Keep the dog ...

Cf. the Dirge in Webster's White Devil. [Eliot's note] In the play by John Webster (d. 1625), the dirge, sung by Cornelia, has the lines "But keep the wolf far hence, that's foe to men, /For with his nails he'll dig them up again." Eliot makes the "wolf" into a "dog", which is not a foe but a friend to humans. There may be a reference to Sirius, the Dog Star, which is important in Egyptian mythology as heralding the fertilizing floods of the Nile (this is discussed by Weston). (NA)

reference topics

link two
back to "The Waste Land"