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Silence builds an awful wreckage of a girl
It feeds on loneliness and creates a void
Gray shadows haunt and torment and torture
A teenager is stricken and destroyed

There is no sound of laughter or happiness here
The little one has thrown in the towel today
Somber, melancholy moods decay the soul
It is futile to hope and dream and pray

Emptiness builds a home in this woman
In this girl, this child where hollows have bred
A deepening sea of nowhereness consumes
And eats away at every connecting thread

Confusion feeds like a savage inside her,
Leaving nothing considered worthy remains
Destined to walk through life less ordinary
Alone, exiled, different and disdained.

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On my Grandmother’s side of the family I am related to the Macleod’s of Scotland. I have spent a lot of time researching the history of my family and came across this fairy love story. My Grandmother told me the story a while ago and to find it online is unreal. I also discovered that the story has been mentioned in several books on fairy lore. Here it is. If you like it then you can find out more by going to Dunvegan Castle’s website.

Article by Jeff Ramsden (MacLeoid)

Many, many years ago, the Chief of Clan MacLeod was a handsome,
intelligent man, and all the young ladies in the area were very attracted to him, but none suited his fancy. One day, he met a fairy princess, a bean sidhe, one of the Shining Folk. Like all the other females he met, she fell madly in love with him, and he with her as well. When the princess appealed to the King of the Fairies, for permission to marry the handsome Chief, he refused, saying that it would only break her heart, as humans soon age and die, and the Shining Folk live forever. She cried and wept so bitterly that even the great King relented, and agreed that she and the Chief could be hand-fasted for a year and a day. But, at the end of that time, she must return to the land of Faerie and leave behind everything from the human world. She agreed, and soon she and the young MacLeod were married with great ceremony.

No happier time ever existed before or since for the Clan MacLeod, for the Chief and Lady MacLeod were enraptured of each other totally. As you might expect, soon a strapping and handsome son was born to the happy couple, and the rejoicing and celebration by the Clan went on for days. However, the days soon passed and a year and a day were gone in a heartbeat. The King led the Faerie Raide down from the clouds to the end of the great causeway of Dunvegan Castle, and there they waited in all their glamourie and finery for the Lady MacLeod to keep her promise.

Lady MacLeod knew that she had no choice, so she held her son to her, hugged him tightly, and at last, ran from the castle tower to join the Faerie Raide, and returned with them to the land of Faerie. Before she left, however, she made her husband promise that her child would never be left alone, and never be allowed to cry, for she could not bear the sound of her son’s cries. The Chief was broken-hearted with the loss of his wife, but he knew, as did she, that the day would come when she would return. He kept his promise, and never was the young MacLeod allowed to cry and never was he left unattended. However, the Laird of MacLeod remained depressed, and grieved for the loss of his lady.

The folk of the clan decided that something must be done, and on his birthday, a great feast was proclaimed with revelry and dancing until dawn. The Laird had always been a grand dancer, and at long last he agreed to dance to the pipers’ tunes. So great was the celebration that the young maid assigned to watch the infant Laird left his nursery and crept to the top of the stairs to watch the folk dancing in all their finery and to listen to the wonderful music. So enraptured was she that she did not hear the young Laird awaken and begin to cry. So pitiful was his crying that it was heard all the way in the Land of Faerie, and when his mother heard it, she immediately appeared at his crib, took him in her arms, and comforted him, drying his tears and wrapping him in her fairy shawl. She whispered magic words in his ears, laid her now-sleeping son in his crib, kissed him once more on the forehead, and was gone.

Years later when the young lad grew older, he told his father of his mother’s late-night visit, and that her shawl was a magic talisman. It was to be kept in a safe place, and if anyone not of the Clan MacLeod touched it, they would vanish in a puff of smoke. If ever the Clan MacLeod faced mortal danger, the Fairy Flag was to be waved three times, and the hosts of Faerie, the Knights of the Faerie Raide, would ride to the defense of the Clan MacLeod. There were to be three such blessings, and only in the most dire consequences should the Faerie magic be used. The Chief placed the Fairy Flag in a special locked box, and it was carried with the Chief wherever he went.

Hundreds of years later, the fierce Clan Donald of the Lord of the Isles had besieged the MacLeods in battle, and the MacLeods were outnumbered three to one. Just before the Donalds’ last charge, the Chief opened the box, and placing the fairy flag on a pole, waved it once, twice, and three times. As the third wave was completed, the Fairy magic caused the MacLeods to appear to be ten times their number! Thinking that the MacLeods had been reinforced, the Donalds turned and ran, never to threaten the MacLeods to this very day.

On another occasion, a terrible plague had killed nearly all the MacLeod’s cattle, and the Chief faced the prospect of a winter of starvation for all his people. Having no alternative, he went to the tallest tower of Dunvegan Castle, attached the Fairy Flag to a pole, and waved it once, twice, three times. The Hosts of Faerie rode down from the clouds, swords drawn, and rode like the wind over the dead and dying cattle. They touched each cow with their swords, and where there once had been dead and dying cows, now stood huge, healthy, and well-fattened cattle, more than enough to feed the Clan for the winter to come.

There remains one more waving of the Fairy Flag, and the Flag is on display at Dunvegan Castle, there awaiting the next threat to the Clan MacLeod.

It is said during World War II that young men from the Clan MacLeod carried pictures of the Flag in their wallets while flying in the Battle of Britain, and not one of them was lost to the German flyers. In fact, the Chief of Clan MacLeod had agreed to bring the Fairy Flag to England and wave it from the Cliffs of Dover should the Germans attempt to invade Great Britain.

Here is a further explanation for the last part of that poem. First of all, we should all strive to love everyone however not everyone else will show love towards you. When you encounter a hater, don’t hate them back, simply ignore them. Its there job to hate you because you have something that they want. They will hate you until they become more secure with themselves or find someone else they hate even more. So yes, try to love everyone but avoid people who are full of negativity and want to bring you down. Those types of people will treat you horribly and then say statements like “arn’t you supposed to love everyone no matter what?”. That is part of their messed up mind games so they can have another chance to show their hate towards you again. Life is too short.

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On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road run 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 quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through 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.

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?

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
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;
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 long-hair’d page in crimson clad
Goes by to tower’d Camelot;
And sometimes through 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 through 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.

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.

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 armor rung
Beside remote 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, burning bright,
Moves over still Shalott.

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 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 through 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 came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer 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.

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.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
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.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and Burgher, Lord and Dame,
And around 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;
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.”

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