Savitri | a Legend and a Symbol
Book Five All Cantos
The Book of Love
The Destined Meeting-Place
[Savitri B-05 C-01 Canto Name]
Play Section One
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01]
But now the destined spot and hour were close;
Unknowing she had neared her nameless goal.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-01]
For though a dress of blind and devious chance
Is laid upon the work of all-wise Fate,
Our acts interpret an omniscient Force
That dwells in the compelling stuff of things,
And nothing happens in the cosmic play
But at its time and in its foreseen place.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-02]
To a space she came of soft and delicate air
That seemed a sanctuary of youth and joy,
A highland world of free and green delight
Where spring and summer lay together and strove
In indolent and amicable debate,
Inarmed, disputing with laughter who should rule.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-03]
There expectation beat wide sudden wings
As if a soul had looked out from earth's face,
And all that was in her felt a coming change
And forgetting obvious joys and common dreams,
Obedient to Time's call, to the spirit's fate,
Was lifted to a beauty calm and pure
That lived under the eyes of Eternity.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-04]
A crowd of mountainous heads assailed the sky
Pushing towards rival shoulders nearer heaven,
The armoured leaders of an iron line;
Earth prostrate lay beneath their feet of stone.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-05]
Below them crouched a dream of emerald woods
And gleaming borders solitary as sleep:
Pale waters ran like glimmering threads of pearl.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-06]
A sigh was straying among happy leaves;
Cool-perfumed with slow pleasure-burdened feet
Faint stumbling breezes faltered among flowers.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-07]
The white crane stood, a vivid motionless streak,
Peacock and parrot jewelled soil and tree,
The dove's soft moan enriched the enamoured air
And fire-winged wild-drakes swam in silvery pools.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-08]
Earth couched alone with her great lover Heaven,
Uncovered to her consort's azure eye.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-09]
In a luxurious ecstasy of joy
She squandered the love-music of her notes,
Wasting the passionate pattern of her blooms
And festival riot of her scents and hues.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-10]
A cry and leap and hurry was around,
The stealthy footfalls of her chasing things,
The shaggy emerald of her centaur mane,
The gold and sapphire of her warmth and blaze.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-11]
Magician of her rapt felicities,
Blithe, sensuous-hearted, careless and divine,
Life ran or hid in her delightful rooms;
Behind all brooded Nature's grandiose calm.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-12]
Primaeval peace was there and in its bosom
Held undisturbed the strife of bird and beast.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-13]
Man the deep-browed artificer had not come
To lay his hand on happy inconscient things,
Thought was not there nor the measurer, strong-eyed toil,
Life had not learned its discord with its aim.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-14]
The Mighty Mother lay outstretched at ease.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-15]
All was in line with her first satisfied plan;
Moved by a universal will of joy
The trees bloomed in their green felicity
And the wild children brooded not on pain.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-16]
At the end reclined a stern and giant tract
Of tangled depths and solemn questioning hills,
Peaks like a bare austerity of the soul,
Armoured, remote and desolately grand
Like the thought-screened infinities that lie
Behind the rapt smile of the Almighty's dance.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-17]
A matted forest-head invaded heaven
As if a blue-throated ascetic peered
From the stone fastness of his mountain cell
Regarding the brief gladness of the days;
His vast extended spirit couched behind.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-18]
A mighty murmur of immense retreat
Besieged the ear, a sad and limitless call
As of a soul retiring from the world.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-19]
This was the scene which the ambiguous Mother
Had chosen for her brief felicitous hour;
Here in this solitude far from the world
Her part she began in the world's joy and strife.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-20]
Here were disclosed to her the mystic courts,
The lurking doors of beauty and surprise,
The wings that murmur in the golden house,
The temple of sweetness and the fiery aisle.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-21]
A stranger on the sorrowful roads of Time,
Immortal under the yoke of death and fate,
A sacrificant of the bliss and pain of the spheres,
Love in the wilderness met Savitri.
