Home Page | Workings | Works of Sri Aurobindo | Collected Poems

Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

VI. Poems in New Metres

The Lost Boat


At the way’s end when the shore raised up its dim line and remote lights from the port glimmered,

Then a cloud darkened the sky’s brink and the wind’s scream was the shrill laugh of a loosed demon

And the huge passion of storm leaped with its bright stabs and the long crashing of death’s thunder;

As if haled by an unseen hand fled the boat lost in1 the wide homeless forlorn ocean.

Is it Chance smites? is it Fate’s irony? dead workings or blind purpose of brute Nature?

Or man’s own deeds that return back on his doomed head with a stark justice, a fixed vengeance?

Or a dread Will from behind Life that regards pain and salutes death with a hard laughter?

Is it God’s might or a Force rules in this dense jungle of events, deeds and our thought’s strivings?

Yet perhaps sank not the bright lives and their glad venturings foiled, drowned in the grey ocean,

But with long wandering they reached an unknown shore and a strange sun and a new azure,

Amid bright splendour of beast glories and birds’ music and deep hues, an enriched Nature

And a new life that could draw near to divine meanings and touched close the concealed purpose.

In a chance happening, fate’s whims and the blind workings or dead drive of a brute Nature,

In her dire Titan caprice, strength that to death drifts and to doom, hidden a Will labours.

Not with one moment of sharp close or the slow fall of a dim curtain the play ceases:

Yet is there Time to be crossed, lives to be lived out, the unplayed acts of the soul’s drama.


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.

Ionic a minore pentameter with an overflow of one short syllable


1 2009 ed. CWSA, vol.2: on