The Leopard Mansion
We hear the leopards pacing in the hall;|
their breath dampens the priceless draperies,
softly, softly, their black paws lift and fall.
The rosewood thickness of our bedroom wall|
can't shield us. Through parquets, beams, galleries,
we hear the leopards pacing in the hall;
and all we know, the leopard learns, and all|
our gilt barriers give. They go where they please,
softly, softly, their slim paws lift and fall.
Their bony rhythm is not beautiful,|
we dread to hear their muscles cock and ease,
we fear the leopards crouching in the hall.
Don't listen! Outside, poppies line the mall;|
by garden gates there hang no tapestries
where restlessly the bright claws scrape and fall;
But tapestries may show jungles, and tall,|
humid black cats that quicken, that release
the trapped and splendid leopards in the hall.
Listen! Listen! The treadles rise and fall.