[Savitri B-05 C-01 S-01 F-22]
Book Five Canto One End
The Destined Meeting-Place
[Savitri B-05 C-01 Canto End]
Savitri | a Legend and a Symbol
The Book of Love
[Savitri B-05 C-02 Canto Name]
Play Section One
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01]
All she remembered on this day of Fate,
The road that hazarded not the solemn depths
But turned away to flee to human homes,
The wilderness with its mighty monotone,
The morning like a lustrous seer above,
The passion of the summits lost in heaven,
The titan murmur of the endless woods.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-01]
As if a wicket gate to joy were there
Ringed in with voiceless hint and magic sign,
Upon the margin of an unknown world
Reclined the curve of a sun-held recess;
Groves with strange flowers like eyes of gazing nymphs
Peered from their secrecy into open space,
Boughs whispering to a constancy of light
Sheltered a dim and screened felicity,
And slowly a supine inconstant breeze
Ran like a fleeting sigh of happiness
Over slumbrous grasses pranked with green and gold.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-02]
Hidden in the forest's bosom of loneliness
Amid the leaves the inmate voices called,
Sweet like desires enamoured and unseen,
Cry answering to low insistent cry.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-03]
Behind slept emerald dumb remotenesses,
Haunt of a Nature passionate, veiled, denied
To all but her own vision lost and wild.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-04]
Earth in this beautiful refuge free from cares
Murmured to the soul a song of strength and peace.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-05]
Only one sign was there of a human tread:
A single path, shot thin and arrowlike
Into this bosom of vast and secret life,
Pierced its enormous dream of solitude.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-06]
Here first she met on the uncertain earth
The one for whom her heart had come so far.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-07]
As might a soul on Nature's background limned
Stand out for a moment in a house of dream
Created by the ardent breath of life,
So he appeared against the forest verge
Inset twixt green relief and golden ray.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-08]
As if a weapon of the living Light,
Erect and lofty like a spear of God
His figure led the splendour of the morn.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-09]
Noble and clear as the broad peaceful heavens
A tablet of young wisdom was his brow;
Freedom's imperious beauty curved his limbs,
The joy of life was on his open face.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-10]
His look was a wide daybreak of the gods,
His head was a youthful Rishi's touched with light,
His body was a lover's and a king's.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-11]
In the magnificent dawning of his force
Built like a moving statue of delight
He illumined the border of the forest page.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-12]
Out of the ignorant eager toil of the years
Abandoning man's loud drama he had come
Led by the wisdom of an adverse Fate
To meet the ancient Mother in her groves.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-13]
In her divine communion he had grown
A foster-child of beauty and solitude,
Heir to the centuries of the lonely wise,
A brother of the sunshine and the sky,
A wanderer communing with depth and marge.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-14]
A Veda-knower of the unwritten book
Perusing the mystic scripture of her forms,
He had caught her hierophant significances,
Her sphered immense imaginations learned,
Taught by sublimities of stream and wood
And voices of the sun and star and flame
And chant of the magic singers on the boughs
And the dumb teaching of four-footed things.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-15]
Helping with confident steps her slow great hands
He leaned to her influence like a flower to rain
And, like the flower and tree a natural growth,
Widened with the touches of her shaping hours.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-16]
The mastery free natures have was his
And their assent to joy and spacious calm;
One with the single Spirit inhabiting all,
He laid experience at the Godhead's feet;
His mind was open to her infinite mind,
His acts were rhythmic with her primal force;
He had subdued his mortal thought to hers.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-17]
That day he had turned from his accustomed paths;
For One who, knowing every moment's load,
Can move in all our studied or careless steps,
Had laid the spell of destiny on his feet
And drawn him to the forest's flowering verge.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-18]
At first her glance that took life's million shapes
Impartially to people its treasure-house
Along with sky and flower and hill and star,
Dwelt rather on the bright harmonious scene.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-19]
It saw the green-gold of the slumbrous sward,
The grasses quivering with the slow wind's tread,
The branches haunted by the wild bird's call.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-20]
Awake to Nature, vague as yet to life,
The eager prisoner from the Infinite,
The immortal wrestler in its mortal house,
Its pride, power, passion of a striving God,
It saw this image of veiled deity,
This thinking master creature of the earth,
This last result of the beauty of the stars,
But only saw like fair and common forms
The artist spirit needs not for its work
And puts aside in memory's shadowy rooms.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-21]
A look, a turn decides our ill-poised fate.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-22]
Thus in the hour that most concerned her all,
Wandering unwarned by the slow surface mind,
The heedless scout beneath her tenting lids
Admired indifferent beauty and cared not
To wake her body's spirit to its king.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-23]
So might she have passed by on chance ignorant roads
Missing the call of Heaven, losing life's aim,
But the god touched in time her conscious soul.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-24]
Her vision settled, caught and all was changed.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-25]
Her mind at first dwelt in ideal dreams,
Those intimate transmuters of earth's signs
That make known things a hint of unseen spheres,
And saw in him the genius of the spot,
A symbol figure standing mid earth's scenes,
