Nature’s Nature

Away, ye muses, all away!

Away with songs of finch and fay.

Away the jaundiced sight

That magnifies the firefly’s light

To bonfire bright;

That sets ablaze at once

My musing’s dimly burning lamps;

That ornaments with rhymes

The penury-stricken looks betimes;

That over-clothes the logic – lord

With fancy – swollen words.

Away, the partial love

That ‘boldens Nature to sit above

Her Maker!

This day I fasten eyelid doors,

With absence wax my ears,

With languorous peace congeal

My tongue, my touch, my tears *

That I within may pore

Upon the things behind, ahead,

In the darkness round me spread.

I lock Dame Nature out

With all her fickle rout.

Somewhere here,

In the darkness drear,

I myself with cheer

My course will steer

In the path

E’er sought by all:

Its magnet call

I hear.

Not hear, not here,

Apollo would his burning chariot steer;

Nor Diana dare to peep

Into the sacred silence deep.

Not here, not here,

Not far or near

Can mounts or rebel waves

E’er make me full of fear;

Nor evermore

Their dreadful grandeur to adore.

Not here, not here

The soft capricious wiles of flowers;

Nor swarming storm clouds’ sweeping terror,

Dishevelling the trees

And light-haired skies;

Nor doomsday’s thunderous roar,

Dismantling earth and stars-

The cosmic beauties all to mar –

Not Nature’s murderous mutiny,

Nor man’s exploding destiny

Can touch me here.

Not here, not here:

Through mind’s strong iron bars,

Not gods or goblins, men or nature,

Without my pass dare enter.

I look behind, ahead –

On naught but darkness tread.

In wrath I strike, and set the dark ablaze

With the immortal spark of thought,

By friction-process brought

Of concentration

And distraction.

The darkness burns

With a million tongues;

And now I spy

All past, all distant things, as nigh.

I smile serene

As I expose to gaze.

In wisdom’s brilliant blaze,

All charms of the Hidden Home Unseen:

The Home of Nature’s birth,

The planets’ moulding hearth,

The factory whence all forms or fairies start,

The bards, colossal minds, and hearts,

The gods and all,

And all, and all!

Away, away

With all the lightsome lays!

Oh, now will I portray

In humble way,

And try to lisp, if only in half truths,

Of wordless charms of Thee Unseen,

To whom Dame Nature owes her nature

   and her sheen.

Paramahansa Yogananda


 * Reference to the interiorization of the mind during deep yoga meditation, in which the attention is disconnected from sensory distraction and focused on the Spirit within.

From: Songs of the Soul, by Paramahansa Yogananda.  Published by Self Realization Fellowship 3880 San Rafael Avenue, Los Angeles, California. Reproduced with permission of Publishers.

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