La Belle Dame Sans Merci

John Keats

 
Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
  Alone and palely loitering;
The sedge is withered from the lake,
  And no birds sing.
Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
  So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
  And the harvest's done.
I see a lilly 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 set her on my pacing steed,
  And nothing else saw all day long;
For sideways would she lean, and sing
  A faery's song.
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.
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 gazed and sighed deep,
And there I shut her wild sad eyes--
  So kissed to sleep.
And there we slumbered on the moss,
  And there I dreamed, ah woe betide,
The latest dream I ever dreamed
  On the cold hill side.
I saw pale kings, and princes too,
  Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
Who 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 side.
And this is why I sojourn here
  Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
  And no birds sing.
 

Poems by This Author

Endymion, Book I, [A thing of beauty is a joy for ever] by John Keats
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever
Lamia [Left to herself] by John Keats
Left to herself, the serpent now began
After dark vapors have oppress'd our plains by John Keats
After dark vapors have oppress'd our plains
Bright Star by John Keats
Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art
I cry your mercy—pity—love!—ay, love by John Keats
I cry your mercy—pity—love!—ay, love
In drear nighted December by John Keats
In drear nighted December
Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats
Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer by John Keats
Much have I traveled in the realms of gold
On Seeing the Elgin Marbles by John Keats
My spirit is too weak—mortality
On the Grasshopper and the Cricket by John Keats
The poetry of earth is never dead:
The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone by John Keats
The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone
The Eve of St. Agnes, XXIII, [Out went the taper as she hurried in] by John Keats
Out went the taper as she hurried in
The Human Seasons by John Keats
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
This Living Hand by John Keats
This living hand, now warm and capable
To a Friend who sent me some Roses by John Keats
As late I rambled in the happy fields
To Autumn by John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
To Fanny by John Keats
Physician Nature! let my spirit blood
To Haydon with a Sonnet Written on Seeing the Elgin Marbles by John Keats
Haydon! Forgive me, that I cannot speak
When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be by John Keats
When I have fears that I may cease to be


Further Reading

Poems about Flowers
Littlefoot, 19, [This is the bird hour]
by Charles Wright
Still Another Day: I
by Pablo Neruda
A January Dandelion
by George Marion McClellan
A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns
a woman had placed
by Anne Blonstein
Advice to a Prophet
by Richard Wilbur
Ah! Sunflower
by William Blake
Asphodel, That Greeny Flower [excerpt]
by William Carlos Williams
Astigmatism
by Amy Lowell
At Baia
by H. D.
Blur
by Andrew Hudgins
Botanica
by Eve Alexandra
Bulb Planting Time
by Edgar Guest
Come Slowly—Eden (211)
by Emily Dickinson
Epitaph X
by Thomas Heise
Erotic Energy
by Chase Twichell
Evening Primrose
by Amy Greacen
Far and Away [excerpt]
by Fanny Howe
Follies
by Carl Sandburg
Forced Bloom
by David Baker
Four Poems for Robin
by Gary Snyder
From Blossoms
by Li-Young Lee
Girl
by Eve Alexandra
Herb Garden
by Timothy Steele
In April
by James Hearst
Iris
by David St. John
La Chalupa, the Boat
by Jean Valentine
Last Supper
by Charles Wright
Little Lion Face
by May Swenson
Meister Eckhart's Sermon on Flowers and the Philosopher's Reply
by J. Michael Martinez
Nothing But Death
by Pablo Neruda
Nothing Stays Put
by Amy Clampitt
Nothing to Save
by D. H. Lawrence
Ode to a Flower in Casarsa
by Pier Paolo Pasolini
On Arranging a Bowl of Violets
by Grace Hazard Conkling
One Flower
by Jack Kerouac
Permanence
by Denise Duhamel
Poem
by John Gray
Poppies on the Wheat
by Helen Hunt Jackson
Practice
by Ellen Bryant Voigt
Queen-Anne's-Lace
by William Carlos Williams
Sea Rose
by H. D.
See How the Roses Burn!
by Hafiz
Shake the Superflux!
by David Lehman
Solstice
by Ellen Dudley
Songs of a Girl
by Mary Carolyn Davies
Sonnet 2
by Gwendolyn Bennett
Taken Up
by Charles Martin
The Dandelion
by Vachel Lindsay
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
by Dylan Thomas
The Gardenia
by Cornelius Eady
The Guarded Wound
by Adelaide Crapsey
The Métier of Blossoming
by Denise Levertov
The Mountain Cemetery
by Edgar Bowers
The Orchid Flower
by Sam Hamill
The Picture of Little T. C. in a Prospect of Flowers
by Andrew Marvell
The Satyr's Heart
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
The Violet
by Jane Taylor
The White Rose
by John Boyle O'Reilly
The Wild Honeysuckle
by Philip Freneau
To Dorothy
by Marvin Bell
To Earthward
by Robert Frost
To My Mother Waiting on 10/01/54
by Teresa Carson
Why Regret?
by Galway Kinnell
Wildflower
by Stanley Plumly
Wildwood Flower
by Kathryn Stripling Byer
Without a Philosophy
by Elizabeth Morgan