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TSE  January 2002

TSE January 2002

Subject:

Re: FQ's by the numbers (Parts IV)

From:

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Date:

Mon, 07 Jan 2002 12:10:56 EST

Content-Type:

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PARTS IV

    BURNT NORTON

           IV

                        Time and the bell have buried the day,
                        The black cloud carries the sun away.
                        Will the sunflower turn to us, will the clematis
                        Stray down, bend to us; tendril and spray
                        Clutch and cling?

                            Chill
                        Fingers of yew be curled
                        Down on us? After the kingfisher's wing
                        Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still
                        At the still point of the turning world.

    EAST COKER

           IV

                        The wounded surgeon plies the steel
                        That questions the distempered part;
                        Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
                        The sharp compassion of the healer's art
                        Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

                            Our only health is the disease
                        If we obey the dying nurse
                        Whose constant care is not to please
                        But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
                        And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

                            The whole earth is our hospital
                        Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
                        Wherein, if we do well, we shall
                        Die of the absolute paternal care
                        That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

                            The chill ascends from feet to knees,
                        The fever sings in mental wires.
                        If to be warmed, then I must freeze
                        And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
                        Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

                            The dripping blood our only drink,
                        The bloody flesh our only food:
                        In spite of which we like to think
                        That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
                        Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.


    THE DRY SALVAGES

           IV

                        Lady, whose shrine stands on the promontory,
                        Pray for all those who are in ships, those
                        Whose business has to do with fish, and
                        Those concerned with every lawful traffic
                        And those who conduct them.

                            Repeat a prayer also on behalf of
                        Women who have seen their sons or husbands
                        Setting forth, and not returning:
                        Figlia del tuo figlio,
                        Queen of Heaven.

                            Also pray for those who were in ships, and
                        Ended their voyage on the sand, in the sea's lips
                        Or in the dark throat which will not reject them
                        Or wherever cannot reach them the sound of the sea bell's
                        Perpetual angelus.


    LITTLE GIDDING

            IV

                        The dove descending breaks the air
                        With flame of incandescent terror
                        Of which the tongues declare
                        The 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 Name
                        Behind the hands that wove
                        The intolerable shirt of flame
                        Which human power cannot remove.
                             We only live, only suspire
                             Consumed by either fire or fire.

#####

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