A king of life outlined in delicate air.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-26]
Yet this was but a moment's reverie;
For suddenly her heart looked out at him,
The passionate seeing used thought cannot match,
And knew one nearer than its own close strings.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-27]
All in a moment was surprised and seized,
All in inconscient ecstasy lain wrapped
Or under imagination's coloured lids
Held up in a large mirror-air of dream,
Broke forth in flame to recreate the world,
And in that flame to new things she was born.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-28]
A mystic tumult from her depths arose;
Haled, smitten erect like one who dreamed at ease,
Life ran to gaze from every gate of sense:
Thoughts indistinct and glad in moon-mist heavens,
Feelings as when a universe takes birth,
Swept through the turmoil of her bosom's space
Invaded by a swarm of golden gods:
Arising to a hymn of wonder's priests
Her soul flung wide its doors to this new sun.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-29]
An alchemy worked, the transmutation came;
The missioned face had wrought the Master's spell.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-30]
In the nameless light of two approaching eyes
A swift and fated turning of her days
Appeared and stretched to a gleam of unknown worlds.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-31]
Then trembling with the mystic shock her heart
Moved in her breast and cried out like a bird
Who hears his mate upon a neighbouring bough.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-32]
Hooves trampling fast, wheels largely stumbling ceased;
The chariot stood like an arrested wind.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-33]
And Satyavan looked out from his soul's doors
And felt the enchantment of her liquid voice
Fill his youth's purple ambience and endured
The haunting miracle of a perfect face.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-34]
Mastered by the honey of a strange flower-mouth,
Drawn to soul-spaces opening round a brow,
He turned to the vision like a sea to the moon
And suffered a dream of beauty and of change,
Discovered the aureole round a mortal's head,
Adored a new divinity in things.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-35]
His self-bound nature foundered as in fire;
His life was taken into another's life.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-36]
The splendid lonely idols of his brain
Fell prostrate from their bright sufficiencies,
As at the touch of a new infinite,
To worship a godhead greater than their own.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-37]
An unknown imperious force drew him to her.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-38]
Marvelling he came across the golden sward:
Gaze met close gaze and clung in sight's embrace.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-39]
A visage was there, noble and great and calm,
As if encircled by a halo of thought,
A span, an arch of meditating light,
As though some secret nimbus half was seen;
Her inner vision still remembering knew
A forehead that wore the crown of all her past,
Two eyes her constant and eternal stars,
Comrade and sovereign eyes that claimed her soul,
Lids known through many lives, large frames of love.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-40]
He met in her regard his future's gaze,
A promise and a presence and a fire,
Saw an embodiment of aeonic dreams,
A mystery of the rapture for which all
Yearns in this world of brief mortality
Made in material shape his very own.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-41]
This golden figure given to his grasp
Hid in its breast the key of all his aims,
A spell to bring the Immortal's bliss on earth,
To mate with heaven's truth our mortal thought,
To lift earth-hearts nearer the Eternal's sun.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-42]
In these great spirits now incarnate here
Love brought down power out of eternity
To make of life his new undying base.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-43]
His passion surged a wave from fathomless deeps;
It leaped to earth from far forgotten heights,
But kept its nature of infinity.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-44]
On the dumb bosom of this oblivious globe
Although as unknown beings we seem to meet,
Our lives are not aliens nor as strangers join,
Moved to each other by a causeless force.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-45]
The soul can recognise its answering soul
Across dividing Time and, on life's roads
Absorbed wrapped traveller, turning it recovers
Familiar splendours in an unknown face
And touched by the warning finger of swift love
It thrills again to an immortal joy
Wearing a mortal body for delight.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-46]
There is a Power within that knows beyond
Our knowings; we are greater than our thoughts,
And sometimes earth unveils that vision here.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-47]
To live, to love are signs of infinite things,
Love is a glory from eternity's spheres.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-48]
Abased, disfigured, mocked by baser mights
That steal his name and shape and ecstasy,
He is still the godhead by which all can change.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-49]
A mystery wakes in our inconscient stuff,
A bliss is born that can remake our life.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-50]
Love dwells in us like an unopened flower
Awaiting a rapid moment of the soul,
Or he roams in his charmed sleep mid thoughts and things;
The child-god is at play, he seeks himself
In many hearts and minds and living forms:
He lingers for a sign that he can know
And, when it comes, wakes blindly to a voice,
A look, a touch, the meaning of a face.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-51]
His instrument the dim corporeal mind,
Of celestial insight now forgetful grown,
He seizes on some sign of outward charm
To guide him mid the throng of Nature's hints,
Reads heavenly truths into earth's semblances,
Desires the image for the godhead's sake,
Divines the immortalities of form
And takes the body for the sculptured soul.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-52]
Love's adoration like a mystic seer
Through vision looks at the invisible,
In earth's alphabet finds a godlike sense;
But the mind only thinks, “Behold the one
For whom my life has waited long unfilled,
Behold the sudden sovereign of my days."
