A changeling, raised by peasants, born a king:
Or were these so-called parents royal too,
And he the exiled heir to everything
In sunken sovereignties, where the slack sea drew
His name in coral through ancestral tombs
And then, tormented, racing washed it out?
Did not the mill-pond where he gazed show rooms
Of watered silk that led, by round about
Palatial distances, to ivory throne
And long-charmed silence of still-waiting court?
No wonder he must always be alone,
Unrecognized because of false report
That he had perished in his parents’ fall.
No wonder he, pretending, had to fail.