The Blood-Dimmed Tide

Referring to a prophetically ominous poem written by William Butler Yeats (The Second Coming) and to modern liberalism’s effect on America legal scholar Robert Bork wrote in 1996,

 (Yeats) can hardly have forseen that passionate intensity, uncoupled from morality, would shred the fabric of Western culture.  The rough beast of decadence, a long time in gestation, having reached its maturity in the last three decades, now sends us slouching towards our new home, not Bethlehem but Gomorrah.

From the opening of Slouching Towards Gomorrah:  Modern Liberalism and American Decline by Robert H. Bork, copyright 1996

The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

 

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?

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