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The Tiger's Den

Amidst the jungle’s myriad cries
Beyond the brightness of the skies,
Marked with bones and drying gore
And a fearful dreadful roar
I am the mighty tiger’s den!

Now when men have come to stay
And sow and reap and cry and play,
The roars still echo in the night
And the weak avoid my sight:
I am the awful tiger’s den!

Now the flowers and thorns are gone
There stand fields of golden corn
In a wood that yet exists
The old wild way still persists
I am the dying tiger’s den!

The drummers beat, the torches flare,
The hunters close in on the lair
“See the stripes – yellow and black”
The sahib’s rifle sounds its crack
I am the silent tiger’s den!

Now stands a suburb – homely, tame
All that’s left is just the name
And Buses, cars and lorries hoot
Lush turf replaced by smog and soot
I am the ghostly tiger’s den!

(I live in Thane in an area called Waghbil - which in Marathi means tiger's den. There is nothing tigrine or even sylvan about the place.)

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