The vision, the poet sees in that of a shape with a lion body and the head of a man. This shape has a gaze which is as blank and pitiless as the gaze of the sun. Somewhere in the sands of the desert that figure is moving slowly. As it does so, desert birds feel disturbed by the emergence of this unfamiliar figure and the poet in his vision sees their (the desert birds) shadows reeling around this shape. And then suddenly the darkness comes over again ., the vision is over. The vision is over but so long as it has lasted it has been able to give the poet the knowledge that when twenty centuries of stony sleep (before the birth of Christ) were disturbed by the rocking cradle of Christ (at Christ's birth) the situation must have been similar to the situation now. The only difference is that in that case it was Christ who was born in Bethlehem and in this case it is rough breast which is moving slowly in slouching style, towards Bethlehem. Its hour has also come round at last ., the time for it to herald another era of twenty centuries has come. The big difference of this time is that whereas Christ's influence was all welcome, this is a rough beast and its appearance is more terrifying than welcome. In other words, civilization is for sterner times, at the hands of the new authority which is likely to take over in the wake of this Second Coming.