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Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

I. Short Poems

Perigune1 Prologuises

Cool may you find the youngling grass, my herd,

Cool with delicious dew, while I here dream

And listen to the sweet and garrulous bird

That matches its cool note with Thea’s stream.

Boon Zephyr now with waist ungirdled runs,

And you, O luminous nurslings, wider blow,

O nurslings of light rain and vernal suns,

When bounteous winds about the garden go.

Apt to my soul art thou, blithe honeyed moon,

O lovely mother of the rose-red June.

Zephyr that all things soothes, enhances all,

Dwells with thee softly, the near cuckoo drawn

To farther groves with sweet inviting call

And dewy buds upon the blossoming lawn.

But ah, today some happy soft unrest

Aspires and pants in my unquiet breast,

As if some light were from the day withdrawn,

As if the flitting Zephyr knew a lovelier word

Than it had spoken yet, and flower and bird

Kept still some grace that yet is left to bloom,

Had still a note I never yet have heard,

That, blossoming, would the wide air more illume,

That, spoken, would advance the sweet Spring’s bounds

With large serener lights and joy of exquisite sounds.

Nor have I any in whose ears to tell

This gracious grief and so by words have peace,

Save the cold hyacinth in the breezy dell

And the sweet cuckoo in the sunlit trees

Since the sharp autumn days when with increase

Of rosy-lighted cheeks attained the ground

Weary of waiting and by wasps hung round

The bough’s fair hangings and Thea fell with these,

My mother, with twelve matron summers crowned.

Four times since then the visits of green spring

Have blessed the hillsides with fresh blossoming

And four times has the winter chilled the brooks,

Since sole I dwell with my rude father, cheered

By no low-worded speech or sunny looks.

Yet are we rich enough, fruitful our herd

And yields us brimming pails and store we still

Numberless baskets with white cheese and fill

Our cave with fruits for winter, and since wide-feared

My father Sinnis, none have care our wealth to spoil.

Therefore I pass sweet days with easy toil,

Nor other care have much but milk the kine

And call them out to graze in soft sunshine

And stall them when the evening-star grows large.

All else is pleasure, budded wreaths to twine

And please my soul beside my hornèd charge

And bathe in the delicious brook that speeds,

Iris and water-lily capped and green with reeds.

Nor need we flocks for clothing nor the shears;

For when the echoes in the mountain rocks

Mimic the groaning wain that moving peers

Between thick trees or under granite blocks,

Our needs my father takes, nor any yet

Scaped him who breaks the wrestler as these twines

Of bloom I break, so he with little sweat,

And tears the women with dividing pines.

Therefore thin gleaming robes and ruddy wines

We garner, flickering swords in jewelled case

And burning jewels and the beautiful gold

Whereof bright plenty now our caverns hold

And ornaments of utter exquisiteness.

But if these brilliants of their pleasure fail,

The lily blooms from vale to scented vale

And crocus lifts in Spring its golden fire.

Our midnight hears the warbling nightingale,

The cuckoo calls as he would never tire;

Along our hills we pluck the purple grapes,

And in the night a million stars arise

To watch us with their ancient friendly eyes.

Such flowering ease I have and earth’s sweet shapes;

And riches, and the green and hivèd springs.

Ah then what longing wakes for new and lovelier things!


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: Perigone