Pressing lidless eyes and

from T.S. Eliot – The Waste Land on Rap Genius

Meaning

Pressing lidless eyes

In this line, Eliot alludes to Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s 1881 poem Inclusiveness

The changing guests, each in a different mood,
Sit at the roadside table and arise:
And every life among them in likewise
Is a soul’s board set daily with new food.
What man has bent o’er his son’s sleep, to brood
How that face shall watch his when cold it lies?—
Or thought, as his own mother kissed his eyes,
Of what her kiss was when his father wooed?

May not this ancient room thou sit’st in dwell
In separate living souls for joy or pain?
Nay, all its corners may be painted plain
Where Heaven shows pictures of some life spent well;
And may be stamped, a memory all in vain,
Upon the sight of lidless eyes in Hell.

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