The Panther
By Rainer Maria Rilke
An Animal Rights Poem from

All of God's creatures have rights, a fact that most people don't seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves.

The Panther In the Jardin des Plantes, Paris
By Rainer Maria Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly --. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone.

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