Poem Hunter
The Second Coming
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

The Second Coming

Poem By William Butler 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 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 i{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?

User Rating: 4,9 / 5 ( 113 votes ) 39

Comments (39)

A critical, but devastating poem about what Yeats made of the modern world. There is anarchy and needless bloodshed, and no hope of a Second Coming of Jesus. Instead: ' And what rough beast, its hour come at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? ' This is largely what I see now in the world.
A free flight of creativity on winged immagination. An awesome creation by an intricate and a sober mind.
This is definitely one of Yeats' best poems. It is pessimistic but visionary. 'And what rough beast.../Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? ' Great ending.
Autoplay takes all the feeling out of the poem - just like my English teacher in High School made us do. What nonsense!
and the number was 666