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Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

I. Short Poems


I have heard1 a foghorn shouting at a sheep,

And oh the sweet sound made me laugh and weep

But alas,2 the sheep was on the hither shore

Of the little less and the ever-never more.

I sprang on its back; it jumped into the sea.

I was near to the edges of eternity.

Then suddenly the foghorn blared again.

There was no sheep – it had perished of ear pain.

I took a boat and steered to the Afar

Hoping to colonise the polar star.

But in the boat there was a dangerous goose

Whom some eternal idiot had let loose.

To this wild animal I said not “Bo!”

But it was not because I did not know.

Full soon I was on shore with dreadful squeals

And the fierce biped cackling at my heels.

Alarmed I ran into a lion’s den

And after me ran three thousand armoured men.

The lion bolted through his own backdoor

And set up a morose dissatisfied roar.

At this my courage rose; I grew quite brave

And shoved myself into a tiger’s cave.

The tiger snarled; I thought it best instead

To don my pyjamas and go to bed.

But the tiger had a strained objecting face,

So I turned my eyes away from his grimace.

At night the beast began my back to claw

And growled out that I was his brother-in-law.

I rose and thought it best to go away

To a doctor’s house: besides ’twas nearly day.

The doctor shook his head and cried “For a back

Pepper and salt are the remedy, alack.”

But I objected to his condiments

And thought the doctor had but little sense.

Then I returned to my own little cot

For really things were now extremely hot.

Then fierily the world cracked Nazily down

And I looked about to find my dressing gown.

I was awake (I had tumbled on the floor).

A shark was hammering away at3 my front-door.


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: heard


2 ah,


3 2009 ed. CWSA, vol.2: hammering at