The Second Coming (W.B. Yeats)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre 

The falcon cannot hear the falconer; 

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, 

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere 

The ceremony of innocence is drowned; 

The best lack all convictions, while the worst 

Are full of passionate intensity. 

 

Surely some revelation is at hand; 

Surely the Second Coming is at hand. 

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out 

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi 

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert 

A shape with lion body and the head of a man, 

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, 

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it 

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. 

The darkness drops again; but now I know 

That twenty centuries of stony sleep 

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, 

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, 

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? 

 

© Hank Edmondson 2012