"East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon"
Context: In this section of The Earthly Paradise, Morris, who is frequently called the last and most excessive of the romantics, tells the tragic love story of a peasant and a queen. Although John, the peasant, loves the queen, he betrays her by telling who she really is. As in the Cupid and Psyche tale, upon which this story is based, John does penance for his betrayal and finally wins back the beautiful queen. However much Morris may have been the romantic, he was also the realist. Where an inferior poet might have ruined the tale, he carefully places the lovers in a world of hard facts and crushing responsibilities so that the reader is never able to wallow in mere sentimentality. The first appearance of the oft-repeated quotation occurs in the queen's speech to her lover, who still sleeps, as she leaves him; as a crushing reminder that the world is indeed real, it is a fitting antidote to the romance of escape.
Dream not thenOf named lands, and abodes of men!Alas, alas, the loneliestOf all such were a land of restWhen set against the land where IUnhelped must note the hours go by! . . .. . .My feet, lost Love, shall wander soonEast of the Sun, West of the Moon!Tell not old tales of love so strong,That all the world with all its wrongAnd heedlessness was weak to partThe loving heart from loving heart?