Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Seventy Years Ago Today ...

.. the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats went down into the hollow hills to rest with his ancestors.

Can anyone read those last two ineffable lines from his most famous poem without getting a cold chill? I've never been able to. Hell, I'm reading them right this second and they're totally freaking me out.

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.

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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