The Wasteland by T.S Elliot - HTML preview
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.
The Waste Land
by T. S. Eliot
May, 1998 [Etext #1321]
*The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Waste Land, by T. S.
*****This file should be named wslnd11.txt or wslnd11.zip******
Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, wslnd12.txt
VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, wslnd11a.txt
Project Gutenberg Etexts are usually created from multiple editions,
all of which are in the Public Domain in the United States, unless a
copyright notice is included. Therefore, we do NOT keep these books
in compliance with any particular paper edition, usually otherwise.
We are now trying to release all our books one month in advance
of the official release dates, for time for better editing.
Please note: neither this list nor its contents are final till
midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement.
The official release date of all Project Gutenberg Etexts is at
Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month. A
preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, comment
and editing by those who wish to do so. To be sure you have an
up to date first edition [xxxxx10x.xxx] please check file sizes
in the first week of the next month. Since our ftp program has
a bug in it that scrambles the date [tried to fix and failed] a
look at the file size will have to do, but we will try to see a
new copy has at least one byte more or less.
Information about Project Gutenberg (one page) We produce about two million dollars for each hour we work. The
fifty hours is one conservative estimate for how long it we take
to get any etext selected, entered, proofread, edited, copyright
searched and analyzed, the copyright letters written, etc. This
projected audience is one hundred million readers. If our value
per text is nominally estimated at one dollar then we produce $2
million dollars per hour this year as we release thirty-two text
files per month, or 384 more Etexts in 1998 for a total of 1500+
If these reach just 10% of the computerized population, then the
total should reach over 150 billion Etexts given away.
The Goal of Project Gutenberg is to Give Away One Trillion Etext
Files by the December 31, 2001. [10,000 x 100,000,000=Trillion]
This is ten thousand titles each to one hundred million readers,
which is only 10% of the present number of computer users. 2001
should have at least twice as many computer users as that, so it
will require us reaching less than 5% of the users in 2001.
We need your donations more than ever!
All donations should be made to "Project Gutenberg/CMU": and are
tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. (CMU =
For these and other matters, please mail to: Project Gutenberg
P. O. Box 2782
Champaign, IL 61825
When all other email fails try our Executive Director: Michael S. Hart <email@example.com> We would prefer to send you this information by email (Internet, Bitnet, Compuserve, ATTMAIL or MCImail).
******If you have an FTP program (or emulator), please FTP directly to the Project Gutenberg archives:
[Mac users, do NOT point and click. . .type]
cd etext/etext90 through /etext96
or cd etext/articles [get suggest gut for more information]
dir [to see files]
get or mget [to get files. . .set bin for zip files]
for a list of books
GET NEW GUT for general information and
MGET GUT* for newsletters.
**Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor**
***START**THE SMALL PRINT!**FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN
Why is this "Small Print!" statement here? You know: lawyers.
They tell us you might sue us if there is something wrong with
your copy of this etext, even if you got it for free from
someone other than us, and even if what's wrong is not our
fault. So, among other things, this "Small Print!"
disclaims most of our liability to you. It also tells you how
you can distribute copies of this etext if you want to.
*BEFORE!* YOU USE OR READ THIS ETEXT
By using or reading any part of this PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
etext, you indicate that you understand, agree to and accept
this "Small Print!" statement. If you do not, you can receive
a refund of the money (if any) you paid for this etext by
sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the person
you got it from. If you received this etext on a physical
medium (such as a disk), you must return it with your request.
ABOUT PROJECT GUTENBERG-TM ETEXTS
This PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext, like most PROJECT
tm etexts, is a "public domain" work distributed by Professor
Michael S. Hart through the Project Gutenberg Association at
Carnegie-Mellon University (the "Project"). Among other things, this means that no one owns a United States copyright
on or for this work, so the Project (and you!) can copy and
distribute it in the United States without permission and
without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth
below, apply if you wish to copy and distribute this etext
under the Project's "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark.
