The river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf

Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind0
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.1
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.2
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,3
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends4
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.5
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;6
Departed, have left no addresses.7

By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .

Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,9
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.10
But at my back in a cold blast I hear11
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.12
A rat crept softly through the vegetation13
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank14
While I was fishing in the dull canal15
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse16
Musing upon the king my brother's wreck17
And on the king my father's death before him.18
White bodies naked on the low damp ground19
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,20
Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year.21
But at my back from time to time I hear22
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring23
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.24
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter25
And on her daughter26
They wash their feet in soda water27
Et O ces voix d'enfants, chantant dans la coupole!


Twit twit twit

Jug jug jug jug jug jug30
So rudely forc'd.31


Unreal City

Under the brown fog of a winter noon34
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant35
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants36
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,37
Asked me in demotic French38
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel39
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 waits42
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,43
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,44
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see45
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives46
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,47
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights48
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.49
Out of the window perilously spread50
Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays,51
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)52
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.53
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs54
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest -55
I too awaited the expected guest.56
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,57
A small house agent's clerk, with one bold stare,58
One of the low on whom assurance sits59
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.60
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,61
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,62
Endeavours to engage her in caresses63
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.64
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;65
Exploring hands encounter no defence;66
His vanity requires no response,67
And makes a welcome of indifference.68
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all69
Enacted on this same divan or bed;70
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall71
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)72
Bestows one final patronising kiss,73
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .


She turns and looks a moment in the glass,

Hardly aware of her departed lover;76
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:77
"Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over."78
When lovely woman stoops to folly and79
Paces about her room again, alone,80
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,81
And puts a record on the gramophone.


"This music crept by me upon the waters"

And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.84
O City city, I can sometimes hear85
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,86
The pleasant whining of a mandoline87
And a clatter and a chatter from within88
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls89
Of Magnus Martyr hold90
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.


     The river sweats

     Oil and tar93
     The barges drift94
     With the turning tide95
     Red sails96
     To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.98
     The barges wash99
     Drifting logs100
     Down Greenwich reach101
     Past the Isle of Dogs.102
          Weialala leia103
          Wallala leialala


     Elizabeth and Leicester

     Beating oars106
     The stern was formed107
     A gilded shell108
     Red and gold109
     The brisk swell110
     Rippled both shores111
     Southwest wind112
     Carried down stream113
     The peal of bells114
     White towers115
          Weialala leia 116
          Wallala leialala


"Trams and dusty trees.

Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew119
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees120
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe."


"My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart

Under my feet. After the event123
He wept. He promised 'a new start'.124
I made no comment. What should I resent?"125
"On Margate Sands. 126
I can connect127
Nothing with nothing.128
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.129
My people humble people who expect130
     la la


To Carthage then I came


Burning burning burning burning

O Lord Thou pluckest me out135
O Lord Thou pluckest




This version of the text was edited by Dennis G. Jerz, 2000.
This online text is subject to the restrictions placed upon the editors of the source text from which these web pages were generated (see above). Subject to these pre-existing conditions, permission is hereby given for individuals to use this HTML edition for non-commercial educational purposes (that is, for teaching, research, and study) as long as copyright information is not removed as long as no charge is made for use of the collection.

HTML files generated by a program originally developed by Dennis G. Jerz for the University of Toronto English Library, under the direction of Professor Ian Lancashire.