In me the tiger sniffs the rose

In Me, Past, Present, Future meet
by Siegfried Sassoon

In me, past, present, future meet
To hold long chiding conference.
My lusts usurp the present tense
And strangle Reason in his seat.
My loves leap through the future’s fence
To dance with dream-enfranchised feet.

In me the cave-man clasps the seer,
And garlanded Apollo goes
Chanting to Abraham’s deaf ear.
In me the tiger sniffs the rose.
Look in my heart, kind friends, and tremble,
Since there your elements assemble.


Henri Rousseau. (French, 1844-1910). The Sleeping Gypsy. 1897. Oil on canvas, 51″ x 6′ 7″ (129.5 x 200.7 cm). Gift of Mrs. Simon Guggenheim, On view at MoMA, NYC