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The Lady of Shalott av John William Waterhouse

The Lady of Shalott av John William Waterhouse

On either side of the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the world and meet the sky;
And thro’ the field the road run by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro’ the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the bearded barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From 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 fairy
The Lady of Shalott.”

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay,
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To 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 clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to 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.

~ Lord Alfred Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1. baron Tennyson (1809 – 1892) var en britisk lyriker og en av de mest populære engelske poeter noensinne. Han betraktes som hovedrepresentant for lyrikken under viktoriansk tid. Mesteparten av Tennysons poesi var basert på klassiske eller mytologiske tema. Et antall fraser fra Tennysons poesi har gått inn og blitt vanlige i det engelske språk, blant annet «nature, red in tooth and claw», «better to have loved and lost», «Theirs not to reason why,/Theirs but to do and die», og «My strength is as the strength of ten,/Because my heart is pure». Tennyson var en briljant versemaker i Wordsworth-tradisjonen som visste å spille på viktoriatidens konvensjoner, preget av konservativ nasjonalisme og preferanser. I samtiden var det forventninger til at Tennyson skulle bli den nye Lord Byron, men ettertiden har dog minsket hans betydning. (Wikipedia)