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PARTS III

    BURNT NORTON

          III

                        Here is a place of disaffection
                        Time before and time after
                        In a dim light: neither daylight
                        Investing form with lucid stillness
                        Turning shadow into transient beauty
                        With slow rotation suggesting permanence
                        Nor darkness to purify the soul
                        Emptying the sensual with deprivation
                        Cleansing affection from the temporal.
                        Neither plenitude nor vacancy. Only a flicker
                        Over the strained time-ridden faces
                        Distracted from distraction by distraction
                        Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
                        Tumid apathy with no concentration
                        Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
                        That blows before and after time,
                        Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs
                        Time before and time after.
                        Eructation of unhealthy souls
                        Into the faded air, the torpid
                        Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London,
                        Hampstead and Clerkenwell, Campden and Putney,
                        Highgate, Primrose and Ludgate. Not here
                        Not here the darkness, in this twittering world.

                            Descend lower, descend only
                        Into the world of perpetual solitude,
                        World not world, but that which is not world,
                        Internal darkness, deprivation
                        And destitution of all property,
                        Desiccation of the world of sense,
                        Evacuation of the world of fancy,
                        Inoperancy of the world of spirit;
                        This is the one way, and the other
                        Is the same, not in movement
                        But abstention from movement; while the world moves
                        In appetency, on its metalled ways
                        Of time past and time future.


    EAST COKER

           III

                        O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
                        The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
                        The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
                        The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
                        Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
                        Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark,
                        And dark the Sun and Moon, and the Almanach de Gotha
                        And the Stock Exchange Gazette, the Directory of Directors,
                        And cold the sense and lost the motive of action.
                        And we all go with them, into the silent funeral,
                        Nobody's funeral, for there is no one to bury.
                        I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
                        Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
                        The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
              With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
                        And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
                        And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away—
               Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
                        And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
                        And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
                        Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
                        Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing—
                        I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
                        For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
                        For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
                        But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
                        Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
                        So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
                        Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
                        The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
                        The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
                        Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
                        Of death and birth.

                                                            You say I am repeating
                        Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
                        Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
                        To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
                            You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
                        In order to arrive at what you do not know
                            You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
                        In order to possess what you do not possess
                            You must go by the way of dispossession.
                        In order to arrive at what you are not
                            You must go through the way in which you are not.
                        And what you do not know is the only thing you know
                        And what you own is what you do not own
                        And where you are is where you are not.



    THE DRY SALVAGES

           III

                        I sometimes wonder if that is what Krishna meant—
                        Among other things—or one way of putting the same thing:
                        That the future is a faded song, a Royal Rose or a lavender spray
                        Of wistful regret for those who are not yet here to regret,
                        Pressed between yellow leaves of a book that has never been opened.
                        And the way up is the way down, the way forward is the way back.
                        You cannot face it steadily, but this thing is sure,
                        That time is no healer: the patient is no longer here.
                        When the train starts, and the passengers are settled
                        To fruit, periodicals and business letters
                        (And those who saw them off have left the platform)
                        Their faces relax from grief into relief,
                        To the sleepy rhythm of a hundred hours.
                        Fare forward, travellers! not escaping from the past
                        Into different lives, or into any future;
                        You are not the same people who left that station
                        Or who will arrive at any terminus,
                        While the narrowing rails slide together behind you;
                        And on the deck of the drumming liner
                        Watching the furrow that widens behind you,
                        You shall not think 'the past is finished'
                        Or 'the future is before us'.
                        At nightfall, in the rigging and the aerial,
                        Is a voice descanting (though not to the ear,
                        The murmuring shell of time, and not in any language)
                        'Fare forward, you who think that you are voyaging;
                        You are not those who saw the harbour
                        Receding, or those who will disembark.
                        Here between the hither and the farther shore
                        While time is withdrawn, consider the future
                        And the past with an equal mind.
                        At the moment which is not of action or inaction
                        You can receive this: "on whatever sphere of being
                        The mind of a man may be intent
                        At the time of death"—that is the one action
                        (And the time of death is every moment)
                        Which shall fructify in the lives of others:
                        And do not think of the fruit of action.
                        Fare forward.
                                              O voyagers, O seamen,
                        You who came to port, and you whose bodies
                        Will suffer the trial and judgement of the sea,
                        Or whatever event, this is your real destination.'
                        So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna
                        On the field of battle.
                                                          Not fare well,
                        But fare forward, voyagers.

    LITTLE GIDDING

           III

                        There are three conditions which often look alike
                        Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:
                        Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
                        From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between            them, indifference
                        Which resembles the others as death resembles life,
                        Being between two lives—unflowering, between
                        The live and the dead nettle. This is the use of memory:
                        For liberation—not less of love but expanding
                        Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
                        From the future as well as the past. Thus, love of a country
                        Begins as attachment to our own field of action
                        And comes to find that action of little importance
                        Though 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, but
                        All shall be well, and
                        All 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 scaffold
                        And a few who died forgotten
                        In other places, here and abroad,
                        And of one who died blind and quiet
                        Why should we celebrate
                        These dead men more than the dying?
                        It is not to ring the bell backward
                        Nor is it an incantation
                        To summon the spectre of a Rose.
                        We cannot revive old factions
                        We cannot restore old policies
                        Or follow an antique drum.
                        These men, and those who opposed them
                        And those whom they opposed
                        Accept the constitution of silence
                        And are folded in a single party.
                        Whatever we inherit from the fortunate
                        We have taken from the defeated
                        What they had to leave us—a symbol:
                        A symbol perfected in death.
                        And all shall be well and
                        All manner of thing shall be well
                        By the purification of the motive
                        In the ground of our beseeching.

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