He looked, and more amazed Than if seven men had set upon him, saw The maiden standing in the dewy light. And, knights and kings, there breathes not one of you Will deem this prize of ours is rashly given: His prowess was too wondrous. The sound not wonted in a place so still Woke the sick knight, and while he rolled his eyes Yet blank from sleep, she started to him, saying, 'Your prize the diamond sent you by the King:' His eyes glistened: she fancied 'Is it for me?' ye were not once so wise, My Queen, that summer, when ye loved me first. Although it concerns a modern girl playing Elaine (rather than Elaine herself), this variation on the story calls attention to the problems with romanticizing a young woman’s death and offers us a heroine who rejects passivity in favor of survival. For if you love, it will be sweet to give it; And if he love, it will be sweet to have it From your own hand; and whether he love or not, A diamond is a diamond. Edward E. Foster. and Ed. 'Yea, so,' she answered; 'then in wearing mine Needs must be lesser likelihood, noble lord, That those who know should know you.' Then got Sir Lancelot suddenly to horse, Wroth at himself. Pray for thy soul? “If I Die Young.” Dir. Surely his King and most familiar friend Might well have kept his secret. < http://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/text/tennyson-lancelot-and-elaine>. Cabot, Meg. till back the maiden fell, Then gave a languid hand to each, and lay, Speaking a still good-morrow with her eyes. Therefore unto all ladyes I make my mone, yet for my soule ye pray and bury me at the leste, and offir ye my masse-peny: thys ys my laste requeste. So in her tower alone the maiden sat: His very shield was gone; only the case, Her own poor work, her empty labour, left. But still she heard him, still his picture formed And grew between her and the pictured wall. All was jest. Then came the hermit out and bare him in, There stanched his wound; and there, in daily doubt Whether to live or die, for many a week Hid from the wide world's rumour by the grove Of poplars with their noise of falling showers, And ever-tremulous aspen-trees, he lay. Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT. “The Idylls of the King.” Rev. 'Nay,' said he, 'Fair lady, since I never yet have worn Favour of any lady in the lists. Diamonds for me! Oil on canvas. of The Idylls of the King, by Alfred Lord Tennyson. for God's love, a little air! And all night long his face before her lived, As when a painter, poring on a face, Divinely through all hindrance finds the man Behind it, and so paints him that his face, The shape and colour of a mind and life, Lives for his children, ever at its best And fullest; so the face before her lived, Dark-splendid, speaking in the silence, full Of noble things, and held her from her sleep. So spake Lavaine, and when they reached the lists By Camelot in the meadow, let his eyes Run through the peopled gallery which half round Lay like a rainbow fallen upon the grass, Until they found the clear-faced King, who sat Robed in red samite, easily to be known, Since to his crown the golden dragon clung, And down his robe the dragon writhed in gold, And from the carven-work behind him crept Two dragons gilded, sloping down to make Arms for his chair, while all the rest of them Through knots and loops and folds innumerable Fled ever through the woodwork, till they found The new design wherein they lost themselves, Yet with all ease, so tender was the work: And, in the costly canopy o'er him set, Blazed the last diamond of the nameless king. Him have I seen: the rest, his Table Round, Known as they are, to me they are unknown.' Stanzaic Morte Arthur. Some read the King's face, some the Queen's, and all Had marvel what the maid might be, but most Predoomed her as unworthy. Pp. I loved you, and my love had no return, And therefore my true love has been my death. Sir Lancelot! 'Free love, so bound, were fre st,' said the King. 'Nay, noble maid,' he answered, 'ten times nay! I needs must break These bonds that so defame me: not without She wills it: would I, if she willed it? 