The context of the poem shows the deep trust between the Lion keeper and the Lion. The author creates a strong connection that expresses love by the detailed description showed over the whole poem. This made us realize that the lion was the most important thing in the old man´s life, which made it even more sentimental when the lion died.
“Who begged for meat in the market-places as time grew hungrier, and cut it small to feed him” in this situation we can figure out that the keeper was more worried about feeding the lion than himself, so he asked for food to feed the lion because he didn´t have money even to buy food for him. As the absence of teeth from the lion, the keeper cut his food in small pieces for an easily chewing.
On “but who knows no way to let go of love, to walk out of sunlight, to be an old man in a city without a lion” the reader can noticed that the lion –keeper still loves the lion in spite of don´t having him physically, their emotions towards the lion were still the same as before. Now the lion´s keeper life passes to be a normal life of an old man in a city without a lion.
Finally, we can notice that the lion-keeper left his life behind by only taking care about the lion and not worrying about his future. So when the lion dies, the old man realizes how time has passed during those past years.