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Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Turned to towered Camelot.
The Lady of Shalott.
Under tower and balcony,
Silent into Camelot.
the wharfs they came, Knight and burgher, lord and dame, And round the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.
Who is this? and what is here?
All the knights at Camelot:
Alfred Tennyson 18
THE DEFENCE OF GUENEVERE
UENEVERE, the wife of King Arthur, being
punishment of death, speaks in her own defence.
But, knowing now that they would have her speak,
As though she had had there a shameful blow,
She must a little touch it; like one lame
The tears dried quick; she stopped at last and said:
"God wot I ought to say, I have done ill,
“Listen, suppose your time were come to die, And you were quite alone and very weak; Yea, laid a dying while very mightily
“The wind was ruffling up the narrow streak
“One of these cloths is heaven, and one is hell,
“ 'Of your own strength and mightiness; here, see!'
“A great God's angel standing, with such dyes,
"Showing him well, and making his commands Secm to be God's commands, moreover, too, Holding within his hands the cloths on wands;
“And one of these strange choosing cloths was blue,
"After a shivering half-hour you
said: 'God help! heaven's color, the blue'; and he said, 'hell." Perhaps you would then roll upon your bed,
cry to all good men that loved you well, ‘Ah Christ! if only I had known, known, known’; Launcelot went away, then I could tell,
“Like wisest man how all things would be, moan,
"Nevertheless you, O Sir Gauwaine, lie, Whatever may have happened through these years, God knows I speak truth, saying that you lie.”
Her voice was low at first, being full of tears,
A ringing in their startled brains, until
Though still she stood right up, and never shrunk,
She stood, and seemed to think, and wrung her hair,
"It chanced upon a day that Launcelot came To dwell at Arthur's court: at Christmastime This happened; when the heralds sung
“ 'Son of King Ban of Benwick' seemed to chime Along with all the bells that rang that day, O'er the white roofs, with little change of rhyme,
"Christmas and whitened winter passed away,
“And in the summer I grew white with flame, And bowed my head down: autumn, and the sick Sure knowledge things would never be the same,
“However often spring might be most thick
"To my unhappy pulse, that beat right through
“Seemed cold and shallow without
cloud. Behold, my judges, then the cloths were brought; While I was dizzied thus, old thoughts would crowd,
“Belonging to the time ere I was bought
“That which I deemed would ever round me move, Glorifying all things; for a little word, Scarce ever meant at all, must I now prove
“Stone-cold for ever? Pray you, does the Lord Will that all folks should be quite happy and good? I love God now a little, if this cord
“Were broken, once for all what striving could Make me love anything in earth or heaven? So day by day it grew, as if one should