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object:4.2.02 - An Image
book class:Collected Poems
author class:Sri Aurobindo
subject class:Poetry

An Image
Rushing from Troy like a cloud on the plains the Trojans thundered,
Just as a storm comes thundering, thick with the dust of kingdoms,
Edged with the devious dance of the lightning, so all Troas
Loud with the roar of the chariots, loud with the vaunt and the war-cry,
Rushed from Troywards gleaming with spears and rolled on enormous.

Joyous as ever Paris led them glancing in armour,
Brilliant with gold like a bridegroom, playing with death and the battle
Even as apart in his chamber he played with his beautiful Helen,
Touching her body rejoiced with a low and lyrical laughter,
So he laughed as he smote his foemen. Round him the arrows,
Round him the spears of the Argives sang like the voices of maidens
Trilling the anthem of bridal bliss, the chant hymeneal;
Round him the warriors fell like flowers strewn at a bridal
Red with the beauty of blood.

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1:author class:Sri Aurobindo
Mother of Dreams

Goddess supreme, Mother of Dream, by thy ivory doors when thou standest,
Who are they then that come down unto men in thy visions that troop, group upon group, down the path of the shadows slanting?
Dream after dream, they flash and they gleam with the flame of the stars still around them;
Shadows at thy side in a darkness ride where the wild fires dance, stars glow and glance and the random meteor glistens;
There are voices that cry to their kin who reply; voices sweet, at the heart they beat and ravish the soul as it listens.

What then are these lands and these golden sands and these seas more radiant than earth can imagine?
Who are those that pace by the purple waves that race to the cliff-bound floor of thy jasper shore under skies in which mystery muses,
Lapped in moonlight not of our night or plunged in sunshine that is not diurnal?
Who are they coming thy Oceans roaming with sails whose strands are not made by hands, an unearthly wind advances?
Why do they join in a mystic line with those on the sands linking hands in strange and stately dances?

Thou in the air, with a flame in thy hair, the whirl of thy wonders watching,
Holdest the night in thy ancient right, Mother divine, hyacinthine, with a girdle of beauty defended.
Sworded with fire, attracting desire, thy tenebrous kingdom thou keepest,
Starry-sweet, with the moon at thy feet, now hidden now seen the clouds between in the gloom and the drift of thy tresses.
Only to those whom thy fancy chose, O thou heart-free, is it given to see thy witchcraft and feel thy caresses.

Open the gate where thy children wait in their world of a beauty undarkened.
High-throned on a cloud, victorious, proud I have espied Maghavan ride when the armies of wind are behind him;
Food has been given for my tasting from heaven and fruit of immortal sweetness;
I have drunk wine of the kingdoms divine and have healed the change of music strange from a lyre which our hands cannot master,
Doors have swung wide in the chambers of pride where the Gods reside and the Apsaras dance in their circles faster and faster.

For thou art she whom we first can see when we pass the bounds of the mortal;
There at the gates of the heavenly states thou hast planted thy wand enchanted over the head of the Yogin waving.
From thee are the dream and the shadows that seem and the fugitive lights that delude us;
Thine is the shade in which visions are made; sped by thy hands from celestial lands come the souls that rejoice for ever.
Into thy dream-worlds we pass or look in thy magic glass, then beyond thee we climb out of Space and Time to the peak of divine endeavour.

next: 4.2.02 - An Image

~ oem, - The Mother of Dreams
2:author class:Sri Aurobindo
collections class:cwsa
media class:short poem

Short Poems

The Birth of Sin

What mighty and ineffable desire
Impels thee, Sirioth? Thy accustomed calm
Is potently subverted and the eyes
That were a god's in sweet tranquillity,
Confess a human warmth, a troubled glow.

Lucifer, son of Morning, Angel! thou
Art mightiest of the architects of fate.

To thee is given with thy magic gaze
Compelling mortals as thou leanst sublime
From heaven's lucent walls, to sway the world.

Is thy felicity of lesser date,
Prince of the patient and untiring gods,
The gods who work? Dost thou not ever feel
Angelic weariness usurp the place
Where the great flame and the august desire
Were wont to urge thee on? To me it seems
That our eternity is far too long
For service and there is a word, a thought,
More godlike.

Sirioth, I will speak the word.
Is it not Power?

No, Lucifer, 'tis Love.

Love? It was love that for a trillion years
Gave me the instinct and immense demand
For service, for activity. It fades.

Another and more giant passion comes
Striding upon me. I behold the world
Immeasurably vast, I see the heavens
Full of an azure joy and majesty,
I see the teeming millions of the stars.

Sirioth, how came the Master of the world
To be the master? Did He seize control
Pushing some ancient weaker sovereign down
From sway immemorable? Did He come
By peaceful ways, permission or inheritance,
To what He is today? Or if indeed
He is for ever and for ever rules,
Are there no bounds to His immense domain,
No obscure corner of unbounded space
Forgotten by His fate, that I may seize
And make myself an empire as august,
Enjoy a like eternity of rule?
Angel, these thoughts are mighty as thyself.

But wilt thou then rebel? If He be great
To conquer and to punish, what of thee?
Eternity of dreadful poignant pain
May be thy fate and not eternal rule.

Better than still to serve desirelessly,
Pursued by a compulsion dull and fierce,
Looking through all vast time for one brief hour
Of rest, of respite, but instead to find
Iron necessity and pant in vain
For space, for room, for freedom.

Thou intendest?

Sirioth, I do not yet intend; I feel.

For me the sense of active force within
Set me to work, as the stars move, the sun
Resistless flames through space, the stormwind runs.

But I have felt a touch as sweet as spring,
And I have heard a music of delight
Maddening the heart with the sweet honied stabs
Of delicate intolerable joy.

Where, where is One to feel the answering bliss?
Lucifer, thou from love beganst thy toil.

What love?

Desire august to help, to serve.

That is not mine. To embrace, to melt and mix
Two beings into one, to roll the spirit
Tumbling into a surge of common joy, -
'Tis this I seek.

Will He permit?

A bar
I feel, a prohibition. Someone used
A word I could not grasp and called it sin.

The word is new, even as these things are.

I know not who he was. He laughed and said,
"Sin, sin is born into the world, revolt
And change, in Sirioth and in Lucifer,
The evening and the morning star. Rejoice,
O world!" And I beheld as in a dream
Leaping from out thy brain and into mine
A woman beautiful, of grandiose mien,
Yet terrible, alarming and instinct
With nameless menace. And the world was full
With clashing and with cries. It seemed to me
Angels and Gods and men strove violently
To touch her robe, to occupy the place
Her beautiful and ominous feet had trod,
Crying, "Daughter of Lucifer, be ours,
O sweet, adorable and mighty Sin!"
Therefore I came to thee.

Sirioth, await
Her birth, if she must be. For this I know,
Necessity rules all the infinite world,
And even He perhaps submits unknown
To a compulsion. When the time is ripe,
We will consult once more what we shall do.
previous: 4.2.02_-_An_Image
next: 4.2.04_-_Epiphany
up: Collected_Poems
~ Sri Aurobindo, - The Birth of Sin



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