Thursday 26 April 2007

The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats, (1865-1939)


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: a waste of desert sand;
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
Wind 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?

The Embankment

(The Fantasia of a Fallen Gentleman on a Cold, Bitter Night)

Once in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy,
In a flash of gold heels on the pavement.
Now see I
That warmth's the very stuff of poesy.
Oh God, make small
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky,
That I may fold it round me, and in comfort lie.

T.E.Hulme (1883-1917)