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Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

I. Short Poems

The Birth of Sin

Lucifer, Sirioth


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,

More godlike.


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.


Thou intendest?


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.

What love?


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?


A bar

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.


Sirioth, await

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.