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Title: Sandhya - Songs of Twilight
Author: Mukerji, Dhan Gopal, 1890-1936
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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SANDHYA

Songs of Twilight

by

DHAN GOPAL MUKERJI

Author of "Layla-Majnu"
and "Rajani"



Nineteen Seventeen
Paul Elder and Company
San Francisco

Copyright, 1917
by Paul Elder and Company
San Francisco



TO

MRS. HANCOCK BANNING

MRS. WILLIAM CLARK, JR.



_FOREWORD_


_Like "Rajani" [perhaps more than], "Sandhya" is a slender rill that
has drawn its music from my Bengali which has told upon its English
structure. This and many other faults of these poems are due to their
unyielding adherence to spontaneity._

_"Sandhya" came then, as "Rajani" in its own way through the bed of my
Bengali reflecting its sound and sense, and trying to echo back its
music that descends on all with the fading twilight._

DHAN GOPAL MUKERJI.

_N. B._--_Since some of these poems were born without, and defy
titles, I have refrained from forcing any on them._



CONTENTS

                                                                   POEM
SYMBOLISM                                                            1
SOURCE OF SINGING                                                    2
"WITH PURPLE SHADOWS THE MIST MEASURES THE INFINITE SEA"             3
"O, OLD! O, NEW!"                                                    4
"THE FAR AWAY CALLED HER"                                            5
LASSITUDE                                                            6
"AH! PALE, COOL LIPS THAT BURN"                                      7
FORLORN                                                              8
AFTER A BENGALI SONG                                                 9
MOONRISE                                                            10
AT VENTURA, CALIFORNIA                                              11
"THE SAME AIR THAT YOU BREATHE"                                     12
"WHY THIS RETURN?"                                                  13
"BY THE VERGE OF THE WOODLAND"                                      14
THE DREAM OF HIS SOUL                                               15
THE EURASIAN                                                        16
"IN THE PERFUMED SHRINE OF LOVE"                                    17
THE INFIRM BEGGAR SINGS                                             18
"KISS, MY LOVE, KISS"                                               19
COLOR-HARMONIES                                                     20
SANATAN (THE ABSOLUTE)                                              21
COMING OF THE FOG                                                   22
"IN LOVE'S AFTERGLOW, FULL OF STARS"                                23
THE END                                                             24
THE CONFLUENCE                                                      25
"IN THE DEEPS OF DREAM"                                             26
TO LEO B. MIHAN                                                     27
CHOPIN'S FUNERAL MARCH                                              28
"IN THE GOLDEN AFTERGLOW YOU LAY"                                   29
HENRIK IBSEN                                                        30
AFTER HEARING "MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME"                                31
THE COMING OF THE TIDE OF NIGHT                                     32
DEAD LOVE                                                           33
"IT IS THE SAME TWILIGHT, DEAR"                                     34
WEARINESS                                                           35
"A CALL, NOT A SONG"                                                36
REMORSE                                                             37
POET                                                                38
WANDERER                                                            39
AT DAWN                                                             40
"FROM HER MANY-COLORED BOW, NATURE"                                 41
"IF WORDS FAIL, SONG WILL COME"                                     42
RAINY NIGHT                                                         43
GHOSTS                                                              44
RAIN                                                                45
EVENING WORSHIP                                                     46
"THE ROSY MIST STILLY POLISHES THE ROUND MIRROR"                    47
"THE SUN'S GOLDEN SPEAR"                                            48
TRUCE                                                               49
A PARALLEL                                                          50
"'NOTHING ENDURES,' YOU SAID"                                       51
DISAPPOINTMENT                                                      52
BUDDHA                                                              53
"ASK ME NOT TO STAND AT THY FRIENDSHIP'S GATE"                      54
"GOLDEN VINES THEY"                                                 55
AT SUNDOWN                                                          56
"TEARS WELL OUT FROM MY HEART"                                      57
"AT LAST THOU COMEST"                                               58
"THE LINGERING LIGHT OF THE SUN"                                    59
"I HAVE DRUNK YOUR TEARS WITH INSATIATE LIPS"                       60
SOUND BUTTERFLIES (IN A FOUNTAIN)                                   61
"EVEN IN SADNESS THOU ART BESIDE ME"                                62
"BY THE SEA OF SLEEP WALKS WHITE-ROBED NIGHT"                       63
FAREWELL (AFTER A HINDUSTANI SONG)                                  64
SATIETY                                                             65
"DROWSY THE NOONDAY AIR"                                            66
CHATTERTON                                                          67
"A SUMMER SONG IT WAS"                                              68
"WHO KNOWS"                                                         69
THE FIRST VISION                                                    70
SHANTI                                                              71



SANDHYA, SONGS OF TWILIGHT

I

SYMBOLISM


    Tongueless the bell!
    Lute without a song!
    It is not night
    It is God's dawn,
    Silence its unending song.

    Over heart's valley,
    In the soul's night,
    Through pain's window
    Behold! His light!
    On Life's Height.

    No prayer, now,
    Though death-waves roll,
    Faith's candle lit,
    Beside it sits the soul
    Reading Eternity's scroll.



2

SOURCE OF SINGING


    A bruised heart,
    A wounded soul,

    A broken lute,
    That is all!

    A sad evening,
    And a lone star,

    Then song reddens--
    Sets life's forest afire!



3


    With purple shadows the mist measures the infinite sea
    That spreads her wave-raiment in lavender, violet, gray, and green;
    While with thin silver rays a lone star seeks to sound the deeps.

    The breeze-wings tire of flight;
    The mist-threads weave a rose-fringed dusky drapery
    To cover the bare breasts of the dunes from the moon's langour-heavy
      eyes.

    The shadows die in purple silence;
    Fades the one star from the sky,
    As the dark mist puts out the rose-red moon from its deep.

    Pale gleams the lighthouse light;
    No warring waves break the peace of sleep tonight
    Nor a hungry wind shrieks in pain from the lea.

    Under her heavy veil of black
    A languid sea sluggishly flows
    To some far land of forsaken dreams.



