THE MOTHER’S SAVITRI: Book 4 Canto 1


The Mother Reads Selections from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo

 

Book 4. The Book of Birth and Quest

Canto 1. The Birth and Childhood of the Flame

Across the burning langour of the soil
Paced Summer with his pomp of violent noons
And stamped his tyranny of torrid light
And the blue seal of a great burnished sky.
[p. 349]
* * *
Rain-tide burst in upon torn wings of heat,
Startled with lightnings air’s unquiet drowse,
Lashed with life-giving streams the torpid soil,
Overcast with flare and sound and storm-winged dark
The star-defended doors of heaven’s dim sleep,
Or from the gold eye of her paramour
Covered with packed cloud-veils the earth’s brown face.
[p. 349]
* * *
Earth’s mood now changed; she lay in lulled repose,
The hours went by with slow contented tread:
A wide and tranquil air remembered peace,
Earth was the comrade of a happy sun.
. . .
Three thoughtful seasons passed with shining tread
And scanning one by one the pregnant hours
Watched for a flame that lurked in luminous depths,
The vigil of some mighty birth to come.
[p. 351]
* * *
Autumn led in the glory of her moons
And dreamed in the splendour of her lotus pools
[p. 351]
* * *
And Winter and Dew-time laid their calm cool hands
On Nature’s bosom still in a half sleep
And deepened with hues of lax and mellow ease
The tranquil beauty of the waning year.
[p. 351]
* * *
Then Spring, an ardent lover, leaped through leaves
And caught the earth-bride in his eager clasp;
His advent was a fire of irised hues,
His arms were a circle of the arrival of joy.
[p. 351]
* * *
In this high signal moment of the gods
Answering earth’s yearning and her cry for bliss
A greatness from our other countries came.
. . .
A spirit of its celestial source aware
Descended into earth’s imperfect mould
And wept not fallen to mortality,
But looked on all with large and tranquil eyes.
[p. 353]
* * *
Outlined by the pressure of this new descent
A lovelier body formed than earth had known.
As yet a prophecy only and a hint,
The glowing arc of a charmed unseen whole,
It came into the sky of mortal life
Bright like the crescent horn of a gold moon
Returning in a faint illumined eve.
[p. 354]
* * *
But soon the link of soul with form grew sure;
Flooded was the dim cave with slow conscient light,
The seed grew into a delicate marvellous bud,
The bud disclosed a great and heavenly bloom.
At once she seemed to found a mightier race.
. . .
Her nature dwelt in a strong separate air
Like a strange bird with large rich-coloured breast
That sojourns on a secret fruited bough
Lost in the emerald glory of the woods
Or flies above divine unreachable tops.
[p. 355]
* * *
An image made of heaven’s transparent light.
Its charm recalled things seen in vision’s hours,
A golden bridge spanning a faery flood,
A moon-touched palm tree single by a lake
Companion of the wide and glimmering peace,
A murmur as of leaves in Paradise
Moving when feet of the Immortals pass,
A fiery halo over sleeping hills,
A strange and starry head alone in Night.
[p. 358]

End of Book 4 Canto 1


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