Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Looking into Mirrors can get you into deep Trouble, or Friko's Version of the Lady of Shalott

Once upon a time,
When the world was full of knights and princes 
And ladies living in ivory towers,
One such lady’s tower stood all alone
On an island in the river.

Poets and painters knew of this island
Since time immemorial,
Or at least since the first of them told the story
Of the lady in her tower;
And they all rushed to re-tell it in their own way,
Because it was so very sad.
As well as salutary.

But I digress.

Being all alone - servants didn’t count in those days -,
The lady sat at her loom, 
Weaving by day and by night.
She wove a wondrous web of many colours, 
And while she wove she sang,
But no one heard her – servants not counting, of course.

It so happened
That one of the contractual conditions 
On the tower’s lease was
That the lady must not look upon 
The beautiful landscape surrounding 
The island in the river

When she ran out of subjects for her web
She installed a mirror,
In which were reflected 
Shadows of all the world surrounding her,
Rivers and fields and woods, hills and dales,
Highways and byways,
Girls and boys, men and women,
It kept her busy for a long time.

It couldn’t last, idylls never do.

One day a handsome, 
Nay, gloriously beautiful knight,
A veritable hunk,
Rode by on the riverbank,
Singing lustily,
Tirra lirra, he sang.
His song rang over hill and dale,
And reached the lady in her tower.

Overcome by the strains wafting across the river
The lady forgot the rules,
Rushed to the window.
Smitten at first glance, her senses awakened,
Her desire stirred, she leaned over,
Stretching out her arms in eager anticipation.

O, woe, o woe,
She had broken the terms of her lease,
Mirror and idyll  shattered into a thousand pieces.

The Mirror cracked from side to side;
"The Curse is come upon me", cried
The Lady of Shallots.

The handsome, nay, gloriously beautiful knight,
Who was, in fact, none other than Sir Chancealot,
Heard the commotion above him.
Just then, as he looked up, the lady, 
Having overreached herself, 
Came flying out.
Gallantly, he spread his arms wide to catch her.

The Lady breathed at him in ecstasy.
“Mine, all mine”, she cried, kissing him deeply.

Came the reply of Chancealot's:

“I’ll gladly save your life my dear,
But marry you, I won’t, I fear.

There would be no tiny tots,
‘cause I’d never get the hots,
I’d be put off by the odour of shallots",


  1. the end...the reflection does look like a landscape doesnt it..a joy to read your magpie!

  2. Something like Orpheus and Eurydice? Don't turn around to gaze at your love? The ending brings us down from fantasy to tomfoolery.

  3. Ha! An abrupt and unpoetic ending to a lovely tale. Well told, Friko.

  4. A beautiful fantasy.The ending was different and added a new reflection to your poem

  5. Already after two in the morning over here, glad to have remained awake, to enjoy this fairy-tale, or was it about nowadays life ... great, great, great.

    Please have a good Thursday.

    daily athens

  6. Her breath was quite fearful
    'E must 'ave 'ad a sneerful.


  7. Hilarious! Oh, well done, Friko!

  8. a lovely, very funny, entertaining tale. You do have a gift :)

  9. You never waste my time
    and I do take my time over your productions,
    Dear Friko.

    You have so much patina

    Aloha from Hawaii

    Comfort Spiral


  10. Beautiful calling tale... to the sins of breaking the lease lest one might fall from the tower...

    Love the ending. Humorous take.

  11. Another treat Friko - lovely ending

  12. I do enjoy your magpie tales; this is another wonderful one!

  13. Very amusing finale. Do you REALLY need the lines preceding "But I digress"?

  14. Let's hope another hunk came along who not only knew his onions, but like them, too! LOL :)

  15. Ha ha. Loved that. Now I'll never think of the Lady of Shalott as anything other than some kind of woman on a market stall.

  16. Entertaining and with a twist....keep 'em coming !

  17. What a delightful Friko fairy tale. These really need to be in a book.

  18. Your creative juices done good.

  19. OK - that has got to be one of your best. I'm still smiling. Many thanks!

  20. Problem solved in just two squints!
    She's never heard of Polo Mints ?

    Loved it Friko, brilliant!!

  21. "A veritable hunk" made me smile, but the ending brought a mirror-cracking grin to my face. Brava!

  22. I liked this tale. Nice, very nice.

  23. Thank you for my morning smile!

  24. A great take on the story. I really enjoyed it :)

  25. Hi,
    Please visit my blog and pick up your Prolific Blogger Award.

    Posted Wednesday.


  26. Oh god, oh god, it's all I could do not to race to the end to see how the knife was going to go in. A poor metaphor, I'm sorry, and certainly not worthy of this delightful piece.

    Had you not told me a while back to stop making such flattering comments, I would have gone on and on about how good this is, how clever you are, and how much I enjoyed it. But being sensitive to your potential embarrassment, I'll say nothing more.

  27. Yet another princess undone by poor eating habits. I hope one day to see a copy of Friko's Fairy Tales in some tiny book shop in some strange land.

  28. Love it!
    Which part of your heritage, inherited or adopted, prompts that sort of thing? The idea seems more British, but then the zinger at the end is very German!

  29. How well you set up the reader, only to undermine expectations! Beyond the ultimate thwack at the ending, I enjoyed, for example, the aside, "Being all alone - servants didn’t count in those days."


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