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Documents in the Life of Sri Aurobindo

MORE ON "SONGS TO MYTILLA"


Bibliographical Data

SONGS TO MYRTILLA

A. Preliminary Pages

[Verbatim transcription of the preliminary pages of the MS, the Baroda Edition, and the Calcutta Edition (1923). The solidus (/) indicates the start of a new line.]

Title Page

MS: Poems

Baroda Edition: SONGS TO MYRTILLA, / AND / OTHER POEMS / BY / AUROBIND GHOSE. / Second Edition.

Calcutta Edition: SONGS TO MYRTILLA / BY / SRI AUROBINDO GHOSE / ARYA PUBLISHING HOUSE / College Street Market, / CALCUTTA. / Re. 1/4.

Imprint Page

Baroda Edition: BARODA; / Printed at the “LAKSHMI VILAS” Printing Press, Co. Ld.

Calcutta Edition: Published by / Sarat Chandra Guha, B.A. / College Street Market, Calcutta. / Only Authorised Edition / 2,000 copies / April, 1923. / Printer: S. C. Majumdar / Sri Gauranga Press / 71/1, Mirzapur St., Calcutta. / 369/23.

Publisher’s Note

Calcutta Edition: PUBLISHER’S NOTE. / These early poems of Aurobindo Ghose, all except five written between his eighteenth and twentieth years (1890-92), were printed for private circulation at Baroda in 1895 and are now first given to the general public.

Dedication

[The following dedication appears in the MS and, with some changes in the typography and one typographical error in the Latin, in the Baroda edition:]

To my brother
Manmohan Ghose
these poems
are dedicated.

Tale tuum nobis carmen, divine poeta,
Quale sopor fessis in gramine, quale per aestum
Dulcis aquae saliente sitim restinguere rivo.

* * *

Quae tibi, quae tali reddam pro carmine dona?

[The lines are from Virgil (exact citation not known) and may be translated as follows:

Such is to us thy song, O divine poet, as is to tired men sleep in the grass; as is in the heat, by a leaping stream, quenching one’s thirst with sweet water.… To thee what gifts for such a song, what in return?]

B. Contents

[In the following table the poems of Songs to Myrtilla are listed in the order in which they occur in the MS, the Baroda Edition, and the Calcutta Edition. Poems listed on one horizontal line are the same, even if the titles differ. The poems were numbered I-XXI in the MS and in the Baroda Edition. In the Calcutta Edition only the pages are numbered.]

MSBaroda EditionCalcutta Edition
ISweet is the nightSONGS TO MYRTILLA.SONGS TO MYRTILLA1
IIO coïl, coïlO COÏL, COÏLO COIL, COIL.
IIIGoetheGOETHE.GOETHE.
IVFerdinand LassalleFERDINAND LASSALLE,THE LOST DELIVERER.
VCharles Stewart Parnell / 1891CHARALES [sic] STEWART PARNELL / 1891Charles Stewart Parnell. / 1891
VIHic Jacet. / Glasnevin Cemetery. 1891.HIC JACET. / Glasnevin Cemetery.HIC JACET. / Glasnevin Cemetery.
VIILines on Ireland / 1896LINES ON IRELAND. / 1896LINES ON IRELAND. / 1896.
VIIIOn a Satyr & Sleeping LoveON A SATYR AND SLEEPING LOVE.ON A SATYR AND SLEEPING LOVE.
IXA Rose of WomenA ROSE OF WOMEN.A ROSE OF WOMEN.
XSaraswati with the Lotus2SARASWATI WITH THE LOTUS.SARASWATI WITH THE LOTUS.
XINight by the SeaNIGHT BY THE SEA.NIGHT BY THE SEA.
XIIThe Lover’s ComplaintTHE LOVER’S COMPLAINT.THE LOVER’S COMPLAINT.
XIIILove in SadnessLOVE IN SORROW.LOVE IN SORROW.
XIVThe Island Grave.THE ISLAND GRAVE.THE ISLAND GRAVE.
XVEstelleESTELLE.ESTELLE.
XVIThe Just Man.3
XVIIRadha’s Complaint in Absence.[XVI] RADHA’S COMPLAINT IN ABSENCE.4RADHA’S COMPLAINT IN ABSENCE.
[XVII] RADHA’S APPEAL.4RADHA’S APPEAL.
XVIIILines written after reading a novel of Bunkim Chundra ChatterjiBUNKIM CHUNDRA CHATTERJI.BUNKIM CHANDRA CHATTERJI.
XIXModhu Soudan DuttMODHOU SOUDAN DUTT.MADHUSUDAN DUTT.
XXTo the Cuckoo5TO THE CUKOO. [sic]TO THE CUCKOO.
XXIVale.[no title]6ENVOI.7

1 Here this rubric appears to be the book-title and not the title of the first poem.

2 In all three states the title is followed, on a separate line, by: “(Bankim [MS: Bunkim] Chandra Chatterji. Obiit [MS: April] 1894)”.

3 Not published in Baroda or Calcutta editions; first published in Archives and Research 1 (1977): 20–21.

4 In both known editions the title is followed by: “(Imitated from the Bengali of Chundidas)”.

5 Subtitled in MS: “A Spring Morning in India”. This subtitle may have been deleted from the Baroda edition simply because of limitations of space.

6 The omission of the title Vale may also have been due to the fact that the page of the Baroda edition on which this and the preceding poem were printed is completely packed with text.

7 In all three states, four lines of Latin verse, which also are included in the Centenary edition (Collected Poems, p. 28), precede the English text. These lines, apparently by Sri Aurobindo, may be translated as follows:

Farewell, O Muses, go now you too from me, sweet Muses, indeed; for I am going to speak the truth: sweet were you — and yet visit again my papers (writings), although with shy discretion and rarely.


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