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La Belle Dame Sans Merci
John Keats


O, what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
  Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has wither'd from the lake,
  And no birds sing.


O, what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
  So haggard and so woe-begong?
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 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 sideways 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 dream'd
  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 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 sojurn here,
  Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge has wither'd from the lake,
  And no birds sing.

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