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Bartolomeo Ammanati - Marble - 1540 - (Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Florence, Italy)


Leda and the Swan

by W.B. Yeats


                                    A sudden blow: the great wings beating still


                             Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed


                             By the dark webs, her nape caught in the 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 what 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?