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At the Feet of The Mother

The Queen Laments, pp. 428-429

Opening Remarks
The queen has sensed that all is not well with the future of Savitri. She begins to lament and complain about the ways of destiny.

Perils of Time
Here dreadfully entangled love and hate
Meet us blind wanderers mid the perils of Time.

Here upon earth, love and hate are dreadfully entangled and we meet them blindly as we wander through a perilous journey.

Links of a disastrous chain
Our days are links of a disastrous chain,
Necessity avenges casual steps;
Old cruelties come back unrecognised,
The gods make use of our forgotten deeds.

All our life and its days are links of a disastrous chain of necessity and karma that answer even to our casual steps. Our old cruelties return and the gods remember our forgotten deeds that catch us unaware as part of the karmic law.

All in vain
Yet all in vain the bitter law was made.

Yet the karmic law seems to be all in vain, the queen laments.

Justicers of doom
Our own minds are the justicers of doom.

Our own mind renders justice by calling doom upon ourselves.

Nothing have we learned
For nothing have we learned, but still repeat
Our stark misuse of self and others’ souls.

For we learn nothing and continue misusing our own and others’ soul.

Dire alchemies
There are dire alchemies of the human heart
And fallen from his ethereal element
Love darkens to the spirit of nether gods.

The human heart mixes dire things and love, fallen from its ethereal element becomes itself driven by dark inferior nether forces.

Dreadful angel
The dreadful angel, angry with his joys
Woundingly sweet he cannot yet forego,
Is pitiless to the soul his gaze disarmed,
He visits with his own pangs his quivering prey
Forcing us to cling enamoured to his grip
As if in love with our own agony.

Fallen from its heights and turning a dreadful angel that clings to sweetnesses that hurt holds us captive to our own agony as if we loved it. Its gaze is pitiless to the soul disarmed by its gaze.

Other lassoes
This is one poignant misery in the world,
And grief has other lassoes for our life.

This of course is just one source of our misery; there are many other ropes that tie us to grief.

Our sympathies
Our sympathies become our torturers.

Our very sympathies become the cause of our torture.

Other suffering eyes
Strength have I my own punishment to bear,
Knowing it just, but on this earth perplexed,
Smitten in the sorrow of scourged and helpless things,
Often it faints to meet other suffering eyes.

The queen observes with some anguish mixed with a touch of pity that while she can bear her own punishment given by fate accepting as justice but she feels pity to see the suffering in others and feels the sorrow of helpless creatures upon this earth.

We are not as gods
We are not as the gods who know not grief
And look impassive on a suffering world,
Calm they gaze down on the little human scene
And the short-lived passion crossing mortal hearts.

She admits that we humans are not as the gods who know not grief and watch the little earthly play impassive and calm and the short lived passion that touches the human heart.

We share the miseries
An ancient tale of woe can move us still,
We keep the ache of breasts that breathe no more,
We are shaken by the sight of human pain,
And share the miseries that others feel.

The human heart can be moved even by an ancient tale of suffering. And we still keep the ache of those who have passed away to the beyond. Shaken by the sight of human pain we share the misery of others.

Not the passionless lids
Ours not the passionless lids that cannot age.

Our eyes are not passionless and bear the strokes of age that comes through hard experience.

Too hard for us
Too hard for us is heaven’s indifference:
Our own tragedies are not enough for us,
All pathos and all sufferings we make ours;
We have sorrow for a greatness passed away
And feel the touch of tears in mortal things.

She exclaims that heaven’s indifference is too hard for the mortals to bear. Our own tragedies are not enough and we tend to make all pathos and suffering as our own. We feel the sorrow of greatness that has passed away and feel the touch of tears in mortal things.

Well-loved child
Even a stranger’s anguish rends my heart,
And this, O Narad, is my well-loved child.

The queen explains that she is moved even by a stranger’s anguish and here it is her own well-loved child who is caught under the wheel of fate.

Hide not
Hide not from us our doom, if doom is ours.

Therefore she requests Narad to hide not what he has seen, even if doom be written for the future of Savitri.

The anguish of the unseen
This is the worst, an unknown face of Fate,
A terror ominous, mute, felt more than seen
Behind our seat by day, our couch by night,
A Fate lurking in the shadow of our hearts,
The anguish of the unseen that waits to strike.

She further shares her feeling that it is worst to stare at the face of an unknown fate that lurks like an ominous shadow all the time, unseen yet felt. This anticipation and anguish of the unseen waiting to strike is worst that knowing a certain adversity.

To know is best
To know is best, however hard to bear.”

The Queen closes by saying that it is best to know however hard it may be to bear.

Closing Remarks
Thus closes the queen’s sad reflections upon life and fate and her entreaty to Narad to reveal what he has foreseen even it be doom.

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