"Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis

vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo."



April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing0
Memory and desire, stirring1
Dull roots with spring rain.2
Winter kept us warm, covering3
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding4
A little life with dried tubers.5
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee6
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,7
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,8
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.9
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.10
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,11
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,12
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,13
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.14
In the mountains, there you feel free.15
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,18
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only19
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,20
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,21
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only22
There is shadow under this red rock,23
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),24
And I will show you something different from either25
Your shadow at morning striding behind you26
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;27
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.28
     Frisch weht der Wind29
     Der Heimat zu30
     Mein Irisch Kind,31
     Wo weilest du?32
"You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;33
"They called me the hyacinth girl."34
- Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,35
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not36
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither37
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,38
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.39
Od' und leer das Meer.


Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,

Had a bad cold, nevertheless42
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,43
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,44
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,45
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)46
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,47
The lady of situations.48
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,49
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,50
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,51
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find52
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.53
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.54
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,55
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:56
One must be so careful these days.


Unreal City,

Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,59
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,60
I had not thought death had undone so many.61
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,62
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.63
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,64
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours65
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.66
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying "Stetson!67
"You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!68
"That corpse you planted last year in your garden,69
"Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?70
"Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?71
"Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,72
"Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!73
"You! hypocrite lecteur! - mon semblable, - mon frere!"



The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,

Glowed on the marble, where the glass0
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines1
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out2
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)3
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra4
Reflecting light upon the table as5
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,6
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;7
In vials of ivory and coloured glass8
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,9
Unguent, powdered, or liquid - troubled, confused10
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air11
That freshened from the window, these ascended12
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,13
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,14
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.15
Huge sea-wood fed with copper16
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,17
In which sad light a carved dolphin swam.18
Above the antique mantel was displayed19
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene20
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king21
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale 22
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice23
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,24
"Jug Jug" to dirty ears.25
And other withered stumps of time26
Were told upon the walls; staring forms27
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.28
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.29
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair30
Spread out in fiery points31
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.34
"What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?35
"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.40
"What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?"41
                             Nothing again nothing. 42
"You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember44


   I remember

Those are pearls that were his eyes.47
"Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?"48
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag -50
It's so elegant51
So intelligent52
"What shall I do now? What shall I do?"53
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street54
"With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?55
"What shall we ever do?"56
                                     The hot water at ten.57
And if it rains, a closed car at four.58
And we shall play a game of chess,59
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,62
Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart.64
He'll want to know what you done with that money he gave you65
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.66
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,67
He said, I swear, I can't bear to look at you.68
And no more can't I, I said, and think of poor Albert,69
He's been in the army four years, he wants a good time,70
And if you don't give it him, there's others will, I said.71
Oh is there, she said. Something o' that, I said.72
Then I'll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight73
If you don't like it you can get on with it, I said.76
Others can pick and choose if you can't.77
But if Albert makes off, it won't be for lack of telling.78
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.79
(And her only thirty-one.)80
I can't help it, she said, pulling a long face,81
It's them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.82
(She's had five already, and nearly died of young George.)83
The chemist said it would be alright, but I've never been the84
You are a proper fool, I said.86
Well, if Albert won't leave you alone, there it is, I said,87
What you get married for if you don't want children?88
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,90
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot -91
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.94
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.95
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good96



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





Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,

Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell0
And the profit and loss.1
                                         A current under sea2
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell3
He passed the stages of his age and youth4
Entering the whirlpool.5
                                       Gentile or Jew6
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,7
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.



After the torchlight red on sweaty faces

After the frosty silence in the gardens0
After the agony in stony places1
The shouting and the crying2
Prison and palace and reverberation3
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains4
He who was living is now dead5
We who were living are now dying6
With a little patience


Here is no water but only rock

Rock and no water and the sandy road9
The road winding above among the mountains10
Which are mountains of rock without water11
If there were water we should stop and drink12
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think13
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand14
If there were only water amongst the rock15
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit16
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit17
There is not even silence in the mountains18
But dry sterile thunder without rain19
There is not even solitude in the mountains20
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl21
From doors of mudcracked houses22
                                                         If there were water23
And no rock24
If there were rock25
And also water26
And water27
A spring28
A pool among the rock29
If there were the sound of water only30
Not the cicada31
And dry grass singing32
But sound of water over a rock33
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees34
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop35
But there is no water


Who is the third who walks always beside you?

When I count, there are only you and I together38
But when I look ahead up the white road39
There is always another one walking beside you40
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded41
I do not know whether a man or a woman42
- But who is that on the other side of you?


What is that sound high in the air

Murmur of maternal lamentation45
Who are those hooded hordes swarming46
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth47
Ringed by the flat horizon only48
What is the city over the mountains49
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air50
Falling towers51
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria52
Vienna London53


A woman drew her long black hair out tight

And fiddled whisper music on those strings56
And bats with baby faces in the violet light57
Whistled, and beat their wings58
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall59
And upside down in air were towers60
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours61
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.


In this decayed hole among the mountains

In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing64
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel65
There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.66
It has no windows, and the door swings,67
Dry bones can harm no one.68
Only a cock stood on the rooftree69
Co co rico co co rico70
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust71
Bringing rain


Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves

Waited for rain, while the black clouds74
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.75
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.76
Then spoke the thunder77
Datta: what have we given?79
My friend, blood shaking my heart80
The awful daring of a moment's surrender81
Which an age of prudence can never retract82
By this, and this only, we have existed83
Which is not to be found in our obituaries84
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider85
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor86
In our empty rooms 87
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key89
Turn in the door once and turn once only90
We think of the key, each in his prison91
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison92
Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours93
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus94
Damyata: The boat responded96
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar97
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded98
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient99
To controlling hands


                                     I sat upon the shore

Fishing, with the arid plain behind me102
Shall I at least set my lands in order?103
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down104
Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina105
Quando fiam ceu chelidon - O swallow swallow106
Le Prince d'Aquitaine a la tour abolie107
These fragments I have shored against my ruins108
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe.109
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.110
                           Shantih    shantih    shantih111