MY RECOLLECTIONS OF MADAME PATTI by ETHEL ROSATE-LUNN* THE NIGHTINGALE OF TAWE Lovely as that valley deep in the heart of Wales Where Craig-y-nos so proudly stands weathered by the gales, Beautiful as sunshine on Tawe's vale unfurled, A nightingale once sang a song that rang across the world. Sweet as golden sunbeams that swirl on summer morn With the soft white mist that rises o'er Tawe's vale at dawn, Bewitching as the tapistry the ash grove weaves in June When silver beams are falling from rising summer moon. Softer than the sigh of grasses playing with the breeze, Louder than the storm that tears among the leafless trees, Across the world it sounded, may it echo loud and long, The peerless voice of Patti, beloved Queen of Song. In love and reverence I offer this poem, and the one at the end of this article, to the memory of Adelina Juana Maria Patti, Baroness Cederstrom, the great prima donna of Victorian and Edwardian days who had retired when George V reigned. She was born in Madrid in 1843 of Italian parents, both singers lived for years in America, where her parents had emigrated when she was little more than a baby and where she herself made her first appearance as a singer, but it was at Craig-y-nos Castle in the Swansea Valley that she found her 'Home Sweet Home' and here she lived for more than thirty years of her life. It was at Craig-y-nos Castle that she died on 26 September 1919 in her 76th year. She was buried in the cemetery of Pere Lachaise in Paris. I saw Craig-y-nos Castle for the first time on a cold, windy day of March 1909. I had travelled from my home in Staffordshire, arriving in the early evening at Pen-wyllt, the station for Craig-y-nos. Fred Rivers, the coachman from the castle, met me. He picked up my luggage Ethel Rosate-Lunn, sometimes known as the 'Poetess of the Tawe', was a member of Madame Patti's household for five years at Craig-y-nos Castle.