Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CAGED LION, by ANNE MILLAY BREMER

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THE CAGED LION, by            
First Line: In prison, to and fro you pace
Last Line: Puppet of a grinning fate?
Subject(s): Animals; Jungles; Lions

IN prison, to and fro you pace,
Iron bars bind the world of space.
Your loud reverberating roar
Spreads upon the atmosphere
Like water, pushed before
A bulky keel.

Muscles of your massive jaws,
Sinews of your powerful paws,
Are firm as steel;
But children laugh at you, and jeer,
With no pity, with no fear.
In dull solitude you pace
To and fro your narrow space,
Year on year.

Of the jungle do you keep
Your kingdom, in your sleep?
Roaming, with your cubs and mate
Its great

Peering silence, mile on mile;
Knowing no trap of human guile;
When you come, the weak and small
Hurried find their hiding place—
Where no iron bars bind space.

You pace and gaze, with growling rage—
On holidays,
As gaping crowds drift past your cage:
Nurse-maids and children, talking shrilly;
Troops of mischief-brimming boys;
Whispering school-girls, giggling silly;
White collared laborer, rugged and tanned,
Holding secure a child's small hand. ...

In your wild, resentful hate,
Would you feel avenged
If you could know—
As, captive, to and fro you go—
Each so heedless of your woe,
Is fettered too, in prison walls,
Soon or late,
Puppet of a grinning fate?

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