Symbol Moon


Once again thou hast climbed, O moon, like a white fire on the glimmering edge,
Floating up, floating up from the haunted verge of a foam-tremulous sea,
Mystic-horned here crossing the grey-hued listless nights and days,
Spirit-silver craft from the ports of eternity.

Overhead with thy plunging and swaying prow thou fleetest, O ship of the gods,
Glorifying the clouds with thy halo, but our hearts with a rose-red rapture shed from the secret breasts of love;
Almost thou seemest the very bliss that floats in opaline air over heaven’s golden roads,
Embodied here to capture our human lives like a nectar face of light in the doubtful blue above.

Dumbly blithe, shuddering, the air is filled from thy cup of pale mysterious wine:
Gleam quivers to longing gleam; and the faery torches lit for Night’s mysteries are set in her niches stark and deep;
The inconscient gulfs stir and are vaguely thrilled, while their unheard voices cry to the Wonder-light new-seen
Till descending its ray shall unlock with a wizard rod of fire the dumb recesses of sleep.

Bright and alone in a white-foam-glinted delicate dim-blue ocean of sky,
Ever thou runst and thou floatest as a magic drifting bowl
Flung by the hand of a drunken god in the river of Time goes tossing by,
O icon and chalice of spiritual light whose spots are like Nature’s shadow stains on a white and immaculate soul.

How like one frail and hunted thou com’st, O white moon, lonely call from thy deep sky-covert heights,
A voyager carrying through the myriad-isled archipelago of the spear-pointed questioning stars
The circle of the occult argent Yes of the Invisible to the dim query of the yearning witness lights
That burn in the dense vault of Matter’s waking mind — innumerable, solitary and sparse.

A disk of a greater Ray that shall come, a white-fire rapture and girdling rose of love,
Timelessly thou driftest, O soundless sliver boat that set out from the far Unknown,
Moon-crystal of silver or gold of some spirit joy spun by Time in his dense aeonic groove,
A messenger and bearer of an unembodied beauty and unseized bliss advancing over our life’s wan sea — significant, bright and alone.

Once again thou hast climbed, O moon, like a white fire on the glimmering edge,
Floating up, floating up from the haunted verge of a foam-tremulous sea,
Mystic-horned here crossing the grey-hued listless nights and days,
Spirit-silver craft from the ports of eternity.


Notes on Text
Circa 1934. Three handwritten and two typed manuscripts. On 7 August 1934, Sri Aurobindo asked his secretary to type the first drafts of “Symbol Moon”, “The World Game”, “Transformation” and “The Other Earths” from the notebook in which he wrote these and other poems.

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