Imágenes de páginas

When warriors and chiefs to their proud steeds are

bounding, I turn from heaven's light, for it smiles on your



[“ Grufydd ab Rhys ab Tewdwr, having resisted the Eng

lish successfully in the time of Stephen, and at last obtained from them an honourable peace, made a great feast at his palace in Ystrad Tywi to celebrate this event. To this feast, which was continued for forty days, he invited all who would come in peace from Gwynedd, Powys, the Deheubarth, Glamorgan, and the marches. Against the appointed time he prepared all kinds of delicious viands and liquors; with every entertainment of vocal and instrumental song; thus patronising the poets and musicians. He encouraged, too, all sorts of representations and manly games, and afterwards sent away all those who had excelled in them with honourable gifts.”—Cambrian Biography.] LET the yellow mead shine for the sons of the brave, By the bright festal torches around us that wave! Set open the gates of the prince's wide hall, And hang up the chief's ruddy spear on the wall!

There is peace in the land we have battled to save: Then.spread ye the feast, bid the wine-cup foam

high, That those may rejoice who have fear'd not to die! * “Hardly has the snow covered the vale,

When the warriors are hastening to the battle;
I do not go, I am hinder'd by infirmity.”

Elegies of Llywarch Hen. + Wine, as well as mead, is frequently mentioned in the poems of the ancient British bards.

Let the horn whose loud blast gave the signal for

fight, With the bee's sunny nectar now sparkle in light;* Let the rich draught it offers with gladness be

crown'd, For the strong hearts in combat that leap'd at its

sound! Like the billows' dark swell was the path of their

might, Red, red as their blood, fill the wine-cup on high, That those may rejoice who have fear'd not to die !

And wake

the children of


from their dreams, On Maelor's wild hills and by Dyfed's fair streams!+ Bid them haste with those strains of the lofty and

free, Which shall float down the waves of long ages to be. Sheath the sword which hath given them unperish

ing themes, And

pour the bright mead : let the wine-cup foam

high, That those may rejoice who have fear'd not to die !

* The horn was used for two purposes—to sound the alarm in war, and to drink the mead at feasts.

+ Maelor, part of the counties of Denbigh and Flint. Dyfed, (said to signify a land abounding with streams of water), the modern Pembrokeshire.


When the last flush of eve is dying

On boundless lakes afar that shine; When winds amidst the palms are sighing,

And fragrance breathes from every pine:*
When stars through cypress-boughs are gleaming,

And fire-flies wander bright and free,
Still of thy harps, thy mountains dreaming,

My thoughts, wild Cambria ! dwell with thee!
Alone o'er green savannas roving,

Where some broad stream in silence flows,
Or through th' eternal forests moving,

One only home my spirit knows!
Sweet land, whence memory ne'er hath parted!

To thee on sleep's light wing I fly;
But happier could the weary-hearted

Look on his own blue hills and die!

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

[The Bard of the Palace, under the ancient Welsh Princes,

always accompanied the army when it marched into an enemy's country; and, while it was preparing for battle or dividing the spoils, he performed an ancient song, called

* The aromatic odour of the pine has frequently been mentioned by travellers.

+ Ynys Prydain was the ancient Welsh name of Britain, and signifies fair or beautiful isle.

Unbennaeth Prydain, the Monarchy of Britain. It has been conjectured that this poem referred to the tradition of the Welsh, that the whole island had once been possessed by their ancestors, who were driven into a corner of it by their Saxon invaders. When the prince had received his share of the spoils, the for the performance of this song, was rewarded with the most valuable beast that remained.-See Jones's Historical Account of the Welsh Bards.]

Sons of the Fair Isle! forget not the time
Ere spoilers had breathed the free air of your clime:
All that its eagles behold in their flight
Was yours, from the deep to each storm-mantled

height. Though from your race that proud birthright be

torn, Unquench'd is the spirit for monarchy born.

CHORUS Darkly though clouds may hang o'er us awhile, The crown shall not pass from the Beautiful Isle.

Ages may roll ere your children regain
The land for which heroes have perish'd in vain;
Yet, in the sound of your names shall be power,
Around her still gathering in glory's full hour.
Strong in the fame of the mighty that sleep,
Your Britain shall sit on the throne of the deep.


Then shall their spirits rejoice in her smile,
Who died for the crown of the Beautiful Isle.


[A prophecy of Taliesin relating to the Ancient Britons is

still extant, and has been strikingly verified. It is to the following effect :

“Their God they shall worship,

Their language they shall retain,
Their land they shall lose,
Except wild Wales."]

A voice from time departed yet floats thy hills among, O Cambria! thus thy prophet bard, thy Taliesin sung: “ The path of unborn ages is traced upon my soul, The clouds which mantle things unseen away before

me roll, A light the depths revealing hath o'er my spirit

pass'd, A rushing sound from days to be swells fitful in the

blast, And tells me that for ever shall live the lofty tongue To which the harp of Mona's woods by freedom's

hand was strung.

“Green island of the mighty!* I see thine ancient race Driven from their fathers' realm to make the rocks

their dwelling-place! I see from Uthyrist kingdom the sceptre pass away, And many a line of bards and chiefs and princely

men decay.


Ynys y Cedeirn, or Isle of the Mighty-an ancient name given to Britain.

+ Uthyr Pendragon, king of Britain, supposed to have been the father of Arthur.

« AnteriorContinuar »