Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight, Alone and palely loitering; The sedge is withered from the lake, And no birds sing. Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight, So haggard and so woe-begone? The squirrel's granary is full, And the harvest's done. I see a lilly on thy brow, With anguish moist and fever dew; And on thy cheek 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 set her on my pacing steed, And nothing else saw all day long; For sideways would she lean, and sing A faery's song. I made a garland for her head, And bracelets too, and fragrant zone; She looked at me as she did love, And made sweet moan. 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 gazed and sighed deep, And there I shut her wild sad eyes— So kissed to sleep. And there we slumbered on the moss, And there I dreamed, ah woe betide, The latest dream I ever dreamed On the cold hill side. I saw pale kings, and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; Who 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 side. And this is why I sojourn here Alone and palely loitering, Though the sedge is withered from the lake, And no birds sing.
On the Grasshopper and Cricket
The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's—he takes the lead
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.