One last poem, as I head back to America. This is my kind of TSE.LITTLE GIDDING(No. 4 of 'Four Quartets')T.S. EliotIMidwinter spring is its own seasonSempiternal though sodden towards sundown,Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,In windless cold that is the heart's heat,Reflecting in a watery mirrorA glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fireIn the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezingThe soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smellOr smell of living thing. This is the spring timeBut not in time's covenant. Now the hedgerowIs blanched for an hour with transitory blossomOf snow, a bloom more suddenThan that of summer, neither budding nor fading,Not in the scheme of generation.Where is the summer, the unimaginableZero summer? If you came this way,Taking the route you would be likely to takeFrom the place you would be likely to come from,If you came this way in may time, you would find the hedgesWhite again, in May, with voluptuary sweetness.It would be the same at the end of the journey,If you came at night like a broken king,If you came by day not knowing what you came for,It would be the same, when you leave the rough roadAnd turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facadeAnd the tombstone. And what you thought you came forIs only a shell, a husk of meaningFrom which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilledIf at all. Either you had no purposeOr the purpose is beyond the end you figuredAnd is altered in fulfilment. There are other placesWhich also are the world's end, some at the sea jaws,Or over a dark lake, in a desert or a cityBut this is the nearest, in place and time,Now and in England. If you came this way,Taking any route, starting from anywhere,At any time or at any season,It would always be the same: you would have to put offSense and notion. You are not here to verify,Instruct yourself, or inform curiosityOr carry report. You are here to kneelWhere prayer has been valid. And prayer is moreThan an order of words, the conscious occupationOf the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.And what the dead had no speech for, when living,They can tell you, being dead: the communicationOf the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.Here, the intersection of the timeless momentIs England and nowhere. Never and always.IIAsh on and old man's sleeveIs all the ash the burnt roses leave.Dust in the air suspendedMarks the place where a story ended.Dust inbreathed was a houseThe walls, the wainscot and the mouse,The death of hope and despair, This is the death of air.There are flood and drouthOver the eyes and in the mouth,Dead water and dead sandContending for the upper hand.The parched eviscerate soilGapes at the vanity of toil,Laughs without mirth. This is the death of earth.Water and fire succeedThe town, the pasture and the weed.Water and fire derideThe sacrifice that we denied.Water and fire shall rotThe marred foundations we forgot,Of sanctuary and choir. This is the death of water and fire.In the uncertain hour before the morning Near the ending of interminable night At the recurrent end of the unendingAfter the dark dove with the flickering tongue Had passed below the horizon of his homing While the dead leaves still rattled on like tinOver the asphalt where no other sound was Between three districts whence the smoke arose I met one walking, loitering and hurriedAs if blown towards me like the metal leaves Before the urban dawn wind unresisting. And as I fixed upon the down-turned faceThat pointed scrutiny with which we challenge The first-met stranger in the waning dusk I caught the sudden look of some dead masterWhom I had known, forgotten, half recalled Both one and many; in the brown baked features The eyes of a familiar compound ghostBoth intimate and unidentifiable. So I assumed a double part, and cried And heard another's voice cry: 'What! are you here?'Although we were not. I was still the same, Knowing myself yet being someone other And he a face still forming; yet the words sufficedTo compel the recognition they preceded. And so, compliant to the common wind, Too strange to each other for misunderstanding,In concord at this intersection time Of meeting nowhere, no before and after, We trod the pavement in a dead patrol.I said: 'The wonder that I feel is easy, Yet ease is cause of wonder. Therefore speak: I may not comprehend, may not remember.'And he: 'I am not eager to rehearse My thoughts and theory which you have forgotten. These things have served their purpose: let them be.So with your own, and pray they be forgiven By others, as I pray you to forgive Both bad and good. Last season's fruit is eatenAnd the fullfed beast shall kick the empty pail. For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice.But, as the passage now presents no hindrance To the spirit unappeased and peregrine Between two worlds become much like each other,So I find words I never thought to speak In streets I never thought I should revisit When I left my body on a distant shore.Since our concern was speech, and speech impelled us