Come Unto These Yellow Sands

August 14, 2013


I love this entry from Stephen Banks for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013. It’s called Archway to Heaven and shows the band of the Milky Way descending to the arch of Durdle Door, on the Dorset coast. On first seeing it I was immediately reminded of Richard Dadd’s painting of a band of ‘sweet sprites’ descending from a rocky arch onto a beach. Depicting an episode from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, it’s called Come Unto These Yellow Sands. Let us hear ‘the wireless harps of sweet old Aerial’ (FW 449.29-30):


Come unto these yellow sands,

And then take hands:

Courtsied when you have, and kiss’d,

The wild waves whist,

Foot it featly here and there;

And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear.




%d bloggers like this: