The Lady of Shalott (Afred, Lord Tennyson)

The Lady of Shalott (1832)

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Part I
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 the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers
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.

Part II
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 sheepbell 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.

Part III
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,
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 from Camelot.
As 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.

Part IV
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 cloudwhite 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 boathead wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her chanting her deathsong,
The Lady of Shalott.

A longdrawn 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,
Deadcold, 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 wellfed 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.’
_____________________________________________________

The four grey walls.

These four grey walls, they might be the only thing I’ve seen for as long as I can remember. It’s a dull sight really, compared to what is out there, what I know is out there. The marvelous island of Shalott,, stepped on by lovely people, covered by what I assume to be beautiful flowers, and surrounded next to a flowing river. These things, are however merely shadows to me, seen through a simple mirror. I feel it in me that the mirror does not do this landscape any justice, but sadly is the only way I can lay my eyes on this world out there, as I’ve been cursed. I wouldn’t know why, and I wouldn’t know by whom, and I don’t think I’ll ever find out. All I know is that if I do, there will be great consequences.  It took me a while, but I think I’ve made peace with my fate. When I look at the mirror, I see young men and women passing. As I hear them marching and cheerily talking on the highway nearby the river, I am reminded of how much I envy them. They are surrounded by lovely daisies and blue waters, while I’m surrounded by grey concrete and fear. Do they know I’m out here, could anyone know? During the daytime, I rarely show myself. No, I couldn’t have been seen, however I could have been heard. Early in the mornings, I tend to sing a song, I wouldn’t know I’ve anyone has ever heard it, but I will never hesitate to chant them.

During the day I don’t do much, I don’t have the time nor the patience to play games whatsoever. The only thing that keeps me sane and alive is weaving, on and on, and on and on. I have a magical web, weaved with beautiful colors.

Before, I hadn’t seen much that could’ve distracted me from my weaving, it should be the only thing I care about. On an afternoon, the same as any other one, something I saw in the mirror caught my eye. I saw something I’ve never seen before, what looked like a funeral, a real one. I decided to ignore it, as I could almost hear the mysterious whisper warning me about the curse. However, not even an hour later, something different caught my eye. It was a young couple, about to marry each other. The feeling I had before was back. And when i looked into the mirror, I stopped focusing on the cheerful colors of my weave, and on the grey walls behind it, but I looked at myself. And I decided that these shadows were what they were; merely shadows. I was half-sick of these shadows and of this life!

Despite this incident, I continued to weave and to weave. The shadows still to be seen in my mirror. Until that day arrived,  that marked the beginning of my life, and with that the end.

I was busy with my weaving, until I looked in my mirror and saw a shadow in no way like all the others I’ve seen. A man, surely a knight, riding a horse. The brass armor worn by the knight, was struck by the rays of sunlight, causing it to sparkle. The bells on the bridle of his horse rang cheerfully, sounds that I could never forget. The gems on the bridle sparkled as well, they reminded me of a thousand stars in the galaxy, all together. I thought I had seen everything; men, women, crimsons. Beautiful and hideous. But none as god-like as this man.

I dropped my web, and I paced around three times before I decided I couldn’t hold myself in anymore, and I looked down on Camelot. I saw his Helmet and his plume, and after a huge wave of joy came over me, a bigger wave of fear came crashing into me. The mirror broke into a thousand pieces and the colorful web flew away. ‘The curse is upon me now’ I cried!

The previously clear clouds, had started to rumble. A storm was on its way. As I ran outside, the very first thing I saw was a boat, this was my only way to be free. On the prow of the boat, i carved my name: The lady of Shalott. I laid down and let the stream take me wherever it would go. I started singing my last song..

by Anonymous

(Extract from) The Ballad of Reading Gaol (Oscar Wilde)

(Extract from) The Ballad of Reading Gaol

by Oscar Wilde

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
“That fellow’s got to swing.”

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved
And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

_____________________________________________________

Dear Diary,

I saw him walking in the halls. I saw the colour of wine on his hands. With blood on his hands he was found next to his wife. Murdered in her bed. He cut the throat of his own beloved Laura Ellen. His view at the day was so wistful but I never did I see it. While I was walking with other prisoners on my side, I was wondering. I was wondering what the man had done. If he had done a great or little thing. But then someone scared me. ‘That fellow’s got to swing’, someone whispered in my ear. That ‘fellow’ was my friend Woolridge. Woolridge had killed the thing he loved. Because of that he had to die. This scared me so much I could not feel my pain anymore and it felt like the prison walls were moving around me.

Woolridge will be executed for killing his wife.

But why did he murder his wife? I wouldn’t know. I don’t understand why you would take your loved ones away voluntary.

The pain I feel by being separared from my family is so much of an emotion I never felt before. But the execution makes me feel more angry. Why is this punishment so brutal?

Yet each man kills the thing he loves.

by Anonymous

The Lady of Shalott (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

The Lady of Shalott (1832)

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Part I
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 the island in the river
       Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers
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.

 

Part II
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 sheepbell 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.

 

Part III
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,
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 from Camelot.
As 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.

