Monday, May 26, 2008

The Lady of Shalott

On either side the river lie Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the world and meet the sky; And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot;

And up and down the people go, Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott

Willows whiten, aspens quiver, Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro' the wave that runs forever By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.

Four grey walls, and four grey towers, Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veiled, Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:

But who hath seen her wave her hand? Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early In among the summer barley,
Hear a tune that echoes cheerly From the river winding clearly
Down to towered Camelot:

And by the moon the reaper weary, Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers ''Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott.'

There she weaves by night and day A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be, And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving thro' a mirror clear That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear. There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:

There the river eddy whirls, And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad, An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad, Or long-haired page in crimson clad,
Goes by to towered Camelot:

And sometimes thro' the mirror blue The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often thro' the silent nights A funeral, with plumes and lights,
And music, went to Camelot:

Or when the moon was overhead, Came two young lovers lately wed:
'I am half sick of shadows,' said
The Lady of Shalott.

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves, He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves, And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.

A red-cross knight for ever kneeled To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glittered free, Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy. The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot.

And from his blazoned baldric slung A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather Thick-jewelled shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather Burned like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.

As often thro' the purple night, Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glowed; On burnished hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flowed His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.

From the bank and from the river He flashed into the crystal mirror,
'Tirra lirra,' by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the room, She made three paces thro' the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom, She saw the helmet and the plume,
She looked down to Camelot.

Out flew the web and floated wide; The mirror cracked from side to side;
'The curse is come upon me,' cried
The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott is one of my favorite poems and I hope you all enjoyed it as well. I never tire of reading it.
Brightest Blessings~!


Princess61470 said...

You know I never ever heard of this poem before I met you and I do like it very much. I am so glad you shared it so I would know it, too!!