Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Aliud miraculum est, id est Oper Linn Liguan. Ostium fluminis illius fluit in Sabrina et quando Sabrina inundatur ad sissam, et mare inundatur similiter in ostio supra dicti fluminis et in stagno ostii recipitur in modum voraginis et mare non vadit sursum et est litus juxta flumen et quamdiu Sabrina inundatur ad sissam, istud litus non tegitur et quando recedit mare et Sabrina, tunc Stagnum Liuan eructat omne quod devoravit de mari et litus istud tegitur et instar montis in una unda eructat et rumpit. Et si fuerit exercitus totius regionis, in qua est, et direxerit faciem contra undam, et exercitum trahit unda per vim humore repletis vestibus et equi similiter trahuntur. Si autem exercitus terga versus fuerit contra eam, non nocet ei unda.

• There is another wonder, to wit Aber Lyn Liwan. The water from the mouth of that river flows into the Severn, and when the Severn is in flood up to its banks, and when the sea is also in flood at the mouth of the above-named river and is sucked in like a whirlpool into the pool of the Aber, the sea does not go on rising : it leaves a margin of beach by the side of the river, and all the time the Severn is in flood up to its bank, that beach is not covered. And when the sea and the Severn ebb, then ILyn Liwan brings up all it had swallowed from the sea, and that beach is covered while Lyn Liwan discharges its contents in one mountain-like wave and vomits forth. Now if the army of the whole district in which this wonder is, were to be present with the men facing the wave, the force of it would, once their clothes are drenched by the spray, draw them in, and their horses would likewise be drawn. But if the men should have their backs turned towards the water, the wave would not harm them ?'

"I do not know whether anybody has identified the spot which the writer had in view, or whether the coast of the Severn still offers any feature which corresponds in any way to the description.

I may

One story about the formation of Bala Lake, or Lyn Tegid as it is called in Welsh, has been given at p. 376: here is another which I translate from a version in Hugh Humphreys' Lyfr Gwybodaeth Gyffredinol (Carnarvon), second series, vol. i, no. 2, p. I. premise that the contributor, whose name is not given, betrays a sort of literary ambition which has led him to relate the story in a confused fashion; and among other things he uses the word edifeirwch, 'repentance, throughout, instead of dial, vengeance. With that correction it runs somewhat as follows:- Tradition relates that Bala Lake is but the watery tomb of the palaces of iniquity; and that some old boatmen can on quiet moonlight nights in harvest see towers in ruins at the bottom of its waters, and also hear at times a feeble voice saying, Dial a đaw, dial a đaw, Vengeance will come'; and another voice inquiring, Pa bryd y daw, When will it come?' Then the first voice answers, Yn y drydeđ genhedlaeth, In the third generation.' Those voices were but a recollection over oblivion, for in one of those palaces lived in days of yore an oppressive and cruel prince, corresponding to the well-known description of one of whom it is said, Whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive.' The oppression and cruelty practised by him on the poor farmers were notorious far and near. This prince, while enjoying the morning breezes of summer in his garden, used frequently to hear a voice saying, “Vengeance will come.' But he always laughed the threat away with reckless contempt. One night a poor harper

Supposed to be so called after a certain Tegid Foel, or “Tegid the Bald,' of Penttyn: the name Tegid is the phonetic spelling of what might be expected in writing as Teg yd—it is the Latin Tacitus borrowed, and comes with other Latin names in Pedigree I. of the Cuneđa dynasty; see the Cymmrodor, xi. 170. In point of spelling one may compare Idris for what might be expected written Idrys, of the same pronunciation, for an earlier Iudrys or luđris.

