The Jaguar

On the jungle trail steeped in night,

I saw the king’s sharp eyes alight.

The jaguar stepped out on my path,

I feared at once his holy wrath.

 

He had a regal face and dappled coat.

No sound escaped his mighty throat.

Ancient eyes bound me with a stare.

To face his judgement was my dare.

 

The jaguar’s eyes laid bare my soul,

All my secrets they swiftly stole,

And I saw myself within his eyes:

Silent, curious, proud and wise.

 

What Old Power ordained the law

Of Nature red in tooth and claw?

War and sorrow are now the way,

The Old World gods are now the prey.

 

I still adhere to the elder creed:

This world is not our own to bleed.

More honor than man in this noble beast.

I was willing to die its midnight feast.

 

All of this the jaguar did understand,

He bowed his head and gave command.

The king deemed me of noble mind,

A noble beast from ignoble kind.

 

The jaguar slipped silently away,

Granting me another day,

And inspiration from which to sing,

Of the jungle and its majestic king.