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"Was ist dein Schmerz, du armer Mann,
so bleich zu sein und so gering,
wo im verdorrten Schilf am See
kein Vogel singt?"

"Ich traf ein' edle Frau am Rhein,
die war so schön—ein feenhaft Bild,
ihr Haar war lang, ihr Gang war leicht,
und ihr Blick wild.

"Ich hob sie auf mein weißes Ross
und was ich sah, das war nur sie,
die mir zur Seit' sich lehnt und sang
ein Feenlied.

"Sie führt mich in ihr Grottenhaus,
dort weinte sie und klagte sehr;
drum schloss ich ihr wilde, wilde Aug'
mit Küssen vier.

"Da hat sie mich in Schlaf gewiegt,
da träumte ich—die Nacht voll Leid!—
und Schatten folgen mir seitdem
zu jeder Zeit.

"Sah König bleich und Königskind
todbleiche Ritter, Mann an Mann;
die schrien: 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci
hält dich in Bann!'

"Drum muss ich hier sein gar allein
und wandeln bleich und so gering,
wo im verdorrten Schilf am See
kein Vogel singt."

English (direct translation)Edit

"What is your pain, poor man,
so slim and pale to see,
where in the withered reeds by the lake
no bird sings?"

"I met a noble lady by the Rhine,
who was so beautiful—the image of a fairy;
her hair was long, her step was light,
and her look wild.

"I lifted her onto my white horse
and what I saw was only her,
who leaned on my side and sang
a fairy song.

"She led me into her grotto
and there wept and mourned;
so I closed her wild, wild eyes
with four kisses.

"There she lulled me to sleep,
and I dreamed—what a sorrowful night!—
and shadows have followed me
ever since that time.

"I saw pale kings and princes,
death-pale knights, man on man,
who cried: 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci
has you in thrall!'

"Therefore I must stay here alone
and wander, slim and pale,
where in the withered reeds by the lake
no bird sings."

English (relevant verses of original Keats poem)Edit

"O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing."

"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 sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

"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 dream’d
On the cold hill’s 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!'

"And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing."