The Waste Land
The Waste Land Part IV – Death by Water
IV. Death by Water
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
And the profit and loss.
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
from Collected Poems 1909-1962 (Faber, 1974), by permission of the publisher, Faber & Faber Ltd.