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    La Belle Dame Sans Merci

    by John Keats
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    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 woebegone?
    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 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 lulled 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 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 has withered from the lake,
    And no birds sing."
    If you're writing a La Belle Dame Sans Merci essay and need some advice, post your John Keats essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

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