To purify the dialect of the tribe And urge the mind to aftersight and foresight,Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age To set a crown upon your lifetime's effort. First, the cold friction of expiring senseWithout enchantment, offering no promise But bitter tastelessness of shadow fruit As body and soul begin to fall asunder.Second, the conscious impotence of rage At human folly, and the laceration Of laughter at what ceases to amuse.And last, the rending pain of re-enactment Of all that you have done, and been; the shame Of motives late revealed, and the awarenessOf things ill done and done to others' harm Which once you took for exercise of virtue. Then fools' approval stings, and honour stains.From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire Where you must move in measure, like a dancer.'The day was breaking. In the disfigured street He left me, with a kind of valediction, And faded on the blowing of the horn.IIIThere are three conditions which often look alikeYet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachmentFrom self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them, indifferenceWhich resembles the others as death resembles life,Being between two livesunflowering, betweenThe live and the dead nettle. This is the use of memory:For liberationnot less of love but expandingOf love beyond desire, and so liberationFrom the future as well as the past. Thus, love of a countryBegins as attachment to our own field of actionAnd comes to find that action of little importanceThough never indifferent. History may be servitude,History may be freedom. See, now they vanish,The faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them,To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern.Sin is Behovely, butAll shall be well, andAll manner of thing shall be well.If I think, again, of this place,And of people, not wholly commendable,Of no immediate kin or kindness,But of some peculiar genius,All touched by a common genius,United in the strife which divided them;If I think of a king at nightfall,Of three men, and more, on the scaffoldAnd a few who died forgottenIn other places, here and abroad,And of one who died blind and quietWhy should we celebrateThese dead men more than the dying?It is not to ring the bell backwardNor is it an incantationTo summon the spectre of a Rose.We cannot revive old factionsWe cannot restore old policiesOr follow an antique drum.These men, and those who opposed themAnd those whom they opposedAccept the constitution of silenceAnd are folded in a single party.Whatever we inherit from the fortunateWe have taken from the defeatedWhat they had to leave usa symbol:A symbol perfected in death.And all shall be well andAll manner of thing shall be wellBy the purification of the motiveIn the ground of our beseeching.IVThe dove descending breaks the airWith flame of incandescent terrorOf which the tongues declareThe one discharge from sin and error.The only hope, or else despair Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre To be redeemed from fire by fire.Who then devised the torment? Love.Love is the unfamiliar NameBehind the hands that woveThe intolerable shirt of flameWhich human power cannot remove. We only live, only suspire Consumed by either fire or fire.VWhat we call the beginning is often the endAnd to make and end is to make a beginning.The end is where we start from. And every phraseAnd sentence that is right (where every word is at home,Taking its place to support the others,The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,An easy commerce of the old and the new,The common word exact without vulgarity,The formal word precise but not pedantic,The complete consort dancing together)Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,Every poem an epitaph. And any actionIs a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throatOr to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.We die with the dying:See, they depart, and we go with them.We are born with the dead:See, they return, and bring us with them.The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-treeAre of equal duration. A people without historyIs not redeemed from time, for history is a patternOf timeless moments. So, while the light failsOn a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapelHistory is now and England.With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this CallingWe shall not cease from explorationAnd the end of all our exploringWill be to arrive where we startedAnd know the place for the first time.Through the unknown, unremembered gateWhen the last of earth left to discoverIs that which was the beginning;At the source of the longest riverThe voice of the hidden waterfallAnd the children in the apple-treeNot known, because not looked forBut heard, half-heard, in the stillnessBetween two waves of the sea.Quick now, here, now, alwaysA condition of complete simplicity(Costing not less than everything)And all shall be well andAll manner of thing shall be wellWhen the tongues of flame are in-foldedInto the crowned knot of fireAnd the fire and the rose are one.