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Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

I. Short Poems

To a Hero-Worshipper


My life is then a wasted ereme,

My song but idle wind

Because you merely find

In all this woven wealth of rhyme

Harsh figures with harsh music wound,

The uncouth voice of gorgeous birds,

A ruby carcanet of sound,

A cloud of lovely words?

I am, you say, no magic-rod,

No cry oracular,

No swart and ominous star,

No Sinai-thunder voicing God,

I have no burden to my song,

No smouldering word instinct with fire,

No spell to chase triumphant wrong,

No spirit-sweet desire.

Mine is not Byron’s lightning spear,

Nor Wordsworth’s lucid strain

Nor Shelley’s lyric pain,

Nor Keats’, the poet without peer.

I by the Indian waters vast

Did glimpse the magic of the past,

And on the oaten-pipe I play

Warped echoes of an earlier day.


My friend, when first my spirit woke,

I trod the scented maze

Of Fancy’s myriad ways,

I studied Nature like a book

Men rack for meanings; yet I find

No rubric in the scarlet rose,

No moral in the murmuring wind,

No message in the snows.

For me the daisy shines a star,

The crocus flames a spire,

A horn of golden fire,

Narcissus glows a silver bar:

Cowslips, the golden breath of God,

I deem the poet’s heritage,

And lilies silvering the sod

Breathe fragrance from his page.

No herald of the Sun am I,

But in a moon-lit veil1

A russet nightingale

Who pours sweet song, he knows not why,

Who pours like a wine2 a gurgling note

Paining with sound his swarthy throat,

Who pours sweet song, he recks not why,

Nor hushes ever lest he die.


Later edition of this work: The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo.- Set in 37 volumes.- Volume 2.- Collected Poems.- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2009.- 751 p.

1 2009 ed. CWSA, vol.2: vale


2 2009 ed. CWSA, vol.2: like wine