They hunt, the velvet tigers in the jungle,

The spotted jungle full of shapeless patches-

Sometimes they're leaves, sometimes they're hanging flowers,

Sometimes they're hot gold patches of the sun:

They hunt, the velvet tigers in the jungle!


  What do they hunt by glimmering pools of water,

By the round silver Moon, the Pool of Heaven?-

In the striped grass, amid the barkless trees-

The stars scattered like eyes of beasts above them!


  What do they hunt, their hot breath scorching insects?

Insects that blunder wildly in the way,

Vividly fluttering - they also are hunting,

Are glittering with a tiny ecstasy!


  The grass is flaming and the trees are growing,

The very mud is gurgling in the pools,

Green toads are watching, crimson parrots flying,

Two pairs of eyes meet one another glowing -

They hunt the velvet tigers in the jungle.