by Savitri Devi
Edited by R.G. Fowler
This is the second installment of Savitri Devi’s previously unpublished book of “prose poems” Forever and Ever, which the Archive is publishing over the course of this month to commemorate Savitri Devi’s 101st birthday, which falls on 30 September 2006.
This particular poem shows strong indications of being an uncorrected and unrevised draft, even though there are a few handwritten corrections or emendations. First, as I note below, several sentences simply make no sense. It may merely be the case that some words were omitted when the typescript was prepared, but the fact that such omissions were not corrected indicates that the typescript was not carefully edited. Second, the quality of the writing is simply not up to Savitri Devi’s standards, particularly her descriptions of natural phenomena, which are wordy and awkward, lacking the polish and symmetry of such passages in her published works.
In transcribing and editing these poems for publication, I have translated the German epigraphs, corrected any spelling and grammatical errors, and “Americanized” and updated the spelling. I have not altered Savitri’s sometimes eccentric capitalization practices. Nor have I altered her punctuation, although I have pruned her sometimes long ellipses down to three dots each. Editorial additions appear in square brackets. PDF images of the typescript are available for those who wish to check my editing or bypass it altogether. Just click the title of the poem.
—R. G. Fowler
“Auch das hellenische Kulturideal soll uns in seiner vorbildlichen Schönheit erhalten bleiben. Man darf sich nicht durch Verschiedenheiten der einzelnen Völker die größere Rassegemeinschaft zerreißen lassen. Der Kampf, der heute tobt, geht um ganz große Ziele: ein Kultur kämpft um ihr Dasein, die Jahrtausende in sich verbindet und Griechen- und Germanentum gemeinsam umschließt.”
—Mein Kampf, 1939 edition, p. 4701
But yet, I knew Thee not, I knew not Thy great people. And I did not suspect what possibilities lay within them, in our times, under my eyes.
Weary of the silly, sickly world which I did know; full of contempt for the conceited nation that laughs at everything she cannot understand, and holds in horror all extreme, uncompromising faiths;—the nation that put forth the world-wide snare: the “rights of man,” and hates obvious authority and iron order backed by force of arms, while she adores the unseen slavery of the gullible mind to lies2;—full of contempt, also, for the religion that teaches that other great lie: “the dignity of every human soul,” in the name of a god whom I had never loved,3 I turned my eyes to far-gone days; to gods and to heroes long dead, whose names no longer stirred devotion in the hearts of men, I gave my heart. I wept because I could not bring them back to life again.
The vision of the ancient Rock,—of the Acropolis, seat of Perfection[,] white and golden beneath Attica’s cloudless sky;—lived in my memory. And along with it, I adored the beauty of the manly virtues of heroes like unto the Gods—whether of those who stormed immortal Troy, three thousand years ago, or of those no less great, and no less godlike, who, merely a century before the present day, struggled for Hellas’ freedom, in mountain fastnesses and on the sea, under the banner of the Cross. And along with it, I worshipped the beauty of the holy North in by-gone days, before its racial pride had yielded to the foreign god of meekness; the beauty of the conquering men—my mother’s ancestors—who, when in a deafening roar, [an] outburst of monstrous glee, the sky and the Sea challenged each other’s might, the tempest howled, the thunder growled, and lightning tore the crumbling clouds, stood in their ships, erect, and beat their shields in cadence, and answering the furious Voice of elemental Godhead, sang warrior-like hymns to Odin and Thor.
Where were they now, those supermen? Where was the spirit of my race, which lived in me? Where was I now to find men at the hearing of whose songs my heart would beat? Men in whose words I would detect the spell of pride and power? Whose voice I gladly would obey?—Men whom I could admire?
