Shalott: I & II
a silent isle, a cold-clear river;
the weeks before another winter
sends frost to claim the barley.
four gray walls, and four gray towers;
within, she weaves thread into flowers
and rows of new-sown barley.
she sings a song which echoes clearly
to a reaper reaping early.
a bow-shot from her bower-eaves
the reaper labors, piling sheaves
while the weaver dreams of barley.
echoes nightly bear the weaver's song
across the river and among
the moonlit fields of barley.
and by the moon, the reaper weary
listens for his faceless fairy.
often through her mirror blue
she sees knights loyal, heroes true
but thinks instead of barley.
she spins her web, the half-sick weaver,
pretty shadows parading through her mirror,
past the fields of golden barley.
the aspens' veil dies and falls;
the reaper spies the four gray walls.
the reaper's brow in sunlight glowed
beside the river as it flowed
between the isle and the barley.
brighter than a true knight's shield
flashed his scythe in the yellow field
as he cut through the barley.
she left her web, she left her loom
she looked beyond her tower room.
out flew her web, and floated wide
as she smashed the mirror side to side
and gazed upon the barley.
the fated weaver, down she came,
she found a boat and loosed the chain
and sailed toward a field of barley.
the curse came near; the bread stream bore
the weaver to the reaper's shore.