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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 redcross knight for ever kneelid
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,

Beside remote Shalott.
The gemmy bridle glitter'd 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 blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,

Beside remote Shalott.
All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn'd 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 glow'd ; On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode ; From underneath his helmet flow'd His coal-black curls as on he rode,

As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flash'd into the crystal mirror,
Tirra lirra,” by the river

Sang Sir Lancelot.
She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro' the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,

She look'd down to Camelot.

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Out flew the web and floated wide; The mirror crack'd from side to side ; “ The curse is come upon me," cried

The Lady of Shalott.


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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 round about the prow she wrote

The Lady of Shalott.
And down the river's dim expanse-
Like some bold seër 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 darken'd 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.

Under tower and balcony, ofry

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A gleaming shape she floated by,
A corse 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 sound of royal cheer;
And they cross'd themselves for fear,

All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,

The Lady of Shalott.”




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With one black shadow at its feet,

The house thro' all the level shines,
Close-latticed to the brooding heat,

And silent in its dusty vines :
A faint-blue ridge upon the right,

An empty river-bed before,

And shallows on a distant shore,
In glaring sand and inlets bright.

But “Ave Mary,” made she moan,

And “Ave Mary,” night and morn,
And “Ah,” she sang, “to be all alone,

To live forgotten, and love forlorn.”
She, as her carol sadder grew,

From brow and bosom slowly down
Thro' rosy taper fingers drew

Her streaming curls of deepest brown
To left and right, and made appear,

Still-lighted in a secret shrine,
Her melancholy eyes divine,
The home of woe without a tear.

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And “Ave Mary," was her moan,

“ Madonna, sad is night and morn;' And "Ah,” she sang,

“to be all alone, To live forgotten, and love forlorn." Till all the crimson changed, and past

Into deep orange o'er the sea, Low on her knees herself she cast,

Before Our Lady murmur'd she; Complaining, “ Mother, give me grace

To help me of my weary load.”

And on the liquid mirror glow'd The clear perfection of her face.

“Is this the form,” she made her moan,

“That won his praises night and morn ? " And "Ah,” she said, “but I wake alone,

I sleep forgotten, I wake forlorn." Nor bird would sing, nor lamb would bleat,

Nor any cloud would cross the vault, But day increased from heat to heat,

On stony drought and steaming salt; Till now at noon she slept again,

And seem'd knee-deep in mountain grass,

And heard her native breezes pass, And runlets babbling down the glen.

She breathed in sleep a lower moan,

And murmuring, as at night and morn, She thought, "My spirit is here alone,

Walks forgotten, and is forlorn." Dreaming, she knew it was a dream :

She felt he was and was not there. She woke: the babble of the stream

Fell, and without the steady glare Shrank one sick willow sere and small.

The river-bed was dusty-white;

And all the furnace of the light Struck up against the blinding wall

. She whisper'd, with a stifled moan

More inward than at night or morn, “Sweet Mother, let me not here alone

Live forgotten and die forlom.” And, rising, from her bosom drew

Old letters, breathing of her worth,



For “Love,” they said, “must needs be true,

To what is loveliest upon earth.” An image seem'd to pass the door,

To look at her with slight, and say,

“But now thy beauty flows away, So be alone for evermore.”

“O cruel heart,” she changed her tone,

" And cruel love, whose end is scorn, Is this the end to be left alone,

To live forgotten, and die forlorn !” But sometimes in the falling day

An image seem'd to pass the door, To look into her eyes and say,

“ But thou shalt be alone no more.” And flaming downward over all

From heat to heat the day decreased,

And slowly rounded to the east The one black shadow from the wall.

“ The day to night,” she made her moan,

“ The day to night, the night to morn, And day and night I am left alone

To live forgotten, and love forlorn." At eve a dry cicala sung,

There came a sound as of the sea; Backward the lattice-blind she flung,

And lean'd upon the balcony. There all in spaces rosy-bright

Large Hesper glitter'd on her tears,

And deepening thro' the silent spheres, Heaven over Heaven rose the night.

And weeping then she made her moan,

“ The night comes on that knows not morn, When I shall cease to be all alone,

To live forgotten, and love forlorn.” (1853)




Thy dark eyes open'd not,

Nor first reveals themselves to English air

For there is nothing here,
Which, from the outward to the inward brought,
Moulded thy baby thought.

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