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-53]
Heart feels for heart, limb cries for answering limb;
All strives to enforce the unity all is.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-54]
Too far from the Divine, Love seeks his truth
And Life is blind and the instruments deceive
And Powers are there that labour to debase.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-55]
Still can the vision come, the joy arrive.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-56]
Rare is the cup fit for love's nectar wine,
As rare the vessel that can hold God's birth;
A soul made ready through a thousand years
Is the living mould of a supreme Descent.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-57]
These knew each other though in forms thus strange.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-58]
Although to sight unknown, though life and mind
Had altered to hold a new significance,
These bodies summed the drift of numberless births,
And the spirit to the spirit was the same.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-59]
Amazed by a joy for which they had waited long,
The lovers met upon their different paths,
Travellers across the limitless plains of Time
Together drawn from fate-led journeyings
In the self-closed solitude of their human past,
To a swift rapturous dream of future joy
And the unexpected present of these eyes.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-60]
By the revealing greatness of a look,
Form-smitten the spirit's memory woke in sense.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-61]
The mist was torn that lay between two lives;
Her heart unveiled and his to find her turned;
Attracted as in heaven star by star,
They wondered at each other and rejoiced
And wove affinity in a silent gaze.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-62]
A moment passed that was eternity's ray,
An hour began, the matrix of new Time.
[Savitri B-05 C-02 S-01 F-63]
Book Five Canto Two End
[Savitri B-05 C-02 Canto End]
Savitri | a Legend and a Symbol
The Book of Love
Satyavan and Savitri
[Savitri B-05 C-03 Canto Name]
Play Section One
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01]
Out of the voiceless mystery of the past
In a present ignorant of forgotten bonds
These spirits met upon the roads of Time.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-01]
Yet in the heart their secret conscious selves
At once aware grew of each other warned
By the first call of a delightful voice
And a first vision of the destined face.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-02]
As when being cries to being from its depths
Behind the screen of the external sense
And strives to find the heart-disclosing word,
The passionate speech revealing the soul's need,
But the mind's ignorance veils the inner sight,
Only a little breaks through our earth-made bounds,
So now they met in that momentous hour,
So utter the recognition in the deeps,
The remembrance lost, the oneness felt and missed.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-03]
Thus Satyavan spoke first to Savitri:
“O thou who com'st to me out of Time's silences,
Yet thy voice has wakened my heart to an unknown bliss,
Immortal or mortal only in thy frame,
For more than earth speaks to me from thy soul
And more than earth surrounds me in thy gaze,
How art thou named among the sons of men?
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-04]
Whence hast thou dawned filling my spirit's days,
Brighter than summer, brighter than my flowers,
Into the lonely borders of my life,
O sunlight moulded like a golden maid?
