The Waste Land )) * T.S. Eliot))*

((The Waste Land )) * T.S. Eliot*

The Waste Land 

T.S. Eliot

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain
Winter kept us warm, covering 
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers
A Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled
And I was frightened. He said, Marie
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went
In the mountains, there you feel free
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man
ou cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you
I will show you fear in a handful of dust
Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind
You gave me hyacinths first a year ago
They called me the hyacinth girl
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing
Looking into the heart of light, the silence
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she
Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks
The lady of situations
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself
One must be so careful these days
Unreal City
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many
I had not thought death had undone so many
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying ‘Stetson
You who were with me in the ships at Mylae
That corpse you planted last year in your garden
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? 
Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed? 
Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men
Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again
You! hypocrite lecteur
mon semblable,—mon frère
II. A GAME OF CHESS
Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing) 
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it
From satin cases poured in rich profusion
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes
Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
That freshened from the window, these ascended
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames
Flung their smoke into the laquearia
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling
Huge sea-wood fed with coppe
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone
In which sad light a carvèd dolphin swam
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
Jug Jug’ to dirty ears
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed
Footsteps shuffled on the stair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still
My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me
Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak
What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? 
‘I never know what you are thinking. Think.’
I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones
‘What is that noise?’
The wind under the door
What is that noise now? What is the wind doing? 
You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember ‘Nothing?’
I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes. 
Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head? 
It’s so elegant
So intelligent
What shall I do now? What shall I do? 
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow? 
What shall we ever do? 
And if it rains, a closed car at four
And we shall play a game of chess
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door
When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself
Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart
He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set
He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you
And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert
He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time
And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said
Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said
Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look
If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said
Others can pick and choose if you can’t
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique
(And her only thirty-one
I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face
It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said
(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George
The chemist said it would be alright, but I’ve never been the same
You are a proper fool, I said
Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said
What you get married for if you don’t want children
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night
III. THE FIRE SERMON
HE
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors
Departed, have left no addresses
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear
A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse
Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck
And on the king my father’s death before him
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret
Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year

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