All round me I beheld nothing but credulous and kindly ape, or—which is worse—pedantic apes, well-read, but without faith, without the urge to fight for Something greater than themselves and than their narrow “happiness”; something for which men fight, along their way to supermanhood. And only in the scattered lines of a few dreamers did I find an echo of my yearning. “Come, O thou exile of the far-gone times”; said one of these. “The axe has felled the sacred trees; where swords once clattered, now, the slave doth crawl and pray. And all the Gods have gone away. Come to them in the gleaming Walhall, where They await thee!”4
And I, fourteen, and full of youthful ardor, full of the thirst for sacrifices for Something that would mean, to me, all that the Gods of Greece and of the ancient North then meant; and I the daughter of the North and of [the] Aegean all in one, afire with love for Someone who, to me, would be the embodiment of resurrected Aryandom—Someone whom I could deify—5I knew never more to return; over the fair-haired warriors in whom their spirit dwelt; over the beauty and virility of Aryan man, the pride of Aryan woman, wife and queen,—mother of men.
Slowly, but steadily, yet Thou wast rising, appointed by those very Gods whom I adored; to lead higher mankind to glory and to death, and then, to greater glory still. In Thy visible garb, thirty years old wert Thou, eternal One, my Savior. Already, above the noise of catastrophic changes that shook the world, Thy people heard Thy voice proclaim the message of Thy anxious love—Thy ultimatum to the Chosen Nation—: “Future or ruin!” Already, to their depth, Thy inspired words had stirred them. Already a few bold, hard and true,—young men of gold and steel—had risen at Thy call and given Thee their all, and sworn to Thee, with joy, life-long allegiance in absolute obedience.
And just as when, before the storm, the surface of the sea, still remains calm, and the sky blue, meanwhile in unsuspected heights, slowly, tremendous whirls appear gathering scattered water-drops into dark clouds ready to burst; and just when no sign of new eruption can be shown in or around their silent, empty craters, down, down, low down in untold depth within the burning bowels of slumbering volcanoes, the unseen molten basalt boils and roars and rises day by day; so likewise at the call of Thy compelling love, so, likewise at the light of Thy inspired, star-like eyes, slowly the age-old manliness and pride and will to power were roused anew within a day; and young men heroes.6 And while the land still groaned under the heels of victors who had made it clear that theirs, in the great councils of the days, in which silly humanity was told to put its hope,7 from the breasts of the chosen few burst forth the cry that echoes Thine: “Awake, O nation fated to proclaim the divine right of pure blood; fated to rise and rule: Germany awake!”
Oh, had I heard the marital cry—the call to resurrection—and had I also know that along the way of light, I would be allowed to follow Thee! That I too was invited to the great sacrifice in honor of the dawn; to the great Feast of Life at which, expressing my own youthful yearning, minstrels would praise the Gods I loved in magnificent hymns; to the great processional march in which, I too, would bear a torch, and I too had my voice to the broadening chorus, and in which on my right and on my left, and all around me I would have, as comrades, nay, as brothers, read demi-gods of flesh and blood! Oh, Had I know thou wast the One whom I had sought from century to century, and Whom I was still seeking, in ardent adolescent dreams! And that Thou wouldst welcome in me, the daughter of the outer Aryan world of North and South; the first-fruits of the love and reverence of the whole Race for Thee, its Savior, Thee its Leader, Thee its uncrowned King! Had I but known? . . .
But greater ones than I knew Thee not yet.
1 “We should also retain the Hellenic cultural ideal in its exemplary beauty. One must not allow the larger racial community to be torn apart by the differences between individual peoples. The fight which rages today revolves entirely around grand goals: a culture fights for its existence, which encompasses the millennia and includes Greece and Germany together.”—Trans. R.G. Fowler.
2 Savitri refers here to France, the nation of her birth and upbringing.
3 Savitri refers here to Christianity.
4 Leconte de Lisle, “Le Barde de Temrah.”
5 From this point forward, the sentence makes no sense. It is possible that when Savitri prepared the typescript, she left out some words. Those who are never more to return are probably the old Greek and Nordic gods.
6 Again, some words seem to be missing here.
7 Yet again, some words seem to be missing.