the second coming ~ william butler yeats

turning and turning in the widening gyre
the falcon cannot hear the falconer;
things fall apart; the center 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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