The Enchanted Knight
Lulled by La Belle Dame Sans Merci he lies
. . . .In the bare wood below the blackening hill.
The plough drives nearer now, the shadow flies
. . . .Past him across the plain, but he lies still.
Long since the rust its gardens here has planned,
. . . .Flowering his armour like an autumn field.
From his sharp breast-plate to his iron hand
. . . .A spider’s web is stretched, a phantom shield.
When footsteps pound the turf beside his ear
. . . .Armies pass through his dream in endless line,
And one by one his ancient friends appear;
. . . .They pass all day, but he can make no sign.
When a bird cries within the silent grove
. . . .The long-lost voice goes by, he makes to rise
And follow, but his cold limbs never move,
. . . .And on the turf unstirred his shadow lies.
But if a withered leaf should drift
. . . .Across his face and rest, the dread drops start
Chill on his forehead. Now he tries to lift
. . . .The insulting weight that stays and breaks his heart.
by Edwin Muir (1887-1959)