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Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

I. Short Poems

Hell and Heaven

In the silence of the night-time,

In the grey and formless eve

When the thought is plagued with loveless

Memories that it cannot leave,

When the dawn makes sudden beauty

Of a peevish clouded sky,

And the rain is sobbing slowly

And the wind makes weird reply,

Always comes her face before me

And her voice is in my ear,

Beautiful and sad and cruel

With the azure eyes austere.

Cloudy figure once so luminous

With the light and life within

When the soul came rippling outwards

And the red lips laughed at sin,

Com’st thou with that marble visage

From what world instinct with pain

Where we pay the price of passion

By a law our hearts disdain?

Cast it from thee, O thou goddess!

Earning with a smile release

From these sad imaginations,

Rise into celestial peace.

Travel from the loveless places

That our mortal fears create,

Where thy natural heavens claim thee

And the gods, thy brothers, wait.

Then descend to me grown radiant,

Lighting up terrestrial ground

With the feet that brighten heaven

When the mighty dance goes round

And the high Gods beating measure

Tread the maze that keeps the stars

Circling in their luminous orbits

Through the eternal thoroughfares.

All below is but confusion

Of desires that strive and cry,

Some forbidden, some achieving

Anguish after ecstasy.

But above our radiant station

Is from which by doubt we fell,

Reaching only after Heaven

And achieving only Hell.

Let the heart be king and master,

Let the brain exult and toil,

Disbelieve in good and evil,

God with Nature reconcile.

Therefore, O rebellious sweetness,

Thou tookst arms for joy and love.

There achieve them! Take possession

Of our radiant seats above.


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.