4

"O, OLD! O, NEW!"[1]


    Who are you?
    Why make me wait
    From the hour of dew
    Till another sunset?
    Why do I look
    For your coming?
    Listen to the weeping brook
    That might bring
    To my lonely shore
    A word from you.
    Ah, nothing! not a leaf's tremor!
    O, old! O, longed for new!
    Who are you? I ask;
    Know not why I seek
    From day to dusk
    Without waking or sleep,--
    No sleep! no waking!
    A dreaming, a longing;
    Not knowing, yet seeking,
    For your coming waiting--
    O, spring-born!
    O, autumn-clad!
    O, soul's new morn!
    O, old! O, glad!
    So glad, so young!
    O, unseen, unknown,
    O, fugitive vision!
    O, eternal moan
    In my heart--

    O, tearful Soul of laughter,
    Untouched, unhurt,
    O, sweet! O, bitter!
    My born yet unborn,
    Shadow not fallen
    O, undawning morn--
    O, message unbroken.
    Why, how, when?
    I wait, wait for you,
    O embrace of earth and heaven;
    O, Old! O, New!


[Footnote 1: "O, Old! O, New!" is the cry of a "Poáti," _e. g._, a
mother's cry to her unborn child. "Poáti" has no precise English
synonym.]



5


    The far away called her--
    A pilgrim on the hope-lit bark of youth,
    A woman, a child, a soul
    On an argosy for the lands of south.

    It called her in her dreams;
    Her waking into a deeper dream grew;
    The flute of the distant
    Played ceaselessly the music of the new.

    With words of fire it called her,
    Beyond the bourne of her days
    To a silent sea of joy
    Washed by unending twilight-rays.

    It called her at dawn
    When night shed the star-jewels from her hair;
    It called her at sunset
    When the moon mutely ascended the heaven's stair.

    It called her without ceasing--
    Hour after hour but a calling,
    Till "Come, come, come!"
    At her soul's door kept repeating:

    Come, come, come!--in
    Her word, her music, her song;
    Far away, near, far again
    Heedless of nightfall and dawn.

    It called, it cried, it prayed,
    Till She, the deity, made answer
    Through youth, through age, through death
    To her own far away's receding star.



6

LASSITUDE


    Ah! to be able to sing,
    To sorrow in melody;
    To string with silver
    Sorrow's dark harp!

    Or, mount every thorn
    Crowning life's brow
    With lustrous stars--
    Those tears of the sky.

    Rolling down its face
    When night's hand puts
    Darkness's crown on its head
    As twilight dies.

    None of these, for my soul;
    Only to weep is given to me,
    To nourish my heart's crop
    For the scythe of barrenness to reap.



7


    Ah! pale cool lips that burn,
    Body that yields, though unyielding,
    Oh, moon with the heat of the sun!
    Flashing out a million lights
    To cleave into nothing the endless firmament of my being.
    Take all; my soul's mistress! heart's queen,
    The flaming fancies of my dream-tortured night
    The intoxicating fruits of my day dream,
    The fiery lotus of my senses' delight
    That rises from the abyss of my life.
    The abysmal heaven of love and living
    Now bruised, burnt, torn and thrown
    To the winds of thy ravishing rejoicing
    Whose inarticulate words of delight and moan
    Make the ever-yielding music of my soul.



8

FORLORN


    In the star-blurred hours of the night
    When the cloud-dams stay the flow of winds,
    Not even the shadow of a meteor moves,
    As in the watch-tower of love I sit;
    Through the casement of hope look for thy coming
    Along the moss-grown path of stones--
    Those agonies that time has built on my soul--
    By the unfathomable lake of my tears
    Shed when even prayers had failed
    To bring thy returning.
    Come, destroyer of my peace and sleep,
    Plunderer of lights of my days!
    Enigma on the scroll of my fate
    Before the lightnings fired my tower
    And thunders crashed in my life's sky.
    Only send the echo of thy footfalls--
    The ring of thy song,
    And a star--reflection of thy smile--
    Those million suns in the firmament of my dawn.



9

AFTER A BENGALI SONG


    In the forest of my being the voice of your lute;
    In the depth of my heart the pearl of your tear;
    In the temple of my soul chimes the bell of your love.

    The fire of dawn, shadow of eve,
    Life's sorrow, and death's mute-enchanting peace
    Steal away silently, fearfully, at thy flute's music.

    O, frail, faint call which I seek to echo!
    O, breath of love laden with the aroma of my soul!
    Why seek I ever without, O guest at my door?



10

MOONRISE


    A soft light mantle of rose wear the brown hills
    As they look down on the valley where the rills
    Spin their long silver embroideries
    For the fringe of spring's greenéd draperies.

    The cloud-banks recede with the fading breeze,
    The warblers fall into silence in the trees
    To listen to many-colored dream-melodies
    That the mute stars make on sleep's endless seas.

    The last light flickers out of the sky,
    Shadows with golden feet o'er the green valley hie;
    The silver rills trill like warblers from earth's deeps
    As the moon, the sun of another dawn, heavenward leaps.



11

AT VENTURA, CALIFORNIA


    The moon rises and washes the brine with silver;
    The dunes like white elephants restfully asleep after the chase;
    And the fog comes to bring the moon its veil of shades.
    The waves stretch their phosphorescent arms
    To embrace the night,
    The wind like a wounded gull beats its wings
    Over the land, over the sea, into the fog-vested intangibility.

    Like a thousand trumpets the breakers
    Proclaim the empiry of night,
    The rocky caverns send back echoes
    Like homage from vassals near and far;
    A faint cry seemeth to flash like lightning;
    Through the clouds of the roar of waves:
    It is not from the rocks, nor from the sea;
    Ah! it is the prayer of a mightier ocean--Humanity!



12


    The same air that you breathe
    Is the air that caresses my sky;
    The sunlight that lingers on your hair and lips
    Sets fire to the pathway of my life;
    And the call of nature's numberless birds
    But reflects in world's mirror the music of our heart's singing--
    Melody made of sweet agonies,
    Exquisite joys poured from pitchers of pain,
    As this summer's heat
    From the ever-burning heart of heaven.
    Not heaven alone;
    The earth, the air, flowers, and leaves
    Filled with passion that knows no slaking,
    Yet tranquil like sleep's dream-billowed sea.
    More than dream-billowed sea this love that I bring,
    Its boistrous waves seek the firmament of your yielding;
    While your heart-beats' arrows seek to slay my heart a'beating,
    As I inhale the fragrance of your breath and hair;
    And pour the perfume of my soul
    On your sun-bathed feet.



