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Vocabulary in La Belle Dame sans Merci

Vocabulary Examples in La Belle Dame sans Merci:

La Belle Dame sans Merci

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"Ah! woe betide..."   (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

"Betide" is an archaic synonym of "happen" or "befall." Therefore, "woe betide" is an expression of sorrow and regret. One utters it in the wake of grief and suffering which seem to have happened as if determined by fate.

"zone..."   (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

In this context, the word "zone" is used in its archaic meaning: a girdle or a belt.

"her eyes were wild..."   (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

The lady's "wild eyes" represent a romantic description subject to interpretation. Perhaps "wild" means otherworldly, passionate, or filled with grief and mourning.

"a faery’s child..."   (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

The child of a fairy ("faery")—a tiny creature of folklore with magic power. The suggestion is that the lady has a supernatural background.

"haggard..."   (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

The adjective "haggard" means that someone looks very thin and tired, especially from great hunger, pain, or worry.

"sedge..."   (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

A "sedge" is a grass-like plant with small flowers that typically grows in wet ground, such as the banks of a lake.

"knight-at-arms..."   (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

In medieval times, a "knight-at-arms" was a soldier whose king or lord had elevated him to a position of honor in society. Historically, this term refers to a knight who fought for his king or benefactor after first serving as a page and squire.

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