Legacy YM

Book 10 Canto 1 - The Book of the Double Twilight - Death in the Forest*


All still was darkness dread and desolate;

There was no change nor any hope of change.

In this black dream which was a house of Void,

A walk to Nowhere in a land of Nought,

Ever they drifted without aim or goal;

Gloom led to worse gloom, depth to an emptier depth,

In some positive Non-being's purposeless Vast

Through formless wastes dumb and unknowable.

An ineffectual beam of suffering light

Through the despairing darkness dogged their steps

Like the remembrance of a glory lost;

Even while it grew, it seemed unreal there,

Yet haunted Nihil's chill stupendous realm,

Unquenchable, perpetual, lonely, null,

A pallid ghost of some dead eternity.

It was as if she must pay now her debt,

Her vain presumption to exist and think,

To some brilliant Maya that conceived her soul.

This most she must absolve with endless pangs,

Her deep original sin, the will to be

And the sin last, greatest, the spiritual pride,

That, made of dust, equalled itself with heaven,

Its scorn of the worm writhing in the mud,

Condemned ephemeral, born from Nature's dream,

Refusal of the transient creature's role,

The claim to be a living fire of God,

The will to be immortal and divine.

In that tremendous darkness heavy and bare

She atoned for all since the first act whence sprang

The error of the consciousness of Time,

The rending of the Inconscient's seal of sleep,


The primal and unpardoned revolt that broke

The peace and silence of the Nothingness

Which was before a seeming universe

Appeared in a vanity of imagined Space

And life arose engendering grief and pain:

A great Negation was the Real's face

Prohibiting the vain process of Time:

And when there is no world, no creature more,

When Time's intrusion has been blotted out,

It shall last, unbodied, saved from thought, at peace.

Accursed in what had been her godhead source,

Condemned to live for ever empty of bliss,

Her immortality her chastisement,

Her spirit, guilty of being, wandered doomed,

Moving for ever through eternal Night.

But Maya is a veil of the Absolute;

A Truth occult has made this mighty world:

The Eternal's wisdom and self-knowledge act

In ignorant Mind and in the body's steps.

The Inconscient is the Superconscient's sleep.

An unintelligible Intelligence

Invents creation's paradox profound;

Spiritual thought is crammed in Matter's forms,

Unseen it throws out a dumb energy

And works a miracle by a machine.

All here is a mystery of contraries:

Darkness a magic of self-hidden Light,

Suffering some secret rapture's tragic mask

And death an instrument of perpetual life.

Although Death walks beside us on Life's road,

A dim bystander at the body's start

And a last judgment on man's futile works,

Other is the riddle of its ambiguous face:

Death is a stair, a door, a stumbling stride

The soul must take to cross from birth to birth,

A grey defeat pregnant with victory,


A whip to lash us towards our deathless state.

The inconscient world is the spirit's self-made room,

Eternal Night shadow of eternal Day.

Night is not our beginning nor our end;

She is the dark Mother in whose womb we have hid

Safe from too swift a waking to world-pain.

We came to her from a supernal Light,

By Light we live and to the Light we go.

Here in this seat of Darkness mute and lone,

In the heart of everlasting Nothingness

Light conquered now even by that feeble beam:

Its faint infiltration drilled the blind deaf mass;

Almost it changed into a glimmering sight

That housed the phantom of an aureate Sun

Whose orb pupilled the eye of Nothingness.

A golden fire came in and burned Night's heart;

Her dusky mindlessness began to dream;

The Inconscient conscious grew, Night felt and thought.

Assailed in the sovereign emptiness of its reign

The intolerant Darkness paled and drew apart

Till only a few black remnants stained that Ray.

But on a failing edge of dumb lost space

Still a great dragon body sullenly loomed;

Adversary of the slow struggling Dawn

Defending its ground of tortured mystery,

It trailed its coils through the dead martyred air

And curving fled down a grey slope of Time.

There is a morning twilight of the gods;

Miraculous from sleep their forms arise

And God's long nights are justified by dawn.

There breaks a passion and splendour of new birth

And hue-winged visions stray across the lids,

Heaven's chanting heralds waken dim-eyed Space.

The dreaming deities look beyond the seen

And fashion in their thoughts the ideal worlds


Sprung from a limitless moment of desire

That once had lodged in some abysmal heart.

Passed was the heaviness of the eyeless dark

And all the sorrow of the night was dead:

Surprised by a blind joy with groping hands

Like one who wakes to find his dreams were true,

Into a happy misty twilit world

Where all ran after light and joy and love

She slipped; there far-off raptures drew more close

And deep anticipations of delight,

For ever eager to be grasped and held,

Were never grasped, yet breathed strange ecstasy.

