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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,' cried
The Lady of Shalott.


IN the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complain-

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,
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 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.'


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.

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

'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


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 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 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.'

'Ocruel 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


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


When I shall cease to be all alone,
To live forgotten, and love forlorn.'


A STILL Small voice spake unto me,
Thou art so full of misery,
Were it not better not to be?'

Then to the still small voice I said;
'Let me not cast in endless shade
What is so wonderfully made.'

To which the voice did urge reply; 'To-day I saw the dragon-fly Come from the wells where he did lie.

'An inner impulse rent the veil Of his old husk: from head to tail Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.

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Thou hadst not between death and birth

Dissolved the riddle of the earth.
So were thy labour little-worth.

'That men with knowledge merely play'd,
I told thee-hardly nigher made,
Tho' scaling slow from grade to grade;

'Much less this dreamer, deaf and blind, Named man, may hope some truth to find, That bears relation to the mind.

'For every worm beneath the moon Draws different threads, and late and soon Spins, toiling out his own cocoon.

'Cry, faint not: either Truth is born
Beyond the polar gleam forlorn,
Or in the gateways of the morn.

'C.y, faint not, climb: the summits slope Beyond the furthest flights of hope, Wrapt in dense cloud from base to cope.

'Sometimes a little corner shines, As over rainy mist inclines

A gleaming crag with belts of pines.

'I will go forward, sayest thou,
I shall not fail to find her now.
Look up, the fold is on her brow.

If straight thy track, or if oblique,
Thou know'st not. Shadows thou dost


Embracing cloud, Ixion-like;

And owning but a little more
Than beasts, abidest lame and poor,
Calling thyself a little lower

⚫ Than angels. Cease to wail and brawl! Why inch by inch to darkness crawl? There is one remedy for all.'

'O dull, one-sided voice,' said I, Wilt thou make everything a lie, To flatter me that I may die?

I know that age to age succeeds, Blowing a noise of tongues and deeds, A dust of systems and of creeds.


'I cannot hide that some have striven, Achieving calm, to whom was given The joy that mixes man with Heaven : 'Who, rowing hard against the stream, Saw distant gates of Eden gleam, And did not dream it was a dream;

'But heard, by secret transport led, Ev'n in the charnels of the dead, The murmur of the fountain-head'Which did accomplish their desire, Bore and forebore, and did not tire, Like Stephen, an unquenched fire. 'He heeded not reviling tones, Nor sold his heart to idle moans, Tho' cursed and scorn'd, and bruised with stones :

But looking upward, full of grace, He pray'd, and from a happy place God's glory smote him on the face.'

The sullen answer slid betwixt : 'Not that the grounds of hope were fix'd,

The elements were kindlier mix'd.'

I said, 'I toil beneath the curse,
But, knowing not the universe,
I fear to slide from bad to worse.
And that, in seeking to undo
One riddle, and to find the true,
I knit a hundred others new:
'Or that this anguish fleeting hence,
Unmanacled from bonds of sense,
Be fix'd and froz'n to permanence :

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For I go, weak from suffering here: Naked I go, and void of cheer: What is it that I may not fear?'

'Consider well,' the voice replied, 'His face, that two hours since hath died; Wilt thou find passion, pain or pride?

'Will he obey when one commands? Or answer should one press his hands? He answers not, nor understands.


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