Briefly discuss the form and tone of the poem.

The form:

The poem has thirty eight stanzas in all, with seven lines per stanza. The poem rhymes uniquely as follows. Ababbcc, efeffgg etc. The lines are relatively long and are continuous. Hence, the poem has run-on-lines (enjambment). As a result of this, there is a constant flow of the message e.g.

In far away country that I cannot name,

And on a yearlong ages past away, 

A king there dwelt…

Besides, the poet adopts the storytelling form based on the flashback technique to deliver hi message.


On the other hand, the tone of the poem smacks of delusion and mockery. This explains the saying that pride goes before a fall. The king is deluded in his wealth and power and so he thinks himself, God, “what need have I for temple or for priest, Am I not God,..?” What pride, what a delusion? For this, God humbles him, renders him naked, crownless and a subject of ridicule and cynosure of eyes, “… a man in such attire. As Adam’s ere he took the devil’s hire, who saith that thou wilt know him, for the king…” The proud king is mocked by the porter of his former servant. The king’s delusion leads to hi eventual mockery.

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