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I’m half-sick of shadows

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Update zu Wie der Schnee so weiß, aber kalt wie Eis ist das Liebchen, das du dir erwählt:

The Lady of Shalott von Lord Alfred Tennyson, 1. Baron Tennyson wurde schon lange nicht mehr ordentlich übersetzt. Dabei ließ sich die deutschsprachige Reproduktion zuerst so lebhaft an; unter anderem gibt es:

Empfohlen wird natürlich die erste, die von Freiligrath, die auch in recht leserlich gestochener Fraktur daherkommt.

Persönlich greifen mir Geschichten von Mädchen und viel zu schönen Frauen, die sich zu Tode singen, ganz unverhältnismäßig ans Herze, das ist eine körperliche Reaktion bei mir, fast noch sicherer und heftiger als das Orpheus-Eurydike-Thema, weil es persönlicher und damit unmittelbarer wirkt. Das geht so, seit ich zu früh im Leben A Fight to the Finish 1947 mit Oskar Supermaus gesehen hab, Paradebeispiel ist die Antonie aus dem Rat Krespel 1818 von E.T.A. Hoffmann, die Jacques Offenbach sangeswirksam als dritten Akt von Hoffmanns Erzählungen 1881 ausgebaut hat. In der schlimmen Heimatschnulze Das Donkosakenlied 1956 ist es ein kleiner Junge, der das Singen nicht lassen kann, und in Noch einmal mit Gefühl 2001 ist gleich eine ganze Stadt vom Totsingen bedroht, da waltet aber um die Vampirjägerin Buffy und ihre von Dämonen Mitverfolgten wenigstens die nötige Selbstironie. — Wenn jemand noch was weiß? Die Kommentarfunktion ist immer offen.

Seltsamerweise hab ich auf die Lady of Shalott nie so angesprochen, obwohl da eine Vorläuferin der Ophelia sich sehenden Auges malerisch in ein Boot legt und darin singend auf ein Schloss zutreibt, in dem sie als Leiche ankommen wird. Schieben wir es darauf, dass man dieses ausgebaute Genre der Lady of the Lake immer nicht als die faszinierend schillernde Elaine kennenlernt, sondern als einschläfernden Loop über 11:34 Minuten von einer Meditations-CD fürs Zahnarztwartezimmer.

Zur Interpretation abseits des Wikipedia-Artikels: Die Besonderheiten am Shalott’schen Topos sind, dass die Lady 1. nicht weiß, worin eigentlich ihr Fluch besteht, 2. Bilder webt, die sie indirekt in einem Spiegel sieht, und 3. bereitwillig für ihre erste Liebe auf den ersten Blick, die gleich ihre große ist, stirbt. Schuld und Sühne sind also definiert wie bei Kafka: in höchst willkürlicher Weise überhaupt nicht — und das von einer fadenscheinigen, rächenden Instanz, „Nenn’s Glück! Herz! Liebe! Gott!“ (Faust). Aus feministischer Sicht ist das reichlich fragwürdig, aus einfach nur menschlicher Sicht nicht minder: Eine namenlose Edelfrau darf ihren Elfenbeinturm weder mit ihrer Erkenntnis noch gar mit ihren unbefugten Füßen (siehe den Bonus Track unten) überschreiten, und wenn der wunder-schöne, stolze Ritter kommt, darf sie ihm gerade noch hinterherreisen und ihr letztes Lied dabei singen. Gnade vor dem ritterlichen Hof findet sie nicht für ihre künstlerischen oder hausfraulichen Leistungen oder auch nur für ihre Hingabe, sondern ausdrücklich für ihr hübsches Gesicht. Wer sich als Feminist*in versteht, darf an dieser Stelle einige berechtigte Einwände erheben, sich dabei nur nicht so anstellen wie die ewige Gothic Lolita Emilie Autumn in ihrer Kontrafaktur Shalott 2006 auf Opheliac. Klar, dass diese Auffassung aus dem Frühmittelalter stammt — weil sie nämlich als Nebenstrang der Artus-Sage aus dem Frühmittelalter stammt.

Daher ist es gar nicht so schlimm, wenn ich hier nur Tennysons zwei Fassungen in parallele Übersicht setzen kann. Ich hätte lieber noch eine dritte Spalte mit dem gedichtnahen Schlagertext von Loreena McKennitt dazugequetscht, aber ich hab dieses enge WordPress-Theme nicht gebaut. McKennitt darf erst darunter, was künstlerisch nicht ganz unpassend erscheint.

Tennysons Gedicht bleibt eine der schönsten Balladen überhaupt, die einen Spannungsbogen mit Handlungsauflösung verwenden, und eine Empfehlung für das englische Lesepublikum, in dem Gedichte so cantabile marschieren und trotzdem klassisch werden dürfen.

