The Panther by Rainer Maria Rilke
translated from German into English by Roswitha Joshi

 

Passing an unending chain of bars,

His tired eyes cease to behold.

He feels there are a thousand bars to pass,

Yet behind thousand bars, no worlds unfold.

 

The smooth gait of those strong and lissome paces,

Those narrow circles he roams prove his bind,

A power dance around a central basis,

In which stands numb and dazed great strength of mind.

 

Rare are the times the curtain lifts

To let an image sift into his inner lair.

And while through frozen limbs it shifts,

At heart it ceases to be there.

 

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