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As to the "kisses four, so as not to break the charm", it may be a reference to a Scottish charm, as in the ballad Kemp Owyne ( Her mother died when she was young Which gave her cause to make great moan Her father married the worst woman That ever lived in Christendom She ...


It is a combination of two somewhat-well-known quotes: The sedge has withered from the lake, And no birds sing! from Keats' 1819 ballad "La Belle Dame sans Merci"; and This is a hell of a way to run a railroad, said by Leonor Lee, giving his assessment of the Kansas City Southern Railroad as he took over as its head. "La Belle Dame sans Merci" ("...


It's a reference to "La Belle Dame sans Merci" by John Keats: What can ail thee, knight-at-arms, Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has withered from the lake, And no birds sing. The implication is that Lady is a similar faery-type character to the one in the poem, or perhaps the very person referenced. As for the bit about ...

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