13


    Why this return?
    Why this sunlight
    When all seemed without sun?

    Whence this call?
    I cannot tell,
    Yet its mighty thralls.

    Hold me, haunt me
    Hour after hour,
    With its name of thee.

    All seems ended,
    The last light lost
    In the house of the dead.

    Yet with time's tide
    Rises thy face,
    My heart, my soul, my bride.

    Though poureth the rain,
    And sorrow clouds my sky,
    Yet not mine the pain.

    What I hear
    I can not tell,
    And what I fear,

    Will not endure:
    But thou returnest,
    O serene, O silent, O pure!



14


    By the verge of the woodland,
    Where purling brooks loosen their brown tresses,
    Where the music of the breeze
    Is played on viols of the vines and trees,
    Thy soft words I hear
    Like songs from enchantment's strings.
    Ah, vanishing moments of ecstacy!
    Far-fleeing only to be nearer to my soul,
    Rest, rest awhile on the hillside of my echoing!
    Pour on it the sweet rain of thy words' melody
    Till they mingle and drown my tears
    Into thy kisses' passion-swept sea.



15

THE DREAM OF HIS SOUL


    The Dream of his Soul, in flesh and blood--
    Not to possess, but only to see--
    Was given him, for an hour:
    Ah, fool, he lingered longer,--
    The Dream died like the shadow of a Star!



16

THE EURASIAN


    Indignity your part today,
    Suffering the guerdon of the gods;
    No country to claim your own,
    Nowhere to lay your head.
    The ocean of ignorance separates us;
    The snow-storm of commerce blinds the eye;
    Yet you must stand true,
    Bridge of blood and flesh between the West and East.
    In ages to come, when
    Man will love his brother,
    Irrespective of birth and breed;
    In the pantheon of the future, yours the immortal seat.
    Son of man, you are brother!
    Bearer of the cross of God!
    Your destiny the lodestar of our epoch,
    Your life our rood-littered road of the Lord.
    Arise, awake, halt not
    Till the goal is reached;
    Raise high the Host of freedom
    Blare the trumpet of light.
    "Suffer you, for the world to rejoice";
    "Die" so they "can live";
    Live that you may bring the light
    To the meeting place of the West and East.



17


    In the perfumed shrine of love,
    Where burns memory's exhaustless incense
    From the irridescent thurible of hope,
    On the altar and couch of my heart
    Rest thy limbs, O, god of my soul.
    Drink of the unquenchable draught of caresses;
    Tear the flowers of my dreams and fancies;
    Scatter the sacred petals of my passion
    To the four winds of thy rejoicing.

    Thy rejoicing, that one festival of the High Gods,
    Where no offering that I bring ever be too dear,
    Where no soul burnt in the fire of senses can perish;
    Where no suffering fails to be mother and daughter of joy.
    Take all, great God among these Gods:
    The pearl of my woman-soul buried in deeps of passion,
    The coral-wreath from the ocean of my bleeding heart;
    And ravish with exquisite merciless touch
    The one star in my heaven that has led thee hither--
    My life's eternity in this worship of an hour.



18

THE INFIRM BEGGAR SINGS


    Broken and bruised by the hand of Fate,
      Dark night, my staff,
    Leaning on its shadowy strength I walk
      Toward thee, my God.
    Thy crescent my e'er-present friend;
      Thy wind, thy voice,
    Calls me to go on without end
      To thy star that my soul hath seen.
    The hour is black, my road unbuilt;
      My beggar's song
    I cannot sing; yet, thou knowest,
      For thy love I long!
    I come, O Lord! broken and battered
      To thy world where sorrow is not.



19


    Kiss, my love, kiss
    My burning, breaking being;
    So when cold death
    Will put out the light
    In some wilderness
    Of far forsaken life
    Might each kiss blossom
    Into a lotus and a Shephali.[2]
    And in the desolate hours
    Of loneliness of traveling
    In the dusk of despair
    One petal of these
    Will cheer the vagrant souls
    That tread the pathway
    Of love's forsaking.
    Or, when Death will sow
    This Soul of mine
    On the lake-shore of sorrow,
    Like a weeping willow I will spring,
    And with my green tresses
    And bending body
    Shall shelter secrecy-seeking lovers
    That love for an hour,
    As our twin hearts today.
    Kiss then, with kisses of flame;
    Touch me with rosy caresses;
    Bury this, my hope, my dream,
    And thy all-conquering love of me;
    So the kiss-flowers may each be a dream!
    May my willow be the vision of Eternal Spring.


[Footnote 2: Flowers full of perfume, abounding in Lower Bengal,
India.]



20

COLOR-HARMONIES


    Violet hills,
    Rosy mist,
    Limpid pool,
    Golden notes from sunset's lute
    For shadows
    Draped in green
    With purple feet
    To dance and swim
    Through irridescent undulatings.
    Dusk descends;
    Mauve cloudlets--
    Dying butterflies--
    Flit and fly and die
    In the opalescent ocean of mist
    That grows dark and still,
    Kisses away the last gold
    From the brow of the hills;
    Till the coral crescent
    With its wand of breeze
    Makes silver ripple-music
    On the pool's shadow-laden deeps.



21

SANATAN

(THE ABSOLUTE)[3]


    Our hopes that fail
    Are but truths that set
    To illumine other spirits on their pathway;
    As our joys that come true
    Are their far-off dreams,
    That through the cadence of our life
    Ring out their pent-up tunes.
    Whatever dies--needs must live,
    Whatever breathes doth die too;
    But above death and life
    Shines that High Light
    Where all find rest,
    Yet endlessly move.


[Footnote 3: The word _absolute_ is the synonym for the Sanskrit word
Sanatan, meaning _Eternal and Immutable Truth_.]



22

COMING OF THE FOG


    Killing the light,
    Blurring the stars,
    Marring the breeze--
    Nature's many-stringed harp--

    It comes
    Silently, sinisterly,
    Over the land, over the sea,
    Spreading its beggar-raiment of brown.

    Without stop, without sound,
    Over the valley
    Like a great serpent of silence
    Coiling around the heart of sound.

    A damp insidiousness
    Creeps into the night;
    A drab numbness sets in
    Dripping in lugubrious drops
    From the haggard fingers
    Of the autumn trees.

