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Lion Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Lion and the Mouse by Jeffreys Taylor
  2. The Lonely Lion by Amos Russel Wells
  3. I Wonder if the Lion Knows by Annette Wynne
  4. To a Caged Lion by Oliver Wendell Holmes
  5. On a Lion Enraged at Seeing a Lad in the Highland Dress by W. Hamilton
  6. The Lion and the Unicorn by Anonymous
  7. Roar of the African Lion by Isaac McLellan
  8. Lions Running Over the Green by Annette Wynne

  1. The Lonely Lion

    by Amos Russel Wells

    The lion was lonely;
    Said he, "There is only
    One way of driving this gloom from me:
    I must enter into society!"
    So he asked the beasts in a manner quite hearty,
    To come to his cave for a little party.
    On the appointed day,
    In a frightened way,
    A parrot flew over his head to say
    That the beasts would be happy the lion to greet,
    But they very much feared he was out of meat!
    "Alas!" the lion cried with a groan,
    And must I then live forever alone?"

  2. The Lion and the Mouse

    by Jeffreys Taylor

    A lion with the heat oppressed,
    One day composed himself to rest:
    But while he dozed as he intended,
    A mouse, his royal back ascended;
    Nor thought of harm, as Aesop tells,
    Mistaking him for someone else;
    And travelled over him, and round him,
    And might have left him as she found him
    Had she not—tremble when you hear—
    Tried to explore the monarch's ear!
    Who straightway woke, with wrath immense,
    And shook his head to cast her thence.
    "You rascal, what are you about?"
    Said he, when he had turned her out,
    "I'll teach you soon," the lion said,
    "To make a mouse-hole in my head!"
    So saying, he prepared his foot
    To crush the trembling tiny brute;
    But she (the mouse) with tearful eye,
    Implored the lion's clemency,
    Who thought it best at last to give
    His little prisoner a reprieve.

    'Twas nearly twelve months after this,
    The lion chanced his way to miss;
    When pressing forward, heedless yet,
    He got entangled in a net.
    With dreadful rage, he stamped and tore,
    And straight commenced a lordly roar;
    When the poor mouse, who heard the noise,
    Attended, for she knew his voice.
    Then what the lion's utmost strength
    Could not effect, she did at length;
    With patient labor she applied
    Her teeth, the network to divide;
    And so at last forth issued he,
    A lion, by a mouse set free.

    Few are so small or weak, I guess,
    But may assist us in distress,
    Nor shall we ever, if we're wise,
    The meanest, or the least despise.

  3. I Wonder if the Lion Knows

    by Annette Wynne

    I wonder if the lion knows
    That people are afraid
    To meet him when for walks he goes
    Beneath the jungle shade;
    And when they scream and run away,
    O, does he laugh at their dismay?
    And does he say with head tossed high:
    "How 'terribully' fierce am I"?

    I'd like to know
    If this is so;
    But if I met a lion some day
    I would not ask, I'd run away,
    For surely it is not a treat
    To meet a lion on the street!

  4. To a Caged Lion

    by Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Poor conquered monarch! though that haughty glance
    Still speaks thy courage unsubdued by time,
    And in the grandeur of thy sullen tread
    Lives the proud spirit of thy burning clime; —
    Fettered by things that shudder at thy roar,
    Torn from thy pathless wilds to pace this narrow floor!

    Thou wast the victor, and all nature shrunk
    Before the thunders of thine awful wrath;
    The steel-armed hunter viewed thee from afar,
    Fearless and trackless in thy lonely path!
    The famished tiger closed his flaming eye,
    And crouched and panted as thy step went by!

    Thou art the vanquished, and insulting man
    Bars thy broad bosom as a sparrow's wing;
    His nerveless arms thine iron sinews bind,
    And lead in chains the desert's fallen king;
    Are these the beings that have dared to twine
    Their feeble threads around those limbs of thine?

    So must it be; the weaker, wiser race,
    That wields the tempest and that rides the sea,
    Even in the stillness of thy solitude
    Must teach the lesson of its power To thee;
    And thou, the terror of the trembling wild,
    Must bow thy savage strength, the mockery of a child!

  5. On a Lion Enraged at Seeing a Lad in the Highland Dress

    by W. Hamilton

    Calm and serene the imperial lion lay,
    Mildly indulging in the solar ray;
    On vulgar mortals with indifference gazed,
    All unconcerned, nor angry, nor amazed;
    But when the Caledonian lad appeared,
    Sudden alarmed, his manly mane he reared,
    Prepared in fierce encounter to engage
    The only object worthy of his rage.

  6. The Lion and the Unicorn

    by Anonymous

    The lion and the unicorn
    Were fighting for the crown;
    The lion beat the unicorn
    All round about the town.
    Some gave them white bread,
    And some gave them brown;
    Some gave them plum cake,
    And sent them out of town.

  7. Roar of the African Lion

    by Isaac McLellan

    This noble monarch of the Afric waste
    Meets with no rival to contest his reign,
    With his surpassing strength and agile stride
    He can o'er come each creature of the plain.
    He dashes to the earth the tall giraffe
    Who towers above the summits of the woods;
    He tracks the herds of shaggy buffaloes,
    And slays the bull in solitudes;
    He preys on nimble flocks of antelopes,
    The pallah, oryx, quagga and wild-beest.
    O'ertakes the blesbok in its swiftest flight,
    On zebra and the eland makes his feast.

    How grand, how thunderous his savage roar!
    First he emits a dull, far-echoing moan
    That ends at times with faintly-whispered sighs.
    At other times he startles all the herds
    With deep-toned roar and wild, tempestuous cries
    That sudden sink away in muffled tone,
    Like distant thunder fading in the skies.

    His roar is loudest in cold, frosty nights
    When two troops meet beside a fountain's flow;
    Then each troop sounds a bold, defiant roar,
    Each seeking to out-roar the rival foe.
    Those grand, nocturnal concerts fill the waste
    With universal terror, yet they thrill,
    With transport the brave hunter's fearless heart,
    Who lies there close ambush'd, resolute to kill;
    A hunter in the glooms of forests hid,
    In the dead hour of midnight, all alone;
    Ensconced in thicket at the fountain's edge,
    Listing the awful roar, or hollow moan.

    The lions roar incessant in the night,
    Their sighing moans beginning with the shades
    Of evening; gather in the forest depths,
    Sounding their warnings in the dim arcades
    Thro' all the day they rest concealed in shade
    Of gloomy forests on some mountain side,
    Loving the jungles or the tangled grass
    In low-lying shelves or in the valleys wide;
    From thence they stalk, when ends the sunset glow,
    Intent on nightly prowl for wandering foe,
    Then in dark night their roar is full of ire,
    Their eyeballs glowing like two balls of fire.

  8. Lions Running Over the Green

    by Annette Wynne

    Lions running over the green,
    Fiercest of creatures that ever were seen,
    Chasing Tom and Dick and Sue—
    I hope they won't be caught, don't you?

    The lions chase them through the gate,
    But Sue cries out: "O lions, wait,
    My shoe's untied!" One lion then
    Ties the lacing up again.

    And after that the chase goes on
    Until the afternoon is gone—
    The fiercest creatures ever seen,
    Lions running over the green!

I will show you what is strong. The lion is strong. When he raiseth himself up from his lair, when he shaketh his mane, when the voice of his roaring is heard, the cattle of the field fly, and the wild beasts of the desert hide themselves; for he is terrible.

– John Keble
The Creator