La Belle – Tribute to Keats


“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.

–La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats

They shut her round brown eyes

laid her down low

she was no saint

though some may say so

lived in her own way

no rules, no truth, no light

into the Eternal Night

short life she had

and one not so sweet

left many alone and hagard

played the tune to the beat

So what does ail thee Knight at Arms…”

oh I can tell thee true

she never loved anyone

least of all you

did you think for a moment

you could capture a fairy?

psyched out, not of sound mind

not the one you marry

your cheek now, like hers,

shows the fading rose

And it must wither as per

the warning of foes

she, the fairy one, straight from her elfin grot

cast out, cast down

from the pinnacle spot

now look upon her, ashen faced and alone

you who have place her first among those

you have known

from the shadows where no birds sing

you turn, no comfort, no solace to bring

they shut her eyes, wild and full,

no look of love cast to you, no moan

they covered her up, a pile of stone

no wild honey to sip, no manna dew

no false promises now, will she make to you

why so pale, no false places here to hide

yes she has left you here

on this cold hillside

where the sedge withers from the lake

while they have placed her here

brown eyes of hate…


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