T. S. Eliot, Prufrock and Other Observations (London: The Egoist, 1917): 38. E546 P784 1917 Fisher Rare Book Library.
1I observe: `Our sentimental friend the moon!
2Or possibly (fantastic, I confess)
4Or an old battered lantern hung aloft
5To light poor travellers to their distress.'
6 She then: "How you digress!"
7And I then: "Some one frames upon the keys
8That exquisite nocturne, with which we explain
9The night and moonshine; music which we seize
10To body forth our own vacuity."
11She then: "Does this refer to me?"
12"Oh no, it is I who am inane."
13"You, madam, are the eternal humorist,
14The eternal enemy of the absolute,
15Giving our vagrant moods the slightest twist!
16With your air indifferent and imperious
17At a stroke our mad poetics to confute --"
18 And -- "Are we then so serious?"
3] Prester John: `priest John,' a legendary Christian king of the east. Back to Line
Publication Start Year
First printed in "Observations," Poetry 8.6 (Sept. 1916). Donald Gallup, T. S. Eliot: A Bibliography (London: Faber and Faber, 1969): A1, C28
RPO poem Editors
© T.S. Eliot and Faber and Faber Ltd 1974