La Belle Dame Sans Merci

by John Keats

 Oh what can ail thee Knight at arms
   Alone and palely loitering?
 The sedge has withered from the Lake
   And no birds sing.

 Oh what can ail thee Knight at arms
   So haggard, and so woe begone?
 The Squirrel's granary is full
   And the harvest's done.

 I see a lily on thy brow
   With anguish moist and fever dew,
 And on thy cheeks a fading rose
   Fast withereth too.

 I met a Lady in the Meads
   Full beautiful, a faery's child,
 Her hair was long, her foot was light
   And her eyes were wild.

 I made a garland for her head,
   And bracelets too, and fragrant zone,
 She look'd at me as she did love
   And made sweet moan.

 I set her on my pacing steed,
   And nothing else saw all day long,
 For sidelong would she bend and sing
   A Faery's song.

 She found me roots of relish sweet,
   And honey wild and manna dew,
 And sure in language strange she said
   I love thee true.

 She took me to her elfin grot,
   And there she wept and sigh'd full sore,
 And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
   With kisses four.

 And there she lulled me asleep,
   And there I dream'd, Ah! Woe betide!
 The latest dream I ever dreamt
   On the cold hill side.

 I saw pale Kings, and Princes too,
   Pale warriors, death pale were they all;
 They cried, La belle dame sans merci,
   Thee hath in thrall.

 I saw their starv'd lips in the gloam
   With horrid warning gaped wide,
 And I awoke, and found me here
   On the cold hill's side.

 And this is why I sojourn here
   Alone and palely loitering;
 Though the sedge is withered from the Lake
   And no birds sing. . ..

Research

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