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          Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
          The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
              Hath had elsewhere its setting,
                And cometh from afar:
              Not in entire forgetfulness,
              And not in utter nakedness,
          But trailing clouds of glory do we come
              From God, who is our home:
          Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
          Shades of the prison-house begin to close
              Upon the growing Boy,
          But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
              He sees it in his joy;
          The Youth, who daily farther from the east
              Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,
              And by the vision splendid
              Is on his way attended;
          At length the Man perceives it die away,
          And fade into the light of common day.


          Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
          Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
          And, even with something of a Mother's mind,
              And no unworthy aim,
              The homely Nurse doth all she can
          To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
              Forget the glories he hath known,
          And that imperial palace whence he came.

Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I see that no one will venture to interpret the line "to be conscious in not to be in time." What could he have meant? It all depends on what Eliot meant by "conscious." He says that the moments in the rose-garden, etc. are "in time," so those moments are not conscious, by his own definition.
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.
No one will make a stab at interpreting what he means by conscious? I myself am quite at a loss. Diana

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