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At the Feet of The Mother

Death Disdains Love, pp. 608-609 (SH 298)

Savitri Class in Hindi with Alok Pandey
Book Ten: The Book of the Double Twilight, Canto One: The Dream Twilight of the Ideal, Canto Two: The Gospel of Death and Vanity of the Ideal

Death now disdains love. It looks upon it with scorn and suspicion. Love is, for Death, an abnormality and an aberration. It is an ideal painted by human imagination with nothing substantial in it, says Death.

This angel in thy body thou callst love,
Who shapes his wings from thy emotion’s hues,
In a ferment of thy body has been born
And with the body that housed it it must die.

It is a passion of thy yearning cells,
It is flesh that calls to flesh to serve its lust;
It is thy mind that seeks an answering mind
And dreams awhile that it has found its mate;
It is thy life that asks a human prop
To uphold its weakness lonely in the world
Or feeds its hunger on another’s life.

A beast of prey that pauses in its prowl,
It crouches under a bush in splendid flower
To seize a heart and body for its food:
This beast thou dreamst immortal and a god.

O human mind, vainly thou torturest
An hour’s delight to stretch through infinity’s
Long void and fill its formless, passionless gulfs,
Persuading the insensible Abyss
To lend eternity to perishing things,
And trickst the fragile movements of thy heart
With thy spirit’s feint of immortality.

All here emerges born from Nothingness;
Encircled it lasts by the emptiness of Space,
Awhile upheld by an unknowing Force,
Then crumbles back into its parent Nought:
Only the mute Alone can for ever be.

In the Alone there is no room for love.
In vain to clothe love’s perishable mud
Thou hast woven on the Immortals’ borrowed loom
The ideal’s gorgeous and unfading robe.
The ideal never yet was real made.
Imprisoned in form that glory cannot live;
Into a body shut it breathes no more.

Intangible, remote, for ever pure,
A sovereign of its own brilliant void,
Unwillingly it descends to earthly air
To inhabit a white temple in man’s heart:
In his heart it shines rejected by his life.

Immutable, bodiless, beautiful, grand and dumb,
Immobile on its shining throne it sits;
Dumb it receives his offering and his prayer.
It has no voice to answer to his call,
No feet that move, no hands to take his gifts:
Aerial statue of the nude Idea,
Virgin conception of a bodiless god,
Its light stirs man the thinker to create
An earthly semblance of diviner things.
Its hued reflection falls upon man’s acts;
His institutions are its cenotaphs,
He signs his dead conventions with its name;
His virtues don the Ideal’s skiey robe
And a nimbus of the outline of its face:
He hides their littleness with the divine Name.

Yet insufficient is the bright pretence
To screen their indigent and earthy make:
Earth only is there and not some heavenly source.

[Savitri: 608 – 609]

(line breaks added to emphasize separate movements)

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