    It strangles the last sound,
    It devours the last light,
    Trembles in fear
    To see its own visage;

    It moves on, on, and around,
    Ceaselessly, untiringly,
    Till the black night is drowned
    In an abyss of brown.



23


    In love's afterglow, full of stars,
    Those lilies of the river of night,
    Sing no song, dear, speak no word.

    The white noontide has ebbed into gold;
    Shores-breaking seas cease to roar;
    Lo! the moonrise of our soul.

    Hardly a kiss, or the shadow of a caress;
    No decking the hour with the jasmines of touch;
    But a rose-petal shivering in exquisite agony--our love.

    The weary sunset has grown wearier;
    A vague lassitude encircles us twain,
    As separation builds its pathway of tears.

    Cease weeping, yet the saffron light lingers;
    The stars throb in nebulous lustre,
    As our hearts to the music of desire.

    What matters if winter be nigh?
    We sang summer to sleep,
    And autumn on its bed of leaves.

    Now comes the hour of parting for us,
    As the last light flickers and fades;
    Even love's afterglow dying, and is dead.

    Alas! thou art gone, as are the hours of day;
    The hard gem-burning stars do not set! Oh,
    In what dark, in what forest roamest thou?



24

THE END


    Art thou about me
    Amid falling leaves
    And autumn's circling winds
    When the golden shadows
    Grow russet and rosy
    And the purple sunset sets fire to the sky?
    Art thou the breath
    That burns my being
    When cold feel my limbs in terror, and awe?
    Who art thou? My love?
    Stranger in a strange garb!
    Far and farther to be nearer to my heart!
    Why make spring-flames leap
    From passion's autumn leaves?
    Why this urge through fatigue
    When time falls fast asleep
    Under the shadow of its grave--
    The winter ice?
    Yet, and yet
    The circling winds
    Repeat passionate speech,
    The sunset burns,
    As my soul
    In desire's golden heat,
    Though night be not far
    Shadows creep near
    With chilling breath and clutching hands
    To pluck
    To destroy
    The flowers of yielding from your heart:
    Powerless, fear-stricken;
    I tremble, I stagger, I fall
    Into oblivion's pit
    As time creeps
    Into winter's grave
    Silent, empty, white.



25

THE CONFLUENCE


    Tears of Ages come in a stream,
    Sighs flow in from Life's hoary height,
    Souls of Sorrow bring their gleam
    Of a light that is but a moan, not a sight.

    The gray waves of the Sea of Death
    Congeal under the cold Sun of Suffering,
    While Time, playing the flute of Fate,
    Charms them, snake-like, and doth bring.

    Out of a Cave, beyond Lights and Shades
    Present's storm,--made stormier by Future's promises,--
    To mingle in the Ocean of Death
    Like Sleep, yielding to Dream's caresses.



26


    In the deeps of Dream
    O'er the pool of Sleep
    A lone star her face
    Seeking, with song-kindled eyes
    Her Isle of Rest.

    Across the dusky hills
    The first flush of waking
    Unfurls its silver banner
    To signal the Isle for her:
    She vanishes, as before, into the fading Night.

    Thus the Eye of Life
    Searches for the home of Peace
    Night after night:
    And when the sun of Death rises
    It flees,--it loves its own night.



27

TO

LEO B. MIHAN


    Few notes out of the coffer of sound,
    An image from the gallery of Nature,
    An hour from the infinity of Time,--
    Out of these, blessed creature,
    Createst thou the world of endless rhyme!



28

CHOPIN'S FUNERAL MARCH


    The keyboard black and white;
    Shadow-Light the Evening's scale;
    Half silent the voice of thy singing.
    Quiver the notes in pain;
    Exquisite, sad, the melody at thy touch;
    Like the silver arrow of Desire
    Piercing the Soul's golden heart.

    The room is lost in dark.
    The ivory keys, white fringe
    Of a music long since mute;
    Yet, in the black night
    Tremble and toss notes
    Unheard, undreamt,--like sleep
    Sleepless, and waking full of smart.



29


    In the golden afterglow you lay,
    When the emerald moon
    Made thin silver fog-veils
    For the bride of night,
    Whose saffron-sandled feet
    Walked the foam-strewn floor of the sea.
    In my arms you listened
    To words of love
    Poured by the infinite heaven of my heart,
    Echoed by the endless symphony of the sky.
    Your silent gaze,
    Deeper than the song of the sea,
    Farther than the moon,
    Nearer than your own heart-beat,
    Asked mine for speech.
    "What can my love say
    At this sad sacred hour?"
    Hour of parting this!
    Love's ever-feared moment,
    Longing's much-dreaded end,
    Yet no voice sorrows in our being,
    No woe dims the moon-face tonight.
    Between the sheltering dunes and fading light
    On an aërial couch lying,
    Adorned in kiss-woven garments of nudity
    Our spirits garlanded with myriad embraces,
    Borne on passion's flaming wings
    Cross this ocean of parting
    Unto that far island of Cythera
    Where only love reigns
    In eternal majesty.



30

HENRIK IBSEN


    Lone as the lone north star,
    Stern as the rocks that guard the sanctity of his home,
    Pure as the white snow of his land,
    And beauteous his visions like the fjords
    At each turn of the mariner's helm.

    The lofty glaciers engage his eyes,
    As life's height the sight of his mind;
    And his Imagination, expansive as the sea,
    Tries to push the boundary-line of the sky, his Soul,
    Further and further, where a new North Star
    Awaits his exploring eye.



31

AFTER HEARING "MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME"


    I know not whose the words,
    Nor the maker of their music;
      In my sorrow-laden heart
      The aroma of its pathetic art
    Like the soothing breath of dream.

    Joy borrows its charm from sorrow;
    Sorrow feverish with the color of joy;
      An opaque crystal, a stone on life's string
      Made of music that doth ring
    As the stars on the lyre of night.

    A pain it is, made perfect;
    A call made clear by the voice of peace;
      A silver stream of song
      Darkened, yet floweth on and on
    Between black banks of memory, into the Soul's white home.



32

THE COMING OF THE TIDE OF NIGHT


    Pale this twilight-face,
    Shade-ridden the horizon-light;
    The forest, a green-gold vision of grace
    In its frame of lavender mist.

