The Menagerie

Oh come, ye lords and ladies of the realm,
Come from your couches soft, your perfumed halls,
Come watch with me throughout the weary hours.
Here are there sounds to thrill your jaded nerves,
Such as the cave-men, your forefathers, heard,
Crouching in forests of primeval night;
Here tier on tier in steel-barred cages pent
The beasts ye breed and hunt throughout the world.
Hark to that snore—some beast that slumbers deep;
Hark to that roar—some beast that dreams of blood;
Hark to that moan—some beast that wakes and weeps;
And then in sudden stillness mark the sound—
Some beast that rasps his vermin-haunted hide!

Oh come, ye lords and ladies of the realm,
Come keep the watch with me; this show is yours.
Behold the source of all your joy and pride,
The beasts ye harness fast and set to draw
The chariots of your pageantry and pomp!
It is their blood ye shed to make your feasts,
It is their treadmill that moves all your world.
Come gather now, and think how it will be
When God shall send his flaming angel down
And break these bars—so hath he done of yore,
So doeth he to lords and ladies grand—
And loose these beasts to raven in your streets!
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