Book Nine

Savitri In-Between

Book Nine: The Book of Eternal Night

Canto I: Towards the Black Void

The moments on great wings of lightning come

A starry fragment of the eternal Truth

A halo of Widsom’s lightnings for its crown
It entered the mystic lotus in her head
A thousand-petalled home of power and light

Making life’s sea a mirror of heaven’s sky

Then like a tree recovering from a wind
She raised her noble head …

Something stood there, unearthly, sombre, grand
A limitless denial of all being
That wore the terror and wonder of a shape

His shape was nothingness made real, his limbs
Were monuments of transience and beneath
Brows of unwearying calm large godlike lids
Silent beheld the writhing serpent, life

Entomb thy passion in its living grave

She rose and stood gathered in lonely strength
Like one who drops his mantle for a race
And waits the signal, motionlessly swift

… as leans
Night over tired lands when evening pales
And fading gleams break down the horizon’s walls
Nor yet the dusk grows mystic with the moon

In dream-built fields a shadowy herdsman glides
Behind some wanderer from his voiceless herds

… all the murmurous beauty of the leaves
Rippled around her like an emerald robe

The wild bird’s voice and its winged rustle came
As if a sigh from some forgotten world

A fierce she-eagle …
Borne on a rush of puissance and a cry
Outwinging like a mass of golden fire

She crossed the borders of dividing sense

… out of the engulfing sea of trance
Her mind rose drenched to light streaming with hues

Weird ran the road which like fear hastening
Towards that of which it has most terror …

Enigma of the Inconscient’s sculptural sleep

Impermanent creatures, sorrowful foam of Time
Your transient loves bind not the eternal gods

Still like a statue on its pedestal
Lone in the silence and to vastness bared
Against midnight’s dumb abysses piled in front
A columned shaft of fire and light she rose

Canto II: The Journey in Eternal Night and the Voice of Darkness

Gathering its hungry strength the huge pitiless void
Surrounded slowly with its soundless depths
And monstrous, cavernous, a shapeless throat
Devoured her into its shadowy strangling mass
The fierce spiritual agony of a dream

A curtain of impenetrable dread
The darkness hung around her cage of sense
As when the trees have turned to blotted shades
And the last friendly glimmer fades away
Around a bullock in the forest tied

Long hours, since long it seems when sluggish time
Is measured by the throbs of the soul’s pain
In an unreal darkness empty and drear
She travelled treading on the corpse of life
Lost in a blindness of extinguished souls

It wandered like a lost ray of the moon
Revealing to the night her soul of dread
Serpentine in the gleam the darkness lolled
Its black hoods jewelled with the mystic glow
Its dull sleek folds shrank back and coiled and slid
As though they felt all light a cruel pain
And suffered from the pale approach of hope

Then a sound pealed through that dead monstrous realm
Vast like the surge in a tired swimmer’s ears
Clamouring, a fatal iron-hearted roar
Death missioned to the night his lethal call

A fragile miracle of thinking clay
Armed with illusions walks the child of Time

… death prowls baying through the woods of life

He offers in implacable shrines his soul
And clothes all with the beauty of his dreams

He is the cattle of the shepherd gods
His body the tether with which he is tied
They cast for fodder grief and hope and joy
His pasture ground they have fenced with Ignorance

My unwept tears have turned to pearls of strength

As when the storm-haired Titan-striding sea
Throws on a swimmer its tremendous laugh
Remembering all the joy its waves had drowned
So from the darkness of the sovereign night
Against the Woman’s boundless heart arose
The almighty cry of universal Death

Mortal, whose spirit is my wandering breath
Whose transience was imagined by my smile

Who is this God imagined by thy night
Contemptuously creating worlds disdained
Who made for vanity the brilliant stars?
Not he who has reared his temple in my thoughts
And made his sacred floor my human heart
My God is Will and triumphs in his paths
My God is Love and sweetly suffers all
To him I have offered hope for sacrifice
And gave my longings as a sacrament
Who shall prohibit or hedge in his course
The wonderful, the charioteer, the swift?

Love’s golden wings have power to fan thy void
The eyes of love gaze starlike through death’s night
The feet of love tread naked hardest worlds

The brilliant idol of a fugitive hour

A thin dance of fireflies speeding through the night
A sparkling ferment in life’s sunlit mire

I only am eternal and endure
I am the shapeless formidable Vast
I am the emptiness that men call Space
I am a timeless Nothingness carrying all
I am the Illimitable, the mute Alone
I, Death, am He; there is no other God

His body I made my banquet, his life my food

… Death in thee dreaming of eternity

I am the Immobile in which all things move

One endless watches the inconscient scene
Where all things perish, as the foam the stars
The One lives for ever …

O Death, who reasonest, I reason not
Reason that scans and breaks, but cannot build
Or builds in vain because she doubts her work
I am, I love, I see, I act, I will

He stood in silence and in darkness wrapped
A figure motionless, a shadow vague
Girt with the terrors of his secret sword
Half-seen in clouds appeared a sombre face
Night’s dusk tiara was his matted hair
The ashes of the pyre his forehead’s sign

Book Ten


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