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Out upon the wharves 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 crossed 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.'




WITH One black shadow at its feet,
The house through 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, Through 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.

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 murmured she; Complaining, "Mother, give me grace

To help me of my weary load." And on the liquid mirror glowed The clear perfection of her face.

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"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 seemed 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 whispered, with a stifled moan

More inward than at night or morn, "Sweet Mother, let me not here alone Live forgotten, and die forlorn.”


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 seemed 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 seemed 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 leaned upon the balcony. There all in spaces rosy-bright

Large Hesper glittered on her tears,
And deepening through 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."


THY dark eyes opened not,

Nor first revealed themselves to English air,
For there is nothing here,

Which, from the outward to the inward brought,
Moulded thy baby thought.
Far off from human neighborhood,

Thou wert born, on a summer morn,
A mile beneath the cedar-wood.
Thy bounteous forehead was not fanned
With breezes from our oaken glades,
But thou wert nursed in some delicious land
Of lavish lights, and floating shades:
And flattering thy childish thought
The oriental fairy brought,

At the moment of thy birth,
From old well-heads of haunted rills,
And the hearts of purple hills,

And shadowed coves on a sunny shore,
The choicest wealth of all the earth,

Jewel or shell, or starry ore,
To deck thy cradle, Eleänore.

Or the yellow-banded bees,
Through half-open lattices
Coming in the scented breeze,

Fed thee, a child, lying alone,

With whitest honey in fairy gardens culled A glorious child, dreaming alone, In silk-soft folds, upon yielding down, With the hum of swarming bees

Into dreamful slumber lulled.

Who may minister to thee?
Summer herself should minister

To thee, with fruitage golden-rinded
On golden salvers, or it may be,
Youngest Autumn, in a bower
Grape-thickened from the light, and blinded
With many a deep-hued bell-like flower
Of fragrant trailers, when the air
Sleepeth over all the heaven,
And the crag that fronts the Even,
All along the shadowing shore,
Crimsons over an inland mere,

How may full-sailed verse express,
How may measured words adore
The full-flowing harmony
Of thy swan-like stateliness,

The luxuriant symmetry Of thy floating gracefulness, Eleänore?

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