    No rose-leaf washed in moonlight;
    No vine on vermilion walls;
    Pale sunlight fading into night,
    Dark tunes, the music of the hour.

    No death, nor life is ours, here;
    But the vast vague sea of black
    Sounded by star-mariners
    Seeking the Infinite's track.



33

DEAD LOVE


    Pour no blood on ashes, brother,
    That is not the way;
    Better say nothing,
    Blood is no life-giver;
    It makes death look so gay.

    Dead life, or dead love
    Need no blood at all.
    No trumpet's call can
    Bring back what you lived, and strove:
    The ashes know no thrall!

    Why cry for a colored glass
    That for jewel you took;
    The magic--the dream--
    All returning to dust and grass,
    Not a day love your soul forsook.

    At last, you have known it,
    That is more than they do.
    Be not afraid, O friend,
    Alone, alas, alone! you have loved and lived it,
    Pour no blood on the ashes, for blood can not turn into dew.



34


    It is the same twilight, dear,
    The hour of love and tear
    When in raiments of shadows
    Fancies, fears, hopes, and sorrows
    Tread the path of sunset,
    While like barks of jet
    Float the clouds from east to west.

    I think of thee, my darling,
    As in my heart strange chords ring
    Out melodies of many memories,
    And half-forgotten reveries
    Telling of this or that scene,
    That is and has been
    Trod by thee, Queen of queens.

    My dreams of thee are ceaseless,
    As my love of thee is endless;
    Whether it be sunset or sunrise,
    Hour of star-song, or bird-cries
    It is of thee that I dream,
    In the heart of my soul's stream
    That flows to thy feet, my darling.

    Dark grows both east and west;
    Flower-heads droop into rest,
    As I seek to lay my heart and loving
    On thy star-white breast, my darling,
    And sink into that pool of sleep
    That rises from thy singing's deep,
    While all are silent, as my desires near thee, my Queen.

    What peace thy presence breathes!
    What serenity weaves its wreathes!
    What myriad wonders touch hands
    Across many seas, from many lands,
    When a thought of thee
    Heralds thy coming to me
    Between palpitating desires, and fragrant dreams.



35

WEARINESS


    Weariness the tune of this evening melody,
    Pain the lute to which I sing;
    Ah! goddess, why this gray measure
    In thy starry harmony?

    The white conch[4] of the half-moon
    Silent as though all worship's ceased,
    No incense-perfume from the forest censer
    The breeze brings; all still, like torrid noon.

    I row in a black bark on a copper-colored sea,
    The sun fades like a golden bubble in its deep;
    Weariness the chart that I hold in my hand,
    Weariness the tune of this evening melody.


[Footnote 4: In a Hindu temple conch shells are blown during or at the
close of a worship.]



36


    A call, not a song;
    A command, not a prayer;
    No mellowing moonlight, but dawn,
    Frail, fanciful, and fair
    In the east of my dream and desire.
    At the portal of unending desire,
    Draped in diaphanous dreams,
    With a whispered word of fire
    That quivers and gleams
    Through the clouds of my longing.
    Longings poignant with pains and tears
    Enfold, and fill my soul
    That aches with hopes and fears
    As thy chariot wheels' roll
    Sets fire with torches of gold
    To my words, my silences, my singing,
    And to this black pyre of my life
    To take my being on the wings of thy embracing
    To sail away, far away from man's hate and strife
    Where only love reigns on its throne of unending light.



37

REMORSE


    Gently descending dark--
    Curtain of silence
    From heaven to earth;

    The drama of day over,
    Empty the seats of life,
    Dead the twilight fire.

    Curtains of black
    Woven from threads of purple
    By the hands of a star,

    That lone soul weeping
    Over the dead hours
    Laid by mute time in the eternal's grave.

    In the night of my soul
    Not even a ray,
    Nor a mourner present;

    But a deep dark hollow
    Where no fate weeps
    Even fear is afraid to tread:

    Fear-forsaken, hollow within hollow,
    Even silence flees from me--
    O, the pity of it!



38

POET


    To distil a few golden drops of song
    Through the gloom of this hour;
    To filter true emotions
    Through passion's burning fire
    When the sun bubble-like fades in the west;
    As our being craves for night's rest
    That pool of silver in life's forest of distress.

    To light some pale candles
    In the cavern of a lonely isle
    And draw the wine of day
    From the must of midnight,
    Or plant a star-seed in the gray-ploughed eve--
    So out of the abyss of the blackness of night
    Dawn's million-colored fountain might spring.



39

WANDERER


    The silvery beach, a riband around the flowing hair of the sea,
    Where gleam the foam-flowers garlanded in multitudinous nebulous rings:
    Here, on the frontier of many worlds and the billow-rocked cradle of
      eternal sleep,
    No sound, no music, no silence that a wounded soul can heal.

    A longing more tempestuous than the craven breeze-possesséd deep,
    And tears that outweigh the salt of the woeful brine,
    Yet no sleep dream-robbed, or dream-laden, nor even death's pallid
      peace;
    But a ceaseless crying over my heart's forsaken valleys
    Where love like a wraith haunts the empty tombs of memory.



40

AT DAWN


    With the breath of dawn
    Cooling thy feverish brow,
    And the fading of the last footfall of the stars
    No kiss can I bring to thy bedside,
    Nor caresses of cooling fire, my sweet.
    Yet through this dreamful silence
    That writes on the rim of the golden light
    The story of our love
    With most eloquent poignancy,
    More love we pour into each other
    Than the tryst of an eternal night.



41


    From her many-colored bow Nature
    Has hurled her silver arrows of rain
    And slain the hosts of Dark.

    Jeweled with a single star, the Moon
    Walks the garden of Night;
    Higher and higher
    Through the star-enflowered pathways of sapphire
    She draws her train of silver.



42


    If words fail, song will come;
    If thought fades, souls will not be dumb;
    If sound ceases, Silence our song;
    If Life fails,--Death join our hands.



43

RAINY NIGHT


    Like tears shed over a dream,
    Like sighs that stream
    In an unseen nameless way
    Into the heart of our lay.

    It seemed hour on hours,
    Years like fading flowers
    Scattered their petals and bloom
    In a half-lit forest of gloom.