A pearl-winged indistinctness fleeting swam,

An air that dared not suffer too much light.

Vague fields were there, vague pastures gleamed, vague trees,

Vague scenes dim-hearted in a drifting haze;

Vague cattle white roamed glimmering through the mist;

Vague spirits wandered with a bodiless cry,

Vague melodies touched the soul and fled pursued

Into harmonious distances unseized;

Forms subtly elusive and half-luminous powers

Wishing no goal for their unearthly course

Strayed happily through vague ideal lands,

Or floated without footing or their walk

Left steps of reverie on sweet memory's ground;

Or they paced to the mighty measure of their thoughts

Led by a low far chanting of the gods.

A ripple of gleaming wings crossed the far sky;

Birds like pale-bosomed imaginations flew

With low disturbing voices of desire,

And half-heard lowings drew the listening ear,

As if the Sun-god's brilliant kine were there

Hidden in mist and passing towards the sun.

These fugitive beings, these elusive shapes

Were all that claimed the eye and met the soul,

The natural inhabitants of that world.


But nothing there was fixed or stayed for long;

No mortal feet could rest upon that soil,

No breath of life lingered embodied there.

In that fine chaos joy fled dancing past

And beauty evaded settled line and form

And hid its sense in mysteries of hue;

Yet gladness ever repeated the same notes

And gave the sense of an enduring world;

There was a strange consistency of shapes,

And the same thoughts were constant passers-by

And all renewed unendingly its charm

Alluring ever the expectant heart

Like music that one always waits to hear,

Like the recurrence of a haunting rhyme.

One touched incessantly things never seized,

A skirt of worlds invisibly divine.

As if a trail of disappearing stars

There showered upon the floating atmosphere

Colours and lights and evanescent gleams

That called to follow into a magic heaven,

And in each cry that fainted on the ear

There was the voice of an unrealised bliss.

An adoration reigned in the yearning heart,

A spirit of purity, an elusive presence

Of faery beauty and ungrasped delight

Whose momentary and escaping thrill,

However unsubstantial to our flesh,

And brief even in imperishableness,

Much sweeter seemed than any rapture known

Earth or all-conquering heaven can ever give.

Heaven ever young and earth too firm and old

Delay the heart by immobility:

Their raptures of creation last too long,

Their bold formations are too absolute;

Carved by an anguish of divine endeavour

They stand up sculptured on the eternal hills,


Or quarried from the living rocks of God

Win immortality by perfect form.

They are too intimate with eternal things:

Vessels of infinite significances,

They are too clear, too great, too meaningful;

No mist or shadow soothes the vanquished sight,

No soft penumbra of incertitude.

These only touched a golden hem of bliss,

The gleaming shoulder of some godlike hope,

The flying feet of exquisite desires.

On a slow trembling brink between night and day

They shone like visitants from the morning star,

Satisfied beginnings of perfection, first

Tremulous imaginings of a heavenly world:

They mingle in a passion of pursuit,

Thrilled with a spray of joy too slight to tire.

All in this world was shadowed forth, not limned,

Like faces leaping on a fan of fire

Or shapes of wonder in a tinted blur,

Like fugitive landscapes painting silver mists.

Here vision fled back from the sight alarmed,

And sound sought refuge from the ear's surprise,

And all experience was a hasty joy.

The joys here snatched were half-forbidden things,

Timorous soul-bridals delicately veiled

As when a goddess' bosom dimly moves

To first desire and her white soul transfigured,

A glimmering Eden crossed by faery gleams,

Trembles to expectation's fiery wand,

But nothing is familiar yet with bliss.

All things in this fair realm were heavenly strange

In a fleeting gladness of untired delight,

In an insistency of magic change.

Past vanishing hedges, hurrying hints of fields,

Mid swift escaping lanes that fled her feet

Journeying she wished no end: as one through clouds


Travels upon a mountain ridge and hears

Arising to him out of hidden depths

Sound of invisible streams, she walked besieged

By the illusion of a mystic space,

A charm of bodiless touches felt and heard

A sweetness as of voices high and dim

Calling like travellers upon seeking winds

Melodiously with an alluring cry.

As if a music old yet ever new,

Moving suggestions on her heart-strings dwelt,

Thoughts that no habitation found, yet clung

With passionate repetition to her mind,

Desires that hurt not, happy only to live

Always the same and always unfulfilled

Sang in the breast like a celestial lyre.

