The Hollow Men

by T. S. Eliot

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw.  Alas!
Our dried voices, when                             5
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar                                 10
Shape without form shade without colour, 
Paralyzed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes to death's other Kingdom 
Remember us--if at all-- not as lost              15
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom                          20
These do not appear:
There the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There is a tree swinging

And voices are                                    25
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star
Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom                          30
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves                      35
No nearer--

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom.


This is the dead land
this is cactus land                               40
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this                                   45
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss                              50
Form prayers to broken stone


The eyes are not here
There are no eye here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley                             55
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms.        

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river.        60

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom                       65
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear            70
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act                                  75
Falls the Shadow
          For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion                          80
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm                                85
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow                             90
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For thine is the

This is the way the way the world ends       95
This is the way the way the world ends                
This is the way the way the world ends                
Not with a bang but a whimper.