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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Charles Tennyson Turner 1808–79

The Lion’s Skeleton

HOW long, O lion, hast thou fleshless lain?

What rapt thy fierce and thirsty eyes away?

First came the vulture: worms, heat, wind, and rain

Ensued, and ardors of the tropic day.

I know not—if they spar’d it thee—how long

The canker sate within thy monstrous mane,

Till it fell piecemeal, and bestrew’d the plain,

Or, shredded by the storming sands, was flung

Again to earth; but now thine ample front,

Whereon the great frowns gather’d, is laid bare;

The thunders of thy throat, which erst were wont

To scare the desert, are no longer there;

Thy claws remain, but worms, wind, rain, and heat

Have sifted out the substance of thy feet.