SABCL - Volume 5
VI. Poems in New Metres
Hail to the Fallen
Hail to the fallen, the fearless! hail to the conquered, the noble!
I out of ancient India great and unhappy and deathless,
I in a loftiest1 nation though subject born, salute thee,
Thou too great and unfortunate! All is not given by Nature
Only to Force and the strong and the violent. Courage and wisdom,
Steadfast will and the calm magnificent dream of thy spirit
Crown thee for ever, O Emperor! Fiercely by Destiny broken,
Hurled2 from thy throne and defeated, forsaken, a wandering exile,
Far from the hills of thy land and thy fallen and vanquished nation,
Yet has thy glory overtopped and the deathless pride of thy laurel
Conquered the conqueror’s, Haile Selassie, Lion of Judah.
France for her southern borders fearing spared the aggressor.
England the sea queen, England the fortunate, England the victor
Fled like a dog from the whip of the3 menace yelping for succour,
Loudly to Frank and to Greek and to Turk and to Yugoslav calling
“Help me! I dare not alone: he will shatter my fleet and my empire.”
You did not cower, African4 people, you did not tremble.
Armed but with rifle and spear you fronted the legions of Caesar.
Statesman wise and beneficent, emperor, patriot, hero,
King of the Sahavas,5 Haile Selassie, Lion of Judah.
Man6 is but man and the weapons of Hell are too fierce for his spirit,
Forged by the scientist burrowing deep in the bowels of Nature,
Death and destruction to draw from her torn from her anguished entrails,
Death for his kind, the destruction of earth and her high-aiming peoples,
Engines for Satan to handle, tools for the mischief of Ate.
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 Tentative reading
3 2009 ed. CWSA, vol.2: his
4 2009 ed. CWSA, vol.2: O African
5 Tentative reading. 2009 ed. CWSA, vol.2: Amharas
6 These last five lines were absent in this edition and were taken from the edition of 2009 year.