La Belle Dame Sans Merci

av John Keats.

La Belle Dame Sans Merci, av Frank Dicksee.


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

O 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 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’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 sighed full sore, And there I shut her wild wild eyes        With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,        And there I dreamed—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 starved lips in the gloam,        With horrid warning gapèd 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.

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