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Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

I. Short Poems

Bankim Chandra Chatterji

How hast thou lost, O month of honey and flowers,

The voice that was thy soul! Creative showers,

The cuckoo’s daylong cry and moan of bees,

Zephyrs and streams and softly-blossoming trees

And murmuring laughter and heart-easing tears

And tender thoughts and great and the compeers

Of lily and jasmine and melodious birds,

All these thy children into lovely words

He changed at will and made soul-moving books

From hearts of men and women’s honied looks.

O master of delicious words! the bloom

Of chompuk and the breath of king-perfume

Have made each musical sentence with the noise

Of women’s ornaments and sweet household joys

And laughter tender as the voice of leaves

Playing with vernal winds. The eye receives

That reads these lines an image of delight,

A world with shapes of spring and summer, noon and night;

All nature in a page, no pleasing show

But men more real than the friends we know.

O plains, O hills, O rivers of sweet Bengal,

O land of love and flowers, the spring-bird’s call

And southern wind are sweet among your trees:

Your poet’s words are sweeter far than these.

Your heart was this man’s heart. Subtly he knew

The beauty and divinity in you.

His nature kingly was and as a god

In large serenity and light he trod

His daily way, yet beauty, like soft flowers

Wreathing a hero’s sword, ruled all his hours.

Thus moving in these iron times and drear,

Barren of bliss and robbed of golden cheer,

He sowed the desert with ruddy-hearted rose,

The sweetest voice that ever spoke in prose.


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.