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Showing posts with label The Lady of Shalott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Lady of Shalott. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Floating Down Stream The Lady of Shalott


I named the leaf "Lady of Shalott" as it drifted down stream to a tropical Camelot of palm trees, flowering shrubs, ancient oaks and hammocks. The water glisten with sunlight and the bright green leaf is framed by darker leaves at the bottom of the water. The creek reflects all its surroundings like a magic mirror. The green leaf is beautifully framed by the sunrays penetrating the water.  "The leaves upon her falling light..." on The Lady of Shalott as...She floated down to Camelot."

Painting by John William Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott, 1888

The Lady of Shalott is a magical being who lives alone on an island upstream from King Arthur's Camelot. Her business is to look at the world outside her castle window in a mirror, and to weave what she sees into a tapestry. She is forbidden by the magic to look at the outside world directly.  One day, she sees the reflection of Sir Lancelot riding alone. Although she knows that it is forbidden, she looks out the window at him. The mirror shatters, the tapestry flies off on the wind, and the Lady feels the power of her curse. An autumn storm suddenly arises. The lady leaves her castle, finds a boat, writes her name on it, gets into the boat, sets it adrift, and sings her death song as she drifts down the river to Camelot. The locals find the boat and the body, realize who she is, and are saddened. Lancelot prays that God will have mercy on her soul.

The Lady of Shalott

Extract from the poem:
In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.

Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower'd Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance --
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.

And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right --
The leaves upon her falling light --
Thro' the noises of the night,
She floated down to Camelot
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.

For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson