This poem is my fifth tribute to an English poet. This is in memory of the haunting lyrical ballad by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 -1892), 'The Lady of Shalott'.
'The Lady of Shalott' tells the story of a young noble woman imprisoned in a tower on an island near Camelot. She can only watch the outside world through a mirror and must weave what she sees. She has heard that if she looks at Camelot directly, she will be cursed.
A medieval maiden near Camelot,
is cursed beyond repair;
In hues of reflected images sought,
weaves perpetual webs of despair;
The lonesome lady of Shalott
seeks redemption fair;
Loss in battle of wills well-fought,
a cracked mirror doth impare
From her tower, she departs distraught,
pale attire she doth wear,
Embarks she, on journey untaught
a quest beyond compare
A buoyant boat, she floats for a naught,
heavy heart barren & bare;
In whirls of water she is caught
clutched in a quagmire's glare.
Freezes she, in grasp of a deathly draught,
long before she spies a lair.
Found she is, her skin taut
& eyes in sightless stare.
They bow in grief, bereft of thought
& bow their heads in prayer.
A quandary she stays, in poetry wrought,
eternal in her story unfair
A paradigm of Providence's pitiless plot,
a memory, in millions' minds aware
And thus remains the Lady of Shalott
a testimony, to Tennyson's matchless flair.
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