Words move, music movesOnly in time; but that which is only livingCan only die. Words, after speech, reachInto the silence. Only by the form, the pattern,Can words or music reachThe stillness, as a Chinese jar stillMoves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,Not that only, but the co-existence,Or say that the end precedes the beginning,And the end and the beginning were always thereBefore the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now. Words strain,Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,Will not stay still. Shrieking voicesScolding, mocking, or merely chattering,Always assail them. The Word in the desertIs most attacked by voices of temptation,The crying shadow in the funeral dance,The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.
The detail of the pattern is movement,As in the figure of the ten stairs.Desire itself is movementNot in itself desirable;Love is itself unmoving,Only the cause and end of movement,Timeless, and undesiringExcept in the aspect of timeCaught in the form of limitationBetween un-being and being.
Sudden in a shaft of sunlightEven while the dust movesThere rises the hidden laughterOf children in the foliageQuick now, here, now, always—Ridiculous the waste sad timeStretching before and after.
–T. S. Eliot