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La Belle Dame Sans Merci

La Belle Dame Sans Merci


by John Keats

Stanzas 5 & 6 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Stanza 5, Lines 17-20

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

  • The knight made a flower wreath, or "garland," for the lady, along with flower "bracelets."
  • The "fragrant zone" is a belt made of flowers.
  • We get the idea that the knight decks out the maiden with flowers.
  • "Fragrant zone" could also be a reference to her lady parts, which would make sense, given where the next two lines go.
  • And where do the next two lines go? Well, the lady is "look[ing]" at the knight while "lov[ing]" and "moan[ing]," so we think that they two are having sex.

Stanza 6, Lines 21-24

"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.

  • The knight puts the lady on his horse (his "pacing steed") to take a ride. Yes, there might be sexy connotations to this line, too.
  • The knight is so absorbed with his erotic encounter with this fairy lady that he doesn't notice anything else "all day long."
  • The lady leans "sidelong," or sideways off of the horse and sings "fairy songs" to the knight.

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