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-05]
I know that mighty gods are friends of earth.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-06]
Amid the pageantries of day and dusk,
Long have I travelled with my pilgrim soul
Moved by the marvel of familiar things.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-07]
Earth could not hide from me the powers she veils:
Even though moving mid an earthly scene
And the common surfaces of terrestrial things,
My vision saw unblinded by her forms;
The Godhead looked at me from familiar scenes.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-08]
I witnessed the virgin bridals of the dawn
Behind the glowing curtains of the sky
Or vying in joy with the bright morning's steps
I paced along the slumbrous coasts of noon,
Or the gold desert of the sunlight crossed
Traversing great wastes of splendour and of fire,
Or met the moon gliding amazed through heaven
In the uncertain wideness of the night,
Or the stars marched on their long sentinel routes
Pointing their spears through the infinitudes:
The day and dusk revealed to me hidden shapes;
Figures have come to me from secret shores
And happy faces looked from ray and flame.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-09]
I have heard strange voices cross the ether's waves,
The Centaur's wizard song has thrilled my ear;
I have glimpsed the Apsaras bathing in the pools,
I have seen the wood-nymphs peering through the leaves;
The winds have shown to me their trampling lords,
I have beheld the princes of the Sun
Burning in thousand-pillared homes of light.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-10]
So now my mind could dream and my heart fear
That from some wonder-couch beyond our air
Risen in a wide morning of the gods
Thou drov'st thy horses from the Thunderer's worlds.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-11]
Although to heaven thy beauty seems allied,
Much rather would my thoughts rejoice to know
That mortal sweetness smiles between thy lids
And thy heart can beat beneath a human gaze
And thy aureate bosom quiver with a look
And its tumult answer to an earth-born voice.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-12]
If our time-vexed affections thou canst feel,
Earth's ease of simple things can satisfy,
If thy glance can dwell content on earthly soil,
And this celestial summary of delight,
Thy golden body, dally with fatigue
Oppressing with its grace our terrain, while
The frail sweet passing taste of earthly food
Delays thee and the torrent's leaping wine,
Descend. Let thy journey cease, come down to us.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-13]
Close is my father's creepered hermitage
Screened by the tall ranks of these silent kings,
Sung to by voices of the hue-robed choirs
Whose chants repeat transcribed in music's notes
The passionate coloured lettering of the boughs
And fill the hours with their melodious cry.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-14]
Amid the welcome-hum of many bees
Invade our honied kingdom of the woods;
There let me lead thee into an opulent life.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-15]
Bare, simple is the sylvan hermit-life;
Yet is it clad with the jewelry of earth.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-16]
Wild winds run—visitors midst the swaying tops,
Through the calm days heaven's sentinels of peace
Couched on a purple robe of sky above
Look down on a rich secrecy and hush
And the chambered nuptial waters chant within.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-17]
Enormous, whispering, many-formed around
High forest gods have taken in their arms
The human hour, a guest of their centuried pomps.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-18]
Apparelled are the morns in gold and green,
Sunlight and shadow tapestry the walls
To make a resting chamber fit for thee.”
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-19]
Awhile she paused as if hearing still his voice,
Unwilling to break the charm, then slowly spoke.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-20]
Musing she answered, “I am Savitri,
Princess of Madra. Who art thou? What name
Musical on earth expresses thee to men?
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-21]
What trunk of kings watered by fortunate streams
Has flowered at last upon one happy branch?
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-22]
Why is thy dwelling in the pathless wood
Far from the deeds thy glorious youth demands,
Haunt of the anchorites and earth's wilder broods,
Where only with thy witness self thou roamst
In Nature's green unhuman loneliness
Surrounded by enormous silences
And the blind murmur of primaeval calms?”
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-23]
And Satyavan replied to Savitri:
“In days when yet his sight looked clear on life,
King Dyumatsena once, the Shalwa, reigned
Through all the tract which from behind these tops
Passing its days of emerald delight
In trusting converse with the traveller winds
Turns, looking back towards the southern heavens,
And leans its flank upon the musing hills.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-24]
But equal Fate removed her covering hand.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-25]
A living night enclosed the strong man's paths,
Heaven's brilliant gods recalled their careless gifts,
Took from blank eyes their glad and helping ray
And led the uncertain goddess from his side.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-26]
Outcast from empire of the outer light,
Lost to the comradeship of seeing men,
He sojourns in two solitudes, within
And in the solemn rustle of the woods.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-27]
Son of that king, I, Satyavan, have lived
Contented, for not yet of thee aware,
In my high-peopled loneliness of spirit
And this huge vital murmur kin to me,
