El Greco Paints the Cape

WHO paints Toledo under a sullen sulphurous storm-black sky,
Spire and arch and pediment suffused with nacreous steely light,
Could well paint Marblehead, the end of summer singing under storm,
The lowered grape-dark sky, the gulls, the clapboard houses screaming white.
Even the long, the storm-blown waves are as the hands the artist paints,
Laid with a subtle violence upon the shore, the fractured rock:
Not yet the rain, but in the white, white, whitecaps imminent,
And (as in the painting) the cryptic landscape resolute for shock.
And presuppose the dark gaunt pine for olive and darker cypress trees,
The ominous moment for ominous moment the rain will spill:
White faces and white houses against the ink-washed sky, the iron swell,
And ready for the signature: El Greco’s brush is on them still.