Judy Malloy: score for "Gone with Our Wanderers"
Authoring System: Judy Malloy: fiddlers_passage
part VI of From Ireland with Letters

Send our thoughts......
(followed the stranger
gone with our wanderers)

........................................ the sound that indicated
........................................ the email had left his computer.

The woods were dark.
The moon was visible over the hillsides.
(At the rising of the moon)

"...Back home, I threw the manuscript on the table with an almost violent gesture, and remained standing before it. In falling, it had opened itself; without my realizing it, my eyes clung to the open page and to one special line:"

'Va, pensiero, sull' al' dorate'"

Giuseppe Verdi, An Autobiographical Sketch


"Va', pensiero, sull'ali dorate;
Va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli,
ove olezzano tepide e molli
l'aure dolci del suolo natal"

"Send our thoughts,
send them on golden wings"


He was working on
a translation
of the opening lines
of the legendary chorus
from Verdi's Nabucco:
"Va Pensiero"

"Send our thoughts......"
("followed the stranger,
gone with our wanderers"

(The woods were dark.
The moon was visible over the hillsides.
"At the rising of the moon,
at the rising of the moon"
He did not speak Italian.

In the coffee house,
where Liam
was writing in his notebook,
it was quiet.
Friday afternoon.


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In his mind, he sat
with Giovanni
at his workbench
on the day that
the laundress Marina
walked by.


He had followed Giovanni
on an incognito visit
to Giuseppe Verdi,
where representing himself
as one of his own assistants,
the sculptor handed the composer
an invitation to visit his studio.

"I had already intended to do so",
Verdi replied.

More than once
he had written the name
of the 19th Century Italian sculptor
Giovanni Duprè in his notebook.
"Giovanni Duprè".



(carries into next measure)
Giovanni's miraculous sight of Marina
in the Church of the Santi Apostoli
on the second festa of Easter.
His veiled introduction
to Giuseppe Verdi.

("All the time he remained in Florence,
we saw each other every day."


"....you can have that satisfaction at once,
for I am he."

"Send our thoughts, send them on golden wings.
Go in peace to the hills to the mountains"

("...gone with our wanderers
through distance and danger")


...where gentle, fragrant and soft
are the sweet breezes of our homeland"


↑(8) continuo_harp_fiddle5.html=24
(The woods were dark. The moon was visible over the hillsides. The lyricist for Verdi's Nabucco was composer and poet Temistocle Solera, whose father, a member of the Carbonari, was incarcerated in the notorious Spilburk prison.

(...to the mountains,
go where gentle....."

Thoughts on art and autobiographical memoirs of Giovanni Duprè, lay on the desk in his office.

Probably the finely painted
19th century fore-edge pattern
had been there since the sculptor saw it
on the day of its publication.


In his mind, he was sitting
beside Giovanni Duprè
in a workshop in Florence,
waiting for Marina
to pass by his window again.

"Giovanni Duprè," he said out loud.
Some Irish people summon poets
in that way
or so his father had once told him.
"In our family," his father had said ominously.
They were sitting in the pub
that his mother's family ran.
Drinking free beer.
Liam looked around the cafe
to make sure that no one had heard him utter
the name of an Italian sculptor out loud.
"Giovanni Dupre"


In the mountain range that straddles County Galway and County Clare a 10th century harper saved his own life by calling the ghost of his former master. the legendery poet Flann MacLonan.

("Flann MacLonan,
the chief poet of Connacht
sung this poem."

As if they were in the cafe Doney
in Florence, in 1842.
"What is the news from Milan?"
he wanted to ask Giovanni.
"What happened at La Scala
when the Chorus of Hebrew slaves
began to sing 'Va Pensiero'"?

Some say that the singers in the chorus confronted the Imperial guards, and the audience joined them. Some say it was the workmen during rehearsals who began the applause for "Va, pensiero". Some say that the audience rose to their feet shouting "Viva Italia." Others say that it wasn't until later that "Va Pensiero" became the anthem of the Risorgimento.


