There is a beautiful town called Shalott, just up the river from the fabled Camelot. Within Shalott, there is an square stone edifice with four tall stone towers, and it is here that the Lady of Shalott lives. She sings as she weaves, and the reaper can hear her at...
There is a beautiful town called Shalott, just up the river from the fabled Camelot. Within Shalott, there is an square stone edifice with four tall stone towers, and it is here that the Lady of Shalott lives. She sings as she weaves, and the reaper can hear her at both dawn and dusk. She is dressed beautifully, "royally apparelled," in her prison.
She cannot ever stop weaving because there is a curse on her. She must weave night and day and never stop, or else she dies. She does not feel either "joy or fear," looking at a mirror which reflects the sights outside her window. She sees the people pass, on their way to Camelot, including knights, though she has no knight of her own. She weaves what she sees outside her window, including funerals and wedding processions, and she is tired of only seeing "'shadows'" of life rather than life itself.
One day, she sees the handsome Lancelot riding by, with his shield and bridle and armor flashing and sparkling and his horse's bridle bells ringing. He is so bright that he seems like a meteor, and he sings as he rides. The Lady of Shalott, seeing him, jumps up and leaves her loom to run to the window to see him in person; immediately, her mirror cracks and her loom flies apart, and she knows that the curse is upon her.
She sees a boat outside on the river and she writes "The Lady of Shalott" on its stern. She is dressed all in white, and she looks toward Camelot. She lies down in the boat and loosens its tethers to the shore, and the stream carries her away. She sings as the boat floats down the river, and she dies as she sings. Her corpse is carried to Camelot and the people there read her name on the boat, crossing themselves and praying for her. They also read the parchment laying on her chest, which very briefly tells the story of her curse and identity.