Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

King having cut off the means of supply, the Welsh and French secretly (?) retreated to Wales, and the latter returned to France without making any further attempt.”l

We doubt much whether many readers of English history have fully realised the fact that the French and Welsh invasion of England, in 1485, was preceded by another of exceedingly similar character eighty years before, in which the enemy penetrated, if not so far as Bosworth, at least into the very heart of the country, unopposed till they reached Worcester; an expedition which, had it succeeded in its object, would have probably been followed by a more serious consequence even than the transfer of the Crown from one dynasty to another—the dismemberment of the kingdom. By the treaty entered into a few years before by Mortimer, Percy, and Glendower, at the house of Davydd Daron, Dean of Bangor, it had been agreed that Mortimer was to possess all the land from Trent and Severn to the east and south of the island; Percy, all north of the Trent; and Glendower all west of the Severn. France also, in return for its valuable aid, would certainly have claimed a share, and that not improbably the share appropriated by the lion in the distribution of the conquered country.

Be that as it may, those momentous issues have happily long since passed out of the range of human speculation. It remains but to add that it is to this portentous time of concealment, when the landing of the French force was being anxiously looked for in the Principality, that the poem is in all probability to be referred. And the more so, because among the several countries specified by name as those whence Owain's return might be looked for, care seems studiously to have been taken to pass over entirely in silence the one country, namely France, from which the expected military aid afterwards actually came, from which a moun1 Page 210.

tain of glorious eventualities was looked for throughout Wales with heart-beating anxiety. From all this travail, alas ! as in so many other projects of human design or ambition, nothing at last was seen to issue but a poor insignificant mouse.

AN ODE TO OWEN GLENDOWER, AFTER HIS

DISAPPEARANCE.

BY IOLO GOCH.

Tall man, thou mark for Harry's hate,
Art living still ? is past thy fate ?
If thus it be, with fiery spear
Come, show thy shield, say, “I am here!”
Thou gold-girt Warrior, seek thine home,
Come well begirt with arms of Rome.
Coming possest of Peter's Seal,
Full just thy cause will God reveal.
Come from the East ! so shall o'erthrown,
Thou Bull of strength, be tow’rs of stone.
Before thee rays of fire be shed,
And gifts by all be freely spread.
From Lochlyn, Earl of keen-edged sword,
Come! of the Glyn thou gen'rous Lord,
Who bearest, for thy shield's contents
A fair escutcheon, four descents;
Three Lions, as the empyrean, blue ;3
Three steel frets seen the wildfire through.
Set we the stainless Peacock o'er,
Set you a Chief o'er Bear and Boar :4

1

I.e., “May you be met by a torch-light procession."

3 Heraldic azure. 2 Norway. 4 The bear, the badge of Warwick, the boar of Lovell.

So, there conjoined are axes three,
A mighty host where strife shall be.
Let go sev'n noble ships from shore
Full soon, and then sev’n hundred more.
Come from the North—'tis Mona's will,
To Erin, and her hope fulfill.
Call also—may God grant her thee !
Needs must thou have her- Italy!
Pure Galahad, rise! we'll hear thy call,
Ere fall the Baptist's festival.
Thy beacon raise, brisk Chieftain, haste
In Dublin yonder, o’er the waste;
Raise a fair fleet of seamen's power,
In confines of the Gael, and Gower.
Come, Hero of my heart! betray'd
From Man, and be not long delay'd.
To Gwyddy1,2 best of signals sped
For fight is ever Gold and Red ;3
Llywelyn’s4 Standard consecrate !
Those colours will thy men elate.
Parade before thee Britain's host!
Lo! England 's for her treason lost !
Of temper true thy weapon bring,5
And reign o'er all the isles a king!
Eagle of might! one moment more,
And light a flame on Mona's shore.
Beat down the castles, forts of woe,
And London, lair of dogs, lay low.

1 The Knight of King Arthur's Table, who for his purity of character, was permitted to see the Sangraal, is here compared to Glendower. 2 Irishmen.

3 The royal colours of Wales. 4 The last reigning monarch of Wales. 5 Lit., " A dagger of true temper thou”.

Strike, strike and slay! let Normans ken That horns of gold have Mona's men.

Needs must thou—'tis of prophecyFull many a bout of battle ply; Do battle, and the foe shall flee; Still thou, at will, canst gentle be; But, if thine arm with wrath be sped, In distant Berwick see the dead ! Thy fortune's turn'd, I know full well; Thro' summer fight with conflict fell; Like oaks, thy foes shall fall full fast, Not Vochno's? fight did longer last. March through the ford of leithon's glen, With Mona's banner, throngs of men; Be nine* the number of thy fights: Their own, nor less, nor more requites. Sword of Cadwalader the Blest !5 Take all thy Grandsire e'er possess'd! Take back for all thy kin their share! From us take bondage hard to bear.

H. W. L.

1 Of strength so solid, as to thrust back their enemies, like that of bulls, animals to which the bards loved to compare their warriors.

2 The battle of Cors Vochno in Cardiganshire, whereby Maelgwn Gwynedd gained his crown.

3 In Radnorshire. 4 The mystic number of the Druidic system, symbolising perfection.

5 The last Cymric King of Britain, whose very existence, however, would seem to be not only romantic, but mythical.

THE NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD OF 1881.

August 30th to September 2nd.

MANY conditions of interest attached to the Eisteddfod held at Merthyr Tydfil in 1881. Frankly accepted by North and South, it could show an indisputable title to the name of "national". Celebrated in the metropolis of a busy industrial district, it typified the cordial union of old and new in a race which needs not to break with ancient traditions in order to progress with the time. Held while the report of Lord Aberdare's committee was still a recent topic, it was marked by the especially hopeful tone in which the national sentiment expressed itself, and by the fresh interest imparted to the somewhat time-worn themes that form the traditional text of Eisteddfodic addresses.

The ungrudging exertions of the committee, and the share of-favoúr shown on the part of the weather, laid the foundations of the success which was achieved; and the material of the competitions was, on the whole, not unworthy of the machinery. Evidences of real genius and of painstaking study were not wanting, and the ominous words, “no award”, appear less often in the record of the literary contests than has sometimes been the case of late.

The arts of painting and sculpture were, as usual, ill-represented; though one genuine work of art became, in an

; undisputed contest, the property of the committee. The few prizes offered in musical composition elicited some creditable minor productions, but the most valuable of all, the judges declined to confer. On the other hand, the quality of the

« ForrigeFortsæt »