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The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; And all that mighty heart is lying still!

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI

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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 woebegone? 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."

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"I met a Lady in the Meads,

Full beautiful - a fairy'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.

LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI

137

“I set her on my pacing steed

And nothing else saw all day long, For sidelong would she bend, and sing

A fairy'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 dreamt

On the cold hill-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 gapèd 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,

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Though the sedge is wither'd from the Lake And no birds sing."

JOHN KEATS

THE MAD MAID'S SONG

GOOD-MORROW to the day so fair;

Good-morning, sir, to you;
Good-morrow to mine own torn hair,

Bedabbled with the dew.

Good-morning to this primrose too;

Good-morrow to each maid;
What will with flowers the tomb bestrew
Wherein my Love is laid.

Ah! woe is me, woe, woe is me,

Alack and well-a-day!
For pity, sir, find out that bee,

Which bore my Love away.

I'll seek him in your bonnet brave;

I'll seek him in your eyes; Nay, now I think they've made his grave

I' th' bed of strawberries.

I'll seek him there; I know, ere this,

The cold, cold earth doth shake him; But I will go, or send a kiss

By you, sir, to awake him.

OVERHEARD ON A SALTMARSH

139

Pray hurt him not; though he be dead,

He knows well who do love him;
And who with green turfs rear his head,

And who do rudely move him.

He's soft and tender, pray take heed,

With bands of cowslips bind him,
And bring him home; — but 't is decreed
That I shall never find him.

ROBERT HERRICK

OVERHEARD ON A SALTMARSH

NYMPH, nymph, what are your beads?
Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?
Give them me.

No.
Give them me. Give them me.

No.
Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
Lie in the mud and howl for them.

Goblin, why do you love them so?

They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man's fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

Hush, I stole them out of the moon.

Give me your beads, I desire them.

No.
I will howl in a deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.

No.
HAROLD MONRO

O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we

sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exult

ing, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and

daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red!
Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up for you the flag is flung - for you the

bugle trills, For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths — for you

the shores crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces

turning; Here, Captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head!

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