The Difficulties of a Statesman from Coriolan lyrics

T.S. Eliot

CRY what shall I cry?
All flesh is grass: comprehending
The Companions of the Bath, the Knights of the British Empire, the Cavaliers,
O Cavaliers! of the Legion of Honour,
The Order of the Black Eagle (1st and 2nd class) ,
And the Order of the Rising Sun.
Cry cry what shall I cry?
The first thing to do is to form the committees:
The consultative councils, the standing committees committees and sub-committees
One secretary will do for several committees.
What shall I cry?

Arthur Edward Cyril Parker is appointed telephone operator
At a salary of one pound ten a week rising by annual increments of fiveshillings
To two pounds ten a week; with a bonus of thirty shillings at Christmas
And one week’s leave a year.
A committee has been appointed to nominate a commission of engineers
To consider the Water Supply.
A commission is appointed
For Public Works, chiefly the question of rebuilding the fortifications.
A commission is appointed
To confer with a Volscian commission
About perpetual peace: the fletchers and javelin-makers and smiths
Have appointed a joint committee to protest against the reduction of orders.
Meanwhile the guards shake dice on the marches
And the frogs (O Mantuan) croak in the marshes.
Fireflies flare against the faint sheet lightning
What shall I cry?
Mother mother
Here is the row of family portraits, dingy busts, all looking remarkably Roman,
Remarkably like each other, lit up successively by the flare
Of a sweaty torchbearer, yawning.

O hidden under the... Hidden under the... Where the dove’s foot rested and locked for a moment,
A still moment, repose of noon, set under the upper branches of noon’s widest tree
Under the breast feather stirred by the small wind after noon
There the cyclamen spreads its wings, there the clematis droops over the lintel,
O mother (not among these busts, all correctly inscribed)
I a tired head among these heads
Necks strong to bear them
Noses strong to break the wind
Mother
May we not be some time, almost now, together,
If the mactations, immolations, oblations, impetrations,
Are now observed
May we not be
O hidden
Hidden in the stillness of noon, in the silent croaking night.
Come with the sweep of the little bat’s wing, with the small flare of thefirefly or lightning bug,
‘Rising and falling, crowned with dust’, the small creatures,
The small creatures chirp thinly through the dust, through the night.
O mother
What shall I cry?
We demand a committee, a representative committee, a committee of investigation
RESIGN RESIGN RESIGN

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