Cicely Fox Smith
The Caged Monarch - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
Prison'd king! What worlds of woe
In thy weary, gold-brown eyes -
Thoughts of roaming long ago
Under Afric's sultry skies,
Of the wood, the waste, the flood,
And the night-wind's harmonies!
Dost thou dream of times no more,
There behind the prison bars,
When the thunder of thy roar,
Throbbing to the silent stars,
Drove the deer half-mad with fear,
Cowering to the rocks and scars?
Dost thou dream of hunts of old,
In the spangled tropic night,
When, unconquered, uncontrolled,
Roving in thy unchecked might,
Beasts would shrink that came to drink -
Shrink and shudder with affright?
Ev'n, perchance, as now hast thou,
Couch'd beside thy mangled prey,
Look'd beneath thy lordly brow
When, in freedom's glorious day,
In his lair would hunters dare
To bring the king of beasts to bay.
Claws of steel and locks of gold,
Captured, prison'd, left to pine,
All thy grief we may behold
In those golden eyes of thine,
All thy woe for long ago -
Flying herds and slaughtered kine!
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