Nursed by the vastness, pupil of solitude.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-28]
Great Nature came to her recovered child;
I reigned in a kingdom of a nobler kind
Than men can build upon dull Matter's soil;
I met the frankness of the primal earth,
I enjoyed the intimacy of infant God.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-29]
In the great tapestried chambers of her state,
Free in her boundless palace I have dwelt
Indulged by the warm mother of us all,
Reared with my natural brothers in her house.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-30]
I lay in the wide bare embrace of heaven,
The sunlight's radiant blessing clasped my brow,
The moonbeams' silver ecstasy at night
Kissed my dim lids to sleep.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-31]
Earth's morns were mine;
Lured by faint murmurings with the green-robed hours
I wandered lost in woods, prone to the voice
Of winds and waters, partner of the sun's joy,
A listener to the universal speech:
My spirit satisfied within me knew
Godlike our birthright, luxuried our life
Whose close belongings are the earth and skies.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-32]
Before Fate led me into this emerald world,
Aroused by some foreshadowing touch within,
An early prescience in my mind approached
The great dumb animal consciousness of earth
Now grown so close to me who have left old pomps
To live in this grandiose murmur dim and vast.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-33]
Already I met her in my spirit's dream.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-34]
As if to a deeper country of the soul
Transposing the vivid imagery of earth,
Through an inner seeing and sense a wakening came.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-35]
A visioned spell pursued my boyhood's hours,
All things the eye had caught in coloured lines
Were seen anew through the interpreting mind
And in the shape it sought to seize the soul.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-36]
An early child-god took my hand that held,
Moved, guided by the seeking of his touch,
Bright forms and hues which fled across his sight;
Limned upon page and stone they spoke to men.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-37]
High beauty's visitants my intimates were.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-38]
The neighing pride of rapid life that roams
Wind-maned through our pastures, on my seeing mood
Cast shapes of swiftness; trooping spotted deer
Against the vesper sky became a song
Of evening to the silence of my soul.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-39]
I caught for some eternal eye the sudden
King-fisher flashing to a darkling pool;
A slow swan silvering the azure lake,
A shape of magic whiteness, sailed through dream;
Leaves trembling with the passion of the wind,
Pranked butterflies, the conscious flowers of air,
And wandering wings in blue infinity
Lived on the tablets of my inner sight;
Mountains and trees stood there like thoughts from God.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-40]
The brilliant long-bills in their vivid dress,
The peacock scattering on the breeze his moons
Painted my memory like a frescoed wall.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-41]
I carved my vision out of wood and stone;
I caught the echoes of a word supreme
And metred the rhythm-beats of infinity
And listened through music for the eternal Voice.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-42]
I felt a covert touch, I heard a call,
But could not clasp the body of my God
Or hold between my hands the World-Mother's feet.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-43]
In men I met strange portions of a Self
That sought for fragments and in fragments lived:
Each lived in himself and for himself alone
And with the rest joined only fleeting ties;
Each passioned over his surface joy and grief,
Nor saw the Eternal in his secret house.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-44]
I conversed with Nature, mused with the changeless stars,
God's watch-fires burning in the ignorant Night,
And saw upon her mighty visage fall
A ray prophetic of the Eternal's sun.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-45]
I sat with the forest sages in their trance:
There poured awakening streams of diamond light,
I glimpsed the presence of the One in all.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-46]
But still there lacked the last transcendent power
And Matter still slept empty of its Lord.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-47]
The Spirit was saved, the body lost and mute
Lived still with Death and ancient Ignorance;
The Inconscient was its base, the Void its fate.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-48]
But thou hast come and all will surely change:
I shall feel the World-Mother in thy golden limbs
And hear her wisdom in thy sacred voice.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-49]
The child of the Void shall be reborn in God,
My Matter shall evade the Inconscient's trance.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-50]
My body like my spirit shall be free.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-51]
It shall escape from Death and Ignorance.”
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-52]
And Savitri, musing still, replied to him:
“Speak more to me, speak more, O Satyavan,
Speak of thyself and all thou art within;
I would know thee as if we had ever lived
Together in the chamber of our souls.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-53]
Speak till a light shall come into my heart
And my moved mortal mind shall understand
What all the deathless being in me feels.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-54]
It knows that thou art he my spirit has sought
Amidst earth's thronging visages and forms
Across the golden spaces of my life.”
