THE
WASTE
LAND
::
T. S.
ELIOT
POEM MAP ENDNOTES SOURCES ABOUT

Lines 385-390:

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.

Context:

The lonely chapel described here is the Chapel Perilous. Weston describes it in From Ritual to Romance as an isolated chapel often associated with a cemetery. A knight pursuing the Holy Grail comes upon the chapel at night or durng a storm and takes shelter there, only to be confronted by the violent spirit or demon living within it. Eliot ties his chapel to that of the Grail legend with images of graves, isolation, rain, and of course death.