monday verse: the lady of shalott

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;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro’ the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

from The Lady of Shallot (Part 1) by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Something new for a Monday Verse – a video. We walked beside this field of barley on a sunny, very windy day in May. I took some still photos, but the real beauty of the scene was in the way the wind rippled across the field. I’m sorry about the sound distortion in places, but you can hear the dry whispering rustle of the heads of grain as the wind brushes through the crop.

For any doubters, here are some shots to prove that there was a field of rye as well as the barley, and there really is a river, and a castle with grey walls and towers. It’s nearby Domeyrat rather than Camelot, but I think it fits the poem quite well. We didn’t come across a bold Sir Lancelot singing “Tirra Lirra” by the river though, just an elderly gent doing some strimming.


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