"No pipe did hum,
no battle drum
Did sound its loud tattoo
But the Angelus' bells
o'er the Liffey swells
Rang out in the foggy dew."

"Giovanni Duprè",
He whispered the name.
But there was no response.

"...like streams in the desert,
sweet songs of our land"

("...where the gathering is to be")

"Va', pensiero, sull'ali dorate;
Va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli,
ove olezzano tepide e molli
l'aure dolci del suolo natal"

("Proudly the note
of the trumpet is sounding"

Like the texts in faded samplers
on the walls of
old New Hampshire homes,
phrases in the table of contents to
Thoughts on art and
autobiographical memoirs
of Giovanni Dupre

occured and reoccured in his memory.


He wondered which would be worse
to tell his Department Chair that he was considering
dating an Irish musician
or to tell his mother
that he was not going to come home
and meet Margaret.



He imagined that late at night
someone would enter his office
to dust his desk,
and somehow they would track
how many times
he had googled her name:
Máire Powers.
He could not remember
how to clear his cache.

"Return to the house of my betrothed,
and put an end to my thoughtless ways"

"He who does not wish to read these pages
knows what he has to do"

"How I went to prison,
and how I passed my time there."

"Shirts with plaited wrist-bands"

"The first love-kiss,
and a little bunch of lemon-verbena"

"My marriage"

"My wife has doubts
as to my resolution of studying sculpture
I begin to work on marble"

He should not have been so surprised that his translation of "Va Pensiero" sounded like 19th century poet Frances Browne's "Songs of Our Land". He already knew that "Songs of Our Land" had been published in the Irish Penny Journal in 1841.

He was tired of the hints
about it being time he got married
which the Chair had begun to drop.

He was aware that
the University did not
tolerate single men for long.
He also knew perfectly well
that Máire Powers was not
the kind of woman
whom the Chair had in mind.

(The woods were dark.
The moon was visible over the hillsides.)
He was not sure,
how long a copy of Songs of Our Land.
had been in his family.
It was a very old book.

(And visions that passed
like a wave from the sand)

In midnight travels through the Internet,
he had found photos
of Máire Powers
sitting beside
a guitarist named Donal.

"Margaret is a very good cook."
His mother had been callng too often
about the envirnmental activist,
whose father frequented the family pub.

Donal was tall and husky
with black hair and blue eyes.
There was probably no way
to avoid meetng Margaret.

He imagined her with Donal,
while he and Máire spent the night
in an Inn in Vermont
on their way
to the birthplace of Hiram Powers.

"Songs of our land,
ye have followed the stranger,
....Ye have gone with our wanderers
through distance and danger"


It was a day trip he reminded himself.

Eventually, however,
he would need to go to Cincinnati
to find the cabin
where 14 year old Hiram Powers
had moved when his family
lost their farm in Vermont.

In the drawing, the cabin,
was a lonely structure
on a bleak hilltop.


In the garden of the villa,
there were orange and lemon trees,
green bushes, vines, shade trees,
peach trees and plum trees.


As the afternoon
slowly turned to early evening,
the main subject
of Liam's research

"Hiram Powers",
he said outloud
with relief. "Hiram Powers".

It was quiet in the cafe
where he was sitting.
But in his imagination,
it was not the silence
of a forgotten cabin in Ohio
that he heard.

As if in 19th century Florence,
Liam thought he heard music,
the sound of the Powers family
playing together somewhere else
in the Villa
on the Via della Fornace.

Louisa, Anna, Preston
and later Florence, Frances,
Edward, and Ellen
They played the cello
the piano, and the violin.
It was a place of
the sound of the making of sculpture,
where the children played music
and had learned to speak Italian.


The book was published in London
in 1937, the year
that Hiram and his family
arrived in Le Havre
on November 4.

Hiram Powers was by himself
in a room of the villa
on Via Fornace.

