La Belle Dame Sans Merci
by John Keats
La Belle Dame Sans Merci Versions of Reality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: I cite by line number only.
And there I dream'd – Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dream'd
On the cold hill's side. (lines 34-36)
The word "dream" gets repeated three times in these lines. Why is that? Does the knight want to emphasize that it was, in fact, a dream, and not a real series of ghosts that he saw? The knight's dream was so horrific that he interrupts himself with that dash and interjection – "Ah! woe betide!"
I saw pale kings, and princes too,
Pale warriors, death pale were they all; (lines 37-38)
More repetition in these lines. This time, it's the word "pale" as the knight describes his dream.
They cried – "La belle dame sans merci
Hath thee in thrall!" (lines 39-40)
These lines have to be important, because they contain the title of the poem. They're also the only lines that are set off by quotation marks, to show that they weren't spoken by either the knight or the original speaker. These lines are the warning that the ghostly "pale kings," "princes," and "warriors" cry out to the knight in his dream.