Hills of May

Hills of May2017-03-09T20:46:20+00:00

Project Description

Soprano and String Quartet
1978, rev. 2005
7 min.

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1978 – revised 2005

Program Note

In his poetry, and much of his other writing, the English poet Robert Graves was seeking the White Goddess – his visualization of the Creative Feminine. In “The Hills of May” she is personified as a beautiful earth goddess, and the poet as the wind, her companion and lover, strolling and dancing together in the green hills. Innocence fails and disappears from our world; the beautiful young embodiment of life force disappears as whimsically as she came, leaving the poet with the ache of loss.

The musical setting is as whimsical as the poem, paralleling the variability of mood and flow of the strolling goddess of spring.

Program Note by David Maslanka


Walking with a virgin heart
the green hills of May.
Me, the wind she took as lover
by her side to play.

Let me toss her untied hair.
Let me shake her gown.
Careless though the daises redden,
though the sun frown.

Scorning in her gay habit
leser love than this, my
cool spiritual embracing
my secret kiss.

She walked the proud lady,
so danced, or ran,
so she loved with a whole heart,
neglecting man.

Fade, fail, innocent stars
on the green of May.
She has left our bournes forever
too fine to stay.

Further Reading