Little Gidding

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

— T.S. Eliot

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  • Angela Messenger

    I LOVE that quote.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    Hadn’t seen that in quite a while. I’d forgotten he brought Julian of Norwich into it. Beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    Would this be different if it weren’t broken up into lines in accordance with the convention of poetry?

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Yes it would be different. It would not be what the poet intended.