"La Belle Dame Sans Merci"

12"x14" Pencil and Digital
© 2007 William O'Connor Illustration

"This piece is an illustration of the John Keats poem:

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

John Keats 1819  

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, alone and palely loitering? The sedge has witherıd from the lake, and no birds sing.   O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms so haggard and so woe-begone? The squirrelıs granary is full, and the harvestıs 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 faeryıs child, her hair was long, her foot was light and her eyes were wild.   I made a garland for her head, and bracelets too, and fragrant zone; She lookıd at me as she did love, and made sweet moan. I set her on my pacing steed, and nothing else saw all day long, for sidelong would she bend, and sing a faeryıs song.   She found me roots of relish sweet, and honey wild, and manna dew, and sure in language strange she said‹³I love thee true.²   She took me to her elfin grot, and there she wept, and sighıd fill sore, and there I shut her wild wild eyes with kisses four.   And there she lulled me asleep, and there I dreamıd‹Ah! woe betide! The latest Adream I ever dreamıd on the cold hillıs side.   I saw pale kings and princes too, pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried‹³La Belle Dame sans Merci hath thee in thrall!² I saw their starved lips in the gloam, with horrid warning gaped wide, and I awoke and found me here on the cold hillıs side.   And this is why I sojourn here, alone and palely loitering, though the sedge is witherıd from the lake and no birds sing.

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