6 April 2010

GE 2010 in verse: "The Fourth Coming?"

The Fourth Coming?

Gurning and gurning in the widening mire

The MP cannot hear his constituents;
Things fall apart; the PM cannot hold;
Mere election is loosed upon the world,
The mind-numbed vote is introduced! and everywhere
Our red incumbents’ sorrows are drowned;
The worst lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some Westminster vote is at hand;
Surely an Election Poll is at hand.
The Westminster vote! Hardly are those words out
When a fatuous image out of Spiritus Anglia
Troubles my sight; somewhere, in shires of its Witney,
A shape with yeoman body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and mirthless as a pun,
Is spinning his slow cycle, while all about him
Reel feathers of indignant Lib Dem birds.
Ballots will drop again; but I don’t know
Who that thirteen years of stony sleep
Left more vexed to nightmare by its rocking cradle,
Or which purple beast, its hour come round at last,
Will slouch towards Westminster to be (re)born?

~ William Butler Yeats (adjusted)
On hearing that the 2010 Westminster General Election had been called.


  1. Ha!

    Who'd have thought that W.B. would be so creative beyond the grave?

  2. Anonymous,

    Necromantic poetry is a specialist interest of mine. Amazing what the spectres of these spent poets will rattle up for you in exchange for the tiniest sliver of your mortal essence!

  3. Hythlodaeus,

    What with my mortal dread of blogging this election - which one can't help but noticed has crashed unforgivingly amongst us, trailing my dread with it - playing publishing channel for these old poetical ghosts may become my refuge. Or at least, the beguiling phantasm by means of which I try to sustain a gossamer thread of relevant commentary.