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John Atkinson Grimshaw - Spirit of the Night

All the Green Maidens were born at the same time. Before becoming Nymphs, Dialen, Dives, Field Faeries, Junones, Sylviae, Fentha, Wilden Fraulein or Artemis, the woodland Faeries and the Loving Greens were born from the same embryo of vegetable flesh still covered in sap and pollen, brought to life by the breath of dawn. They emerge from flowers and moss, they slide from leaves, they escape from ferns, and they germinate after the explosion of wild corollas; they gather together from every corner of the forest, touching each other, choosing and knowing one other. Colors, preferences and particular characteristics would be separated later. The Green Ladies with bodies of leaves and ivy rule over the sylvan luxuriance.

In the elfin era they lived the life of Elemental Beings, of Spirits of the For­est. They worshipped the ancient moth­ers, and if they were made to cry they hid under the leafy skirts of the White Mothers, the Old Mother of the Elder Tree and Mama Padurii. They became Elves in the time of Merlin, and Faeries in the time of Oberon. They grew taller in the Middle Ages, less wild, and less innocent too. The mortal heroes, pal­adins, princes, knights and youths who traveled through the forest in search of adventure would often meet them and fall madly in love.

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