    The softness of its sounds,
    Like the coursing of a million hounds
    Of dream over the glade of sleep
    Where tortured silences creep.

    Exquisite, pain-laden, peaceful,
    This night most beautiful,
    What love forsaken by loving
    Sets his heart a'singing?

    No torment in it, but tenderness;
    A liquid star-music of sadness
    Pours into my soul half asleep;
    While the willows at my window weep.



44

GHOSTS


    Flames flickered in the fireplace,
    As memories on the hearth of life;
    Two shadows we, watching, brooding,
    To catch our reflection
    In a non-existent stream.

    The ghost-witness of it all,
    The clock brings its proofs;
    Moments melt into moments,
    Like notes of sad music,
    Like a white cerement.

    Cold memories shroud our life;
    Speech flees before this;
    Faces turn away from each other;
    The fire throws light on them;
    There, too, flames burn and flicker.



45

RAIN


    What world-agony distils its poignancy this day?
    What pain-laden heart pours out its exhaustless lay
    Of tormenting woe and tortured silences?

    From the far reaches of the marshland
    Along and beyond the crescent-bed of the sea-sand
    What tempest on the wave's-strings makes its cadences?

    The distant hills dimmed like dull and forgotten dreams
    Raise their shadowy heads where pour in streams
    The tears of the heart-hollowed mourners of the skies;

    While into the turgid heart of the fens at their feet
    Turbidly fall and dance sheet upon sheet
    To the measureless measure of the wind's empty sighs.

    No light but a dismal gray, that neither throbs nor quivers
    On the torn banks of the heavens' cloud-rivers,
    But stonily stands still, like death that dies never.

    Not-dead, but a weeping world bathing its corpses--
    Its memories, its lost hopes, in regret's hearses
    To be buried in flowerless graves, without incense or prayer.

    It writhes in agony, rolls out in undulating rills,
    This rain-melody from the sea-waves to the farthest hills,
    Thence to the dreary distance lost to hearing or sight.

    It is all dark and dank, a mourning of earth and heaven,
    Sorrow-laden, life-weary, long-lost, death-craven,
    A day lost to time, a light more baleful than night.

    No dead these, but a living death seeking peace
    From the furies--their own thoughts--sorrow--surcease,
    Kissing the lashing wind thinking it to be the breeze.

    Pour, pour, pour, O relentless, exhaustless pain!
    To the measure of thine own agony, thy woe's refrain,
    These desolate streams of thy music, thy pangs of a million seas.



46

EVENING WORSHIP


    The amber west melts into saffron,
    The east, a misty vision of rose:
    Like the sun, our souls seek repose.
    The mountains, empurpled priests,
    The river, the chant from their lips,
    Sunlit the pine-candles' crimson tips.

    At this hour of worship
    Shadows spread their wings;
    Silently the breeze-bell rings.
    The stars put a silver riband round night's tresses,
    The light fades like a receding song
    As fall soundless sounds from Nature's
    moon-gong.



47


    The rosy mist stilly polishes the round mirror,
            The moon;
            Golden her face

    Reflecting the cool sweet glory of a
            Baby sun
            When dangling

    His short golden arms in the cradle of the sky
            After night
            Gave him birth,

    And herself died as day dies to see the moon,
            This golden
            Rose-washed stone

    That the unseen hand puts on the crown of night
            Beside it puts
            Bits of white--

    The star-jewels like million fancies, worshipping
            The goddess
            Of dream.



48


    The sun's golden spear,
    The violet cloud writhing in pain;
    Golden the tint of the sky,
    The tall trees wave their green-gold hair.

    Music of this hour!
    The zephyr's perfume-laden argosy
    Drifts with the song of lutes
    Down the sunset-stream that falls from heaven's bower.

    Another flow of light,
    Tinkling like the intangible bells of paradise,
    Flows out of my heart
    Into the mysterious love-perfumed ocean of night.



49

TRUCE


    A field of battle--this sky,
    The sun, the hero bleeding to death;
    The shadows and lights hurl their
    Hosts of clouds ceaselessly:
    No peace?
    Warfare all?
    Nay, lo! she cometh--
    The Spirit of Truce,
    The Evening Star!



50

A PARALLEL


    Time has passed, since
    Shadows trembled to watch
    Twilight sweep the earth
    For the phantoms to trip and mince.

    A dark breeze the forest-heart stirs;
    Yet merry the face of the sky--
    Twinkling in joy
    Its innumerable eyes, the stars.

    Hushed the music within;
    Pleasure's silver laugh, dead;
    Thought lost in reverie--
    Reverie receding into nothing.

    The taper of dreams flickers
    Out, leaving the soul in dusk
    By the altar of love,
    Flower-laden as the night with stars.



51


    "Nothing endures," you said;
    "None can die," quoth love;
    "In the firmament of loving
    No stars set, no meteors fall."

    Yet, nothing endures, nothing,
    Naught but dust;
    Naught but regret and vain desire
    The twin monuments of life,

    Reared by time, by wrecking
    All that we seek and find.
    Its relentless waves of years
    Break even the impregnable wall of memory
    That thought builds
    On the embankment of hope.

    Pass all away, even we who loved,
    Dreamt as none dreamt before--
    Borne by the tide of life--
    But, lo! from our defeated destiny
    Rise our seeds reared by time
    Consecrated to love and living!



52

DISAPPOINTMENT


    They think thee bitter:
    Thou art not made o' laughter
    Nor love's smile
    Can thy vision beguile:
    Like a black-fiery comet
    Suddenly, sinisterly, thou comest;
    Making thy fateful journey,
    Littering the floor of destiny
    With wreckages of life,
    Of love, of heart--
    Of all visitors thou art the surest;
    Halting nowhere long, endlessly passest,
    Dragging behind thee thy train of fire
    That burneth all, heedless of curse or prayer.



53

BUDDHA


    On thy Lotus-seat of Night,--
    Meditation closing thy eyes,--
    The Star Hosts thy awe-struck devotees:
    The Moon, thy halo unchanging.
    White-robed time telling his beads
    Of aeons on the thread of Eternity
    By the ocean of space
    Slumbering in peace at thy feet;
    While Destiny stringing the lyre of death
    Sings Nirvana's hymn.