To create these etexts, the Project expends considerable efforts to identify, transcribe and proofread public domain
works. Despite these efforts, the Project's etexts and any
medium they may be on may contain "Defects". Among other
things, Defects may take the form of incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged
disk or other etext medium, a computer virus, or computer
codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.
LIMITED WARRANTY; DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES
But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below,
 the Project (and any other party you may receive this
etext from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext) disclaims all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including
legal fees, and  YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE
UNDER STRICT LIABILITY, OR FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY OR
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE
OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
If you discover a Defect in this etext within 90 days of receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any)
you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that
time to the person you received it from. If you received it
on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and
such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement
copy. If you received it electronically, such person may
choose to alternatively give you a second opportunity to receive it electronically.
THIS ETEXT IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS". NO
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE TO
TO THE ETEXT OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE ON, INCLUDING BUT
LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR
Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or
the exclusion or limitation of consequential damages, so the
above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you, and you
may have other legal rights.
You will indemnify and hold the Project, its directors, officers, members and agents harmless from all liability, cost
and expense, including legal fees, that arise directly or
indirectly from any of the following that you do or cause:
 distribution of this etext,  alteration, modification,
or addition to the etext, or  any Defect.
DISTRIBUTION UNDER "PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm"
You may distribute copies of this etext electronically, or by
disk, book or any other medium if you either delete this
"Small Print!" and all other references to Project Gutenberg,
 Only give exact copies of it. Among other things, this
requires that you do not remove, alter or modify the
etext or this "small print!" statement. You may however,
if you wish, distribute this etext in machine readable
binary, compressed, mark-up, or proprietary form, including any form resulting from conversion by word processing or hypertext software, but only so long as
[*] The etext, when displayed, is clearly readable, and
does *not* contain characters other than those intended by the author of the work, although tilde
(~), asterisk (*) and underline () characters may
be used to convey punctuation intended by the author, and additional characters may be used to
indicate hypertext links; OR
[*] The etext may be readily converted by the reader at
no expense into plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent
form by the program that displays the etext (as is
the case, for instance, with most word processors);
[*] You provide, or agree to also provide on request at
no additional cost, fee or expense, a copy of the
etext in its original plain ASCII form (or in EBCDIC
or other equivalent proprietary form).
 Honor the etext refund and replacement provisions of this
"Small Print!" statement.
 Pay a trademark license fee to the Project of 20%
net profits you derive calculated using the method you
already use to calculate your applicable taxes. If you
don't derive profits, no royalty is due. Royalties are
payable to "Project Gutenberg Association/Carnegie-Mellon
University" within the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were legally required to prepare)
your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return.
WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE
The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money, time,
scanning machines, OCR software, public domain etexts, royalty
free copyright licenses, and every other sort of contribution
you can think of. Money should be paid to "Project Gutenberg
Association / Carnegie-Mellon University".
*END*THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN
THE WASTE LAND
"Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo."
I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD
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.
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, 10
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, 20
You 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, (Come in under the shadow of 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,
Wo weilest du?
"You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
"They called me the hyacinth girl."
- Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden, Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, 40
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Od' und leer das Meer.
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, Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor, (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.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone, Tell her I bring the horoscope myself: One must be so careful these days.
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, 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
"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?
Line 42 Od'] Oed' - Editor.
"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 frere!"
II. A GAME OF CHESS
The 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 80
(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 90
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames, Flung their smoke into the laquearia, Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone, In which sad light a carved dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale 100
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
"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.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair 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?"
Nothing again nothing.
"You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
"Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?"
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag -
It's so elegant
"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?"
The hot water at
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, 140
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
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.
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
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.) 160
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?
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
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 -
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
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
The river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf 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; 180
Departed, have left no addresses.
Line 161 ALRIGHT. This spelling occurs also in the Hogarth Press edition - Editor.
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 190
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.
But at my back from time to time I hear The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter And on her daughter
They wash their feet in soda water Et O ces voix d'enfants, chantant dans la coupole!
Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc'd.
Under the brown fog of a winter noon Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants 210
C.i.f. London: documents at sight, Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.
At the violet hour, when the eyes and back Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives, Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives 220
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea, The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays, On the divan are piled (at night her bed) Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest -
I too awaited the expected guest.
