Let it never be forgot,
that once there was a spot,
for one brief, shining moment
that was known as Camelot.
― Camelot, by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.
The castle-city of Camelot, capital of Britain and headquarters of Arthur the warrior-king, was built by a faery king and faery queens. Harps in hand, they created the city to the sound of music and their harps may still be heard sometimes between the shadows of one day and the next.
The city stands on a forest-girt hill arising out of a great plain. It is a short distance from the highway and river leading to the Isle of Shalott. The riverbanks are lined with willows and aspens that toss and quiver in the breeze, and on each side the fields of rye and barley stretch away to the horizon.
The traveller to Camelot sees the spires and turrets, towers and battlements, rooftops and gonfalons of the city like a misty mirage between the green haze of the forest and the arching sky. At dusk of evening and in morning mists, the castle-city fades and hovers as though to deceive the eye: at night the towering silhouette glimmers with lantern-gleams through windows and arrow-slits; in the great golden light of noon the terraced buildings shimmer in the heat and the huge gate gleams golden in the sun. When storms blunder across the plain, the city vanishes within a thundercloud or hides behind grey curtains of rain. In Autumn, it stands above a golden ring of fading forest: in Winter, the white towers and snow-clad roofs can hardly be seen against the silvered plain. These endless changes, flowing one into another, make some wanderers fear that Camelot is an enchanter’s city, and turn aside.
― Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were, by Michael Page.
Artwork: Camelot, by Ruth Sanderson.