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La Belle Dame Sans Merci – Your Favourite Poem











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-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 look’d 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 sigh’d fill 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 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 gaped 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 wither’d from the lake, 
And no birds sing. 

John Keats

Your Favourite poem sent in by you – What’s Yours?

About poetreecreations

I am an author writer publisher web administrator I run poetry workshops in the community. My published Manners childrens poetry book can be found at

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