(cont.)All in the blue unclouded weatherThick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,The helmet and the helmet-featherBurn'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, burning bright,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'dHis coal-black curls as on he rode,As he rode down to Camelot.From the bank and from the riverHe flashed into the crystal mirror,"Tirra lirra," by the riverSang 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 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," criedThe 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 rainingOver tower'd Camelot;Down she came and found a boatBeneath a willow left afloat,And around about the prow she wroteThe Lady of Shalott.And down the river's dim expanseLike some bold seer in a trance,Seeing all his own mischance --With a glassy countenanceDid she look to Camelot.And at the closing of the dayShe loosed the chain, and down she lay;The broad stream bore her far away,The Lady of Shalott.Lying, robed in snowy whiteThat 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 alongThe 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 tideThe 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 around the prow they read her name,The Lady of Shalott.Who is this? And what is here?And in the lighted palace nearDied the sound of royal cheer;And they crossed themselves for fear,All the Knights at Camelot;But Lancelot mused a little spaceHe said, "She has a lovely face;God in his mercy lend her grace,The Lady of Shalott."--Alfred Lord Tennyson
On either side the river lieLong fields of barley and of rye,That clothe the wold and meet the sky;And thro' the field the road runs byTo many-tower'd Camelot;And up and down the people go,Gazing where the lilies blowRound an island there below,The island of Shalott.Willows whiten, aspens quiver,Little breezes dusk and shiverThrough the wave that runs for everBy the island in the riverFlowing down to Camelot.Four grey walls, and four grey towers,Overlook a space of flowers,And the silent isle imbowersThe Lady of Shalott.By the margin, willow veil'd,Slide the heavy barges trail'dBy slow horses; and unhail'dThe shallop flitteth silken-sail'dSkimming 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 bearded barleyHear a song that echoes cheerlyFrom the river winding clearly;Down to tower'd Camelot;And by the moon the reaper weary,Piling sheaves in uplands airy,Listening, whispers, " 'Tis the fairyLady of Shalott."There she weaves by night and dayA magic web with colours gay.She has heard a whisper say,A curse is on her if she stayTo 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 clearThat hangs before her all the year,Shadows of the world appear.There she sees the highway nearWinding down to Camelot;There the river eddy whirls,And there the surly village churls,And the red cloaks of market girlsPass 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 cladGoes by to tower'd Camelot;And sometimes through the mirror blueThe knights come riding two and two.She hath no loyal Knight and true,The Lady of Shalott.But in her web she still delightsTo weave the mirror's magic sights,For often through the silent nightsA funeral, with plumes and lightsAnd music, went to Camelot;Or when the Moon was overhead,Came two young lovers lately wed."I am half sick of shadows," saidThe 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 greavesOf bold Sir Lancelot.A red-cross knight for ever kneel'dTo 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 seeHung in the golden Galaxy.The bridle bells rang merrilyAs he rode down to Camelot:And from his blazon'd baldric slungA mighty silver bugle hung,And as he rode his armor rungBeside remote Shalott.
...is "going-down" itself the curse? I doubt it.
...unless you are going down in a blaze of glory. For, to die young, that is a curse, no matter what they tell you...
She has heard a whisper say,A curse is on her if she stayTo look down to Camelot.In other words, to concern yourself with the affairs of the rest of the world is the curse.... o read the "news" papers is the curse.... tcern yourself with business "not your own" is the curse.To die young is fine, just so it's not for Agamemnon's glory, but your own... for Patroclus and the other Mermidons... Achilles' cause.
...because once you give yourself to Lancelot, it's all over for the lady of Shalott.