He had taken a small volume
down from his bookcase
and was rereading the words
in Moses Roper's narrative
of his escape from slavery.


The words he had translated
from "Va Pensiero"
were echoing in Liam's mind.

"Golden harp now silent on the willow tree
voice of our fateful ancestors
return our memories of homeland
And speak of long ago times"

Untold stories of voyages
seldom materialized.
It had been that way
since childhood
when Liam's his family was silent
about the voyage to America
of his ancestors
at the time of The Great Famine.
If they knew the names
of those who did not survive
they would not speak.

Moses Roper arrived in England
in November, 1835, where,
a few years after
The Slavery Abolition Act 1833,
he was a free man.

"'The Land of the Free'
still contains the mother,
the brothers, and the sister of Moses Roper,
not enjoying liberty,
not the possessors of like feelings with me,
not having even a distant glimpse
of advancing towards freedom,
but still slaves!..."


"And they shall gather safe around the green laurel tree."

("Send our thoughts,
send them on golden wings.
Go in peace
to the hills to the mountains""



A group of colleagues from another Department
walked into the cafe.
talking together, passionately.
Unseen, Liam shifted the scene
in his imagination.
Powers was in his studio
on the Via della Fornace,
(which is now the Via Serragli)
about two miles
from Giovanni Duprè's studio
on the street which is now
the Via Giovanni Duprè.



Powers was in his studio
sitting next to the
partially carved marble statue
of The Greek Slave.
He was telling the Italian sculptors
who worked with him
the story of his journey
into the Seravezza marble quarries,
in the Apuan Alps
at an altitude of about 6,000 feet
how the wind currents were so strong
that he had to hold onto his hat.

It was an "immense cavern"
with walls of marble,
extending hundreds of feet into the mountain
He gestured with
his large sculptor's hands
to show the extent of the marble.

In the studio with him
as the afternoon sun turned to evening
were master carver Angelo Ambuchi,
master carver Remigio Peschi,
drapery specialist Franzoni,
whose family were Carrara sculptors,
drapery specialist Odoardo Fantacchioti,
and blockers out of works Berlindo Trentanove
and Leopoldo "Poldo" Fabbri.

"It is a pretty place to live,"
Powers wrote to his brother.
The place he described
was a reached by a gravel walkway
from the street
that led through a garden.

In the garden of the villa,
there were orange and lemon trees
large trees, green bushes, vines,
peach trees and plum trees."

Master carver Remigio Peschi,
had opened a bottle of wine
and they sat around the studio
exchanging stories.

Outside the coffee house in New Hampshire, where Liam O'Brien had spent the afternoon, the sun was setting on distant hills.
(The woods were dark.
The moon was visible over the hillsides.
"At the rising of the moon,
at the rising of the moon")

Remigio began to retell
the story of what happened
when Verdi's Nabucco premiered.
In occupied Italy,
the Italian sculptors
knew the words,

"return our memories of homeland
And speak of long ago times"

There was a terrace
on top of the house where
"we go to see the sunset
and beautiful it is at this season
as it sinks behind the distant Apennines."

Outside the coffee house in New Hampshire, where Liam O'Brien had spent the afternoon, the sun was setting on distant hills. He packed his notebook and pen into his backpack. His laptop computer still remained on the coffee house table. open to his email in case there was a student who wanted to email him. Their final papers were due soon and he was sympathetic. This had never been an easy time for him, either as a graduate or an undergraduate.



He pulled his laptop towards him,
opened a new email and begin to write.

On the keys of an old laptop,
the one he took with him, wherever he went,
he composed an email to Maire Powers.



He heard the sound
that indicated the email
had left his computer.
Then he closed his laptop
and headed home.
Before he could decide to spend several hours
editing this three sentence email
or perhaps not to send it at all
or whether or not he should pay for her lunch
or preceisely where they would meet,
his laptop which sometimes had a mind of its own,
sent the email.