The Goat

Heading to Chapter V of
Beast and Man in India
by John Lockwood Kipling

They killed a Child to please the Gods
   In earth’s young penitence,
 And I have bled in that Babe’s stead
   Because of innocence. 

I bear the sins of sinful men
  That have no sin of my own,
 They drive me forth to Heaven’s wrath
   Unpastured and alone. 

I am the meat of sacrifice,
  The ransom of man’s guilt,
 For they give my life to the altar-knife
  Wherever shrine is built.