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The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Part 4, Lines 145-153 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 145-146

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

  • The song she sings is haunting, sometimes soft, and sometimes loud.
  • The poem's speaker really focuses his attention on this moment, helping us to imagine and almost hear the Lady's last song.

Lines 147-149

Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turned to towered Camelot.

  • Then, as she sings and floats, the lady starts to change. Her blood slowly freezes and her eyes grow dark.
  • The poem doesn't come out and say it, but these must be the effects of the curse we've heard so much about.

Lines 150-153

For ere she reached upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

  • Here's the sad part. Before she reaches the first house in Camelot, the Lady of Shalott dies.
  • The poem is careful to point out that she died singing, that her death and the end of her song were part of the same event.