Leda and the Swan by W. B. Yeats
Born in 1965, William Butler Yeats is considered one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century. His poetry is known for symbols from ordinary life. “Leda and the Swan” retells the classic Greek myth in which Leda is raped and impregnated by the god Zeus. Later on, she gives birth to Helen of Troy, who becomes the reason for the legendary Trojan War.
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?