Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink  335
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
If there were only water amongst the rock
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit  340
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl

From doors of mud-cracked houses

If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water
A spring  350
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock  355
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water


Chapel perilous

A knight preparing to enter Chapel Perilous on the quest to pursuit the Holy Grail

It has been suggested that the road winding up the mountain leads to the Chapel Perilous, where the Grail knight must go on his quest. The second stanza describes a land without any water: only rocks, sand, "dead

 mountain mouth of carious teeth." The thunder brings no rain and is therefore sterile. "Red sullen faces sneer and snarl" at the poet as he makes his way through this desolate land. Emphasis is on the lack of water; the thunder has begun to rumble, but the rain has not begun, and all is dry and sandy. The poet hears the cicada, or grasshopper, but not the thrush, which would sing if there was water, but there is only rock. This part of the poem reflects on human's society; how it is impure, tainted - in need of salvation. 


There are quite a few motifs which have been emphasized in the beginning of part V of "The Waste Land.

Desert (Rock): The setting of the first part of part V is full of rocks, emphasizing the barren, dry and desolate nature of the land in order to reflect that society is in need of hope and salvation, the same as land is in need of water. There are images of the desert, short and fragmented phrases to further emphasize the need of salvation and hope.

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