Sri Aurobindo: Two Sonnets

                          In the Battle

Often, in the slow ages long retreat

On Life’s thin ridge through Time’s enormous sea,

I have accepted death and borne defeat

To gain some vantage by my fall for Thee.

For Thou has given the Inconscient the dark right

To oppose the shining passage of my soul

And levy at each step the tax of night:

Doom, her august accountant, keeps the roll.

All around me now the Titan forces press;

This world is theirs, they hold its days in fee;

I am full of wounds and the fight merciless.

Is it not Thy hour victory?

Even as Thou wilt!  What still to Fate Thou owest,

O Ancient of the worlds, Thou knowest, Thou knowest.


The Iron Dictators

I looked for Thee alone, but met my glance

The iron dreadful Four who rule our breath,

Masters of falsehood, Kings of ignorance,

High sovereign Lords of suffering and death.

Whence came these formidable autarchies,

From what inconscient blind infinity, –

Cold propagandists of a million lies,

Dictators of a world of agony?

Or was it Thou who bor’st the fourfold mask?

Enveloping Thy timeless heart in Time,

Thou has bound the spirit to its cosmic task,

To find Thee veiled in this tremendous mime.

Thou, only Thou canst raise the invincible seige,

O Light, O deathless Joy, O rapturous Peace!



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