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WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour !
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love —then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

II

IN a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them,
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,

Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 't were so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy P
To know the change and feel it,
When there is none to heal it,
Nor numbed sense to steal it,
Was never said in rhyme.

III

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!

IV
LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI.
BALLAD.

I.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?

The sedge has wither'd from the lake,
And no birds sing.

II.

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.

III.

I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and sever dew,

And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

IV.

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.

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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.

VI.

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.

VII.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew,

And sure in language strange she said—
“I love thee true.”

VIII.

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.

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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.

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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 !”

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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.

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And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,

Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake,
And no birds sing.

V
THE HUMAN SEASONS.

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;

There are four seasons in the mind of man:

He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear

Takes in all beauty with an easy span:

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