'And right was I,' she answered merrily, 'I, Who dreamed my knight the greatest knight of all.' Robbins Library Digital Projects > Camelot Project > Poems [by Alfred, Lord Tennyson-1842] > The Lady of Shalott (1842 Version) Back to top The Lady of Shalott (1842 Version) The Lady of Shalott (1842 Version) by: Alfred Lord Tennyson (Author) from: Poems [by Alfred, Lord Tennyson-1842] 1842. How know ye my lord's name is Lancelot?' Tennyson, Alfred Lord. Why go ye not to these fair jousts? by this kiss you will: and our true King Will then allow your pretext, O my knight, As all for glory; for to speak him true, Ye know right well, how meek soe'er he seem, No keener hunter after glory breathes. Only this Grant me, I pray you: have your joys apart. And a pure maiden I died, I take God to witness. The gentler-born the maiden, the more bound, My father, to be sweet and serviceable To noble knights in sickness, as ye know When these have worn their tokens: let me hence I pray you.' A Burlesque Extravaganza, The Lady of Shalott (1833 & 1842 Versions), The Body of Elaine on Its Way to King Arthur's Palace, Torre and Lavaine Bid Farewell to the Body of Elaine, "It's a first attempt, but I don't think it's very bad. Thereafter, when a King, he had the gems Plucked from the crown, and showed them to his knights, Saying, 'These jewels, whereupon I chanced Divinely, are the kingdom's, not the King's-- For public use: henceforward let there be, Once every year, a joust for one of these: For so by nine years' proof we needs must learn Which is our mightiest, and ourselves shall grow In use of arms and manhood, till we drive The heathen, who, some say, shall rule the land Hereafter, which God hinder.' So all in wrath he got to horse and went; While Arthur to the banquet, dark in mood, Past, thinking 'Is it Lancelot who hath come Despite the wound he spake of, all for gain Of glory, and hath added wound to wound, And ridden away to die?' Web. Disney-ABC Domestic Television, 2010. Pp. There two stood armed, and kept the door; to whom, All up the marble stair, tier over tier, Were added mouths that gaped, and eyes that asked 'What is it?' Then if the maiden, while that ghostly grace Beamed on his fancy, spoke, he answered not, Or short and coldly, and she knew right well What the rough sickness meant, but what this meant She knew not, and the sorrow dimmed her sight, And drave her ere her time across the fields Far into the rich city, where alone She murmured, 'Vain, in vain: it cannot be. “The Lady of Shalott.” On, d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/theme/elaine-of-astalot, Elaine Sews a Cover for Lancelot's Shield, Elaine Sewing a Cover for Lancelot's Shield, The Corpse of Elaine in the Palace of King Arthur, The Death-Journey of the Lily Maid of Astolat. He loves it in his knights more than himself: They prove to him his work: win and return.' Then when he saw the Queen, embracing asked, 'Love, are you yet so sick?' what profits me my name Of greatest knight? And innocently extending her white arms, 'Your love,' she said, 'your love--to be your wife.' And yet ye would not; but this night I dreamed That I was all alone upon the flood, And then I said, "Now shall I have my will:" And there I woke, but still the wish remained. Then answered Lancelot, 'Fair she was, my King, Pure, as you ever wish your knights to be. Prize me no prizes, for my prize is death! Elle flotte vers Camelot vêtue de « blanc neigeux » virginal, elle chante un chant triste avant de mourir sans jamais atteindre Camelot. Meanwhile the new companions past away Far o'er the long backs of the bushless downs, To where Sir Lancelot knew there lived a knight Not far from Camelot, now for forty years A hermit, who had prayed, laboured and prayed, And ever labouring had scooped himself In the white rock a chapel and a hall On massive columns, like a shorecliff cave, And cells and chambers: all were fair and dry; The green light from the meadows underneath Struck up and lived along the milky roofs; And in the meadows tremulous aspen-trees And poplars made a noise of falling showers. 