Yes, there are certainly Marian resonances here. I think, though, you have to look at the overall structure of the passage:
"the future is
of wistful regret for those who are not yet here to regret,
Pressed between the yellow leaves of a book that has never been opened."
Eliot would have no *earthly* future with any of the three persons I have suggested as corresponding to a), b), and c).
This passage is a new statement of "Time past and time present/ Are both perhaps present in time future / And time future contained in time past." Eternity does not bear the same relation to time that temporal events do. While he can regret his past history with these three as temporal critters, Eliot is destined to encounter them in the atemporal reality of the Absolute, hence they are "in the future." Likewise, the pages of the book are yellow (aged with use) though the book in which they are bound has never been opened.
J. P. Earls, OSB
St. John's University
Collegeville, MN 56321
From: Meyer Robert K GS-9 99 CES/CECT
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Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 12:31 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: RE: Milton, FQ (why OT?)
I'm with Marcia Karp on this one. He said "future is a faded song" but TSE
had no future with Vivienne. My guess is he's talking about Christianity:
"Rose" is a medieval symbol of Mary (who had royal blood, ie. she had David
as an ancestor; also the color blue, her color, could be the "lavender") and
the book would either be the Bible (if that, the "never been opened" could
mean never been understood) or the 'book of life' (apocalyptic symbol of the