Sir George Clausen RA ( 1852 – 1944) English Artist
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
William Butler Yeats
In his notes for the poem, Yeats wrote, 'An old man who was cutting a quickset hedge near Gort, in Galway, said only the other day: " One time I was cutting timber over in Inchy; at about eight o'clock one morning, when I got there, I saw a girl picking nuts, with her hair hanging down over her shoulders; brown hair; and she had a good clean face, and she was tall, and nothing on her head, and her dress was simple. And when she felt me coming up, she gathered herself up, and she was gone, as if the earth had swallowed her up. And I followed her and looked for her, but I never could see her again, from that day to this, never again."