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La Belle Dame sans Merci

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 woebegone?
The squirrels granary is full,
And the harvest is 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 Fairy'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 looked 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 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 sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes,
With kisses four.

And there she lulled me asleep,
And there I dreamed-Ah!Woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dreampt,
on the cold hillside.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried-La Belle Dame sans Merci,
Hath thee in thy thrall!

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning, gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hillside.

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

- John Keats -