He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!

Holiest of Holy

Holiest of Holy


It is Easter morning, and our hope is ever born anew.

And inexplicably–only God knows why–this poem, prophetic, apocalyptic, and eschatological as it is, springs to mind.

The Second Coming

W.B. Yeats in 1919

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?

May you know the hope of the risen Christ this day.

Susan Creighton+

2 Responses to “Alleluia! Christ is Risen!”

  • janet knori:

    This poem has always haunted me, even when it is so long since I read it I’d forgotten most of it. That “slouches toward Bethlehem” is so viscerally horrifying… Or is that God?…

  • Blessed Eastertide, Janet!
    Yes, this poem is enigmatic, isn’t it? I don’t know what others say about it, but to me, the “slouches toward Bethlehem” is definitely speaking of God–in the Incarnation, and in the Second Coming. And on those days when the pain of the world is so evident (and the pain in my knees hollers, too!), I can only think that we are all “slouching” toward God, sometimes with vigor, and other times not so much.

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