The Lady of Shallot lyrics


Marianne Faithfull

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye
That clothe the wold and meet the sky
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot

The yellow-leaved waterlily
The green-sheathed daffodilly
Tremble in the water chilly
Round about Shalott

Willows whiten, aspens shiver
The sunbeam showers break and quiver
In the stream that runneth ever
By thе island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot

Four gray walls and four gray towеrs
Overlook a space of flowers
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott

Underneath the bearded barley
The reaper, reaping late and early
Hears her ever chanting cheerly
Like an angel singing clearly
O'er the stream of Camelot

Piling the sheaves in furrows airy
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, ' 'Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott'

The little isle is all inrail'd
With a rose-fence and overtrail'd
With roses: by the marge unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken sail'd
Skimming down to Camelot

A pearl garland winds her head
She leaneth on a velvet bed
Full royally apparelled
The Lady of Shalott

No time hath she to sport and play
A charmed web she weaves alway
A curse is on her, if she stay
Her weaving, either night or day
To look down to Camelot

She knows not what the curse may be
Therefore she weaveth steadily
Therefore no other care hath she
The Lady of Shalott

She lives with little joy or fear
Over the water, running near
The sheep-bell tinkles in her ear
Before her hangs a mirror clear
Reflecting tower'd Camelot

And as the mazy web she whirls
She sees 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-hair'd page in crimson clad
Goes by to tower'd 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 came from 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 flam'd upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot

A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
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 from Camelot

And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung
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 from Camelot

And often thro' the purple night
Below the starry clusters bright
Some bearded meteor, trailing light
Moves over green 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 from Camelot

From the bank and from the river
He flash'd into the crystal mirror
'Tirra lirra, tirra lirra'
Sang Sir Lancelot

She left the web, she left the loom
She made three paces thro' the room
She saw the water-flower bloom
She saw the helmet and the plume
She look'd down to Camelot

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

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

Outside the isle a shallow boat
Beneath a willow lay afloat
Below the carven stern she wrote
The Lady of Shalott

A cloud-white crown of pearl she dight
All raimented in snowy white
That loosely flew (her zone in sight
Clasp'd with one blinding diamond bright)
Her wide eyes fix'd on Camelot

Though the squally east-wind keenly
Blew with folded arms serenely
By the water stood the queenly
Lady of Shalott

With a steady stony glance
Like some bold seer in a trance
Beholding all his own mischance
Mute, with a glassy countenance
She look'd down to Camelot

It was the closing of the day
She loos'd the chain, and down she lay
The broad stream bore her far away
The Lady of Shalott

As when to sailors while they roam
By creeks and outfalls far from home
Rising and dropping with the foam
From dying swans wild warblings come
Blown shoreward, so to Camelot

Still as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among
They heard her chanting her death song
The Lady of Shalott

A long-drawn carol, mournful, holy
She chanted loudly, chanted lowly
Till her eyes were darken'd wholly
And her smooth face sharpen'd slowly
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
By garden wall and gallery
A pale, pale corpse she floated by
Dead cold, between the houses high
Dead into tower'd Camelot

Knight and burgher, lord and dame
To the planked wharfage came
Below the stern they read her name
The Lady of Shalott

They cross'd themselves, their stars they blest
Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire and guest
There lay a parchment on her breast
That puzzled more than all the rest
The well-fed wits at Camelot

'The web was woven curiously
The charm is broken utterly
Draw near and fear not — this is I
The Lady of Shalott'
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