Andrew Brehaut

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The Lady of Shalott by Lord Tennyson


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.


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,
r 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.


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 arm our 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.


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 Belle of Sandringham


Strolling by the water be
The sweet flower of her country,
England's Rose who perfectly
Embraces her fragility,
Eyed by Buckingham.
As she takes that mellow stroll,
Her face lights ours, she plays the role,
Smiles that will so melt our soul,
The Belle of Sandringham.

The leader of the realm's soil
Tells her vows of love so loyal
Hearts pulse fast, the Lady coy'll
Soon become a Lady royal
And dwell at Buckingham.
How long will we have to wait?
We yearn to learn - our breaths do bait
Nuptials on a summer date?
A ballroom waltz for Sandringham!

Dreams of a fairytale come true
Like lovely Cinderella's shoe
We live long days wholly through
The story of the betrothed two
She marries at Buckingham.
We forget the harsh reality
So elated by the royalty
The love match of the century
Dwells in Sandringham.

Marital glory, eternal joy,
For the lady, shy and coy;
No Athenian tale of woe like Troy;
Now they want wee little boys,
Heirs for Buckingham.
Hint of a maternal glow,
Her belly doth start to show,
Royal toddlers she doth bestow,
Three cheers for Sandringham!


But things do leer that are a-miss,
Past loves worry her tender bliss,
The Prince doth give a seedy kiss,
Love doth roll down the sharp abyss,
Lechers in Buckingham.
She wisely deflects the total control
Of those who have so bled her soul,
Flees to where the ancestral bells toll,
Sage help at Sandringham.

She endures the hollow malice
From those with feelings callous
Blue blooded, yet green and jealous
Those who plot within the palace
Deep in Buckingham.
The tower sends down blow by blow
Droplets well and start to flow
A hole within her heart doth grow
Horror in Sandringham.

Lovers' tattle tales do tell
Rewards for the story swell
The belle - she'll be thrown to hell
Letters lie and papers sell
Love lost at Buckingham.
She realizes what the curse will be
She'll retreat home quietly
Away from all the scrutiny
Veiled in Sandringham.

With concepts of morality
Rewarding time with charity
Her visions ooze of clarity
Solely to forget barbarity
Hatred at Buckingham.
She bestows money internationally
To quell herself emotionally
From pain doled so irrationally
The Belle of Sandringham.


A son of money from well to do lands
Where sun blazes with such command
And burns with force the yellow sands
And farms a desert of expanse
A world from Buckingham.
A distant knight from distant gates
With distant tones and distant traits.
He marches to the Lady's gates
Wooed in Sandringham.

And to all who may observe
He shone of worldly moral and nerve
All the lovely belle deserved
With none of that royal reserve
Like those at Buckingham.
Did she allow that flame of hope?
With the scandal, could she cope?
A hazardous and slimy slope
For the Belle of Sandringham.

The Lady and her lord withdrew
To scenes where colors all change to
Glistening white and glittering blue
A charmed and a lovely view
Away from Buckingham.
The heart that had chosen flight
From woe and torment, hate and spite
Was given the chance to ignite
In the Belle from Sandringham.

With acts and deeds of courtesy,
Assurances of privacy,
And answers to her fantasy,
There grows a peal of secrecy
In the blood of Buckingham.
And blades were sharpened on the stone
On commands made from the throne.
There is no way we can atone
The Belle of Sandringham.

Dreams of European holidays;
Will she really get away
From the news outlets' display?
Deep in her soul can she betray
Terror of Buckingham?
She knows where her death will reside,
When past and future will collide.
'The curse is come upon me,' cried
The Belle of Sandringham.


The dial leaned towards midnight,
The summer evening did invite
The dear Lady and her knight
To claim eternal love despite
Rage of Buckingham.
With laughter and loving dreams,
With hands held tight and eyes a-gleam,
With notions and romantic themes,
Rose the Belle of Sandringham.

In pains to hold her solitude
And somehow preserve her interlude;
To hide from those that were so rude,
The Lady she tried to delude
Men from Buckingham.
And she went with love so true,
With quiet farewells and quiet adieus,
Her noble chariot withdrew,
The Belle of Sandringham.

The lowly raptors and tabloid pros
With cameras and flashes a-glow
Ready to needle her with her beau
And follow and throw her to all those
Who leer from Buckingham.
The Lady was so dazed and scared,
Begging her driver - fast as he dared.
The white horses do gallop, eyes do glare
For the Belle of Sandringham.

The paparazzi, they do proceed
With hearts so looted, minds of greed;
They take no note, the lady's need;
They draw to her with throttling speed
For the memory of Buckingham.
In twists and turns they bear their fleet
Hearts on treachery, hate, deceit
And letters across all of Fleet Street
"The Belle of Sandringham."

And with those black hearts consumed
Toward the dark and the gloom,
They drew the Lady to her doom,
A sheltered road, her allotted tomb;
No regret for Buckingham.
With her love there by her side,
Her chariot, with harsh death collides
In France's heart, her own doth lie
Farewell to Sandringham.

Laying near Althorpe's stately hall
Beneath the lime trees standing tall
Letters of love lay on a wall
A memorial to her loved by all
Less those from Buckingham.
Thirty-six trees mark years she took breath
Childhood tales to love bereft
Sweet hearted girl to terrorised death.
The Belle from Sandringham.

The millions who do weep and cry
Revered death, no reason why;
They direct their hate to those nearby,
To those, they think, had let her die:
The well-fed wits at Buckingham.
"The web was woven curiously,
The charm is broken utterly,
Draw near and fear not, this is I,
The Belle of Sandringham."

Return to Andrew Brehaut Index

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son.

If he can invent such a stunning mythology
With such motivation within exact lines.
If he subtly transforms it - our wry ideology,
Then he is Rudyard - a man so refined.

Return to Andrew Brehaut Index

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Updated: May 10, 2016


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