The date entered above the poem in his Journal by WBY is ‘Dec 7. 1909’. While it is possible that this is the date of the poem's composition, it is not certain; and the fair copy nature of the text in the Journal may well argue for an earlier date. However, no evidence exists beyond that preserved in the Journal. A King and No King has an involved series of plotlines which are not all of relevance to WBY's uses for the play in this poem. The casual attitude towards recollection shown in lines 6–7 also suggests that there may be little use in tracking poem against play in too great detail. The ‘King’ of the title is Arbaces, who has made captive in war a rival monarch, Tigranes, and intends to make peace by marrying him to his sister (whom he has not laid eyes upon since infancy), Panthea.