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La Belle Dame Sans Merci

La Belle Dame Sans Merci


by John Keats

Analysis: Shout Outs

When poets refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literature, Philosophy, and Mythology

  • "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" (Title and line 39): The title of the poem is taken from a medieval French courtly romance by Alain Chartier.
  • "Pale warriors, death pale were they all…" (line 38): this could be a reference to the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse described in the Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible – the fourth horseman is Death, and he's described repeatedly as riding a "pale horse."

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