T. S. Eliot, "The Fire Sermon" [excerpt from The Wasteland]
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear 185
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.
A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse 190
Musing upon the king my brother's wreck
And on the king my father's death before him.
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year. 195
But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
[Note the section's allusion to Marvell begins with another allusion, to Edmund Spenser's Prothalamion, a wedding poem he wrote for a patron's two daughters, and a "sister poem" to the "Epithalamion" written for his own wedding to Elizabeth Boyle. What does Eliot see in common when comparing Marvell with Spenser? Remember that Eliot was one of a group of early 20th-century critics instrumental in restoring Marvell's reputation, along with the rest of those Johnson disparaged as "Metaphysicals."]