and wash by the river green pastures.
-Ah, my morning girl says wedded she’ll be
to a wind like brave youth gusting in
from away out over the sea.
-Ah, feel the wind that gallant and brave is blowing.
-In his arms dawn died on an evening of love
and the pollarded oaks her sextons were.
I’ve been playing about with this poem again. This is only the first section and the painting is, I suppose, a kind of illustration of how I see it, although I have not done it justice.
And I am including below a passage from Edward Thomas, “The Heart of England”, in which he talks about Apollo descending upon the woodland. Perhaps it has no more relation to Iglesias Alvariño but the peculiar connection I make in my fancy, but Ifind the comparison suggestive and offer it to you.
The woods became more dense as we walked ; not far ahead the oaks closed in and expounded the contours of the land by their summits. But our path led away from them, and we were about to lose sight of them when, gently as the alighting of a bird, the sunlight dropped among the tops of the oaks, which were yellow and purple with young leaves, and blessed them. We turned. There was the sun held fast among the fresh leaves and green trunks, as if Apollo had changed into a woodland god, and forsaken the long lonely ways of heaven, and resolved no more to spend a half of his days in the under world. How the nymphs clapped their hands at this advent, abandoning Pan, and bringing to the new lord all choicest herbs and highest fair grasses and golden flowers that should make him content to be away from the clouds of sunset and dawn, and blue flowers on which his feet should tread without envy of the infinite paths of the sky, and white flowers that should suffice for his shepherding in place of the flocks of the high desolate noon ! How they drove up grey dove and green woodpecker to shake their wings and shine about the new god’s head as they flew among the branches! How Pan himself, that does not heed dark hours, crept away from his light-hearted nymphs and hid in the sombre reeds! ” Ever-young Apollo ! Eternal Apollo! Young Apollo ! ” were the cries. ” Why have we ever served a goat-foot god?” And so they made haste to serve him with the clearest honey of the wild bees, the cream from the farm that was most clean, the fruits that yet preserved flavours of a past summer and autumn in the granary close by, and fresh cresses from the spring ; nor would some of the little satyrs forget the golden ale and amber bread and cheese of the colour of primroses; and all seemed assured that never again would Apollo forsake the red and yellow leaves of the full oaks or the mid-forest grasses or the lilied pools standing among willow and alder and ash. And we saw that the light was passing in triumph slowly, and accompanied by the cooing of doves, along the wood from oak top to oak top.