John Keats

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

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 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 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 dreamed

On the cold hill's side.

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 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.