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Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

I. Short Poems

To the Sea

O grey wild sea,

Thou hast a message, thunderer, for me.

Their huge wide backs

Thy monstrous billows raise, abysmal cracks

Dug deep between.

One pale boat flutters over them, hardly seen.

I hear thy roar

Call me, “Why dost thou linger on the shore

With fearful eyes

Watching my tops visit their foam-washed skies?

This trivial boat

Dares my vast battering billows and can float.

Death if it find,

Are there not many thousands left behind?

Dare my wide roar,

Nor cling like cowards to the easy shore.

Come down and know

What rapture lives in danger and o’erthrow.”

Yes, thou great sea,

I am more mighty and outbillow thee.

On thy tops I rise;

’Tis an excuse to dally with the skies.

I sink below

The bottom of the clamorous world to know.

On the safe land

To linger is to lose what God has planned

For man’s wide soul,

Who set eternal godhead for its goal.

Therefore he arrayed

Danger and difficulty like seas and made

Pain and defeat,

And put His giant snares around our feet.

The cloud He informs

With thunder and assails us with His storms,

That man may grow

King over pain and victor of o’erthrow

Matching his great

Unconquerable soul with adverse Fate.

Take me, be

My way to climb the heavens, thou rude great sea.

I will seize thy mane,

O lion, I will tame thee and disdain;

Or else below

Into thy salt abysmal caverns go,

Receive thy weight

Upon me and be stubborn as my Fate.

I come, O Sea,

To measure my enormous self with thee.


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.