Leda and the Swan

Original Text: 

Yeats, William Butler. W. B. Yeats: Selected Poetry: 127. Ed. by A. Norman Jeffares. London: Macmillan, 1968.

1A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
2Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
3By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
4He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
5How can those terrified vague fingers push
6The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
7And how can body, laid in that white rush,
8But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
9A shudder in the loins engenders there
10The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
11And Agamemnon dead.
12                                  Being so caught up,
13So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
14Did she put on his knowledge with his power
15Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
Publication Start Year: 
1928
Publication Notes: 

The Tower, 1928.

RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh
RPO Edition: 
2009