The Lady of Shalott

On either side of the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky,
And through 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
Thorough the wave that runs forever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.

Four gray walls, and four gray towers
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle embowers
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 waive 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 bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerily
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”
The Lady of Shalott

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colors 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 through 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 they're the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls
Pass onward from Shalott

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

And sometimes through 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 through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and with 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 through the leaves
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.

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

The gemmy bridle glittered free
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:

And from his blazoned baldric slung
A mighty liver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armor rung,
As he rode down to Camelot

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

As often through the purple night,
Below the starry cluster bright
Some bearded meteor, trailing light
Moves over still Shalott

His broad clear brow in sunlight glowed
On burnighes 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 loom
She made three paces through 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 upone me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott

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 towered Camelot

Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat
And round 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
Through the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot

And as the boad-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott

Hear a carol, morunful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turned to towered Camelot.

For ere she reached upon the tide
The first house by the water side
Singing in her song she died
The Lady of Shalott

Under tower and balcony
By garden wall and gallery
A gleaming shape she floated by
Dead pale between the houses high
Silent into Camelot

Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher lord and dame
And round the prow they read her name
The Lady of Shalott

Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near,
Died the sounds of royal cheer
They crossed them selves for fear
All the knights at Camelot

Lancelot used a little space;
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.