54


    Ask me not to stand at thy friendship's gate--
    I, who loved thee, now must like a cold spectre from a far forgotten
      land of snow
    Watch thee fall asleep on the couch of freezing friendship?
    In these arms thou sought and joyed on many delights
    Excavated the ruins of passion to build them anew,
    Or sailed on thy wings--these arms--over love's enchanted sea.
                 Friendship!
    Barrier not this, but a coward's refuge--
    A shadow, not the rainbow-light of loving and life.
    O come, my pilot, conduct the bark of our twin souls
    From cold friendship's haven
    Over love's boistrous desire-foam-fringéd ocean
    Till in the sheer joy and fatigue of flying
    We fail, fall and fade
    Into the heart of Passion's another fire-born day.



55


    Golden vines they,
    These thin lines of light,
    Climbing the sky-wall
    After the sun sank into sleep.

    Like rills, thread-like,
    Seen from a jutting rock
    Where air is dizzy
    And fancy infinite, free.

    What fiery wine
    Tingles in these vines
    Weaving golden arabesques
    On the pale evening sky?

    Ah, the heavens this hour
    Have drunk of sunset's ruby Wine
    For those golden cobwebs to weave
    Their magic of twilight dreams.



56

AT SUNDOWN


    Two shadows fell, tremulous and frail,
    From the upland over the lake-surface pale,
    While the shivering reeds shook at sunset,
    As the swans sailed into a sea of jet.

    The rippling waters, and the breeze,
    And the shadows that fall from the trees,
    Mingled and melted with the twain,
    A song of whitewashed away by its black refrain.

    Only words remained, palpitating and few,
    Falling through the gloom and night's dew
    Like jewelled fancies rising out of a dream
    That live for a moment and die ere they gleam.



57


    Tears well out from my heart,
    As clouds overcast my soul,
    And blur my vision of thee.

    Melancholy this dawn,
    When thy smile and words,
    And thy sky-shaming eyes
    Are not beside me to rouse me from sleep.

    Though cry I without end,
    Yet a thought of thee heals many wounds,
    Why? thou ask me; how can I tell?

    All thou wish to take is thine;
    Not even the dust of thy feet I seek,
    Only leave me the star of thy memory
    To bathe in the rain of my weeping.



58


    At last thou comest;
    Thy footsteps I hear across the ages,
    Over wandering fancies,
    Through shadows of dreams
    Is thy coming, Queen of queens.

    This shimmering summer of life
    That thou bringest with thee
    As a gift to my silent waiting
    Is but what I prayed to bring
    To the altar of thy coming.

    I spread the seat of my soul,
    For thee to rest thy tired limbs;
    And wave the fan of my heart
    To cool thy lotus-shaming face,
    Lady of light, queen of grace.

    Come to my bower of worship,
    Where burns the incense of devotion,
    Lay thy rose-robed body
    In the shrine of my longing,
    Where love's rainbow-songs are ringing.



59


    The lingering light of the sun
    Takes from the chalice of the valley
    Its mist-perfume to wash the
    Moon-face with rose.
    In the pool at my feet the goldfishes drag their trains of brown
    Which cleave it into parts that ceaselessly mingle anew.
    The moon, silver bright
    Through thousand streams sends her light
    Into the valley aswoon, listening to the harmony of night.



60


    I have drunk your tears with insatiate lips;
    I have broken like a toy the heart of your life;
    What have I given? your last query!
    The cup of my heart filled I with love;
    The chalice of soul with the substance of my God,
    For thee to drink my life's first love.
    Thou drankest as one that comes from a desert,
    Thou spiltest the nectar heedless, like mad;
    Yet I cursed not, nor shed tears;
    But loved thee, longed to live for thy love.
    Alas! thy tears grew salt, thy love thy self's greedy grasp,--
    O, it is the end; let us part!
    The morning of indifference wings the gray sky;
    The bird-song of the other dawns the raven's shriek now,--
    Shed no more tears, I tire of my drink;
    Break not thy heart; thy soul? Let it be still!
    Beyond the gray-cloud is the land of sunrise:
    Let us part, dear, let us be wise.



61

SOUND BUTTERFLIES

(IN A FOUNTAIN)


    Like interpenetrating bells of silver,
    The water-drops ring and melt
    Into new drops, like new notes
    From an untiring lyre,
    That in colored succession
    Paint our heart-beats
    From the gold of sunrise into sunset fire;
    Yet, not like that, this brush of water-drops
    Limns on the silver rim of Joy
    The dark Butterflies of Desire.



62


    Even in sadness thou art beside me,
    In gladness, none so happy as thee;
            I love thee;
    May my love kiss the feet of thy love of me.

    My dreams are thine, day or night,
    My sleep sings in silence to the night
            Of thy delight;
    May thy heart's gifts like stars my heart's heaven bedight!

    Though a sigh rises in my soul this hour;
    Closes its petals in the west the golden day-flower;
            In my bower
    Let thy love pour its rainbow shower.



63


    By the sea of sleep walks white-robed Night;
    The breeze but the faint rustle of her drapery
    That calls the mist-made bark of dream
    From the cavern of the Unknown to sail to us,
    Laden with endless star-like fancies.
    And She! the magician, walks on and on
    Over the sapphire embankment of the sky
    Like a moving magnet drawing behind her a million dream-argosies.



64

FAREWELL

(AFTER A HINDUSTANI SONG)


    Farewell, fairest of loves!
    Life's most fanciful of gifts,
    Joy and treasure, love and wonder,
    Waking's elusive reality,
    Dream's ever-yielding divinity.
    Even thou must pass
    Beyond time's starless bar:
    Thy eyes, their lambent flames
    Shall no more illumine my night;
    Nor thy brow, home of many moods,
    Tranquil yet tormented as a sea,
    Shall ever wear the coronal of my kiss.
    Ah, kisses! blisses of fire,
    Passion's long lingering melody
    Played by thy lips on mine.
    Even they must die--
    Intangible realities of rapture,
    Ever present wonders of desire--
    Now like autumn leaves
    Fly with the west-wind of fear.
    No, not fear that takes thee from me,
    Nor love's slayer, satiety;
    Yet art gone; thou art going.
    Oh, not to crush thy heart on mine:
    Thy breasts made but for my hands,
    No more to quiver in rapture therein!
    Who wills this cruel decree?
    The warmth of thy body,
    The staggering storm of thy yielding,
    The intoxicating perfume of thy mouth:
    These, and many other endless
    Viols and lutes of passion, love, life,
    Delights of a thousand heavens,
    Who robs them of me?
    Fate! that fool in the court of love,
    Who hath no wit for laughter,
    Steals it all from me
    In the mid-hour of life;
    And as it befits his mind,
    Scatters it all over the turbid
    Stream of fear and lies.



