The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar

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

Meaning

The boat responds gaily, lightheartedly, happily to the prospect of being controlled by a skilled sailor. This comes, we should note, just after the word ‘Damyata’, meaning ‘control thyself’. Thus, Eliot stresses restraint as a natural, beneficial manner.

Eliot himself was handy with a sailboat due to his childhood holidays on the Maine coast.

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