“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…