La B.Elle D.Ame S.An M.Erci - Poem by John MacPhereson
Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight?
The fire in thy eyes is dead,
Pale and cold, all woe-begone,
upon this trail that you tread.
Speaketh, thou voice of reason, and hear
this tale of love more cold than dear.
As I walked upon the corner
of River and The Cold Hill Side,
no birds, with sad songs, were singing
but within, hollow tears were cried
'pon the flow of hearts eternal guise
where green envy buy's a lovers prize
There I saw a faery's child,
a lily resting on her brow,
and all of the nights pleasure paid
that I may to that Goddess bow,
as if within that design of love
I could ascend to heaven above.
Upon her neck a diamond chain;
and bracelets also did I place
that so softly sweet did she moan
of thoughtless lovers embrace,
I had half a hope and want of more
that I could or would this hope explore.
I lay upon this bed of nails,
of timbrel whips that sing my name.
I hear the scream of pleasure say
'for what sweet nymph hath I to blame? '
When the throbbing of thy Siren call
sounds so like the cat of nines sweet fall.
Tied to the mast of pleasures cruel,
thou mistress of divine neglect,
tread upon the whispered delight
that hath my soul in fury wrecked,
with anguished plea, of pleasures sore,
I beg thou Goddess of love for more.
The heart of passion thus spins 'pon
that tip of ancient misery,
as the thirsty thrust of visions
beauty penetrates thy mercy,
The soft kiss of teeth on tender skin
increases the furor of our sin.
then in thrall of passion spent,
I call upon thy Goddess grace
and in thy worship thus submit
to ambrosias mid-night embrace
and sated by sweet addictions fix
I succumb to the whisper of Nyx.
Lo, in far off ancient grotto,
where no songbird could ever sing
I rested till t'was almost dawn
when a quiet knell began to ring
by the river and the cold hill side,
Wherein no man would or could reside.
With each clang the Toll grew nearer
every clash louder than the last
'til the rhythm ceased its function
at the foot of the line I cast.
rising out that ancient ocean tomb,
three hollow men from her ancient womb.
Ah, sweet love, what despair is this!
The ghostly hollows of this dream
hath spoke of future lovers past,
and just as ghastly as they seem,
these poor, miserable and wretched wights,
are lost to the indolence of nights.
And if I could I would have fled
to the forest beyond the sun
where even now the light still shines
on the frailness that I shun.
I hear those dark voices calling me
and I know they speak of only thee.
A pale prince, a knight of love,
a keatian poet all say as one:
'La Belle Dame San Merci hath
thee in thrall, though the night is done
and the withered soul is all that's left
of a heart thats forever bereft.'
I froze in winters reverie,
I could not find my tongue to speak,
nor could I move in such a frost
of thoughts abandoned by the weak.
They spoke again, oh, what evil haunts
the hollow vastness of these taunts?
'La Belle Dame San Merci hath
bound thee forever to her thrall'
and then as one they retreated
to that forsaken river hall,
composed of this mid-night dreams reform
where past, present, and future conform
I woke, pale and cold, alone
by the middle of the bedside,
and that is why I sojourn here
by this river's inconstant tide,
waiting in the shadow of the night
for thou Goddess of all lover's light.
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