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives, A small house agent's clerk, with one bold stare, One of the low on whom assurance sits As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses, The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, Endeavours to engage her in caresses Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once; Exploring hands encounter no defence; 240
His vanity requires no response, And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all Enacted on this same divan or bed; I who have sat by Thebes below the wall And walked among the lowest of the dead.) Bestows one final patronising kiss, And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .
She turns and looks a moment in the glass, Hardly aware of her departed lover; 250
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
"Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over."
When lovely woman stoops to folly and Paces about her room again, alone, She smoothes her hair with automatic hand, And puts a record on the gramophone.
"This music crept by me upon the waters"
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
O City city, I can sometimes hear Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street, 260
The pleasant whining of a mandoline And a clatter and a chatter from within Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls Of Magnus Martyr hold
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.
The river sweats
Oil and tar
The barges drift
With the turning tide
To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
The barges wash
Down Greenwich reach
Past the Isle of Dogs.
Elizabeth and Leicester
The stern was formed
A gilded shell
Red and gold
The brisk swell
Rippled both shores
Carried down stream
The peal of bells
"Trams and dusty trees.
Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe."
"My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart Under my feet. After the event
He wept. He promised 'a new start'.
I made no comment. What should I resent?"
"On Margate Sands.
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
My people humble people who expect Nothing."
To Carthage then I came
Burning burning burning burning
O Lord Thou pluckest me out
O Lord Thou pluckest
IV. DEATH BY WATER
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell And the profit and loss.
A current under
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell He passed the stages of his age and youth Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, 320
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
V. WHAT THE THUNDER SAID
After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying With a little patience
Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water If there were water we should stop and drink Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand If there were only water amongst the rock Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit 340
There is not even silence in the mountains But dry sterile thunder without rain There is not even solitude in the mountains But red sullen faces sneer and snarl From doors of mudcracked houses
If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop But there is no water
Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman
- But who is that on the other side of you?
What is that sound high in the air Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth 370
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light 380
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall And upside down in air were towers Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.
In this decayed hole among the mountains In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.
It has no windows, and the door swings, 390
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the rooftree Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust Bringing rain
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves Waited for rain, while the black clouds Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus DA
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar 420
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands
I sat upon the
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina Quando fiam ceu chelidon - O swallow swallow Le Prince d'Aquitaine a la tour abolie 430
These fragments I have shored against my ruins Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
Shantih shantih shantih
Line 416 aetherial] aethereal
Line 429 ceu] uti - Editor
NOTES ON "THE WASTE LAND"
Not only the title, but the plan and a good deal of the incidental symbolism of the poem were suggested by Miss Jessie L. Weston's book on the Grail legend: From Ritual to Romance (Macmillan).<1> Indeed, so deeply am I indebted, Miss Weston's book will elucidate
the difficulties of the poem much better than my notes can do;
and I recommend it (apart from the great interest of the book itself)
to any who think such elucidation of the poem worth the trouble.
To another work of anthropology I am indebted in general, one which has
influenced our generation profoundly; I mean The Golden Bough; I have
used especially the two volumes Adonis, Attis, Osiris.
Anyone who is
acquainted with these works will immediately recognise in the poem
certain references to vegetation ceremonies.
<1> Macmillan] Cambridge.
I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD
Line 20. Cf. Ezekiel 2:1.
23. Cf. Ecclesiastes 12:5.
31. V. Tristan und Isolde, i, verses 5-8.
42. Id. iii, verse 24.
46. I am not familiar with the exact constitution of the Tarot pack
of cards, from which I have obviously departed to suit my own convenience.
The Hanged Man, a member of the traditional pack, fits my purpose
in two ways: because he is associated in my mind with the Hanged God
of Frazer, and because I associate him with the hooded figure in
the passage of the disciples to Emmaus in Part V. The Phoenician Sailor
and the Merchant appear later; also the "crowds of people," and
Death by Water is executed in Part IV. The Man with Three Staves
(an authentic member of the Tarot pack) I associate, quite arbitrarily,
with the Fisher King himself.
