Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SECOND COMING, by WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SECOND COMING, by         Recitation by Author     Poet's Biography
First Line: Turning and turning in the widening gyre
Last Line: Slouches towards bethlehem to be born?
Alternate Author Name(s): Yeats, W. B.
Subject(s): Bible; Birds; Chaos; Easter; History; Holidays; Imagination; Judgment Day; Men; Millenium; Religion; Vision; War; The Resurrection; Historians; Fancy; End Of The World; Doomsday; Fall Of Man; Theology

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 conviction, 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?

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