“La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats

John Keats, 1819

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

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 made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

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 found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said –
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lulled me asleep
And there I dreamed – Ah! woe betide! –
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill 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!’

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.

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

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“Tithonus” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson

The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.

Me only cruel immortality
Consumes; I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair’d shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man–
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem’d
To his great heart none other than a God!

I ask’d thee, “Give me immortality.”
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
But thy strong Hours indignant work’d their wills,
And beat me down and marr’d and wasted me,
And tho’ they could not end me, left me maim’d
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was in ashes. Can thy love
Thy beauty, make amends, tho’ even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?

A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes
A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
And bosom beating with a heart renew’d.

Thy cheek begins to redden thro’ the gloom,
Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
And shake the darkness from their loosen’d manes,
And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
In silence, then before thine answer given
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek

Poem: “Come with Me, My Love”

Phil Slattery, 2015

This is a poem I wrote in the late 80’s to early 90’s, most likely some time between 1988 and 1991, when I was living in Alexandria, Virginia, dating around and frequenting the bars in Old Town Alexandria.  I don’t recall the circumstances under which I wrote this, just the feeling of these being the emotions of walking home around 2:00 a.m. after closing time.

This is the opening poem of my first volume of verse, Nocturne:  Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover.   Nocturne will be free on Amazon Kindle on February 23.  I published it on Valentine’s Day of this year.

Going through my computer files tonight, I believe I have discovered some poems unintentionally left out.  Stand by for a second edition.  I hope you enjoy this poem.

 

Come with me, my love
and I will show you
nights of love
full of life and laughter
as empty as an empty
bottle rattling down a cobblestone
street blown by a chill
wind

Come with me, my love
and I will show you
nights of love
full of lust and passion
as lonely as a lonely
man pacing off a deserted street
under the brisk October moon
its cold light muted
in the mists

As the fog embraces you
like a one-night stand in a town
of dying dreams where
hopes lie scattered on the barroom floor
with cigarette butts and the dust
of endless roads

Bring me to that ultimate pleasure
in your all-consuming eyes.
Let us become one
and share the horrors of this
world
as only
lovers can.

 

 

Poem: “Come with Me, My Love”

Phil Slattery, 2015

This is a poem I wrote in the late 80’s to early 90’s, most likely some time between 1988 and 1991, when I was living in Alexandria, Virginia, dating around and frequenting the bars in Old Town Alexandria.  I don’t recall the circumstances under which I wrote this, just the feeling of these being the emotions of walking home around 2:00 a.m. after closing time.

This is the opening poem of my first volume of verse, Nocturne:  Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover.   Nocturne will be free on Amazon Kindle on February 23.  I published it on Valentine’s Day of this year.

Going through my computer files tonight, I believe I have discovered some poems unintentionally left out.  Stand by for a second edition.  I hope you enjoy this poem.

 

Come with me, my love
and I will show you
nights of love
full of life and laughter
as empty as an empty
bottle rattling down a cobblestone
street blown by a chill
wind

Come with me, my love
and I will show you
nights of love
full of lust and passion
as lonely as a lonely
man pacing off a deserted street
under the brisk October moon
its cold light muted
in the mists

As the fog embraces you
like a one-night stand in a town
of dying dreams where
hopes lie scattered on the barroom floor
with cigarette butts and the dust
of endless roads

Bring me to that ultimate pleasure
in your all-consuming eyes.
Let us become one
and share the horrors of this
world
as only
lovers can.

 

 

 

Poem: “Come with Me, My Love”

Phil Slattery, 2015

This is a poem I wrote in the late 80’s to early 90’s, most likely some time between 1988 and 1991, when I was living in Alexandria, Virginia, dating around and frequenting the bars in Old Town Alexandria.  I don’t recall the circumstances under which I wrote this, just the feeling of these being the emotions of walking home around 2:00 a.m. after closing time.

This is the opening poem of my first volume of verse, Nocturne:  Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover.   Nocturne will be free on Amazon Kindle on February 23.  I published it on Valentine’s Day of this year.

Going through my computer files tonight, I believe I have discovered some poems unintentionally left out.  Stand by for a second edition.  I hope you enjoy this poem.

 

Come with me, my love
and I will show you
nights of love
full of life and laughter
as empty as an empty
bottle rattling down a cobblestone
street blown by a chill
wind

Come with me, my love
and I will show you
nights of love
full of lust and passion
as lonely as a lonely
man pacing off a deserted street
under the brisk October moon
its cold light muted
in the mists

As the fog embraces you
like a one-night stand in a town
of dying dreams where
hopes lie scattered on the barroom floor
with cigarette butts and the dust
of endless roads

Bring me to that ultimate pleasure
in your all-consuming eyes.
Let us become one
and share the horrors of this
world
as only
lovers can.