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In the “Zoo”

From The Sun, July 12, 1914. By George T. Marsh.

Exiles, they tread their narrow bounds
    Behind the iron bars.
Where’er they turn the hand of man
    Their straining vision mars,
Save only when at night they gaze
    Upon the friendly stars.

See! There a golden eagle broods
    With glazed, unseeing eyes
That never more will sweep the snows
    Where blue Sierras rise;
And there, sick for his native hills,
    A sullen panther lies.

What dreams of silent polar nights
    Disturb the white bear’s sleep?
Roams he once more unfettered where
    Eternal ice flows sweep?
What memories of the jungle’s ways
    Does that gaunt tiger keep?

Such wistful eyes the hartebeest turn
    Beyond their cramped domain.
They seem to see the yellowing leagues
    Of wind swept veldt again.
And look, a springbok lifts his head
    As though he smelled the plain.

Exiles, they tread their narrow bounds
    Behind the iron bars.
For thus the ruthless hand of man
    Each God-made creature mars.
But oh, what hungry eyes they raise
    Up to the friendly stars!

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