A Different Kind Of Tale

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right —
The leaves upon her falling light —
Thro’ the noises of the night,
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the Knights at Camelot;
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.”

We all know of fairy tales. We all hope to one day live them. We wait about, hoping for that knight or that kiss that will make it all right. We wait about for somebody to break the curse. And we just know somebody definitely will.

Do you know the story of The Lady of Shallot? It’s beautiful. And for some reason—some stupid, depressing, pessimistic reason—I imagine myself as Elaine instead of Cinderella or Bella or Snow White. Nobody broke her curse you know. She didn’t have a happy ending. In fact, the love of her life, the knight in shining armour, Sir Lancelot,  never even knew her. The first time he laid eyes upon her was as she lay in a boat, having sung her ‘last song’—dead. Why, though?

Why couldn’t she have a happy fairy tale too? She certainly fit the criteria for the female protagonist: beautiful, can sing, has a mysterious curse, is locked away in a tower, has a magic mirror…

But she died anyway, The Lady of Shallot.

If that magical creature didn’t stand a chance, how can I, a lowly human?


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