SABCL - Volume 5
I. Short Poems
The Birth of Sin
What mighty and ineffable desire
Impels thee, Sirioth? Thy accustomed calm
Is potently subverted and the eyes
That were a god’s in sweet tranquillity,
Confess a human warmth, a troubled glow.
Lucifer, son of Morning, Angel! thou
Art mightiest of the architects of fate.
To thee is given with thy magic gaze
Compelling mortals as thou leanst sublime
From heaven’s lucent walls, to sway the world.
Is thy felicity of lesser date,
Prince of the patient and untiring gods,
The gods who work? Dost thou not ever feel
Angelic weariness usurp the place
Where the great flame and the august desire
Were wont to urge thee on? To me it seems
That our eternity is far too long
For service and there is a word, a thought,
Sirioth, I will speak the word.
Is it not Power?
No, Lucifer, ’tis Love.
Love? It was love that for a trillion years
Gave me the instinct and immense demand
For service, for activity. It fades.
Another and more giant passion comes
Striding upon me. I behold the world
Immeasurably vast, I see the heavens
Full of an azure joy and majesty,
I see the teeming millions of the stars.
Sirioth, how came the Master of the world
To be the master? Did He seize control
Pushing some ancient weaker sovereign down
From sway immemorable? Did He come
By peaceful ways, permission or inheritance,
To what He is today? Or if indeed
He is for ever and for ever rules,
Are there no bounds to His immense domain,
No obscure corner of unbounded space
Forgotten by His fate, that I may seize
And make myself an empire as august,
Enjoy a like eternity of rule?
Angel, these thoughts are mighty as thyself.
But wilt thou then rebel? If He be great
To conquer and to punish, what of thee?
Eternity of dreadful poignant pain
May be thy fate and not eternal rule.
Better than still to serve desirelessly,
Pursued by a compulsion dull and fierce,
Looking through all vast time for one brief hour
Of rest, of respite, but instead to find
Iron necessity and pant in vain
For space, for room, for freedom.
Sirioth, I do not yet intend; I feel.
For me the sense of active force within
Set me to work, as the stars move, the sun
Resistless flames through space, the stormwind runs.
But I have felt a touch as sweet as spring,
And I have heard a music of delight
Maddening the heart with the sweet honied stabs
Of delicate intolerable joy.
Where, where is One to feel the answering bliss?
Lucifer, thou from love beganst thy toil.
Desire august to help, to serve.
That is not mine. To embrace, to melt and mix
Two beings into one, to roll the spirit
Tumbling into a surge of common joy,–
’Tis this I seek.
Will He permit?
I feel, a prohibition. Someone used
A word I could not grasp and called it sin.
The word is new, even as these things are.
I know not who he was. He laughed and said,
“Sin, sin is born into the world, revolt
And change, in Sirioth and in Lucifer,
The evening and the morning star. Rejoice,
O world!” And I beheld as in a dream
Leaping from out thy brain and into mine
A woman beautiful, of grandiose mien,
Yet terrible, alarming and instinct
With nameless menace. And the world was full
With clashing and with cries. It seemed to me
Angels and Gods and men strove violently
To touch her robe, to occupy the place
Her beautiful and ominous feet had trod,
Crying, “Daughter of Lucifer, be ours,
O sweet, adorable and mighty Sin!”
Therefore I came to thee.
Her birth, if she must be. For this I know,
Necessity rules all the infinite world,
And even He perhaps submits unknown
To a compulsion. When the time is ripe,
We will consult once more what we shall do.
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.