/
  1. The Panther

THE PANTHER
His weary glance, from passing by the bars ,
Has grown into a dazed and vacant stare ;
It seems to him there are a thousand bars
And out beyond those bars the empty air .

The pad of his strong feet ,
That ceaseless sound of supple tread
Behind the iron bands ,
Is like a dance of strength circling around ,
While in the circle, stunned ,
A great will , stands .

But there are times the pupils of his eyes dilate ,
The strong limbs stand alert, apart ,
Tense with the flood of visions that arise
Only to sink and die within his heart .

- Rainer Maria Rilke November 6, 1902