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The ruins of Myfanwy's residence, Castle Dinas Brân, may yet be traced on a high hill near Llangollen.]
PRESS on, my steed! I hear the swell*
O'er woods and waters round.
And listens to the sound !
I feel her presence on the scene !
The wave more gently flows !
The weary to repose !
Haste ! on each mountain's darkening crest
*“I have rode hard, mounted on a fine high-bred steed, upon thy account, O thou with the countenance of cherry. flower bloom. The speed was with eagerness, and the strong long-hamm'd steed of Alban reached the summit of the high land of Brân."
+“ My loving heart sinks with grief without thy support, 0 thou that hast the whiteness of the curling waves !
I know that this pain will avail me nothing towards obtaining thy love, O thou whose countenance is bright as the flowers of the hawthorn !”HOWEL's Ode to Myfanwy.
The twilight star on Deva's breast
Gleams tremulously bright;
Than live in rayless night!
THE MOUNTAIN FIRES.
[“ The custom retained in Wales of lighting fires (Coelcerthi)
on November eve, is said to be a traditional memorial of the massacre of the British chiefs by Hengist, on Salisbury plain. The practice is, however, of older date, and had reference originally to the Alban Elved, or new-year.” -Cambro-Briton.
When these fires are kindled on the mountains, and seen through the darkness of a stormy night, casting a red and fitful glare over heath and rock, their effect is strikingly picturesque.]
Light the hills! till heaven is glowing
As with some red meteor’s rays !
Shall but fan the beacon-blaze.
From Yr Wyddfa's sovereign steep, *
Where the Roman track'd the deep !
* Yr Wyddfa, the Welsh name of Snowdon, said to mean the conspicuous place, or object.
Be the mountain watch-fires heighten'd,
Pile them to the stormy sky !
Kindling as it rushes by.
Towers in reddening light sublime ;
Tales of Cambria's elder time.
Thus our sires, the fearless-hearted,
Many a solemn vigil kept,
O’er the noble dead they wept.
“ Sons ! though yours a brighter lot,
Be her mighty unforgot !”
[“ Snowdon was held as sacred by the ancient Britons, as
Parnassus was by the Greeks, and Ida by the Cretans. It is still said, that whosoever slept upon Snowdon would wake inspired, as much as if he had taken a nap on the hill of Apollo. The Welsh had always the strongest attachment to the tract of Snowdon. Our princes had, in addition to their title, that of Lord of Snowdon." PENNANT.)
THEIRS was no dream, O monarch hill,
With heaven's own azure crown'd !
White Snowdon !-holy ground.
They fabled not, thy sons who told
enshrined Within thy cloudy mantle's fold,
And on thy rushing wind !
It shadow'd o'er thy silent height,
It fill'd thy chainless air,
For ever breathing there.
Nor hath it fled! the awful spell
Yet holds unbroken sway,
Where Merddin Emrys lay! *
Though from their stormy haunts of
Yet from thy mountain-throne !
* Dinas Emrys (the fortress of Ambrose), a celebrated rock amongst the mountains of Snowdon, is said to be so called from having been the residence of Merddin Emrys, called by the Latins Merlinus Ambrosius, the celebrated prophet and magician : and there, tradition says, he wrote bis prophecies concerning the future state of the Britons.
There is another curious tradition respecting a large stone, on the ascent of Snowdon, called Maen du yr Arddu, the black stone of Arddu. It is said, that if two persons were to sleep a night on this stone, in the morning one would find himself endowed with the gift of poetry, and the other would become insane.See WILLIAMS's Obseroations on the Snowdon Mountains.
+ It is believed amongst the inhabitants of these mountains, that eagles have heretofore bred in the lofty clefts of VOL. IV.
Pierce then the heavens, thou hill of streams!
And make the snows thy crest! The sunlight of immortal dreams
Around thee still shall rest.
Eryri! temple of the bard !
And fortress of the free!
Their spirit dwells with thee!
CHANT OF THE BARDS BEFORE THEIR
MASSACRE BY EDWARD I.*
RAISE the sword! let the death-stroke be given;
Have ye not trampled our country's bright crest?
their rocks. Some wandering ones are still seen at times, though very rarely, amongst the precipices.—See WILLIAMS'S Observations on the Snowdon Mountains.
* This sanguinary deed is not attested by any historian of credit. And it deserves to be also noticed, that none of the bardic productions since the time of Edward make any allusion to such an event.-See The Cambro-Briton, vol. i.,