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The Second Coming


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! "ardly are those words out
#hen 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 ga%e blank and pitiless as the sun,
&s moving its slow thighs, while all about it
'eel shadows of the indignant desert birds
The darkness drops again; but now & know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
#ere ve(ed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards )ethlehem to be born*
A Vision (1925; revised 1937) outi!es " s#ste$ t%"t &"s su''osed# di(t"ted )#
su'er!"tur" (o$$e!t"tors s'e"*i!+ t%rou+% Mrs,Ye"ts, -See the comments on automatic
writing in your text.. It tur!s its )"(* o! t%e $"i!stre"$ t&e!tiet%/(e!tur# ort%odo0ies o1
2%risti"!it#3 M"r0is$3 "!d 's#(%o"!"#sis,
Ye"ts e!visio!ed i1e "s '"tter!ed "1ter T%e 4re"t W%ee (" &%ee &it% t&e!t#/ei+%t
s'o*es re'rese!ti!+ t%e t&e!t#/ei+%t '%"ses o1 t%e u!"r $o!t%) i!ste"d o1 t%e $ore
(o$$o! "stroo+i(" &%ee o1 t&eve %ouses,
2i(* %ere to vie& " +r"'%i( o1 Ye"ts5s Lu!"r 6%"ses,
Ever# sou ("!d ever# (ivii7"tio!) '"sses t%rou+% " t&e!t#/ei+%t '%"ses o1 t%e &%ee,
E"(% '%"se is ")eed "!d iustr"ted, 6%"se 193 t%e 8Assertive M"!38 is iustr"ted )#
B#ro!, 6%"se 173 89"i$o!i( M"!38 i!(udes 9"!te3 S%ee#3 L"!dor3 "!d Ye"ts %i$se1,
:o&ever3 1or 6%"se I "!d its e0"(t o''osite3 6%"se 153 &%i(% re'rese!t ")soute# 'ure
t#'es3 Ye"ts s"& !o %u$"! (ou!ter'"rts, ;!e %istori(" revoutio! o1 t%e &%ee t"*es t&o
t%ous"!d #e"rs3 "!d e"(% su((essive revoutio! $ou!ts s'ir"# to&"rd t%e 4re"t Ye"r
(2<3=== #e"rs) &%i(% &i )re"* out o1 t%e &%ee "to+et%er,
Ye"ts "so s"& t%"t e"(% i!dividu" &"s (o$'osed o1 &"rri!+ ee$e!ts3 "!d t%"t t%is
$i!+i!+ o1 o''osites %ed true 1or e"(% (ou!tr#3 "!d e"(% er", :e re'rese!ted t%is
(o!>u!(tio! o1 o''osites "s t&o i!ter'e!etr"ti!+ (o!es (8gyres8)?
A (ross se(tio! o1 t%ese (e"seess# tur!i!+ (o!es &i reve" t%e $i!+ed "s'e(ts o1 "
s'e(i1i( i!dividu"3 "!d3 !o t&o (ross se(tio!s &i ever 'rove ide!ti(", T%us3 e"(% 'erso!
("! )e see! to 'ossess so$e (%"r"(teristi(s t%"t "re dire(t# o''osite to %is do$i!"!t
!"ture, A 'erso! &%ose !"ture i!terse(ts t%e di"+r"$ $id&"# &oud su11er " '"r"#sis o1
"(tio! or 1eei!+ )e("use %e &oud )e 'ued e@u"# i! t&o o''osite dire(tio!s,
I! t%e 4re"t W%ee3 e"(% o1 Ye"ts5s t&e!t#/ei+%t )"si( 'erso!"it# t#'es is so "rr"!+ed
t%"t it 1"(es its dire(t o''osite3 t%e 'erso!"it# $ost di11ere!t 1ro$ it, T%is o''osite is its
M"s*, Aor ever# 'erso!"it# t%ere is " Mask3 )ut t%e o)>e(tive3 'ri$"r# '%"se 'erso!"ities
s%oud i+!ore t%eir M"s*s or ese t%e# &i )e 1rustr"ted "!d destro#ed, T%e su)>e(tive or
"rtisti( 'erso!"ities " $ust (%oose " M"s* to &e"r3 )ut t%e# "re 1"(ed &it% t&o to (%oose
1ro$3 " True M"s* "!d " A"se3 "!d it is !e(ess"r# t%"t t%e# (%oose (orre(t#,
(T%e ")ove is t"*e! 1ro$ M"rti! S, 9"#5s History of Enqlish Literature: 183 to the !resent3 4"rde! 2it#?
9ou)ed"#3 19<B3 2B5/B<, "he gra#hics are mine,)
T%e 1oo&i!+ 'rovides " @ui(* oo* "t Yeats's Faculty Psychology?
The Four Faculties Characteristics
Will (T%e Is) &i3 drive3 !"tur" e+o
Mask (T%e ;u+%t)
e$otio!3 desire; &%"t o!e &is%es to )e(o$e;
&%"t o!e revere!(es
Creative Mind
(T%ou+%t3 t%e C!o&er)

i!tee(t; i!!"te u!ivers" Ide"s; t%e (o!s(ious#
(o!stru(tive $i!d
Body of Fate
(;)>e(t o1 T%ou+%t; t%e
e!viro!$e!t ()ot% '%#si(" "!d $e!t")
T%e Four Faculties "re t%e resut o1 t%e 1our $e$ories o1 the $aimon %&aemon' or the
(ltimate Self of the )an?
T%e Will (T%e Is) or t%e !"tur" e+o o1 $"! is s%"'ed out o1 t%e 9"i$o!5s $e$or#
o1 " t%e eve!ts o1 %is 'rese!t i1e3 &%et%er (o!s(ious# re$e$)ered or !ot,
T%e Mask (T%e ;u+%t)3 t%e o)>e(t o1 desire or ide" o1 t%e +ood3 is s%"'ed out o1 t%e
9"i$o!5s $e$or# o1 t%e $o$e!t" o1 e0"t"tio! i! %is '"st ives,
T%e Creative Mind (T%ou+%t3 t%e C!o&er) is s%"'ed out o1 t%e 9"i$o!5s $e$or#
o1 ide"s//or u!ivers"s//dis'"#ed )# "(tu" $e! i! '"st ives or t%eir s'irits )et&ee!
T%e Body of Fate (;)>e(t o1 T%ou+%t; t%e C!o&!) is t%e series o1 eve!ts 1or(ed
u'o! %i$ 1ro$ &it%out "!d is s%"'ed out o1 t%e 9"i$o!5s $e$or# o1 t%e eve!ts o1
%is '"st i!("r!"tio!s,
T%e Four Principles "re t%e 'o&ers t%"t +uide t%e Four Faculties "!d de" &it% i1e 1ro$
de"t% to )irt%?
6"ssio!"te Be"ut#
2eesti" Bod#
2e"r# I do!5t e0'e(t #ou to u!derst"!d " o1 t%is i! +re"t det"i, :o&ever3 i! oo*i!+ "t t%e
(o!(e't o1 t%e gyre "!d "t t%e )"si( o''ositio!s i! %is Faculty Psychology3 #ou s%oud
re(o+!i7e Ye"ts5s "&"re!ess o1 t%e du" !"ture o1 e0iste!(e t%"t &e s"& i! t%e Ro$"!ti(s3
&it% t%eir (o!(er! 1or 8t%e re(o!(ii"tio! o1 o''osites,8