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Michael Robartes And The Dancer
by W. B. Yeats
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1920. A few of these poems may be difficult to understand, perhaps more difficult than Yeats knew. After the first few poems, Yeats came into possession of Michael Robartes' exposition of the 'Speculum Angelorum et Hominum' of Geraldus, and in the excitement of arranging and editing could no more keep out philosophy than could Goethe himself at certain periods of his life. Yeats has tried to make understanding easy by a couple of notes.
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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