Where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water.
Eliot’s Notes point us toward Ecclesiastes 12:5:
Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets…
Eccl 12:5 forms part of an allegory of old age, with the uncertainties and physical feebleness that attend aging and the approach of death. It concludes in Eccl 12:7 :
the dust [shall] return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
It can also be seen as an extended apocalyptic vision. Apocalyptic overtones resonate throughout The Waste Land as well.
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