65

SATIETY


    All thy gifts must die,
    All thy thoughts must fail;
    Such were the decree writ by time
    With shadows on the scroll of fate.
    Even thy memory recedes into forgetting,
    Thy lustrous words star-like set,
    Ah, sweet! autumn's breath withers all,
    Even the west-wind fears to tread.
    All yield to the power of relentless time
    That no love nor passion can stay,
    Blown like dried leaves we now
    On the granite pavement of fate.
    No more thy lip-touch on my brow,
    Nor thy hands pleading caresses,
    Thy gifts fall and fade into nothing,
    Thy vision grows dim in life's sunset-west.



66


    Drowsy the noonday air,
    Under the trees the still shadow
    Like a fugitive fragment of night
    Seeks shelter from the sun.

    The bird has ceased singing,
    The beggar unable to bear
    The wealth of the sun
    Spreads his torn garment,

    To find peace in
    The benign shadow of sleep.
    Ah, lone soul like him,
    I spread this rag of my song.

    Under the tree of life
    Over which blazes the sun of fate.
    The calm of its shadow
    Protects me, but where my peace?



67

CHATTERTON


    For summers seventeen
    This flower of spring
    Scattered fragrance
    That dwelt in its petals seventeen.
    Seventeen song-hours,
    A heart never weary;
    A soul with honey of all flowers
    A song as enchanting as stars.

    A boy never grown old,
    A lute never tiring to sing,
    A mind ne'er chilled
    Though Hunger's hand lay cold.

    Steely-cold on his breast,
    Yet the boy sang;
    Loved as alone a poet can
    Endlessly, without rest.
    Just seventeen!
    Ne'er old, though time passes;
    A golden lyre-string
    Has not yet ceased ringing:

    Rings through the heart of time
    O'er the summit of death
    To the music of the Nine
    Into the heart of Eternal Rhyme.



68


    A summer song it was,
    Counting of many unseen stars
    In an intangible sky
    Making new milky ways--
    Silver-shadow-paths that lead
    From sapphire abysses
    Into deeper abysses still.
    The deeps of our souls
    Lit by passion's burning flowers
    Tremulous, timorous flames of silver,
    That with thousand hands
    Our hearts sought to pluck and scatter,
    Or make barbéd garlands
    For love's nuptial hour.
    Nuptial hour, briefer than a moment,
    Longer than Heaven's Eternal summer,
    When each flower burns to soothe,
    And each soothing petal burns anew;
    Till myriad streams of fire
    Strewn with countless flaming stars
    Bear us to the far sea of Time
    Where no summer dies,
    Nor endure the stinging moments of love's winter.



69

"WHO KNOWS"


    Time's torment,
    Life's woes,
    And sorrow's wan gaze
    Are but shades
    In a picture of light
    Where nothing abides,
    All things fade.
    In fading there is beauty,
    By shedding tears
    We bathe our hearts--
    Those crushed flowers full of smart--
    For a deity not far from our souls.
    Yet, no solace in prayer,
    Pain has no largess;
    Dark has stars,
    But no barren earth its flowers.
    All are dismal and fallow;
    Yet, from the mountain's stony heart
    Spring multitudinous rivers
    Sparkling at dawn, and
    Deepening night's gloom with mysterious murmurs;
    And who knows?
    These streams that pass
    By the balcony of our past,
    Through present's wilderness,
    Into desolate future
    May reach the land of the farthest star.
    Who knows? Ah! who knows?
    May these song-rills
    From my heart's little hill
    Empty their singing waters
    Into a sea of song-making
    Where nothing endures
    But the sound and echo of singing.
    Where sound, and echo are one,
    A moonset vale of sunset land,
    Where light is wedded to shade
    Without death, full of dying, yet not dead.



70

THE FIRST VISION


    The impenetrable dark--
    Darkness of cloud and night
    Coming on black silent wings
    Surround me in their folds,
    As it sits by my side on the shore of time.

    No fear, no sorrow, no hope,
    Not even the footfall of a star;
    Dim, deep sable tones
    Rise from the organ of nothing
    With its flats and sharps of clouds and night.

    Ripples of moments
    Waves of hours and years
    Break on the shore of space
    To speak vague, soundless words
    To my soul, alone, shade among shades.

    Not even the unheard whisper
    Of the shadow of a breeze,
    But silence ponderous, peaceful,
    Afraid of its own self
    A mute hound at my feet.

    Who art thou?
    Whom do I know in this emptiness?
    Who has lived with me?
    And called me from the deeps of time?

    Recedes the bank of space;
    Fades away even the unfilled time,
    No light, no sound, not even a dream;
    Yet who speaks through silence?
    Who plays this music of night?

    Like an intangible river it flows
    With waves of shadow-sound
    Between banks of mountainous silence--
    O, who! who are you?
    Light in a world of shadows,
    Rainbow among sunless clouds,
    Bark of song on this sea of silence,
    O ferryman of the soul!
    O Word on Infinite's scroll.



71

SHANTI[5]


    Sleep shadows, sleep light;
    Sleep tune, sleep speech;
    Sleep night, sleep day;
    Sleep children in the cradle of rest.

    Dream stars, dream moon;
    Dream sea; dream O, sun;
    Dream rainbow, dream storm;
    Dream rain, O, milk from Heaven's breast.

    Rest ye feet, rest ye hands;
    Rest bleeding hours of even;
    Rest O, heart torn and burnt,
    Rest my fancies, day is done.

    Sleep night, sleep with star-eyes closed;
    Sleep sorrow in death's silent repose;
    Sleep O, Soul, be it twilight or morn;
    Sleep thou too, O, sleep, heedless of moon and sun.


[Footnote 5: Shanti is the Sanskrit for "Peace."]



       *       *       *       *       *



ERRATA


Page 17, lines 6 and 7 should read as follows:

    Yet its mighty thrall
    Holds me, haunts me





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