A silence throned, to just and to unjust
One Lord of still unutterable love,
I saw Him, Shiva, like a brooding dove
Close-winged upon her nest. The outcasts came,
The sinners gathered to that quiet flame,
The demons by the other sterner gods
Rejected from their luminous abodes
Gathered around the Refuge of the lost
Soft-smiling on that wild and grisly host.
All who were refugeless, wretched, unloved,
The wicked and the good together moved
Naturally to Him, the shelterer sweet,
And found their heaven at their Master’s feet.
The vision changed and in its place there stood
A Terror red as lightning or as blood.
His strong right hand a javelin advanced
And as He shook it, earthquake stumbling danced
Across the hemisphere, ruin and plague
Rained out of heaven, disasters swift and vague
Neighboured, a marching multitude of ills.
His foot strode forward to oppress the hills,
And at the vision of His burning eyes
The hearts of men grew faint with dread surmise
Of sin and punishment. Their cry was loud,
“O master of the stormwind and the cloud,
Spare, Rudra, spare! Show us that other form
Auspicious, not incarnate wrath and storm.”
The God of Force, the God of Love are one;
Not least He loves whom most He smites. Alone
Who towers above fear and plays with grief,
Defeat and death, inherits full relief
From blindness and beholds the single Form,
Love masking Terror, Peace supporting Storm.
The Friend of Man helps him with life and death
Until he knows. Then, freed from mortal breath,
Grief, pain, resentment, terror pass away.
He feels the joy of the immortal play;
He has the silence and the unflinching force,
He knows the oneness and the eternal course.
He too is Rudra and thunder and the Fire,
He Shiva and the white Light no shadows tire,
The Strength that rides abroad on Time’s wide wings,
The Calm in the heart of all immortal things.
---by Sri Aurobindo