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LA BELLE

DAME SANS MERCI.

A BALLAD.

I.

O WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms,

Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has wither'd from the lake,

And no birds sing.

II.

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.

III.

I see a lily on thy brow

With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose

Fast withereth too.

IV.

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.

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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.

VI.

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.

VII.

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She found me roots of relish sweet,

And honey wild, and manna dew, And sure in language strange she said,

“ I love thee true."

VIII.

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.

IX.

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.

X.

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 ! ”

XI.

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,

With horrid warning gaping wide,
Ard I awoke and found me here,

On the cold hill's side.

XII.

And is this why I sojourn here,

Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake,

And no birds sing.

1819.

THE END.

LRADBURY, AGNEW, & co., PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.

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