Outra vez. Hoje às 6:45 depois de ontem às 7:03. Valer-me-à de novo a sesta pela tarde. Voltar à cidade ou ensinar o meu ouvido a ignorar o latido incessante do cão que teima em acompanhar o cacarejar das galinhas aos primeiros raios da manhã. Nunca foi acarinhado como um projecto de vida — mas é bem alimentado, o que talvez devesse gerar alguma (ainda que modesta) gratidão. Ladra; eu vou à janela, mando-o estar calado e volto para a cama e ele de novo matraqueia e eu volto à janela e assim sucessivamente até me enfiar resignado na banheira. Não devia ser difícil conceder, à minha natural tendência para a derrota, um pouco de misericórdia. Assim aqui estou eu, gozando a frescura da esplanada do café da aldeia às primeiras horas da manhã.
So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years—
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres —
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate—but there is no competition—
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight
(The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.
Four Quartets, East Cocker, V.