'Yea, lord,' she said, 'Thy hopes are mine,' and saying that, she choked, And sharply turned about to hide her face, Past to her chamber, and there flung herself Down on the great King's couch, and writhed upon it, And clenched her fingers till they bit the palm, And shrieked out 'Traitor' to the unhearing wall, Then flashed into wild tears, and rose again, And moved about her palace, proud and pale. the knights Are half of them our enemies, and the crowd Will murmur, "Lo the shameless ones, who take Their pastime now the trustful King is gone!"' Then the great knight, the darling of the court, Loved of the loveliest, into that rude hall Stept with all grace, and not with half disdain Hid under grace, as in a smaller time, But kindly man moving among his kind: Whom they with meats and vintage of their best And talk and minstrel melody entertained. David McClister. Ascribe no blame to yourself, for I blame you not. Then far away with good Sir Torre for guide Rode o'er the long backs of the bushless downs To Camelot, and before the city-gates Came on her brother with a happy face Making a roan horse caper and curvet For pleasure all about a field of flowers: Whom when she saw, 'Lavaine,' she cried, 'Lavaine, How fares my lord Sir Lancelot?' 'Ye will not lose your wits for dear Lavaine: Bide,' answered he: 'we needs must hear anon Of him, and of that other.' Half-envious of the flattering hand, she drew Nearer and stood. The mirror crack’d from side to side; a fury seized them all, A fiery family passion for the name Of Lancelot, and a glory one with theirs. And she said, 'Not to be with you, not to see your face-- Alas for me then, my good days are done.' This poem has not been translated into any other language yet. For some do hold our Arthur cannot die, But that he passes into Fairyland.' Whereon the lily maid of Astolat Lay smiling, like a star in blackest night. While thus he spoke, half turned away, the Queen Brake from the vast oriel-embowering vine Leaf after leaf, and tore, and cast them off, Till all the place whereon she stood was green; Then, when he ceased, in one cold passive hand Received at once and laid aside the gems There on a table near her, and replied: 'It may be, I am quicker of belief Than you believe me, Lancelot of the Lake. This was the one discourtesy that he used. Then was Sir Lancelot sent for, and the letter read aloud by a clerk. Stuart Gillard. “Those days, she said, were so much more romantic than the present” (320). This I will do, dear damsel, for your sake, And more than this I cannot.' And so, God wot, his shield is blank enough. And peradventure had he seen her first She might have made this and that other world Another world for the sick man; but now The shackles of an old love straitened him, His honour rooted in dishonour stood, And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true. and Lavaine Past inward, as she came from out the tower. She saw the helmet and the plume,    'Why that like was he.' As to knights, Them surely can I silence with all ease. The Band Perry. The Lady of Shalott, c. 1890-1905. John William Waterhouse. In Lancelot-Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation, Volume IV. So that day there was dole in Astolat. I fought for it, and have it: Pleasure to have it, none; to lose it, pain; Now grown a part of me: but what use in it? Sur une rive du fleuve, elle trouve un bateau et y écrit son nom. My brethren have been all my fellowship; And I, when often they have talked of love, Wished it had been my mother, for they talked, Meseemed, of what they knew not; so myself-- I know not if I know what true love is, But if I know, then, if I love not him, I know there is none other I can love.' And in those days she made a little song, And called her song 'The Song of Love and Death,' And sang it: sweetly could she make and sing. 91-160. Most noble Lord, now death has parted us. And a clene maydyn I dyed, I take God to wytnesse. (641), McKennitt, Loreena. But he, 'I die already with it: draw-- Draw,'--and Lavaine drew, and Sir Lancelot gave A marvellous great shriek and ghastly groan, And half his blood burst forth, and down he sank For the pure pain, and wholly swooned away. He amazed, 'Torre and Elaine! (109-117). What is he? Then came the fine Gawain and wondered at her, And Lancelot later came and mused at her, And last the Queen herself, and pitied her: But Arthur spied the letter in her hand, Stoopt, took, brake seal, and read it; this was all: 'Most noble lord, Sir Lancelot of the Lake, I, sometime called the maid of Astolat, Come, for you left me taking no farewell, Hither, to take my last farewell of you. 28 May 2014. We will do him No customary honour: since the knight Came not to us, of us to claim the prize, Ourselves will send it after. Some contemporary versions of her story for younger readers attempt to rescue her from the role of victim