John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott, 1888

——— Lord Alfred Tennyson:

The Lady of Shalott

1833 edition:

***

1842 edition:

***

Part the First.

*

Part I.

*

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky.
And thro‘ the field the road runs by
               To manytowered Camelot.
The yellowleavèd waterlily,
The greensheathèd daffodilly,
Tremble in the water chilly,
               Round about Shalott.

*

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro‘ the field the road runs by
               To many-tower’d Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
               The island of Shalott.

*

Willows whiten, aspens shiver,
The sunbeam-showers break and quiver
In the stream that runneth ever
By the island in the river,
               Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls and four gray towers
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro‘ the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
               Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

Underneath the bearded barley,
The reaper, reaping late and early,
Hears her ever chanting cheerly,
Like an angel, singing clearly,
               O’er the stream of Camelot.
Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, „‚tis the fairy
               Lady of Shalott.“

*

By the margin, willow-veil’d
Slide the heavy barges trail’d
By slow horses; and unhail’d
The shallop flitteth silken-sail’d
               Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
               The Lady of Shalott?

*

The little isle is all inrailed
With a rose-fence, and overtrailed
With roses: by the marge unhailed
The shallop flitteth silkensailed,
               Skimming down to Camelot.
A pearlgarland winds her head:
She leaneth on a velvet bed,
Full royally apparellèd
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
               Down to tower’d Camelot.
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers „‚Tis the fairy
               Lady of Shalott.“

*

Part the Second.

*

Part II.

*

No time hath she to sport and play:
A charmèd web she weaves alway.
A curse is on her, if she stay
Her weaving, either night or day,
               To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be;
Therefore she weaveth steadily,
Therefore no other care hath she,
               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.

*

She lives with little joy or fear.
Over the water, running near,
The sheepbell tinkles in her ear.
Before her hangs a mirror clear,
               Reflecting towered Camelot.
And, as the mazy web she whirls,
She sees the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market-girls,
               Pass onward from Shalott.

*

And moving thro‘ a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
               Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly 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 longhaired page, in crimson clad,
               Goes by to towered Camelot.
And sometimes thro‘ the mirror blue,
The knights come riding, two and two.
She hath no loyal knight and true
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,
               Goes by to tower’d Camelot;
And sometimes thro‘ 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 thro‘ the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
               And music, came from Camelot.
Or, when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers, lately wed:
„I am half-sick of shadows,“ said
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often thro‘ 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.

*

Part the Third.

*

Part III.

*

A bowshot from her bower-eaves.
He rode between the barleysheaves:
The sun came dazzling thro‘ the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
               Of bold Sir Launcelot.
A redcross knight for ever kneeled
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
               Beside remote Shalott.

*

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro‘ the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
               Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A redcross knight for ever kneel’d
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
               Beside remote Shalott.

*

The gemmy bridle glittered free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden galaxy.
The bridle-bells rang merrily,
               As he rode down from Camelot.
And, from his blazoned baldric slung,
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And, as he rode, his armour rung,
               Beside remote Shalott.

*

The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle-bells rang merrily
               As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon’d baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
               Beside remote Shalott.

*

All in the blue unclouded weather,
Thickjewelled shone the saddle-leather.
The helmet, and the helmet-feather
Burned like one burning flame together,
               As he rode down from Camelot.
As often thro‘ the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
               Moves over green Shalott.

*

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn’d like one burning flame together,
               As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro‘ the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
               Moves over still Shalott.

*

His broad clear brow in sunlight glowed.
On burnished hooves his warhorse trode.
From underneath his helmet flowed
His coalblack curls, as on he rode,
               As he rode down from Camelot.
From the bank, and from the river,
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
„Tirra lirra, tirra lirra,“
               Sang Sir Launcelot.

*

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;
On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow’d
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
               As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flash’d into the crystal mirror,
„Tirra lirra,“ by the river
               Sang Sir Lancelot.

*

She left the web: she left the loom:
She made three paces thro‘ the room:
She saw the waterflower 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.

*

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro‘ the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume:
               She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
„The curse is come upon me,“ cried
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

Part the Fourth.

*

Part IV.

*

In the stormy eastwind straining
The pale-yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
               Over towered Camelot:
Outside the isle a shallow boat
Beneath a willow lay afloat,
Below the carven stern she wrote,
               THE LADY OF SHALOTT.

