John Milton, in his apology, or his defense, of Paradise Lost, explained that while rhyme is beautiful, it can at times be very restricting. I fully agree with him on that. I often use ryhme for my poems, but at other times, such as this one, I refrain an either use a structure, or simply write from my heart.

Behind the Lion's Eyes

With tender tread, and terrible, I walk the endless slope.

With trembling body and bleeding heart, I climb under his gaze.

Look up: I see a mane, a halo of glory like angel's songs around me,

A face feline, but outshining even Paul's most worthy praise.

Then I looked—I dared not to it and dare not do otherwise—

Into his eyes

Golden, nebulous, star-filled and beautiful.

Here came all the depths of beauty I ever longed for.

Here came every song that stirred my heart-cords from childhood.

Once I saw myself and wept, saw my life, and then I saw his silver-red blood

Wash it all away, and I saw naught but him again.

I could gaze forever, but then I saw behind them, something terrible, something


And then it falls away!

It is no more, this mask of cat-like grace; I see instead what no one ought to see.

Only his mercy saved me from being blown away.

Holiness like a star erupting smote my spirit to the core,

Shook me until I was unmade.

Had I known such pain existed I would have run from my cradle to embrace it!

And then I realized all my life I had been looking into the lion's eyes,

Looking and searching from this very thing, this very holiness I now fall down before.

And like a veil those eyes opened, calling me in, calling me surely.

I went with gladness. I went with awe and trembling.

I went behind the Lion's Eyes.

I do not know who is speaking in this poem. It could be Tirian, it could be myself, I don't know. I had in mind a man while writing it, so that really rules me out. I also had in mind At the Back of the North Wind, especially for that last phrase "I went behind the Lion's Eyes." I've disected poems before in literature class, and I always felt I was doing a disservice to the long-dead author, so I won't do it to myself now; I'll let the reader decide the details behind the poem.