Collected Plays and Short Stories
The Birth of Sin1
Persons of Drama
Lucifer, the Angel of Power.
Sirioth, the Angel of Love.
Gabriel, the Angel of Obedience.
Michael, the Angel of War.
Raphael, the Angel of Sweetness.
Belial, the Angel of Reason.
Baal, the Angel of Worldly Wisdom.
Moloch, the Angel of Wrath.
Ashtorath2, the Angel of Beauty.
Meroth, the Angel of Youth.
Master of light and glory, lift thy rays
Over the troubled flood; lift up thy rays.
Lucifer! who gaveth4 thee power
Over the gods that rule the ancient world?
Or why should I obey thee? Art thou God?
Hast thou dethroned the Omnipotent from Heaven
And cast Him down into the5 nether glooms,
Revolting? Gave He then His supreme command?
Speak as a servant then and minister
Not with the accent that controls the stars.
Who then compelled thee from thy bright repose,
Or wherefore hast thou come?
By Him compelled
Before whose mandate tremble all the Gods.
By His or mine. That I will see. Rise, Sun,
And from thy luminous majestic orb
Cast out into the azure hold of Space
Creative Energy and Pregnant Fire
Whirling around thee, while the years endure.
Lucifer, Son of Morning, first in Heaven,
What madness seizes thee? What awful force
Darkly magnificent, brilliantly ominous
Looks out from eyes that own no more the calm?
I cannot choose. Power leaps from thee
Upon me. I am seized with fiery pangs.
Spare me, thou dreadful Angel. I obey.
Power to6 make and unmake7 the world!
Power grows in me. I am omnipotent.
Children of immortality whose ranks
And brilliant armies people the infinite,
Creatures of wonder, creatures of desire8,
O suns that wheel in everlasting fire,
O stars that sow the ethereal spaces thick,
O worlds of various life! I am your king.
This I have learnt that God and I are one.
If one, then equal! Rightly too I deemed
That God develops, God increases. I,
Younger than He am greater than the Power
From which I sprang; the new excels the old.
What dost thou, Lucifer, Angel of God?
The infinite spaces murmur like a sea,
The ethereal realms are rocked as with a wind,
All Nature stands amazed. Whence this revolt?
Who gave thee force to overturn the world?
Watch, Belial, watch with me. A crisis comes
In the infinite, mobile and progressive world.
For God shall cease and Lucifer be God.
Thou speakest9 a thing that madness only speaks.
If God be God, how can He change or cease?
Watch, Belial! I will prove to thee the truth,
Thou reasonable Angel.
Later edition of this work: The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo: Set in 37 volumes.- Volumes 3-4.- Collected Plays and Stories.- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1998.- 1008 p.
1 The revised form of The Birth of Sin appears in Volume V — Collected Poems
2 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4: Ashtar
3 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4, sic passim: Sun
4 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4: gave
5 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4: His
6 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4: Power, power to
7 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4: to unmake
8 Uncertain reading
9 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4: to speakst