John Keats ( 1795 – 1821) wrote La Bella Dame Sans Merci in 1819. It is a ballad. John Keats is a romantic poet who is a subject for many types of research for literature students. This poem examines the themes of love, death, and obsession.
La Belle Dame Sans Merci is a French title and in English, it is ” The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy”. The poem revolves around a young knight and his intense love for a beautiful lady.
The poem begins by portraying how dead was the nature around him. He points out that harvest is done and the squirrel’s granary is full. Poet further explains how lifeless was the knight’s emotions he uses the images of a lily with dew and a withering rose. He introduces a lady in the next part of the poem and emphasizes her physical beauty. The knight calls her a faeries child. He pictures further as her hair is long, her foot is light and her eyes are wild.
The knight immediately made garland and bracelets to express his great love for her. The knight observes that she looks at him as if she loves him back. The intoxicated knight saw nothing else but the lady. Readers may feel it as hyperbole, but it is obvious that the knight was led to a metaphysical world by her.
The knight was inseparably obsessed with her. As a result, he feels that the lady is feeding him with sweet relish, wild honey, and mannah. The Poet uses words like the sweet relish and wild honey to imply how the knight feels the moments they spend together.
Knight feels that she declared her love for the knight. She takes the knight to her home. She kisses him and eventually lulls him into a deep sleep. The knight had a dream. He sees dead kings, princes, and warriors. He feels like they represent the knight himself. The knight foresees the time when he is almost dead under the obsessions from that lady.
Knight learns from them that this lady led them to death. They warned the knight that this was a beautiful lady without mercy. He observes them as starved. Poet welcomes the readers to the previous stanza where the lady used to feed her loves with relish, honey, and mannah.
Poet vocalizes that the knight woke up from the dream and was left alone in the cold lakeside. The poem ends with a desperate man who loved a lady without mercy.
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