Study Guide

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Stanza XIX

By T.S. Eliot

Stanza XIX

Lines 126-128

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

  • Of all the things Prufrock claims to have seen, the mermaids are definitely the coolest.
  • But do we believe him? He has tricked us before.
  • These mermaids look like they’re surfing on the waves with their tails. The only troubling sign is that the waves have "white hair," which makes us think of old people.