Alternate Ending to “Lady of Shalott”

In my recent requests for blogging topics, wordcoaster suggested that I create an alternate ending to a poem I love. It took me a while to choose a poem, but yesterday I was watching a cooking show that took place in Paris. The host was cutting a certain type of onions, which I refer to as SHALL-uts, and she called shul-OTTs. This reminded me of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “The Lady of Shallot”. (Shalott rhymes with Camelot)

This poem has had a lot of allusions made to it in popular culture. In Anne of Green Gables, Anne acts out the death of the Lady of Shalott. This is also reenacted in the video to The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young.” It was actually when watching the video for that song that I ended up reading the full poem for the first time and discovering the song “Shalott” by Emilie Autumn. This song is one that I love, and I think puts a great dark imagery to the poem.

In line with wordcoaster’s challenge, I re-read the poem and decided to continue it in the same scheme and style as Tennyson. Below is the result.

Part V

Though air was still, the river flowed,
still by rye and barley bowed,
by river swan, and wren and toad
though all now sang with voices lowed
barely heard in Camelot,
The willows wept and aspens whined,
The sky was dark though stars still shined,
The country and the river pined
for the Lady of Shalott.

For though in her tower bound,
her gaze the land had always found,
and now ignored, the skies and ground
mourned the death of their renowned
Admirer, lost to Camelot.
The reapers found the barley poor,
No wildlife sang along the moor,
the land had lost its one allure
The Lady of Shalott.

And Lancelot, the clueless knight
knew not what had occurred that night
to the beauty who had earned his sight
only when her curse and plight
took her, deceased, to Camelot.The knight rode on, still unaware
and continued to merit glance and stare
by ladies innocent and fair
like the maiden of Shalott.

The curse laid by source unknown
had worked its course to the bone
to woman who had freedom shown
but that voice continued its sultry moan
through the fields surrounding Camelot.
The reapers heard, and thought a joke
had worked their minds through fog and smoke
but blessing with soft song, the folk
was the ghost Lady of Shalott.

Posted on May 11, 2013, in literature, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Awesome! I love this ending–the extra insights you add and the closure you bring. Really well-written! I had never read the original, so thank you for sharing this gem–it’s wonderful. Tennyson is rightly considered a classic, and I’m glad to now have read another of his inspiring works. Two thumbs WAY UP! 😀

  2. Allison Forsythe

    Fantastic!! Ahhh…now I want to read the full poem again and add your ending to it!

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