February 11, 2009

The Lady of Shalott

With Valentines around the corner I thought I'd share these beautiful romantic paintings, "Death of Elaine" and "Lancelot" by Yoshitaka Amano. They are from his "Yosei" fairy paintings.
Why do I find tragic love stories like this so compelling? It might be more all the beautiful paintings and poem surrounding it that draw me in, but the longing in this tale just tugs my heartstrings.

and a bit of "The Lady of Shalott"

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hands before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot: 50
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the curly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-haired page in crimson clad,
Goes by to towered Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

Alfred Lord Tennyson


Unknown said...

That painting is beautiful! I have a thing for tragic love stories, too.

And the Lady of Shalott is my FAVORITE poem.

I enjoyed this post! Thank you

Anonymous said...

Lovely. Have you ever heard Loreena McKennitt's version of the Tennyson poem? Breathlessly beautiful. One of my favorite stories of all time.

Cat (darklingwoods) said...

Ro, yes I love Loreena McKennit's song.. I wish I were savvy enough to link it to the post!

(Elegant, I love the Authurian tales in general all pretty tragic in the love dept ;)

tlchang said...

I also love the poem and Loreena McKennitt's version of it. I have a William Holden Hunt painting of her on my studio wall.

Amano is pretty great too.

(btw - I'm not sure why you were having difficulty subscribing to my blog. See if you still are?)

The Clever Pup said...

I've got a John William Waterhouse painting of her in my dining room.

My mother had to recite that poem for her graduation exam in 1940s England.

I love the icon of you - how was it done.