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-55]
And Satyavan like a replying harp
To the insistent calling of a flute
Answered her questioning and let stream to her
His heart in many-coloured waves of speech:
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-56]
“O golden princess, perfect Savitri,
More I would tell than failing words can speak,
Of all that thou hast meant to me, unknown,
All that the lightning-flash of love reveals
In one great hour of the unveiling gods.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-57]
Even a brief nearness has reshaped my life.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-58]
For now I know that all I lived and was
Moved towards this moment of my heart's rebirth;
I look back on the meaning of myself,
A soul made ready on earth's soil for thee.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-59]
Once were my days like days of other men:
To think and act was all, to enjoy and breathe;
This was the width and height of mortal hope:
Yet there came glimpses of a deeper self
That lives behind Life and makes her act its scene.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-60]
A truth was felt that screened its shape from mind,
A Greatness working towards a hidden end,
And vaguely through the forms of earth there looked
Something that life is not and yet must be.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-61]
I groped for the Mystery with the lantern, Thought.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-62]
Its glimmerings lighted with the abstract word
A half-visible ground and travelling yard by yard
It mapped a system of the Self and God.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-63]
I could not live the truth it spoke and thought.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-64]
I turned to seize its form in visible things,
Hoping to fix its rule by mortal mind,
Imposed a narrow structure of world-law
Upon the freedom of the Infinite,
A hard firm skeleton of outward Truth,
A mental scheme of a mechanic Power.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-65]
This light showed more the darknesses unsearched;
It made the original Secrecy more occult;
It could not analyse its cosmic Veil
Or glimpse the Wonder-worker's hidden hand
And trace the pattern of his magic plans.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-66]
I plunged into an inner seeing Mind
And knew the secret laws and sorceries
That make of Matter mind's bewildered slave:
The mystery was not solved but deepened more.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-67]
I strove to find its hints through Beauty and Art,
But Form cannot unveil the indwelling Power;
Only it throws its symbols at our hearts.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-68]
It evoked a mood of self, invoked a sign
Of all the brooding glory hidden in sense:
I lived in the ray but faced not to the sun.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-69]
I looked upon the world and missed the Self,
And when I found the Self, I lost the world,
My other selves I lost and the body of God,
The link of the finite with the Infinite,
The bridge between the appearance and the Truth,
The mystic aim for which the world was made,
The human sense of Immortality.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-70]
But now the gold link comes to me with thy feet
And His gold sun has shone on me from thy face.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-71]
For now another realm draws near with thee
And now diviner voices fill my ear,
A strange new world swims to me in thy gaze
Approaching like a star from unknown heavens;
A cry of spheres comes with thee and a song
Of flaming gods.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-72]
I draw a wealthier breath
And in a fierier march of moments move.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-73]
My mind transfigures to a rapturous seer.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-74]
A foam-leap travelling from the waves of bliss
Has changed my heart and changed the earth around:
All with thy coming fills.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-75]
Air, soil and stream
Wear bridal raiment to be fit for thee
And sunlight grows a shadow of thy hue
Because of change within me by thy look.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-76]
Come nearer to me from thy car of light
On this green sward disdaining not our soil.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-77]
For here are secret spaces made for thee
Whose caves of emerald long to screen thy form.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-78]
Wilt thou not make this mortal bliss thy sphere?
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-79]
Descend, O happiness, with thy moon-gold feet
Enrich earth's floors upon whose sleep we lie.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-80]
O my bright beauty's princess Savitri,
By my delight and thy own joy compelled
Enter my life, thy chamber and thy shrine.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-81]
In the great quietness where spirits meet,
Led by my hushed desire into my woods
Let the dim rustling arches over thee lean;
One with the breath of things eternal live,
Thy heart-beats near to mine, till there shall leap
Enchanted from the fragrance of the flowers
A moment which all murmurs shall recall
And every bird remember in its cry.”
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-01 F-82]
Play Section Two
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02]
Allured to her lashes by his passionate words
Her fathomless soul looked out at him from her eyes;
Passing her lips in liquid sounds it spoke.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-01]
This word alone she uttered and said all:
“O Satyavan, I have heard thee and I know;
I know that thou and only thou art he.”
