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Today's Stichomancy for T. S. Eliot

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Bucolics by Virgil:

Of Damon and Alphesiboeus now, Those shepherd-singers at whose rival strains The heifer wondering forgot to graze, The lynx stood awe-struck, and the flowing streams, Unwonted loiterers, stayed their course to hear- How Damon and Alphesiboeus sang Their pastoral ditties, will I tell the tale.

Thou, whether broad Timavus' rocky banks Thou now art passing, or dost skirt the shore Of the Illyrian main,- will ever dawn That day when I thy deeds may celebrate,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Silas Marner by George Eliot:

the truth must be told, with a sense of relief and gladness that was too strong for painful thoughts to struggle with. For could he not venture now, whenever opportunity offered, to say the tenderest things to Nancy Lammeter--to promise her and himself that he would always be just what she would desire to see him? There was no danger that his dead wife would be recognized: those were not days of active inquiry and wide report; and as for the registry of their marriage, that was a long way off, buried in unturned pages, away from every one's interest but his own. Dunsey might betray him if he came back; but Dunsey might be won to silence.

And when events turn out so much better for a man than he has had

Silas Marner
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:



A species which has the cells in pairs on opposite sides of the central tube, with the openings turned outwards. In the more enlarged figure is seen a septum across the inner part of each cell which forms the base upon which the polype rests. Fig. 6 B indicates the natural size of the piece of branch represented; but it must be remembered that this is only a small portion of the bushy shrub.


This Zoophyte twines itself parasitically upon a species of

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Georgics by Virgil:

Then let the beechen axle strain and creak 'Neath some stout burden, whilst a brazen pole Drags on the wheels made fast thereto. Meanwhile For their unbroken youth not grass alone, Nor meagre willow-leaves and marish-sedge, But corn-ears with thy hand pluck from the crops. Nor shall the brood-kine, as of yore, for thee Brim high the snowy milking-pail, but spend Their udders' fullness on their own sweet young. But if fierce squadrons and the ranks of war Delight thee rather, or on wheels to glide