Archy's Song from Charles I (A Widow Bird Sate Mourning)
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Poetical Works, ed. Mrs. Mary Shelley (London: E. Moxon, 1839). PR 5402 1870 ROBA.
2 One flies the morning, and one lulls the night:
3Only the nightingale, poor fond soul,
4 Sings like the fool through darkness and light.
5 "A widow bird sate mourning for her love
6 Upon a wintry bough;
7 The frozen wind crept on above,
8 The freezing stream below.
9 "There was no leaf upon the forest bare,
10 No flower upon the ground,
11 And little motion in the air
12 Except the mill-wheel's sound."
1] The five scenes of the fragmentary play Charles Iwere written at irregular intervals from 1820 to 1822. Archy, the court fool of Charles I, is both an unacknowledged prophet and, as King Charles claims, a weaver of "a world of mirth out of the wreck of ours." Mrs. Shelley published the last two stanzas of the song in 1839 and W. M. Rossetti the whole fragmentary drama in 1870. Back to Line
Publication Start Year:
RPO poem Editors:
M. T. Wilson