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little-gidding

Little Gidding is the tiny collection of farm buildings and a church not too far from Cambridge. It was the location of a small religious community headed by Nicholas Ferrar, who was a friend of the poet George Herbert.

Eliot made a pilgrimage to the church and wrote his famous poem–the last of his Four Quartets.

Here are the final lines.

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 – Four Quartets

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