English Idyls, and Other Poems

The Beggar Maid

Alfred Tennyson

HER arms across her breast she laid;
    She was more fair than words can say;
Barefooted came the beggar maid
    Before the king Cophetua.
In robe and crown the king stept down,
    To meet and greet her on her way;
‘It is no wonder,’ said the lords,
    ‘She is more beautiful than day.’

As shines the moon in clouded skies,
    She in her poor attire was seen:
One praised her ankles, one her eyes,
    One her dark hair and lovesome mien.
So sweet a face, such angel grace,
    In all that land had never been:
Cophetua sware a royal oath:
    ‘This beggar maid shall be my queen!’

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