La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Stanzas 3 & 4 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
Stanza 3, Lines 9-12
"I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever-dew.
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too."
- The speaker continues to address this sick, depressed "knight at arms." He asks about the "lily" on the knight's "brow," suggesting that the knight's face is pale like a lily.
- The knight's forehead is sweaty with "anguish" and with "fever," so he's obviously sick.
- The last two lines of the stanza describe how the healthy color is rapidly "fading" from the knight's cheeks.
Stanza 4, Lines 13-16
"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.
- This stanza changes point of view.
- All of a sudden, the knight answers the unnamed speaker's questions. So now the "I" is the knight, rather than the original speaker.
- The knight says that he met a beautiful, fairy-like "lady" in the "meads," or fields.
- She had long hair, was graceful, and had "wild" eyes. (We're not sure what "wild" eyes would look like, but apparently the knight thought it was attractive.)
People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...
Noodle's College Search