Thus all could last yet nothing ever be.

In this beauty as of mind made visible,

Dressed in its rays of wonder Satyavan

Before her seemed the centre of its charm,

Head of her loveliness of longing dreams

And captain of the fancies of her soul.

Even the dreadful majesty of Death's face

And its sombre sadness could not darken nor slay

The intangible lustre of those fleeting skies.

The sombre Shadow sullen, implacable

Made beauty and laughter more imperative;

Enhanced by his grey, joy grew more bright and dear;

His dark contrast edging ideal sight

Deepened unuttered meanings to the heart;

Pain grew a trembling undertone of bliss

And transience immortality's floating hem,

A moment's robe in which she looked more fair,

Its antithesis sharpening her divinity.

A comrade of the Ray and Mist and Flame,

By a moon-bright face a brilliant moment drawn,

Almost she seemed a thought mid floating thoughts,


Seen hardly by a visionary mind

Amid the white inward musings of the soul.

Half-vanquished by the dream-happiness around,

Awhile she moved on an enchantment's soil,

But still remained possessor of her soul.

Above, her spirit in its mighty trance

Saw all, but lived for its transcendent task,

Immutable like a fixed eternal star.

Book1 Canto1 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Symbol Dawn
Book1 Canto2 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Issue
Book1 Canto3 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Soul's Release
Book1 Canto4 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Secret Knowledge
Book1 Canto5 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Spirit's Freedom and Greatness
Book2 Canto1 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The World-Stair
Book2 Canto2 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdom of Subtle Matter
Book2 Canto3 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Glory and the Fall of Life
Book2 Canto4 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms of the Little Life
Book2 Canto5 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Godheads of the Little Life
Book2 Canto6 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Life
Book2 Canto7 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Descent into Night
Book2 Canto8 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The World of Falsehood, the Mother of Evil
Book2 Canto9 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Paradise of the Life-Gods
Book2 Canto10 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Little Mind
Book2 Canto11 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Mind
Book2 Canto12 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Heavens of the Ideal
Book2 Canto13 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - In the Self of Mind
Book2 Canto14 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The World-Soul
Book2 Canto15 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms of the Greater Knowledge
Book3 Canto1 - The Book of the Divine Mother - The Pursuit of the Unknowable
Book3 Canto2 - The Book of the Divine Mother - The Adoration of the Divine Mother
Book3 Canto3 - The Book of the Divine Mother - The House of the Spirit and the New Creation
Book3 Canto4 - The Book of the Divine Mother - The Vision and the Boon
Book4 Canto1 - The Book of Birth and Quest - The Birth and Childhood of the Flame
Book4 Canto2 - The Book of Birth and Quest - The Growth of the Flame
Book4 Canto3 - The Book of Birth and Quest - The Call to the Quest
Book4 Canto4 - The Book of Birth and Quest - The Quest
Book5 Canto1 - The Book of Love - The Destined Meeting-Place
Book5 Canto2 - The Book of Love - Satyavan
Book5 Canto3 - The Book of Love - Satyavan and Savitri
Book6 Canto1 - The Book of Fate - The Word of Fate
Book6 Canto2 - The Book of Fate - The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain
Book7 Canto1 - The Book of Yoga - The Joy of Union; the Ordeal of the Foreknowledge of Death and the Heart's Grief and Pain
Book7 Canto2 - The Book of Yoga - The Parable of the Search for the Soul
Book7 Canto3 - The Book of Yoga - The Entry into the Inner Countries
Book7 Canto4 - The Book of Yoga - The Triple Soul-Forces
Book7 Canto5 - The Book of Yoga - The Finding of the Soul
Book7 Canto6 - The Book of Yoga - Nirvana and the Discovery of the All-Negating Absolute
Book7 Canto7 - The Book of Yoga - The Discovery of the Cosmic Spirit and the Cosmic Consciousness
Book9 Canto1 - The Book of Eternal Night -
Book9 Canto2 - The Book of Eternal Night -
Book10 Canto1 - The Book of the Double Twilight - Death in the Forest*
Book10 Canto2 - The Book of the Double Twilight - Towards the Black Void
Book10 Canto3 - The Book of the Double Twilight - The Journey in Eternal Night and the Voice of the Darkness
Book10 Canto4 - The Book of the Double Twilight - The Dream Twilight of the Ideal
Book11 Canto1 - The Book of Everlasting Day - The Gospel of Death and Vanity of the Ideal
Book12 Canto1 - Epilogue - The Debate of Love and Death

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