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-02]
Then down she came from her high carven car
Descending with a soft and faltering haste;
Her many-hued raiment glistening in the light
Hovered a moment over the wind-stirred grass,
Mixed with a glimmer of her body's ray
Like lovely plumage of a settling bird.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-03]
Her gleaming feet upon the green-gold sward
Scattered a memory of wandering beams
And lightly pressed the unspoken desire of earth
Cherished in her too brief passing by the soil.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-04]
Then flitting like pale-brilliant moths her hands
Took from the sylvan verge's sunlit arms
A load of their jewel-faces' clustering swarms,
Companions of the spring-time and the breeze.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-05]
A candid garland set with simple forms
Her rapid fingers taught a flower song,
The stanzaed movement of a marriage hymn.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-06]
Profound in perfume and immersed in hue
They mixed their yearning's coloured signs and made
The bloom of their purity and passion one.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-07]
A sacrament of joy in treasuring palms
She brought, flower-symbol of her offered life,
Then with raised hands that trembled a little now
At the very closeness that her soul desired,
This bond of sweetness, their bright union's sign,
She laid on the bosom coveted by her love.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-08]
As if inclined before some gracious god
Who has out of his mist of greatness shone
To fill with beauty his adorer's hours,
She bowed and touched his feet with worshipping hands;
She made her life his world for him to tread
And made her body the room of his delight,
Her beating heart a remembrancer of bliss.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-09]
He bent to her and took into his own
Their married yearning joined like folded hopes;
As if a whole rich world suddenly possessed,
Wedded to all he had been, became himself,
An inexhaustible joy made his alone,
He gathered all Savitri into his clasp.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-10]
Around her his embrace became the sign
Of a locked closeness through slow intimate years,
A first sweet summary of delight to come,
One brevity intense of all long life.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-11]
In a wide moment of two souls that meet
She felt her being flow into him as in waves
A river pours into a mighty sea.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-12]
As when a soul is merging into God
To live in Him for ever and know His joy,
Her consciousness grew aware of him alone
And all her separate self was lost in his.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-13]
As a starry heaven encircles happy earth,
He shut her into himself in a circle of bliss
And shut the world into himself and her.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-14]
A boundless isolation made them one;
He was aware of her enveloping him
And let her penetrate his very soul
As is a world by the world's spirit filled,
As the mortal wakes into Eternity,
As the finite opens to the Infinite.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-15]
Thus were they in each other lost awhile,
Then drawing back from their long ecstasy's trance
Came into a new self and a new world.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-16]
Each now was a part of the other's unity,
The world was but their twin self-finding's scene
Or their own wedded being's vaster frame.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-17]
On the high glowing cupola of the day
Fate tied a knot with morning's halo threads
While by the ministry of an auspice-hour
Heart-bound before the sun, their marriage fire,
The wedding of the eternal Lord and Spouse
Took place again on earth in human forms:
In a new act of the drama of the world
The united Two began a greater age.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-18]
In the silence and murmur of that emerald world
And the mutter of the priest-wind's sacred verse,
Amid the choral whispering of the leaves
Love's twain had joined together and grew one.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-19]
The natural miracle was wrought once more:
In the immutable ideal world
One human moment was eternal made.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-02 F-20]
Play Section Three
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03]
Then down the narrow path where their lives had met
He led and showed to her her future world,
Love's refuge and corner of happy solitude.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-01]
At the path's end through a green cleft in the trees
She saw a clustering line of hermit-roofs
And looked now first on her heart's future home,
The thatch that covered the life of Satyavan.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-02]
Adorned with creepers and red climbing flowers
It seemed a sylvan beauty in her dreams
Slumbering with brown body and tumbled hair
In her chamber inviolate of emerald peace.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-03]
Around it stretched the forest's anchorite mood
Lost in the depths of its own solitude.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-04]
Then moved by the deep joy she could not speak,
A little depth of it quivering in her words,
Her happy voice cried out to Satyavan:
“My heart will stay here on this forest verge
And close to this thatched roof while I am far:
Now of more wandering it has no need.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-05]
But I must haste back to my father's house
Which soon will lose one loved accustomed tread
And listen in vain for a once cherished voice.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-06]
For soon I shall return nor ever again
Oneness must sever its recovered bliss
Or fate sunder our lives while life is ours.”
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-07]
Once more she mounted on the carven car
And under the ardour of a fiery noon
Less bright than the splendour of her thoughts and dreams
She sped swift-reined, swift-hearted but still saw
In still lucidities of sight's inner world
Through the cool-scented wood's luxurious gloom
On shadowy paths between great rugged trunks
Pace towards a tranquil clearing Satyavan.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-08]
A nave of trees enshrined the hermit thatch,
The new deep covert of her felicity,
Preferred to heaven her soul's temple and home.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-09]
This now remained with her, her heart's constant scene.
[Savitri B-05 C-03 S-03 F-10]
Book Five Canto Three End
Satyavan and Savitri
[Savitri B-05 C-03 Canto End]
Book Five End
The Book of Love
[Savitri B-05 Book End]