60. Cf. Baudelaire:
"Fourmillante cite;, cite; pleine de reves, Ou le spectre en plein jour raccroche le passant."
63. Cf. Inferno, iii. 55-7.
"si lunga tratta
di gente, ch'io non avrei mai creduto che morte tanta n'avesse disfatta."
64. Cf. Inferno, iv. 25-7:
"Quivi, secondo che per ascoltare,
"non avea pianto, ma' che di sospiri,
"che l'aura eterna facevan tremare."
68. A phenomenon which I have often noticed.
74. Cf. the Dirge in Webster's White Devil .
76. V. Baudelaire, Preface to Fleurs du Mal.
II. A GAME OF CHESS
77. Cf. Antony and Cleopatra, II. ii., l. 190.
92. Laquearia. V. Aeneid, I. 726: dependent lychni laquearibus aureis incensi, et noctem flammis
98. Sylvan scene. V. Milton, Paradise Lost, iv. 140.
99. V. Ovid, Metamorphoses, vi, Philomela.
100. Cf. Part III, l. 204.
115. Cf. Part III, l. 195.
118. Cf. Webster: "Is the wind in that door still?"
126. Cf. Part I, l. 37, 48.
138. Cf. the game of chess in Middleton's Women beware Women.
III. THE FIRE SERMON
176. V. Spenser, Prothalamion.
192. Cf. The Tempest, I. ii.
196. Cf. Marvell, To His Coy Mistress.
197. Cf. Day, Parliament of Bees:
"When of the sudden, listening, you shall hear,
"A noise of horns and hunting, which shall bring
"Actaeon to Diana in the spring,
"Where all shall see her naked skin . . ."
199. I do not know the origin of the ballad from which these lines
are taken: it was reported to me from Sydney, Australia.
202. V. Verlaine, Parsifal.
210. The currants were quoted at a price "carriage and insurance
free to London"; and the Bill of Lading etc. were to be handed
to the buyer upon payment of the sight draft.
Notes 196 and 197 were transposed in this and the Hogarth Press edition,
but have been corrected here.
210. "Carriage and insurance free"] "cost, insurance and freight"-Editor.
218. Tiresias, although a mere spectator and not indeed a "character,"
is yet the most important personage in the poem, uniting all the rest.
Just as the one-eyed merchant, seller of currants, melts into
the Phoenician Sailor, and the latter is not wholly distinct
from Ferdinand Prince of Naples, so all the women are one woman,
and the two sexes meet in Tiresias. What Tiresias sees, in fact,
is the substance of the poem. The whole passage from Ovid is
of great anthropological interest:
'. . . Cum Iunone iocos et maior vestra profecto est
Quam, quae contingit maribus,' dixisse, 'voluptas.'
Illa negat; placuit quae sit sententia docti Quaerere Tiresiae: venus huic erat utraque nota.
Nam duo magnorum viridi coeuntia silva Corpora serpentum baculi violaverat ictu Deque viro factus, mirabile, femina septem Egerat autumnos; octavo rursus eosdem Vidit et 'est vestrae si tanta potentia plagae,'
Dixit 'ut auctoris sortem in contraria mutet, Nunc quoque vos feriam!' percussis anguibus isdem Forma prior rediit genetivaque venit imago.
Arbiter hic igitur sumptus de lite iocosa Dicta Iovis firmat; gravius Saturnia iusto Nec pro materia fertur doluisse suique Iudicis aeterna damnavit lumina nocte, At pater omnipotens (neque enim licet inrita cuiquam
Facta dei fecisse deo) pro lumine adempto Scire futura dedit poenamque levavit honore.
221. This may not appear as exact as Sappho's lines, but I had in mind
the "longshore" or "dory" fisherman, who returns at nightfall.
253. V. Goldsmith, the song in The Vicar of Wakefield.
257. V. The Tempest, as above.
264. The interior of St. Magnus Martyr is to my mind one of
the finest among Wren's interiors. See The Proposed Demolition
of Nineteen City Churches (P. S. King & Son, Ltd.).
