A sudden blow: the great wings beating still Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon his breast. How can those terrified vague fingers push The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? And how can body, laid in that white rush, But feel the strange heart beating where it lies? A shudder in the loins engenders there The broken wall, the burning roof and tower And Agamemnon dead. Being so caught up, So mastered by the brute blood of the air, Did she put on his knowledge with his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
W. B. Yeats - 1865-1939
The Wild Swans at Coole
The trees are in their autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry, Under the October twilight the water Mirrors a still sky; Upon the brimming water among the stones Are nine and fifty swans. The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me Since I first made my count; I saw, before I had well finished, All suddenly mount And scatter wheeling in great broken rings Upon their clamorous wings. I have looked upon those brilliant creatures, And now my heart is sore. All's changed since I, hearing at twilight, The first time on this shore, The bell-beat of their wings above my head, Trod with a lighter tread. Unwearied still, lover by lover, They paddle in the cold, Companionable streams or climb the air; Their hearts have not grown old; Passion or conquest, wander where they will, Attend upon them still. But now they drift on the still water Mysterious, beautiful; Among what rushes will they build, By what lake's edge or pool Delight men's eyes, when I awake some day To find they have flown away?