SABCL - Volume 5
I. Short Poems
Love in Sorrow
Do you remember, Love, that sunset pale
When from near meadows sad with mist the breeze
Sighed like a feverous soul and with soft wail
The ghostly river sobbed among the trees?
I think that Nature heard our misery
Weep to itself and wept for sympathy.
For we were strangers then; we knew not Fate
In ambush by the solitary stream
Nor did our sorrows hope to find a mate,
Much less of love or friendship dared we dream.
Rather we thought that loneliness and we
Were wed in marble perpetuity.
For there was none who loved me, no, not one.
Alas, what was there that a man should love?
For I was misery’s last and frailest son
And even my mother bade me homeless rove.
And I had wronged my youth and nobler powers
By weak attempts, small failures, wasted hours.
Therefore I laid my cheek on the chill grass
And murmured, “I am overborne with grief
And joy to richer natures hopes to pass.
Oh me! my life is like an aspen leaf
That shakes but will not fall. My thoughts are blind
And life so bitter that death seems almost kind.
“How am I weary of the days’ increase,
Of the moon’s brightness and the splendid stars,
The sun that dies not. I would be at peace,
Nor blind my soul with images, nor force
My lips to mirth whose later taste is death,
Nor with vain utterance load my weary breath.”
Thus murmured I aloud nor deemed I spoke
To human ears, but you were hidden, sweet,
Behind the willows when my plaining broke
Upon your lonely muse. Ah, kindly feet
That brushed the grass in tender haste to bind
Another’s wounds, you were less wise than kind.
You said, “My brother, lift your forlorn eyes;
I am your sister more than you unblest.”
I looked upon your face, the book of sighs
And index to incurable unrest.
I rose and kissed you, sweet. Your lips were warm
And drew my heart out like a witch’s charm.
We parted where the sacred spires arose
In silent power above the silent street.
I saw you mid the rose-trees, O white rose,
Linger a moment, then the dusk defeat
My eyes, and, listening, heard your footsteps fade
On the sad leaves of the autumnal glade.
And were you happy, sweet? In me I know –
For either in my blood the autumn sang
His own pale requiem or that new sweet glow
Failed in the light of bitter knowledge – rang
A voice that said, “Behold the loves too pure
To live, the joy that never shall endure.”
This too I know, nor is my hope so bright
But that it sees its autumn cold and sere
Attending with a pale and solemn light
Beyond the gardens of the vernal year.
Yet will I not my weary heart constrain
But take you, sweet, and sweet surcease from pain.
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.