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Now the rush-strewn halls are ringing,
Peace, joy, or praise.
Save to us, our night-watch keeping,
Storm-winds to brave,
Rests in its cave !
On the dark wave!
THE HIRLAS HORN.
of the sea;
Fill high the blue hirlas,* that shines like the wavet
When sunbeams are bright on the spray And bear thou the rich foaming mead to the brave,
The dragons of battle, the sons of the free ! To those from whose spears, in the shock of the fight,
A beam, like heaven's lightning, I flash'd over the
* Hirlas, from hir, long, and glas, blue or azure.
+“ Fetch the horn, that we may drink together, whose gloss is like the waves of the sea; whose green handles show the skill of the artist, and are tipped with gold.”—From the Hirlas Horn of OWAIN CYFEILIOG.
I“ Heard ye in Maelor the noise of war, the horrid din of arms, their furious onset, loud as in the battle of Bangor, where fire flashed out of their spears ?”—Ibid.
To those who came rushing as storms in their might,
Who have shiver'd the helmet, and cloven theshield; The sound of whose strife was like oceans afar, When lances were red from the harvest of war.
Fill high the blue hirlas! O cup-bearer, fill
For the lords of the field in their festival's hour, And let the mead foam, like the stream of the hill
That bursts o'er therock in the pride of its power : Praise, praise to the mighty,fill high the smooth horn
Of honour and mirth,* for the conflict is o'er ; And round let the golden-tipp'd hirlas be borne
To the lion-defenders of Gwynedd's fair shore, Who rush'd to the field where the glory was won, As eagles that soar from their cliffs to the sun.
Fill higher the hirlas! forgetting not those
are fled! Though cold on their mountains the valiant repose,
Their lot shall be lovely-renown to the dead ! While harps in the hall of the feast shall be strung,
While regal Eryri with snow shall be crown'd— So long by the bards shall their battles be sung,
And the heart of the hero shall burn at the sound. The free winds of Maelor + shall swell with their
name, And Owain's rich hirlas be fill’d to their fame.
Fill, then, the yellow-lipped horn-badge of honour and mirth.”—From the Hirlas Horn of Owain CYFEILIOG.
+ Maelor, part of the counties of Denbigh and Flint, according to the modern division.
THE HALL OF CYNDDYLAN.
The Hall of Cynddylan is gloomy to-night;*
The Hall of Cynddylan is voiceless and still,
The Hall of Cynddylan is lonely and bare,
* “ The Hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night,
Without fire, without bed-
The Hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night,
The Hall of Cynddylan is without love this night,
The Hall of Cynddylan it is not easy this night,
See Owen's Heroic Elegies of Llywarch Hen. VOL. IV.
Oh! where are the warriors who circled its board ? -The
grass will soon wave where the mead-cup was pour'd!
The Hall of Cynddylan is loveless to-night,
THE LAMENT OF LLYWARCH HEN.
[Llywarch Hen, or Llywarch the Aged, a celebrated bard
and chief of the times of Arthur, was prince of Argoed, supposed to be a part of the present Cumberland. Hav. ing sustained the loss of his patrimony, and witnessed the fall of most of his sons, in the unequal contest maintained by the North Britons against the growing power of the Saxons, Llywarch was compelled to fly from his country, and seek refuge in Wales. He there found an asylum for some time in the residence of Cynddylan, Prince of Powys, whose fall he pathetically laments in one of his poems. These are still extant; and his elegy on old age and the loss of his eons, is remarkable for its simplicity and beauty. -See Cambrian Biography, and Owen's Heroic Elegies and other poems of Llywarch Hen.]
The bright hours return, and the blue sky is ringing With song,
and the hills are all mantled with bloom; But fairer than aught which the summer is bringing, The beauty and youth gone to people the tomb!
Oh! why should I live to hear music resounding,
rounding? -My sons! they but clothe the green turf of your
Alone on the rocks of the stranger I linger,
- grave! why refuse to the agèd thy bed,
Fair were ye, my sons! and all kingly your bearing,
*“ What I loved when I was a youth is hateful to me now."
† “Four and twenty sons to me have been
Elegies of Llywarch Hen. The golden chain, as a badge of honour, worn by heroes, is frequently alluded to in the works of the ancient British bards.