(S 1)
A SIN the vigilance of the sleepless night
Through the slow heavy-footed silent hours,
Repressing in her bosom its load of grief,
She sat staring at the dumb tread of Time
5 And the approach of ever-nearing Fate,
A summons from her being’s summit came,
A sound, a call that broke the seals of Night.
(S 2)
Above her brows where will and knowledge meet EoS
A mighty Voice invaded mortal space.
(S 3)
10 It seemed to come from inaccessible heights
And yet was intimate with all the world
And knew the meaning of the steps of Time
And saw eternal destiny’s changeless scene
Filling the far prospect of the cosmic gaze.
(S 4)
15 As the Voice touched, her body became a stark
And rigid golden statue of motionless trance,
A stone of God lit by an amethyst soul.
(S 5)
Around her body’s stillness all grew still:
Her heart listened to its slow measured beats,
20 Her mind renouncing thought heard and was mute:
“Why camest thou to this dumb deathbound earth, EoS
This ignorant life beneath indifferent skies
Tied like a sacrifice on the altar of Time,
O spirit, O immortal energy,
25 If ’twas to nurse grief in a helpless heart
Or with hard tearless eyes await thy doom?
(S 6)
Arise, O soul, and vanquish Time and Death.”
(S 7)
But Savitri’s heart replied in the dim night:
“My strength is taken from me and given to Death.
(S 8)
30 Why should I lift my hands to the shut heavens EoS
Or struggle with mute inevitable Fate
Or hope in vain to uplift an ignorant race
Who hug their lot and mock the saviour Light
And see in Mind wisdom’s sole tabernacle,
35 In its harsh peak and its inconscient base
A rock of safety and an anchor of sleep?
(S 9)
Is there a God whom any cry can move?
(S 10)
He sits in peace and leaves the mortal’s strength
Impotent against his calm omnipotent Law
40 And Inconscience and the almighty hands of Death.
(S 11)
What need have I, what need has Satyavan EoS
To avoid the black-meshed net, the dismal door,
Or call a mightier Light into life’s closed room,
A greater Law into man’s little world?
(S 12)
45 Why should I strive with earth’s unyielding laws
Or stave off death’s inevitable hour?
(S 13)
This surely is best to pactise with my fate
And follow close behind my lover’s steps
And pass through night from twilight to the sun
50 Across the tenebrous river that divides
The adjoining parishes of earth and heaven.
(S 14)
Then could we lie inarmed breast upon breast,
Untroubled by thought, untroubled by our hearts,
Forgetting man and life and time and its hours,
55 Forgetting eternity’s call, forgetting God.”
(S 15)
The Voice replied: “Is this enough, O spirit? EoS
(S 16)
And what shall thy soul say when it wakes and knows
The work was left undone for which it came?
(S 17)
Or is this all for thy being born on earth
60 Charged with a mandate from eternity,
A listener to the voices of the years,
A follower of the footprints of the gods,
To pass and leave unchanged the old dusty laws?
(S 18)
Shall there be no new tables, no new Word,
65 No greater light come down upon the earth
Delivering her from her unconsciousness,
Man’s spirit from unalterable Fate?
(S 19)
Cam’st thou not down to open the doors of Fate,
The iron doors that seemed for ever closed,
70 And lead man to Truth’s wide and golden road
That runs through finite things to eternity?
(S 20)
Is this then the report that I must make,
My head bowed with shame before the Eternal’s seat, —
His power he kindled in thy body has failed,
75 His labourer returns, her task undone.”
(S 21)
Then Savitri’s heart fell mute, it spoke no word.
(S 22)
But holding back her troubled rebel heart,
Abrupt, erect and strong, calm like a hill,
Surmounting the seas of mortal ignorance,
80 Its peak immutable above mind’s air,
A Power within her answered the still Voice:
“I am thy portion here charged with thy work, EoS
As thou myself seated for ever above,
Speak to my depths, O great and deathless Voice,
85 Command, for I am here to do thy will.”
(S 23)
The Voice replied: “Remember why thou cam’st: EoS
Find out thy soul, recover thy hid self,
In silence seek God’s meaning in thy depths,
Then mortal nature change to the divine.
(S 24)
90 Open God’s door, enter into his trance. EoS
(S 25)
Cast Thought from thee, that nimble ape of Light:
In his tremendous hush stilling thy brain
His vast Truth wake within and know and see.
(S 26)
Cast from thee sense that veils thy spirit’s sight: EoS
95 In the enormous emptiness of thy mind
Thou shalt see the Eternal’s body in the world,
Know him in every voice heard by thy soul,
In the world’s contacts meet his single touch;
All things shall fold thee into his embrace.
(S 27)
100 Conquer thy heart’s throbs, let thy heart beat in God:
Thy nature shall be the engine of his works,
Thy voice shall house the mightiness of his Word:
Then shalt thou harbour my force and conquer Death.
(S 28)
”Then Savitri by her doomed husband sat,
105 Still rigid in her golden motionless pose,
A statue of the fire of the inner sun.
(S 29)
In the black night the wrath of storm swept by,
The thunder crashed above her, the rain hissed,
Its million footsteps pattered on the roof.
(S 30)
110 Impassive mid the movement and the cry, EoS
Witness of the thoughts of mind, the moods of life,
She looked into herself and sought for her soul.