266. The Song of the (three) Thames-daughters begins here.
From line 292 to 306 inclusive they speak in turn.
V. Gutterdsammerung, III. i: the Rhine-daughters.
279. V. Froude, Elizabeth, Vol. I, ch. iv, letter of De Quadra
to Philip of Spain:
"In the afternoon we were in a barge, watching the games on the river.
(The queen) was alone with Lord Robert and myself on the poop,
when they began to talk nonsense, and went so far that Lord Robert
at last said, as I was on the spot there was no reason why they
should not be married if the queen pleased."
293. Cf. Purgatorio, v. 133:
"Ricorditi di me, che son la Pia; Siena mi fe', disfecemi Maremma."
307. V. St. Augustine's Confessions: "to Carthage then I came,
where a cauldron of unholy loves sang all about mine ears."
308. The complete text of the Buddha's Fire Sermon (which corresponds
in importance to the Sermon on the Mount) from which these words are taken,
will be found translated in the late Henry Clarke Warren's Buddhism
in Translation (Harvard Oriental Series). Mr. Warren was one
of the great pioneers of Buddhist studies in the Occident.
309. From St. Augustine's Confessions again. The collocation
of these two representatives of eastern and western asceticism,
as the culmination of this part of the poem, is not an accident.
V. WHAT THE THUNDER SAID
In the first part of Part V three themes are employed: the journey to Emmaus, the approach to the Chapel Perilous
(see Miss Weston's book) and the present decay of eastern Europe.
357. This is Turdus aonalaschkae pallasii, the hermit-thrush
which I have heard in Quebec County. Chapman says (Handbook of
Birds of Eastern North America) "it is most at home in secluded
woodland and thickety retreats. . . . Its notes are not remarkable
for variety or volume, but in purity and sweetness of tone and
exquisite modulation they are unequalled." Its "water-dripping song"
is justly celebrated.
360. The following lines were stimulated by the account of one
of the Antarctic expeditions (I forget which, but I think one
of Shackleton's): it was related that the party of explorers,
at the extremity of their strength, had the constant delusion
that there was one more member than could actually be counted.
367-77. Cf. Hermann Hesse, Blick ins Chaos:
"Schon ist halb Europa, schon ist zumindest der halbe Osten Europas auf dem
Wege zum Chaos, fährt betrunken im heiligem Wahn am Abgrund entlang
und singt dazu, singt betrunken und hymnisch wie Dmitri Karamasoff sang.
Ueber diese Lieder lacht der Bürger beleidigt, der Heilige
und Seher hört sie mit Tränen."
402. "Datta, dayadhvam, damyata" (Give, sympathize, control). The fable of the meaning of the Thunder is found
in the Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad, 5, 1. A translation is found
in Deussen's Sechzig Upanishads des Veda, p. 489.
408. Cf. Webster, The White Devil, v. vi:
. they'll remarry
Ere the worm pierce your winding-sheet, ere the spider
Make a thin curtain for your epitaphs."
412. Cf. Inferno, xxxiii. 46:
"ed io sentii chiavar l'uscio di sotto all'orribile torre."
Also F. H. Bradley, Appearance and Reality, p. 346:
"My external sensations are no less private to myself than are my
thoughts or my feelings. In either case my experience falls within
my own circle, a circle closed on the outside; and, with all its
elements alike, every sphere is opaque to the others which surround
it. . . . In brief, regarded as an existence which appears in a soul,
the whole world for each is peculiar and private to that soul."
425. V. Weston, From Ritual to Romance; chapter on the Fisher King.
428. V. Purgatorio, xxvi. 148.
"'Ara vos prec per aquella valor
'que vos guida al som de l'escalina,
'sovegna vos a temps de ma dolor.'
Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina."
429. V. Pervigilium Veneris. Cf. Philomela in Parts II and III.
430. V. Gerard de Nerval, Sonnet El Desdichado.
432. V. Kyd's Spanish Tragedy.
434. Shantih. Repeated as here, a formal ending to an Upanishad.
'The Peace which passeth understanding' is a feeble translation
of the content of this word.