Arthurian and Grail Poetry

La Belle Dame Sans Merci
By John Keats



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 they cheeks a fading rose
Fast withered 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.

V.
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.
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 gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill's side.

XII.
And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
The sedge has wither'd from the lake,
And no birds sing.