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T.S. Eliot reads Landscapes

I’ve always liked T.S. Eliot’s Landscapes. I think I first read them when I was nineteen. Later on in my twenties, I bought an LP that had the recording of him reading them, a Caedmon recording. Recently I had the LP (which had been packed away for many years under my bed) transferred to a CD so I could put it in my iTunes, and then with a great deal of pleasure, reproduce them for you, some T.S. Eliot I hope you enjoy.



I. New Hampshire

Children’s voices in the orchard
Between the blossom- and the fruit-time:
Golden head, crimson head,
Between the green tip and the root.
Black wing, brown wing, hover over;
Twenty years and the spring is over;
To-day grieves and to-morrow grieves,
Cover me over, light-in-leaves;
Golden head, black wing,
Swing up into the apple-tree.

II. Virginia

Red river, red river,
Slow flow heat is silence
No will is still as a river
Still. Will heat move
Only through the mocking-bird
Heard once? Still hills
Wait. Gates wait. Purple trees,
White trees, wait, wait,
Delay, decay. Living, living,
Never moving. Ever moving
Iron thoughts came with me
And go with me:
Red river river river.

III. Usk

Do not suddenly break the branch, or
Hope to find
The white hart over the white well.
Glance aside, not for lance, do not spell
Old enchantments. Let them sleep.
“Gently dip, but not too deep,”
Lift your eyes
Where the roads dip and where the roads rise
Seek only there
Where the grey light meets the green air
The hermit’s chapel, the pilgrim’s prayer.

IV. Rannoch, near Glencoe

Here the crow starves, here the patient stag
Breeds for the the rifle. Between the soft moor
and the soft sky, scarcely room
To leap or to soar. Substance crumbles, in the thin air
Moon cold or moon hot. The road winds in
Listlessness of ancient war,
Langour of broken steel,
Clamour of confused wrong, apt
In silence. Memory is strong
Beyond the bone. Pride snapped,
Shadow of pride is long, in the long pass
No concurrence of bone.

V. Cape Ann

O quick quick quick, quick hear the song sparrow,
Swamp-sparrow, fox-sparrow, vesper-sparrow
At dawn and dusk. Follow the dance
Of goldfinch at noon. Leave to chance
The Blackburnian warbler, the shy one. Hail
With shrill whistle the note of the quail, the bob-white
Dodging the bay-bush. Follow the feet
Of the walker, the water-thrush. Follow the flight
Of the dancing arrow, the purple martin. Greet
In silence the bullbat. All are delectable. Sweet sweet sweet
But resign this land at the end, resign it
To its true owner, the tough one, the sea-gull.
The palaver is finished.



  1. suzette portes san jose

    speaks of the real thing on earth…people takes for granted many things, purposely created, even the least creature moving…every life here exist for a meaning and purpose …poems speaks of many emotions but leads to one aim for love and care of our own world…

  2. Judy NYC

    love it, Don, thanl you so much for sharing this with us, his raspy voice & descriptive words, a joy

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