THE FOOL IN "LEAR"
Mad as a bee or a wild shining bird,
my only genus is to mock:
I am the sad wasp, and the robin sick
with dancing in the cold; I am the word
that opens, in your dreams, the hideous door;
I am the sex of weather; strip me bare,
I am the laughing stock.
Down in the horrible mystery, the night
and granite of the old king's mind,
the grief and writhing cracked across; went blind
and venomous: it was thence that I crept out.
Which of us, in his madness, was the man?
Only my knowledge went to bed at noon,
his was the staring wind,
his was the bed in which I left no trace:
nothing could prove I had been born;
I had gone back. Yet sometimes he had worn
wrinkles or troubled hair that were my face;
dying himself, it was in me he wrapped
Cordelia, one hour before I slipped
into the cold again.