Exploring The Waste Land
A note page linked from The Waste Land, Part V, line 428

Eliot's note for line 428

V. Pervigilium Veneris. Cf. Philomela in Parts II and III.

Commentator's note

Eliot is referring us to the Latin poem Pervigilium Veneris (anonymous) and then requesting that we compare it and Part V, line 428

428)  Quando fiam uti chelidon--O swallow swallow

to Part II, lines 99-103 :

99)  The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
100)  So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
101)  Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
102)  And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
103)  'Jug Jug' to dirty ears.

and to Part III, lines 203-206 :

203)  Twit twit twit
204)  Jug jug jug jug jug jug
205)  So rudely forc'd.
206)  Tereu

Additionally, see also Part V line 356-357 :

356)   Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
357)   Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop

As mentioned for line 103 the "twit", "jug" and "tereu" lines were used by Elizabetian poets to represent the song of the nightingale. Tereu is a form of the name Tereus. See Ovid's The Story of Tereus, Procne, and Philomela or our synopsis of the Philomela myth by visiting line 99.

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T 121 - Tereus
T 84 - Nightingale - Old World

Exploring The Waste Land
File name: nq428.html
File date: Sunday, September 29, 2002
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