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At the Feet of The Mother

The Queen Persuades, pp. 432-433

Opening Remarks
The queen now distressed by her daughter’s adamant choice tries to persuade her to change her choice.

Self-chosen doom
But in the queen’s mind listening her words
Rang like the voice of a self-chosen Doom
Denying every issue of escape.

The queen heard her daughter Savitri whose words felt like a self-chosen doom closing every door of escape.

Eternity to a mortal hope
To her own despair answer the mother made;
As one she cried who in her heavy heart
Labours amid the sobbing of her hopes
To wake a note of help from sadder strings:
“O child, in the magnificence of thy soul
Dwelling on the border of a greater world
And dazzled by thy superhuman thoughts,
Thou lendst eternity to a mortal hope.

The queen and mother then made a desperate attempt to dissuade Savitri. She cried out her heart through the words as if lending speech to lost hopes so as to change her daughter through the sob and tears. She started by saying that her daughter is adamant in the magnificence of her soul t dwells in a greater world dazzled by superhuman thoughts that lend eternity to a mortal hope.

Who is the lover and friend
Here on this mutable and ignorant earth
Who is the lover and who is the friend?

The queen reminds Savitri that on this ever changing ignorant earth who is the lover and permanent friend.

All passes here
All passes here, nothing remains the same.

Everything is ever changing here and nothing remains ever the same.

None is for any
None is for any on this transient globe.

None is really for anyone on this transient globe where nothing is permanent.

He whom thou lovest
He whom thou lovest now, a stranger came
And into a far strangeness shall depart:
His moment’s part once done upon life’s stage
Which for a time was given him from within,
To other scenes he moves and other players
And laughs and weeps mid faces new, unknown.

The queen reminds Savitri that the man she loves is a stranger and shall soon depart into a stranger land after death. Once he has done his part upon life’s stage which was given to him for a moment, he will move on to other scenes and roles and laugh and weep with other new and unknown faces in lives yet to come.

The body’s end
The body thou hast loved is cast away
Amidst the brute unchanging stuff of worlds
To indifferent mighty Nature and becomes
Crude matter for the joy of others’ lives.

The body we love is left behind. It dissolves in the general mass of matter, disintegrating and becoming food for other lives. Such is the truth of Nature’s mighty indifferent workings.

The soul’s journey
But for our souls, upon the wheel of God
For ever turning, they arrive and go,
Married and sundered in the magic round
Of the great Dancer of the boundless dance.

As to the soul it keeps journeying upon the wheel of God arriving and departing from the earthly scene, joining and separating in the rounds of boundless dance of the great eternal Dancer.

Emotions are high and dying notes
Our emotions are but high and dying notes
Of his wild music changed compellingly
By the passionate movements of a seeking Heart
In the inconstant links of hour with hour.

Our emotions are high and dying notes changed compellingly as the tune of the wild music changes by the passionate surges of the seeking Heart of Love moving through changing links.

Baffling symbols
To call down heaven’s distant answering song,
To cry to an unseized bliss is all we dare;
Once seized, we lose the heavenly music’s sense;
Too near, the rhythmic cry has fled or failed;
All sweetnesses are baffling symbols here.

At best we can only call the far off heaven’s distant answering songs or dare to cry for a bliss that is ever unseized. Once seized we lose its heavenly sense. The rhythmic cry drew too near but failed or fled. All sweetness is a baffling symbol and sign as to what it represents.

Love dies
Love dies before the lover in our breast:
Our joys are perfumes in a brittle vase.

Love dies while the lover is still alive. Our joys are perfumes in a brittle vase and soon evaporate.

Hurricane desire
O then what wreck is this upon Time’s sea
To spread life’s sails to the hurricane desire
And call for pilot the unseeing heart!

Therefore to be moved by the hurricane of desire upon Time’s sea piloted by an unseeing heart is to move towards wreck.

Rash Titan’s mood
O child, wilt thou proclaim, wilt thou then follow
Against the Law that is the eternal will
The autarchy of the rash Titan’s mood
To whom his own fierce will is the one law
In a world where Truth is not, nor Light nor God?

Having given these examples the queen asks Savitri if she will still follow the titan’s mood and rebel against the Law that is the will of God. The titan thinks his will is the sole arbiter in the world where Truth and Light are not. Will Savitri follow this road of self-will, the queen asks.

Closing Remarks
Thus we see the queen trying her utmost to dissuade Savitri quoting from the old traditional understanding of life as it has so far been.

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