and make her a more active figure. Then bury my body in Camelot, so that I may always be near you and sleep for eternity in your view. And Lancelot saw that she withheld her wish, And bode among them yet a little space Till he should learn it; and one morn it chanced He found her in among the garden yews, And said, 'Delay no longer, speak your wish, Seeing I go today:' then out she brake: 'Going? One old dame Came suddenly on the Queen with the sharp news. But when the maid had told him all her tale, Then turned Sir Torre, and being in his moods Left them, and under the strange-statued gate, Where Arthur's wars were rendered mystically, Past up the still rich city to his kin, His own far blood, which dwelt at Camelot; And her, Lavaine across the poplar grove Led to the caves: there first she saw the casque Of Lancelot on the wall: her scarlet sleeve, Though carved and cut, and half the pearls away, Streamed from it still; and in her heart she laughed, Because he had not loosed it from his helm, But meant once more perchance to tourney in it. 'He won.' Avalon High. Alas for Arthur's greatest knight, a man Not after Arthur's heart! The Body of Elaine on Its Way to King Arthur's... Elaine on Her Road to the Cave of Lancelot. , ---. And yet he glanced not up, nor waved his hand, Nor bad farewell, but sadly rode away. Not for me! And, damsel, for I deem you know full well Where your great knight is hidden, let me leave My quest with you; the diamond also: here! And when they gained the cell wherein he slept, His battle-writhen arms and mighty hands Lay naked on the wolfskin, and a dream Of dragging down his enemy made them move. There surely I shall speak for mine own self, And none of you can speak for me so well. Web. As when we dwell upon a word we know, Repeating, till the word we know so well Becomes a wonder, and we know not why, So dwelt the father on her face, and thought 'Is this Elaine?' She, that had heard the noise of it before, But sorrowing Lancelot should have stooped so low, Marred her friend's aim with pale tranquillity. King, duke, earl, Count, baron--whom he smote, he overthrew. what are they? Allow him! 'Love, art thou sweet? Thence to the court he past; there told the King What the King knew, 'Sir Lancelot is the knight.' He never spake word of reproach to me, He never had a glimpse of mine untruth, He cares not for me: only here today There gleamed a vague suspicion in his eyes: Some meddling rogue has tampered with him--else Rapt in this fancy of his Table Round, And swearing men to vows impossible, To make them like himself: but, friend, to me He is all fault who hath no fault at all: For who loves me must have a touch of earth; The low sun makes the colour: I am yours, Not Arthur's, as ye know, save by the bond. but Lavaine, my younger here, He is so full of lustihood, he will ride, Joust for it, and win, and bring it in an hour, And set it in this damsel's golden hair, To make her thrice as wilful as before.' 'But parted from the jousts Hurt in the side,' whereat she caught her breath; Through her own side she felt the sharp lance go; Thereon she smote her hand: wellnigh she swooned: And, while he gazed wonderingly at her, came The Lord of Astolat out, to whom the Prince Reported who he was, and on what quest Sent, that he bore the prize and could not find The victor, but had ridden a random round To seek him, and had wearied of the search. The seldom-frowning King frowned, and replied, 'Too courteous truly! Song of the Sparrow. Nay--like enow: why then, far be it from me To cross our mighty Lancelot in his loves! or would yourself, Now weary of my service and devoir, Henceforth be truer to your faultless lord?' Then as a little helpless innocent bird, That has but one plain passage of few notes, Will sing the simple passage o'er and o'er For all an April morning, till the ear Wearies to hear it, so the simple maid Went half the night repeating, 'Must I die?' Her wide eyes fix'd on Camelot, Though the squally east-wind keenly . So those two brethren from the chariot took And on the black decks laid her in her bed, Set in her hand a lily, o'er her hung The silken case with braided blazonings, And kissed her quiet brows, and saying to her 'Sister, farewell for ever,' and again 'Farewell, sweet sister,' parted all in tears. And now to right she turned, and now to left, And found no ease