For nearly thirty-three months, I told an unfinished tale
To the king who had promised to kill his wife each night
So that she could never be unfaithful, then marry again
The next night. I who had spent my youth in the library
Of my father’s home, knew many tales, a thousand
And one in all. I secretly vowed to bend him to my will.
Painting by Ferdinand Keller, 1880.