There is shadow under this red rock
Biblical allusion to Isaiah 32:2.
And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Eliot may be saying that the world is filled with death and pain akin to a desert that yields no sweet relief from its hardships. We might connect this to Tantalus of Roman mythology, who was sentenced to spend eternity in the underworld sitting in a pool of water that would dry up whenever he would attempt to drink from it, with a fruit tree above him that would retreat every time he’d try to eat.
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