La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
 Alone and palely loitering;
 The sedge is wither’d from the lake,
 And no birds sing.
 
 Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
 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 cheek 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 set her on my pacing steed,
 And nothing else saw all day long;
 For sideways would she lean, and sing
 A faery’s song.
 
 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.
 
 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 gaz’d and sighed deep,
 And there I shut her wild sad eyes–
 So kiss’d to sleep.
 
 And there we slumber’d on the moss,
 And there I dream’d, ah woe betide,
 The latest dream I ever dream’d
 On the cold hill side.
 
 I saw pale kings, and princes too,
 Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
 Who cry’d–”La belle Dame sans merci
 Hath thee 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 side.
 
 And this is why I sojourn here
 Alone and palely loitering,
 Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,
 And no birds sing.

- By: John Keats

(The Romantic Poets)            (British Poets)         (Poem of the Day)