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 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?
—Collected Poems New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.
Lord Jesus Christ,
who is, who was, and who is to come,
we pray for hope,
that amidst the trials and difficulties of this world,
we may keep our hearts fixed
upon you, who reigns over the universe.
May your grace enliven us, strengthen us, and defend us,
as we await your coming in glory.
The prophet Balaam. Bronze panel, 12th century. Doors of the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, Verona.
William G. James. Christmas Bush for His Adorning. Lyrics by John Wheeler.Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.