in turning or in rest; And 'Him or death,' she muttered, 'death or him,' Again and like a burthen, 'Him or death.' and we shall never see you more. For Arthur, long before they crowned him King, Roving the trackless realms of Lyonnesse, Had found a glen, gray boulder and black tarn. But when they left her to herself again, Death, like a friend's voice from a distant field Approaching through the darkness, called; the owls Wailing had power upon her, and she mixt Her fancies with the sallow-rifted glooms Of evening, and the moanings of the wind. To this the courteous Prince Accorded with his wonted courtesy, Courtesy with a touch of traitor in it, And stayed; and cast his eyes on fair Elaine: Where could be found face daintier? lo, ye know it! To doubt her fairness were to want an eye, To doubt her pureness were to want a heart-- Yea, to be loved, if what is worthy love Could bind him, but free love will not be bound.' Norris J. All information has been reproduced here for educational and informational purposes to benefit site visitors, and is provided at no charge... Recite this poem (upload your own video or voice file). At once she slipt like water to the floor. Not rather dead love's harsh heir, jealous pride? Then he wrote The letter she devised; which being writ And folded, 'O sweet father, tender and true, Deny me not,' she said--'ye never yet Denied my fancies--this, however strange, My latest: lay the letter in my hand A little ere I die, and close the hand Upon it; I shall guard it even in death. Out flew the web and floated wide;  28 May 2010. He raised his head, their eyes met and hers fell, He adding, 'Queen, she would not be content Save that I wedded her, which could not be. Élaine Astolat est enfermée dans une tour sur l’île de Shalott, en face de Camelot, une fée lui a jeté un sort. Surely I but played on Torre: He seemed so sullen, vext he could not go: A jest, no more! 'And where is Lancelot?' Ay, that will I. Farewell too--now at last-- Farewell, fair lily. Sandell, Lisa Ann. 'So be it,' cried Elaine, And lifted her fair face and moved away: But he pursued her, calling, 'Stay a little! O Love, if death be sweeter, let me die. This is not love: but love's first flash in youth, Most common: yea, I know it of mine own self: And you yourself will smile at your own self Hereafter, when you yield your flower of life To one more fitly yours, not thrice your age: And then will I, for true you are and sweet Beyond mine old belief in womanhood, More specially should your good knight be poor, Endow you with broad land and territory Even to the half my realm beyond the seas, So that would make you happy: furthermore, Even to the death, as though ye were my blood, In all your quarrels will I be your knight. Then will I bear it gladly;' she replied, 'For Lancelot and the Queen and all the world, But I myself must bear it.' but if I would not, then may God, I pray him, send a sudden Angel down To seize me by the hair and bear me far, And fling me deep in that forgotten mere, Among the tumbled fragments of the hills.' Or sin seem less, the sinner seeming great? So saying, from the carven flower above, To which it made a restless heart, he took, And gave, the diamond: then from where he sat At Arthur's right, with smiling face arose, With smiling face and frowning heart, a Prince In the mid might and flourish of his May, Gawain, surnamed The Courteous, fair and strong, And after Lancelot, Tristram, and Geraint And Gareth, a good knight, but therewithal Sir Modred's brother, and the child of Lot, Nor often loyal to his word, and now Wroth that the King's command to sally forth In quest of whom he knew not, made him leave The banquet, and concourse of knights and kings. Ed. O tell us--for we live apart--you know Of Arthur's glorious wars.' Then added plain Sir Torre, 'Yea, since I cannot use it, ye may have it.' 