from the neighbouring hills was ordered to come to the prince's palace. On his way the harper was told that there was great rejoicing at the palace at the birth of the first child of the prince's son. When he had reached the palace the harper was astonished at the number of the guests, including among them noble lords, princes, and princesses: never before had he seen such splendour at any feast. When he had begun playing the gentlemen and ladies dancing presented a superb appearance. So the mirth and wine abounded, nor did he love playing for them any more than they loved dancing to the music of his harp. But about midnight, when there was an interval in the dancing, and the old harper had been left alone in a corner, he suddenly heard a voice singing in a sort of a whisper in his ear, ‘Vengeance, vengeance!' He turned at once, and saw a little bird hovering above him and beckoning him, as it were, to follow him. He followed the bird as fast as he could, but after getting outside the palace he began to hesitate. But the bird continued to invite him on, and to sing in a plaintive and mournful voice the word `Vengeance, vengeance!' The old harper was afraid of refusing to follow, and so they went on over bogs and through thickets, whilst the bird was all the time hovering in front of him and leading him along the easiest and safest paths. But if he stopped for a moment the same mournful note of Vengeance, vengeance !' would be sung to him in a more and more plaintive and heartbreaking fashion. They had by this time reached the top of the hill, a considerable distance from the palace. As the old harper felt rather fatigued and weary, he ventured once more to stop and rest, but he heard the bird's warning voice no more. He listened, but he heard nothing save the murmuring of the little burn hard by. He now began to think how foolish he

had been to allow himself to be led away from the feast at the palace : he turned back in order to be there in time for the next dance. As he wandered on the hill he lost his way, and found himself forced to await the break of day. In the morning, as he turned his eyes

in the direction of the palace, he could see no trace of it: the whole tract below was one calm, large lake, with his harp floating on the face of the waters.

Next comes the story of Lynclys Pool in the neighbourhood of Oswestry. That piece of water is said to be of extraordinary depth, and its name means the

swallowed court.' The village of Lynclys is called after it, and the legend concerning the pool is preserved in verses printed among the compositions of the local poet, John F. M. Dovaston, who published his works in 1825. The first stanza runs thus :

Clerk Willin he sat at king Alaric's board,

An a cunning clerk was he;
For he'd lived in the land of Oxenford

With the sons of Grammarie.

How much exactly of the poem comes from Dovaston's own muse, and how much comes from the legend, I cannot tell. Take for instance the king's name, this I should say is not derived from the story; but as to the name of the clerk, that possibly is, for the poet bases it on Croes-Willin, the Welsh form of which has been given me as Croes-Wylan, that is Wylan's Cross, the name of the base of what is supposed to have been an old cross, a little way out of Oswestry on the north side; and I have been told that there is a farm in the same neighbourhood called Tre' Wylan, 'Wylan's Stead.' To return to the legend, Alaric's queen was endowed with youth and beauty, but the king was not happy; and when he had lived with her nine years he told Clerk Willin how he first met her when he was

hunting 'fair Blodwell's rocks among. He married her on the condition that she should be allowed to leave him one night in every seven, and this she did without his once knowing whither she went on the night of her absence. Clerk Willin promised to restore peace to the king if he would resign the queen to him, and a tithe annually of his cattle and of the wine in his cellar to him and the monks of the White Minster. The king consented, and the wily clerk hurried away with his book l'ate at night to the rocks by the Giant's Grave, where there was an ogo' or cave which was supposed to lead down to Faery. While the queen was inside the cave, he began his spells and made it irrevocable that she should be his, and that his fare should be what fed on the king's meadow and what flowed in his cellar. When the clerk's potent spells forced the queen to meet him to consummate his bargain with the king, what should he behold but a grim ogress, who told him that their spells had clashed. She explained to him how she had been the king's wife for thirty years, and how the king began to be tired of her wrinkles and old age. Then, on condition of returning to the Ogo to be an ogress one night in seven, she was given youth and beauty again, with which she attracted the king anew. In fact, she had promised him happiness

Till within his hall the flag-reeds tall

And the long green rushes grow.

The ogress continued in words which made the clerk see how completely he had been caught in his own net :

Then take thy bride to thy cloistered bed,

As by oath and spell decreed,
And nought be thy fare but the pike and the dare,

And the water in which they feed.

The clerk had succeeded in restoring peace at the

« ForrigeFortsæt »