Yeats, W B - Collected poems - Leda and the swan
Type of Spiritual Experience
Leda and the Swan is from Greek mythology. Zeus came to Leda in the form of a swan and seduced her. She bore Helen and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, and when she gave birth she laid two eggs from which the children hatched
A description of the experience
W B Yeats – Collected Poems
Leda and the Swan
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?