donderdag 11 november 2010

T.S. Eliot: Choruses from 'The Rock' - II

Thus your fathers were made
Fellow citizens of the saints, of the household of GOD, being built
upon the foundation
Of apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself the chief cornerstone.
But you, have you built well, that you now sit helpless in a
ruined house?
Where many are born to idleness, to frittered lives and squalid
deaths, embittered scorn in honey-hives,
And those who would build and restore turn out the palms of
their hands, or look in vain towards foreign lands for alms to
be more or the urn to be filled.
Your building not fitly framed together, you sit ashamed and
wonder whether and how you may be builded together for a
habitation of God in the Spirit, the Spirit which moved on
the face of the waters like a lantern set on the back of a
And some say: "How can we love our neighbour? For love must
be made real in act, as desire unites with desired; we have only
our labour to give and our labour is not required.
We wait on corners, with nothing to bring but the songs we can
sing which nobody wants to hear sung;
Waiting to be flung in the end, on a heap less useful than dung."
You, have you built well, have you forgotten the cornerstone?
Talking of right relations of men, but not of relations of men
to GOD.
"Our citizenship is in Heaven"; yes, but that is the model and
type for your citizenship upon earth.

When your fathers fixed the place of GOD,
And settled all the inconvenient saints,
Apostles, martyrs, in a kind of Whipsnade,
Then they could set about imperial expansion
Accompanied by industrial development.
Exporting iron, coal and cotton goods
And intellectual enlightenment
And everything, including capital
And several versions of the Word of GOD:
The British race assured of a mission
Performed it, but left much at home unsure.

Of all that was done in the past, you eat the fruit, either rotten
or ripe.
And the Church must be forever building, and always decaying, and always being restored.
For every ill deed in the past we suffer the consequence:
For sloth, for avarice, gluttony, neglect of the Word of God.
For pride, for lechery, treachery, for every act of sin.
And of all that was done that was good, you have the inheritance.
For good and ill deeds belong to a man alone, when he stands
alone on the other side of death,
But here upon earth you have the reward of the good and ill that
was done by those who have gone before you.
And all that is ill you may repair if you walk together in humble
repentance, expiating the sins of your fathers;
And all that was good you must fight to keep with hearts as
devoted as those of your fathers who fought to gain it.
The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying
within and attacked from without;
For this is the law of life; and you must remember that while
there is time of prosperity
The people will neglect the Temple, and in time of adversity
they will decry it.

What life have you if you have not life together?
There is no life that is not in community,
And no community not lived in praise of God.
Even the anchorite who meditates alone,
For whom the days and nights repeat the praise of God,
Prays for the Church, the Body of Christ incarnate.
And now you live dispersed on ribbon roads.
And no man knows or cares who is his neighbour
Unless his neighbour makes too much disturbance,
But all dash to and fro in motor cars,
Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.
Nor does the family even move about together.
But every son would have his motor cycle,
And daughters ride away on casual pillions.

Much to cast down, much to build, much to restore;
Let the work not delay, time and the arm not waste;
Let the clay be dug from the pit, let the saw cut the stone.
Let the fire not be quenched in the forge.

1 opmerking:

  1. - het heeft niets met deze tekst te maken, of toch wel? - maar dit is een bijzonder interessante tekst over de omgang met moslims: