He will not see the East catch fire again,
Nor watch the darkening of the drowsy West,
Nor sniff the air with joyous zest,
Nor lead his wives along the grassy lane.
Cooped in a crate, he claps his wings in vain,
Then hangs his crimson head upon his breast;
To-morrow’s sun will see him plucked and dressed,
One of a ghastly row of feathered slain.
O chanticleer, I cannot bear it more;
That crow of anguish, pitiful and stark,
Makes my flesh quail at thy unhappy lot—
The selfsame cry with which thine ancestor
Emptied his soul into the tragic dark
The night that Peter said, ‘I know Him not.’