*

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale-yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
               Over tower’d Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

A cloudwhite crown of pearl she dight.
All raimented in snowy white
That loosely flew, (her zone in sight,
Clasped with one blinding diamond bright,)
               Her wide eyes fixed on Camelot,
Though the squally eastwind keenly
Blew, with folded arms serenely
By the water stood the queenly
               Lady of Shalott.

*

 

With a steady, stony glance—
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Beholding all his own mischance,
Mute, with a glassy countenance—
               She looked down to Camelot.
It was the closing of the day,
She loosed the chain, and down she lay,
The broad stream bore her far away,
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

And down the river’s dim expanse—
Like some bold seër in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance—
With a glassy countenance
               Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

As when to sailors while they roam,
By creeks and outfalls far from home,
Rising and dropping with the foam,
From dying swans wild warblings come,
               Blown shoreward; so to Camelot
Still as the boathead wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her chanting her deathsong,
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

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.

*

A longdrawn carol, mournful, holy,
She chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her eyes were darkened wholly,
And her smooth face sharpened slowly
               Turned to towered Camelot:
For ere she reached upon the tide
The first house by the waterside,
Singing in her song she died,
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darken’d wholly,
               Turn’d to tower’d Camelot;
For ere she reach’d upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

Under tower and balcony,
By gardenwall and gallery,
A pale, pale corpse she floated by,
Deadcold, between the houses high,
               Dead into towered Camelot.
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
To the plankèd wharfage came:
Below the stern they read her name,
               „The Lady of Shalott.“

*

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
A corse between the houses high,
               Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
               The Lady of Shalott.

*

They crossed themselves, their stars they blest,
Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire and guest.
There lay a parchment on her breast,
That puzzled more than all the rest,
               The wellfed wits at Camelot.
„The web was woven curiously
The charm is broken utterly,
Draw near and fear not – this is I,
               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 cross’d 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.“

William Maw Egley, The Lady of Shalott, 1858

——— Loreena McKennitt:

The Lady of Shalott

from: The Visit, 1991.
Lyrics by Alfred Lord Tennyson adapted by Loreena McKennitt, music by Loreena McKennit:

William Holman Hunt, The Lady of Shalott, 1905On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro‘ the field the road run by
               To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
               The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes disk and shiver
Thro‘ the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
               Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
               The Lady of Shalott.

Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the beared barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
               Down to tower’d Camelot;
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listing, whispers „‚tis the fairy
               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 hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
               Winding down to Camelot;
And sometimes thro‘ 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 thro‘ the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and with lights
               And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
„I am, half sick of shadow,“ she said,
               The Lady of Shalott.

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro‘ the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves,
               Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel’d
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
               Beside remote Shalott.

William Edward Frank Britten, The Lady of Shalott, 1901His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;
On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow’d
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
               As he rode down to Camelot.
And from the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
„Tirra lirra,“ by the river
               Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro‘ the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
          She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
„The curse is come upon me,“ cried
          The Lady of Shalott.

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.
Heavily the low sky raining
          Over tower’d Camelot;
Down she cam and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round the prow she wrote
          The Lady of Shalott.

Down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance —
With a glassy countenance
          She looked to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and shown she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
          The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted slowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
          Turn’d to tower’d Camelot.
For ere she reach’d upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
          The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
               Silent into Camelot.
And out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and Burgher, Lord and Dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
               The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
They crossed themselves for fear,
               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.

                         But who hath seen her wave her hand?
                         Or at the casement seen her stand?
                         Or is she known in all the land,
                         The Lady of Shalott?

Ladies of Shalott: 2 webende, 2 schippernde, 2 Querformate, 2 Hochformate, 4 von Malern namens William = 4 Bilder, die 4 deutschen Übersetzungen des 19. Jahrhunderts entsprechen:

  1. John William Waterhouse: The Lady of Shalott, 1888;
  2. William Maw Egley: The Lady of Shalott, 1858;
  3. William Holman Hunt: The Lady of Shalott, 1905;
  4. William Edward Frank Britten: The Early Poems of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Edited with a Critical Introduction, Commentaries and Notes, together with the Various Readings, a Transcript of the Poems Temporarily and Finally Suppressed and a Bibliography by John Churton Collins. With ten illustrations in Photogravure by W. E. F. Britten. Methuen & Co. 36 Essex Street W. C. London, 1901,

alle via Jones’s Celtic Enyclopedia: Elaine of Astolat/The Lady of Shalott.

Bonus Track: Teilrezitation des Revolving Doors Theatre als Trailer für Pelleas & The Lady of Shalott in den Arthurian plays im Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell, London, 20. November bis 8. Dezember 2007:

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Written by Wolf

1. April 2017 um 00:01

Veröffentlicht in Romantik, Vier letzte Dinge: Tod

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