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Prufrock and Other Observations by T. S. Eliot

«·Cousin Nancy · Hysteria·»

Mr. Apollinax

When Mr. Apollinax visited the United States His laughter tinkled among the teacups. I thought of Fragilion, that shy figure among the birch-trees, And of Priapus in the shrubbery Gaping at the lady in the swing. In the palace of Mrs. Phlaccus, at Professor Channing-Cheetah’s He laughed like an irresponsible foetus. His laughter was submarine and profound Like the old man of the seats Hidden under coral islands Where worried bodies of drowned men drift down in the green silence, Dropping from fingers of surf. I looked for the head of Mr. Apollinax rolling under a chair, Or grinning over a screen With seaweed in its hair. I heard the beat of centaurs’ hoofs over the hard turf As his dry and passionate talk devoured the afternoon. “He is a charming man”—“But after all what did he mean?”— “He has pointed ears … he must be unbalanced,”— “There was something he said that I might have challenged.” Of dowager Mrs. Phlaccus, and Professor and Mrs. Cheetah I remember a slice of lemon and a bitten macaroon.

«·Cousin Nancy · Hysteria·»