The Mother of Dreams
Goddess supreme, Mother of Dream, by thy ivory doors when thou standest,
Who are they then that come down unto men in thy visions that troop, group upon group, down the path of the shadows slanting?
Dream after dream, they flash and they gleam with the flame of the stars still around them;
Shadows at thy side in a darkness ride where the wild fires dance, stars glow and glance and the random meteor glistens;
There are voices that cry to their kin who reply; voices sweet, at the heart they beat and ravish the soul as it listens.
What then are these lands and these golden sands and these seas more radiant than earth can imagine?
Who are those that pace by the purple waves that race to the cliff-bound floor of thy jasper shore under skies in which mystery muses,
Lapped in moonlight not of our night or plunged in sunshine that is not diurnal?
Who are they coming thy Oceans roaming with sails whose strands are not made by hands, an unearthly wind advances?
Why do they join in a mystic line with those on the sands linking hands in strange and stately dances?
Thou in the air, with a flame in thy hair, the whirl of thy wonders watching,
Holdest the night in thy ancient right, Mother divine, hyacinthine, with a girdle of beauty defended.
Sworded with fire, attracting desire, thy tenebrous kingdom thou keepest,
Starry-sweet, with the moon at thy feet, now hidden now seen the clouds between in the gloom and the drift of thy tresses.
Only to those whom thy fancy chose, O thou heart-free, is it given to see thy witchcraft and feel thy caresses.
Open the gate where thy children wait in their world of a beauty undarkened.
High-throned on a cloud, victorious, proud I have espied Maghavan ride when the armies of wind are behind him;
Food has been given for my tasting from heaven and fruit of immortal sweetness;
I have drunk wine of the kingdoms divine and have healed the change of music strange from a lyre which our hands cannot master,
Doors have swung wide in the chambers of pride where the Gods reside and the Apsaras dance in their circles faster and faster.
For thou art she whom we first can see when we pass the bounds of the mortal;
There at the gates of the heavenly states thou hast planted thy wand enchanted over the head of the Yogin waving.
From thee are the dream and the shadows that seem and the fugitive lights that delude us;
Thine is the shade in which visions are made; sped by thy hands from celestial lands come the souls that rejoice for ever.
Into thy dream-worlds we pass or look in thy magic glass, then beyond thee we climb out of Space and Time to the peak of divine endeavour.
(in Alipur jail)
Reference: # 2 in “Les poèmes de Sri Aurobindo” (bilingual edition)
also in “Collected Poems and Plays” – 121
all published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA