La Belle Dame Sans Merci

T’was a bitter chill morn
twixt fall and start o’ wint’,
the last of the icy leaves
were falling clump, clump
on’t foul and filthy ground
outside my bijou elfin grot.

I parted my goat hide door
and beheld an ailing knight,
forlorn and lingering there.
What ails thee, I asked
this sorry gent, oh why
loiterest thou paley here
outside my bijou elfin grot,
and, pray, why hast thou
neither burnished armour
nor Pre-Raphaelite vestment
to keep thy vitals warm?
 
A long way have I come
in search of a fair lady,
quoth the ailing knight,
they did say to me go forth
and seek ye for thy ailment
la belle dame sans merci,
for she will take thee naked
inside her bijou elfin grot
wherein with no delay,
sweet moan shall she make,
if this be the place and I
be naked and ever ready be.
 
Whereupon did I curse,
spat me a gobbet of baccy
on’t foul and filthy ground
and did shrieking loudly bid
the gent turn himself around,
whereupon, lo and behold,
I beheld the ailing knight
did up an’ make a hasty flight.
                  *

 

 
 

 

© Nemo 2021
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