But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
An allusion to the famous lines from Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress”:
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near
The ancient chariot is replaced by modern automobiles. Eliot’s speaker seems less haunted by the passage of time per se than by the ugliness, perversion, indignity, etc. of modern life.
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