By George Sterling

Hushed, cruel, amber-eyed,
  Before the time of danger of the day,
Or at dusk on the boulder-broken mountainside,
  The great cats seek their prey.

  Soft-padded, heavy-limbed,
With agate talons chiseled for love or hate,
In desolate places wooded or granite-rimmed,
  The great cats seek their mate.

  Rippling, as water swerved,
To tangled coverts overshadowed and deep
Or secret caves where the canyon's wall is curved,
  The great cats go for sleep.

  Seeking the mate or prey,
Out of the darkness glow the insatiate eyes.
Man, who is made more terrible far than they,
  Dreams he is otherwise!

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