work unfinished he claims a heavenly prize.
(S 46)
Thus has he missed creation’s absolute.
(S 47)
Half-way he stops his star of destiny: EoS
170 A vast and vain long-tried experiment,
An ill-served high conception doubtfully done,
The world’s life falters on not seeing its goal, —
A zigzag towards unknown dangerous ground
Ever repeating its habitual walk,
175 Ever retreating after marches long
And hardiest victories without sure result,
Drawn endlessly an inconclusive game.
(S 48)
In an ill-fitting and voluminous robe
A radiant purpose still conceals its face,
180 A mighty blindness stumbles hoping on,
Feeding its strength on gifts of luminous Chance.
(S 49)
Because the human instrument has failed, EoS
The Godhead frustrate sleeps within its seed,
A spirit entangled in the forms it made.
(S 50)
185 His failure is not failure whom God leads;
Through all the slow mysterious march goes on:
An immutable Power has made this mutable world;
A self-fulfilling transcendence treads man’s road;
The driver of the soul upon its path,
190 It knows its steps, its way is inevitable,
And how shall the end be vain when God is guide?
(S 51)
However man’s mind may tire or fail his flesh,
A will prevails cancelling his conscious choice:
The goal recedes, a bourneless vastness calls
195 Retreating into an immense Unknown;
There is no end to the world’s stupendous march,
There is no rest for the embodied soul.
(S 52)
It must live on,describe all Time’s huge curve.
(S 53)
An Influx presses from the closed Beyond
200 Forbidding to him rest and earthly ease,
Till he has found himself he cannot pause.
(S 54)
A Light there is that leads, a Power that aids; EoS
Unmarked, unfelt it sees in him and acts:
Ignorant, he forms the All-Conscient in his depths,
205 Human, looks up to superhuman peaks:
A borrower of Supernature’s gold,
He paves his road to Immortality.
(S 55)
The high gods look on man and watch and choose
Today’s impossibles for the future’s base.
(S 56)
210 His transience trembles with the Eternal’s touch,
His barriers cede beneath the Infinite’s tread;
The Immortals have their entries in his life:
The Ambassadors of the Unseen draw near.
(S 57)
A splendour sullied by the mortal air,
215 Love passes through his heart, a wandering guest.
(S 58)
Beauty surrounds him for a magic hour,
He has visits of a large revealing joy,
Brief widenesses release him from himself,
Enticing towards a glory ever in front
220 Hopes of a deathless sweetness lure and leave.
(S 59)
His mind is crossed by strange discovering fires,
Rare intimations lift his stumbling speech
To a moment’s kinship with the eternal Word;
A masque of Wisdom circles through his brain
225 Perturbing him with glimpses half divine.
(S 60)
He lays his hands sometimes on the Unknown;
He communes sometimes with Eternity.
(S 61)
A strange and grandiose symbol was his birth EoS
And immortality and spirit-room
230 And pure perfection and a shadowless bliss
Are this afflicted creature’s mighty fate.
(S 62)
In him the Earth-Mother sees draw near the change
Foreshadowed in her dumb and fiery depths,
A godhead drawn from her transmuted limbs,
An alchemy of Heaven on Nature’s base.
(S 63)
Adept of the self-born unfailing line,
Leave not the light to die the ages bore,
Help still humanity’s blind and suffering life:
Obey thy spirit’s wide omnipotent urge.
(S 64)
A witness to God’s parley with the Night,
It leaned compassionate from immortal calm
And housed desire, the troubled seed of things.
(S 65)
Assent to thy high self, create, endure.
(S 66)
Cease not from knowledge, let thy toil be vast.
(S 67)
No more can earthly limits pen thy force;
Equal thy work with long unending Time’s.
(S 68)
Traveller upon the bare eternal heights,
Tread still the difficult and dateless path
Joining the cycles with its austere curve
Measured for man by the initiate Gods.
(S 69)
My light shall be in thee, my strength thy force. EoS
(S 70)
Let not the impatient Titan drive thy heart,
Ask not the imperfect fruit, the partial prize.
(S 71)
Only one boon, to greaten thy spirit, demand;
255 Only one joy, to raise thy kind, desire.
(S 72)
Above blind fate and the antagonist powers
Moveless there stands a high unchanging Will;
To its omnipotence leave thy work’s result.
(S 73)
All things shall change in God’s transfiguring hour.”
(S 74)
August and sweet sank hushed that mighty Voice.