 

Part IV
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 cloudwhite 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 boathead wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her chanting her deathsong,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

A longdrawn 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,
Deadcold, 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 wellfed 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.’
_____________________________________________________

Dear Sasha,

I was riding to the many-towered Camelot, through the fields, alongside the river, a river full of yellow-leaved waterlily’s and green-sheathed Daffodilly’s. Riding through the white willows and aspens. Then I saw, on the island in the river, a tower. Four grey walls and four grey towers. And there, within the tower, I saw a lady, the lady of Shalott. She was singing so beautifully, like an angel. The lady of Shalott. When I arrived in Camelot I asked about the tower and his beauty, the lady of Shalott. I asked at least five people, who did not know who I was talking about, and told me I was crazy. I almost gave up when there was an old lady, she came up to me and said; ‘The lady of Shalott? I can tell you her story.’ So happy as I was, to hear that I wasn’t the only person who has seen this beauty. We went to a pub and sat down, the old lady started telling; ‘The lady of Shalott, she shelters within the four grey walls of the tower in the river. She is dressed like a royal. She has no time to sport and play, she only weaves. She weaves a charming web. A true gift, as beautifully as that she weaves. But she never leaves the tower to share this gift. Why? She is cursed. She does not know what the curse is. The only thing she knows is that she is cursed and cannot leave her tower. That is why she keeps on weaving. She has no joy, no fear in her live. She does has a mirror. A mirror to look at the shadows. The shadows of Camelot. One day she looks into her mirror and saw something. She saw a rider coming, a knight, Sir Lancelot. Sir Lancelot rides to Camelot, singing. His black curls flowing underneath his helmet. She never saw someone like this, the lady of Shalott. She left her web and went to the window. She looked out of the window and saw Sir Lancelot riding to Camelot. The mirror shattered. The lady of Shalott knows that now the curse is upon her. She left her tower and laid down in a boat. A boat with beautiful snowy white robes. The boat sailed the river, while the lady of Shalott lays in the boat. Leaves falling on her beautiful face. The boat sailed on the river, through the willowy hills and silent fields. The lady of Shalott started to sing. She started to sing her last song. While she sang the boat sailed to Camelot. Here last song. A carol, mournful and holy. She sang until her eyes closed and her body froze. She sang until she died.’ The old lady went on and said; Then we saw her in Camelot, we saw her body, frozen, in the boat. Nobody knew who she was, nobody knew her name. The lady of Shalott. Everyone was fearful, except for Sir Lancelot. Who saw the lady of Shalott and said; ‘Such a lovely face. Let God in his mercy lend her grace.’ The lady of Shalott.’ The old lady ended her story. I was confused, after all I had seen her in her tower, singing. The old lady looked at me and said. That even though the lady of Shalott died they still hear her singing. Then the old lady left. I was flabbergasted. The next day I rode away from Camelot. And while I rode I heard her sing. The lady of Shalott.

Greetings Loes

by Loes Versteeg

The Lady of Shalott (Lord Tennyson)

The Lady of Shalott (1832)

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Part I
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 the island in the river
       Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers
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.

 

Part II
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 sheepbell 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.

 

Part III
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,
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 from Camelot.
As 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.

 

Part IV
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 cloudwhite 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 boathead wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her chanting her deathsong,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

A longdrawn 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,
Deadcold, 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 wellfed 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.’
_____________________________________________________

Once upon a time in the kingdom Arendelle, far, far away from here, there was a beautiful princess, called Aurora. She lived in a gigantic castle with her father, mother and her 2 sisters. When the sun shined, she liked to go flower picking with her sisters. One day, in the beginning of spring, the sun shined and a warm wind was blowing though the trees, on which the new leafs were growing. Aurora wanted to go outside the castle and go flower picking, but her older sisters didn’t want to go, because they were to busy with their boyfriends. Aurora was sad, so she went alone to the woods. Once in the woods, she sat down in the bright green grass and started crying. An old lady passed by and came towards her and asked what was wrong. Aurora answered: “My sisters are more interested in their boyfriends than in me.” And she started crying harder. They started talking for a few hours and eventually the old lady said: “My child, come to my home with me. I will never let you down and I will never find something else more important than you” Aurora accepted the old lady’s offer and went along with the old lady. They walked for hours and hours. Finally, they reached the home of the old lady, a high tower, in the kingdom “Camelot”. They went inside the tower, to the highest chamber at the end of the stair. Aurora walked the chamber in, but then, the old lady suddenly shuts the door behind her and Aurora was locked up. “Why are you doing this?” Aurora screamed loudly. “I am a pour woman, cursed by a whitch. I wanted magical powers, and I got them, but as a side effect, I became ugly and I can not change that. So I take revenge on all the beautiful girls in the kingdom and lock them up” The old lady answered, laught in an evil way and eventually, the old lady went away and Aurora was left alone in the tower, with a horrible curse casted upon her: she would die if she ever looked out of the window, so she couldn’t escape either. The only way she could look outside, was indirectly through a mirror. Aurora was so sad, she kept crying day after day, but after a few weeks, she gave up hoping that her family would come and rescue her and she started weaving to let time pass faster. At first, she weaved images of the beautiful memories she had, but time was passing and she starts to forget all the memories she had. When she couldn’t come up with memories to weave, she wove whatever she saw in the mirror: a little girl in a red hood, 7 dwarfs walking with axes, an ogre, a little deer without a mother and a boar and a meerkat walking together down the road. She wove day in, day out. After a few years, the weaving starts to bore her. She just wants to look outside the window for once and not through a mirror. At a beautiful bright day in fall, Aurora looked in the mirror and she saw a knight rode by. His glossy black hear wove through the air, his silver armor shined in the sun and on his face was the most beautiful smile. She got so curious and looked out the window to see the knight better, but the moment she looked outside, the curse got activated. Aurora was slowly dying, but determined that she wouldn’t die alone in that horrible tower. She cracked the door open and escaped. She ran out the tower towards the river, where there was a boat, on which was written: The lady of Shalott. “Hmm, this boat is probably the boat of this lady, but I think she would not mind if I would borrow it” Aurora thaught. So with her last bit of energy, she stepped in the boat and sailed down the river along with the stream. The water was clear and cool and the leafs of the trees landed upon her. While she was sailing along the river, she ended up in the harbor of the castle of Camelot. She was only seconds away from death and lots of people gathered around her, including the handsome knight she saw earlier. He said: “What a beautiful lady are you.” At that moment, Aurora exhaled her last breath and died. She was buried with the name The lady of Shalott, because nobody knew her real name, but atleast she died happily ever after…

