7 Famous Mirrors (cont)

•7: The Mirror Crack’d

The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She looked down to Camelot.

Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror cracked from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott.

The curse of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s faerie Lady is such that she must only view the world through the mirror in her tower. If she should dare to look upon the world directly she knows a terrible fate will befall her, though she doesn’t know what that fate might be.

The passing of Sir Lancelot ‘flashing in her crystal mirror’ on his progress down to Camelot is her undoing. She wrenches her view from the reflection to gaze directly down on the handsome knight, whereupon her lifetime’s occupation, the magical web she weaves, floats out into the world, and her mirror cracks dramatically in two.

Things go from bad to worse after she finds an abandoned boat on the river, grabs a spare moment to paint her name on the prow, and launches herself off under the willows toward Camelot. Her robes of snowy white, as fetching as they may have looked in her lonely tower, are not much protection against the chilly night, and as she drifts along toward the castle singing a mournful tune, she freezes to death.

The moral to this story is:

Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.


Well Acowlytes, that concludes the diversion that is 7 Famous Mirrors. I thank you for your indulgence.