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The Lion by Conrad Aiken

The Lion

by Conrad Aiken

(published in his book Cats and Bats and Things with Wings, 1965, Atheneum,

drawings by Milton Glaser)

The lion is a lordly thing

and rightly of the beasts called King

o yes indeed the King of Beasts

just so it’s not on us he feasts

those golden eyes

how piercing wise

those powerful paws

those cutting claws

and o those mighty jaws

these are enough and more

even without a roar

to give us pause.

Those claws can rip a plank right through

those jaws can chew

a bone in two

he is a fearful sight

by day or night

of might.

But let’s remember too

he has a beauty unsurpassed

see by the moon his shadow cast

upon a desert dune

or silhouetted on the moon

those sinewy shoulders and that mane

while thrice he roars

and roars again

proclaiming far and near

to norths to souths to wests to easts

Look and fear

your King is here

I am the King of Beasts!

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