'Peace,' said her father, 'O my child, ye seem Light-headed, for what force is yours to go So far, being sick? And Lancelot knew the little clinking sound; And she by tact of love was well aware That Lancelot knew that she was looking at him. Dull days were those, till our good Arthur broke The Pagan yet once more on Badon hill.' He had not dreamed she was so beautiful. Elaine’s story is found in important works of literature by authors such as Malory and Tennyson, and she is also frequently represented in artwork. There morn by morn, arraying her sweet self In that wherein she deemed she looked her best, She came before Sir Lancelot, for she thought 'If I be loved, these are my festal robes, If not, the victim's flowers before he fall.' And Lancelot answered nothing, but he went, And at the inrunning of a little brook Sat by the river in a cove, and watched The high reed wave, and lifted up his eyes And saw the barge that brought her moving down, Far-off, a blot upon the stream, and said Low in himself, 'Ah simple heart and sweet, Ye loved me, damsel, surely with a love Far tenderer than my Queen's. To whom the Lord of Astolat, 'Bide with us, And ride no more at random, noble Prince! Then replied the King: 'Far lovelier in our Lancelot had it been, In lieu of idly dallying with the truth, To have trusted me as he hath trusted thee. And when the knights had laid her comely head Low in the dust of half-forgotten kings, Then Arthur spake among them, 'Let her tomb Be costly, and her image thereupon, And let the shield of Lancelot at her feet Be carven, and her lily in her hand. Read poems about / on: father, farewell, death, sick, horse, love, child, brother, sister, rose, passion, friend, flower, lost, river, house, city, fear, work, believe, Lancelot And Elaine Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson - Poem Hunter, Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004. for your new fancy. So when the ghostly man had come and gone, She with a face, bright as for sin forgiven, Besought Lavaine to write as she devised A letter, word for word; and when he asked 'Is it for Lancelot, is it for my dear lord? ye shall go no more On quest of mine, seeing that ye forget Obedience is the courtesy due to kings.' New York: Garland Publishing, 1995. Such is my wont, as those, who know me, know.' He wore, against his wont, upon his helm A sleeve of scarlet, broidered with great pearls, Some gentle maiden's gift.' She saw the water-lily bloom, But since I go to joust as one unknown At Camelot for the diamond, ask me not, Hereafter ye shall know me--and the shield-- I pray you lend me one, if such you have, Blank, or at least with some device not mine.' and she told him 'A red sleeve Broidered with pearls,' and brought it: then he bound Her token on his helmet, with a smile Saying, 'I never yet have done so much For any maiden living,' and the blood Sprang to her face and filled her with delight; But left her all the paler, when Lavaine Returning brought the yet-unblazoned shield, His brother's; which he gave to Lancelot, Who parted with his own to fair Elaine: 'Do me this grace, my child, to have my shield In keeping till I come.' And let there be prepared a chariot-bier To take me to the river, and a barge Be ready on the river, clothed in black. then bitter death must be: Love, thou art bitter; sweet is death to me. Till rathe she rose, half-cheated in the thought She needs must bid farewell to sweet Lavaine. High in her chamber up a tower to the east How came the lily maid by that good shield Of Lancelot, she that knew not even his name? Rise and take This diamond, and deliver it, and return, And bring us where he is, and how he fares, And cease not from your quest until ye find.' Then came on him a sort of sacred fear, For silent, though he greeted her, she stood Rapt on his face as if it were a God's. When he does not return her love, she dies of grief and floats in a barge down the river to Camelot. What might she mean by that? And I was youre lover, that men called the Fayre Maydyn of Astolate. Our bond, as not the bond of man and wife, Should have in it an absoluter trust To make up that defect: let rumours be: When did not rumours fly? The charm is broken utterly, So groaned Sir Lancelot in remorseful pain, Not knowing he should die a holy man. [Most noble knight, my lord sir Launcelot, now death has made the two of us in opposition because of your love. A horror lived about the tarn, and clave Like its own mists to all the mountain side: For here two brothers, one a king, had met And fought together; but their names were lost; And each had slain his brother at a blow; And down they fell and made the glen abhorred: And there they lay till all their bones were bleached, And lichened into colour with the crags: And he, that once was king, had on a crown Of diamonds, one in front, and four aside.