The Hollow Men


A penny for the Old Guy


                     We are the hollow men
                     We are the stuffed men
                     Leaning together
                     Headpiece filled with straw.  Alas!
                     Our dried voices, when
                     We whisper together
                     Are quiet and meaningless
                     As wind in dry grass
                     Or rats' feet over broken glass
                     In our dry cellar

                     Shape without form, shade without colour,
                     Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

                     Those who have crossed
                     With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
                     Remember us--if at all--not as lost
                     Violent souls, but only
                     As the hollow men
                     The stuffed men.


                     Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
                     In death's dream kingdom
                     These do not appear:
                     There, the eyes are 
                     Sunlight on a broken column
                     There, is a tree swinging
                     And voices are
                     In the wind's singing
                     More distant and more solemn
                     Than a fading star.

                     Let me be no nearer
                     In death's dream kingdom
                     Let me also wear
                     Such deliberate disguises
                     Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
                     In a field
                     Behaving as the wind behaves
                     No nearer--

                     Not that final meeting
                     In the twilight kingdom


                     This is the dead land
                     This is cactus land
                     Here the stone images
                     Are raised, here they receive
                     The supplication of a dead man's hand
                     Under the twinkle of a fading star.

                     Is it like this
                     In death's other kingdom
                     Waking alone
                     At the hour when we are
                     Trembling with tenderness
                     Lips that would kiss
                     Form prayers to broken stone.


                     The eyes are not here
                     There are no eyes here
                     In this valley of dying stars
                     In this hollow valley
                     This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

                     In this last of meeting places
                     We grope together
                     and avoid speech
                     Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

                     Sightless, unless
                     The eyes reappear
                     As the perpetual star
                     Multifoliate rose
                     Of death's twilight kingdom
                     The hope only
                     Of empty men.


                     Here we go round the prickly pear
                     Prickly pear prickly pear
                     Here we go round the prickly pear
                     At five o'clock in the morning.

                     Between the idea 
                     And the reality
                     Between the motion
                     And the act
                     Falls the shadow
                                                     For Thine is the Kingdom

                     Between the conception
                     And the creation
                     Between the emotion
                     And the response
                     Falls the Shadow
                                                                     Life is very long

                     Between the desire
                     And the spasm
                     Between the potency
                     and the existence
                     Between the essence
                     And the descent
                     Falls the Shadow
                                                     For Thine is the Kingdom

                     For thine is
                     Life is
                     For Thine is the

                     This is the way the world ends
                     This is the way the world ends
                     This is the way the world ends
                     Not with a bang but a whimper.
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