The Second Coming

21 Nov 2022 | Jesus Christ | 1 comment

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?
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Notes from the Compiler

1 Comment

  1. This poem has stayed with me since I did it at school over 50 years ago. While written in 1919, straight after the unbelievable carnage of WWI, it has always seemed to me to describe so powerfully the state of the world in the present. Except, EXCEPT, I believe so strongly that the world is not out of the control of our good God. Whatever comes. Yates’s Falcon – see below – has not escaped the call of the Falconer. We are held in His hands.

    I understand why the compiler has left out the first verse. Last Sunday was after all “Stir up Sunday”! We are entering Advent and he or she wants to be focusing on our Saviour. But for context I do have permission to add the first verse here:

    “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.”


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