Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BLACK PANTHER, by JOHN HALL WHEELOCK



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THE BLACK PANTHER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There is a panther caged within my breast
Last Line: And I lie silent, but my body shakes.
Variant Title(s): Panther! Panther!
Subject(s): Panthers; Passion


There is a panther caged within my breast,
But what his name there is no breast shall know
Save mine, nor what it is that drives him so,
Backward and forward, in relentless quest:
That silent rage, baffled but unsuppressed,
The soft pad of those stealthy feet that go
Over my body's prison to and fro,
Trying the walls forever without rest.

All day I feed him with my living heart,
But when the night puts forth her dreams and stars
The inexorable Frenzy reawakes;
His wrath is hurled upon the trembling bars,
The eternal passion stretches me apart --
And I lie silent, but my body shakes.





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