November 10, 2008

Best poems of T.S. Elliot

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Song


When we came home across the hill
No leaves were fallen from the trees;
The gentle fingers of the breeze
Had torn no quivering cobweb down.

The hedgerow bloomed with flowers still,
No withered petals lay beneath;
But the wild roses in your wreath
Were faded, and the leaves were brown.

Song

If space and time, as sages say,
Are things which cannot be,
The fly that lives a single day
Has lived as long as we.
But let us live while yet we may,
While love and life are free,
For time is time, and runs away,
Though sages disagree.

The flowers I sent thee when the dew
Was trembling on the vine,
Were withered ere the wild bee flew
To suck the eglantine.
But let us haste to pluck anew
Nor mourn to see them pine,
And though the flowers of love be few
Yet let them be divine.

Before Morning

While all the East was weaving red with gray,
The flowers at the window turned toward dawn,
Petal on petal, waiting for the day,
Fresh flowers, withered flowers, flowers of dawn.

This morning's flowers and flowers of yesterday
Their fragrance drifts across the room at dawn,
Fragrance of bloom and fragrance of decay,
Fresh flowers, withered flowers, flowers of dawn.

Circe's Palace

Around her fountain which flows
With the voice of men in pain,
Are flowers that no man knows.
Their petals are fanged and red
With hideous streak and stain.
They sprang from the limbs of the dead.--
We shall not come here again.

Panthers rise from their lairs
In the forest which thickens below,
Along the garden stairs
The sluggish python lies;
The peacock's walk, stately and slow
And they look at us with the eyes
Of men whom we knew long ago.

On a Portrait

Among a crowd of tenuous dreams, unknown
To us of restless brain and weary feet,
Forever hurrying, up and down the street,
She stands at evening in the room alone.

Not like a tranquil goddess carved of stone
But evanescent, as if one should meet
A pensive lamia in some wood-retreat,
An immaterial fancy of one's own.

No meditations glad or ominous
Disturb her lips, or move the slender hands;
Her dark eyes keep their secrets hid from us,
Beyond the circle of our thoughts she stands.

The parrot on the bar, a silent spy,
Regards her with a patient curious eye.

Song

The moonflower opens to the moth,
The mist crawls in from sea;
A great white bird, a snowy owl,
Slips from the alder tree.

Whiter the flowers, love, you hold,
Than the white mist on the sea;
Have you no brighter tropic flowers
With scarlet life, for me?

Nocturne

Romeo, grand sérieux, to importune
Guitar and hat in hand, beside the gate
With Juliet, in the usual debate
Of love, beneath a bored but courteous moon;
The conversation failing, strikes some tune
Banal, and out of pity for their fate
Behind the wall I have some servant wait,
Stab, and the lady sinks into a swoon.

Blood looks effective on the moonlit ground--
The hero smiles; in my best mode oblique
Rolls toward the moon a frenzied eye profound,
(No need of "Love forever?"--"Love next week?")
While female readers all in tears are drowned:--
"The perfect climax all true lovers seek!"

Humouresque (After J. Laforgue)

One of my marionettes is dead
Though not yet tired of the game--
But weak in body as in head,
(A jumping-jack has such a frame).

But this deceaséd marionette
I rather liked: a common face,
(The kind of face that we forget)
Pinched in a comic, dull grimace;

Half bullying, half imploring air,
Mouth twisted to the latest tune;
His who-the-devil-are-you stare;
Translated, maybe, to the moon.

With Limbo's other useless things
Haranguing spectres, set him there;
"The snappiest fashion since last spring's,
"The newest style, on Earth, I swear.

"Why don't you people get some class?
(Feebly contemptuous of nose),
"Your damned thin moonlight, worse than gas--
"Now in New York"--and so it goes.

Logic a marionette's, all wrong
Of premises; yet in some star
A hero!--Where would he belong?
But, even at that, what mask bizarre!

Spleen

Sunday: this satisfied procession
Of definite Sunday faces;
Bonnets, silk hats, and conscious graces
In repetition that displaces
Your mental self-possession
By this unwarranted digression.

Evening, lights, and tea!
Children and cats in the alley;
Dejection unable to rally
Against this dull conspiracy.

And Life, a little bald and gray,
Languid, fastidious, and bland,
Waits, hat and gloves in hand,
Punctilious of tie and suit
(Somewhat impatient of delay)
On the doorstep of the Absolute.

Ode

For the hour that is left us Fair Harvard, with thee,
Ere we face the importunate years,
In thy shadow we wait, while thy presence dispels
Our vain hesitations and fears.
And we turn as thy sons ever turn, in the strength
Of the hopes that thy blessings bestow,
From the hopes and ambitions that sprang at thy feet
To the thoughts of the past as we go.

Yet for all of these years that to-morrow has lost
We are still the less able to grieve,
With so much that of Harvard we carry away
In the place of the life that we leave.
And only the years that efface and destroy
Give us also the vision to see
What we owe for the future, the present, and past,
Fair Harvard, to thine and to thee.

1 comment:

Songo said...

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I will upload your link at my blog