The Spring Child (SAP 17)


A reflection on an early poem of Sri Aurobindo.

It was written in Baroda in 1898-1902 in a notebook, which was subsequently seized by the British police when Sri Aurobindo was arrested in 1908. This made it impossible for him to revise or publish this poem after his release from jail in 1909.


THE SPRING CHILD
(On Basanti’s birthday—Jyestha 1900)

Of Spring is her name for whose bud and blooming
        We praise today the Giver,—
Of Spring and its sweetness clings about her
For her face is Spring and Spring’s without her,
        As loth to leave her.

See, it is summer; the brilliant sunlight
        Lies hard on stream and plain,
And all things wither with heats diurnal;
But she! how vanished things and vernal
        In her remain.

And almost indeed we repine and marvel
        To watch her bloom and grow;
For half we had thought our sweet bud could never
Bloom out, but must surely remain for ever
        The child we know.

But now though summer must come and autumn
        In God’s high governing
Yet I deem that her soul with soft insistence
Shall guard through all change the sweet existence
        And charm of Spring.

O dear child soul, our loved and cherished,
        For this thy days had birth,
Like some tender flower on a grey stone portal
To sweeten and flush with childhood immortal
        The ageing earth.

There are flowers in God’s garden of prouder blooming
        Brilliant and bold and bright,
The tulip and rose are fierier and brighter,
But this has a softer hue, a whiter
        And milder light.

Long be thy days in rain and sunshine,
        Often thy spring relume,
Gladdening thy mother’s heart with thy beauty,
Flowerlike doing thy gentle duty
        To be loved and bloom.

           [CWSA 2: 185-186]

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