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Asleep! O sleep a little while, white pearl!
And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee,
And let me call heaven's blessing on thine eyes,
And let me breathe into the happy air,
That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
My sudden adoration, my great love!
LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI.
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.
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.
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.
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 wept, and sigh'd full sore, And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.
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.
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!"
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.
And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake,
And no birds sing.
SONG OF FOUR FAIRIES.
FIRE, AIR, EARTH, AND WATER, SALAMANDER, ZEPHYR, DUSKETHA, AND BREAMA.
Sal. HAPPY, happy glowing fire!
Zep. Fragrant air! delicious light!
Dus. Let me to my glooms retire!
Bre. I to green-weed rivers bright!
Sal. Happy, happy glowing fire!
Dazzling bowers of soft retire,
Ever let my nourished wing,
Like a bat's, still wandering,
Faintly fan your fiery spaces,
Spirit sole in deadly places.
In unhaunted roar and blaze,
Open eyes that never daze,
Let me see the myriad shapes
Of men, and beasts, and fish, and apes,
Portray'd in many a fiery den,
And wrought by spumy bitumen.
On the deep intenser roof,
Arched every way, aloof,
Let me breathe upon their skies,
And anger their live tapestries;
Free from cold, and every care,
Of chilly rain, and shivering air.
Zep. Spirit of Fire! away! away!
Or your very roundelay
Will sear my plumage newly budded
From its quilled sheath, all studded
With the self-same dews that fell
On the May-grown Asphodel.
Spirit of Fire-away! away!
Bre. Spirit of Fire-away! away!
Zephyr, blue-eyed fairy, turn,
And see my cool sedge-buried urn,
Where it rests its mossy brim
'Mid water-mint and cresses dim;
And the flowers, in sweet troubles,
Lift their eyes above the bubbles,
Like our Queen, when she would please
To sleep, and Oberon will tease.
Love me, blue-eyed Fairy! true,
Soothly I am sick for you.
Zep. Gentle Breama! by the first
Violet young nature nurst,
I will bathe myself with thee,
So you sometimes follow me
To my home, far, far, in west,
Beyond the nimble-wheeled quest
Of the golden-browed sun:
Come with me, o'er tops of trees,
To my fragrant palaces,
Where they ever floating are
Beneath the cherish of a star
Call'd Vesper, who with silver veil
Ever hides his brilliance pale,
Ever gently-drows'd doth keep
Twilight for the Fayes to sleep.
Fear not that your watery hair
Will thirst in drouthy ringlets there ;
Clouds of stored summer rains
Thou shalt taste, before the stains
Of the mountain soil they take,
And too unlucent for thee make.
I love thee, crystal Fairy, true!
Sooth I am as sick for you!
Sal. Out, ye aguish Fairies, out!
Chilly lovers, what a rout
Keep ye with your frozen breath,
Colder than the mortal death.
Adder-eyed Dusketha, speak,
Shall we leave these, and go seek
In the earth's wide entrails old
Couches warm as theirs are cold?
O for a fiery gloom and thee,
Dusketha, so enchantingly
Freckle-wing'd and lizard-sided!
Dus. By thee, Sprite, will I be guided!
I care not for cold or heat;
Frost and flame, or sparks, or sleet,
To my essence are the same ;-
But I honor more the flame.
Sprite of fire, I follow thee
Wheresoever it may be,
To the torrid spouts and fountains,
Underneath earth-quaked mountains ;
Or, at thy supreme desire,
Touch the very pulse of fire
With my bare unlidded eyes.
Sal. Sweet Dusketha! paradise!
Off, ye icy Spirits, fly!
Dus. Breathe upon them, fiery sprite !
Zep.Away! away to our delight!