Skipwith Cannéll


The King

SEVEN full-paunched eunuchs came to me,
Bearing before them upon a silver shield
The secrets of my enemy.

As they crossed my threshold to stand,
With stately and hypocritical gesture
in a row before me,
One stumbled.
The dull, incurious eyes of the others
Blazed into no laughter,
Only a haggard malice
At the discomfiture
Of their companion.

Why should such T h i n g s have power
Not spoken for in the rules of men?

i would not receive them.
With my head covered i motioned them
To go forth from my presence.

Where shall i find an enemy
Worthy of me as him they defaced?

As they left me,
Bearing with them
Lewd shield and scarlet crown,
One paused upon the threshold,
To sniff a flower.

Even him i permitted to go forth
. . . . . .

i have renounced my kingdom;
in a little bronze boat i have set sail
Upon the sea.

There is no land, and the sea
is black like the cypresses waiting
At midnight in the place of tombs;
is black like the pool of ink
in the palm of a soothsayer.

My boat
Fears the white-lipped waves
That snatch at her,
As they steal past like cats
into the night:
And beneath me, in their hidden places,
The great fishes talk of me
in a tongue i have forgotten.

Submitted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Edited: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Listen to this poem:

Skipwith Cannéll's Other Poems

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The King by Skipwith Cannéll )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. Self-pity, David Herbert Lawrence
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
[Hata Bildir]