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."

And shines the moon in clouded skies,
   She in 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:
   "That beggar maid shall be my queen!"

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.