Arthur O'Bower

Subject of a children's nursery rhyme.

Arthur O'Bower has broken his band
And he comes roaring up the land;
The King of Scots with all his power
Cannot stop Arthur of the Bower.

A nursery rhyme, relating to the Wild Hunt, where Arthur O'Bower rides on the wind, personifying a storm. The Arthur in question is indeed King Arthur, who has broken his band--the Knights of the Round Table--while he fought the son of the king of Lothain (part of Scotland)--Mordred.

It is also popularized from Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.

A bower can either be a cottage, a woman's boudior, an anchor, or a Fool; as Harlequin is identified as leader of the Wild Hunt in France, this last one may be applicable.

I have also seen that bower may be a confusion with bowder, meaning "a blast or squall of wind."

Possible parallels:

The great Bull of Bendy-law Has broken his band and run awa And the king and a' his court Canna turn that bull about.

--from Scott's Border Minstrelsy


In Nottingham there lives a jolly Tanner His name is Arthur a Bland: There is ne're a 'Squire in Nottinghamshire Dar bid bold Arthur stand

--"Robin Hood and the Tanner"

Back to "A" | Back to JCE

Mary Jones 2005