by Anonymous

Prospice (Robert Browning)

Prospice

By Robert Browning

Fear death?—to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,
The post of the foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall,
Though a battle’s to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighter, so—one fight more,
The best and the last!
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes and forbore,
And bade me creep past.
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers
The heroes of old,
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life’s arrears
Of pain, darkness and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute’s at end,
And the elements’ rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend,
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,
Then a light, then thy breast,
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!

_____________________________________________________

Can you give me an explanation of what you think death is and if you fear death?

I think death is when I feel the fog in my throat and mist in my face. When everything turns as white as snow, but suddenly the power of the night takes over, almost like the press of a storm and from where you stand you can see death in a visible form. I don’t think you need to fear death and I also don’t fear death.

Do you think someone must always go on even if that means you’re going to die?

A strong man must always go on. He must complete his journey. The harder you will fight the more barriers that will fall and if you win the fight the reward will be colossal. I also was a fighter, but i still need to win one fight. I would not be able to stand the feeling of death, but I also want to taste the whole of it.

Do you think you had a good life? Do you think that if you have a good or bad life can change in one moment?

I have had a good life in comparison with a lot of people. I have not had a lot of pain, darkness and coldness. I have been through the change of a good to a bad life, because of one moment, when my wife died. Something like that turns the best into the brave. It feels like all the elements rage and the voices of demons rave. Then they dwindle and mix and they change. They will become a peale out of the pain and then a light, but one day I will see her again.

by Stijn Jongeengelen

 

My Last Duchess (Robert Browning)

My Last Duchess

by Robert Browning

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will ‘t please you sit and look at her? I said
‘Frà Pandolf’ by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ‘t was not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Frà Pandolf chanced to say, ‘Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,’ or ‘Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat:’ such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ‘t was all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, ‘Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark’—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
—E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will ‘t please you rise? We’ll meet
The company below then. I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

_____________________________________________________

 

To my last Duchess,

You are missed. You are missed by your beautiful white skin, your lips red as blood. You are missed by how you were so easy-going. By how you were so easily gone. You are missed by your laugh that cuts through silence like a knife. You might be wondering how I still seem to remember every part of you, your personality and your proceedings, as if you only left this world little days ago. As it occurs, I still marvel at your looks everyday. Fra Pandolf has been so kind to immortalise you in the form of a painting, so your presence will be available by only the draw of a curtain. Though do not think that just any soul can pull said curtain; from now on I will be the only man to spectate your beauty. I must say, it was spectacular to view Pandolf’s process of painting you. From the blush on your cheeks to the way your mantle used to fall, I thought I was the only one who knew you so intimately detailed. But I guess it would be foolish to think that I, a Duke with a nine-hundred-years-old name, possessor of anything you and your family could ever love, would deserve any other ranking than all those lovely gentlemen you would ride around the gardens with, let alone get close enough to you to see how well God sculpted you. At least your limitless beauty and lack of dignity led to a beautiful painting, which I can now adore whenever I have the desire to. It is simply a great addition to my art collection. It looks beautiful besides my sculpture of Neptune. Claus of Innsbruck beautifully cast the taming of that sea-horse in bronze. I would say taming is kind of a recurring theme in my collection, although Neptune seems to be a lot more proficient at domesticating than I happen to be. Another Duchess, another try, let’s just say. I should now get back to my guests downstairs as my absence will lead to neither the growth of my marriage portion nor the increased amount of respect this young girl might still have for me. Let’s hope she’s much like you, as someday I aspire to become much as mighty as Neptune has shown himself to this world to be.

With regards,

Your Duke

by Merel Smeets