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, unremembered 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.

  • IrvingD

    What a charming place! When I was stationed in England for two years as part of the US Air Force, I loved to explore churches. Often I would attend St. Ebbe’s in Oxford, but I actually lived in a nearby village, Holton nr. Wheatley where I worshiped in the 13th Century parish church of St. Bartholomew. I understand that that Little Gidding’s church is now a museum?

  • Tertium Quid

    One of my favorite poems, and one of Russell Kirk’s favorites as well.