Imágenes de páginas

CASWALLON'S TRIUMPH. (Caswallon (or Cassivelaunus) was elected to the supreme command of the Britons, (as recorded in the Triads) for the purpose of opposing Cæsar, under the title of Elected Chief of Battle. Whatever impression the disciplined legions of Rome might have made on the Britons in the first instance, the subsequent departure of Cæsar they considered as a cause of triumph; and it is stated that Caswallon proclaimed an assembly of the various states of :he island, for the purpose of celebrating that event by feasting and public re joicing. --See the Cambrian Biography.]

From the glowing southern regions,

Where the sun-god makes his dwelling,
Came the Roman's crested legions,

O'er the deep, round Britain swelling ;
The wave grew dazzling as he passid,
With light from spear and helmet cast,
And sounds in every rushing blast

Of a conqueror's march were telling.
But his eagle's royal pinion,

Bowing earth beneath its glory,
Could not shadow with dominion

Our wild seas and mountains hoary!
Back from their cloudy realm it flies,
To float in light through softer skies;
Oh! chainless winds of heaven arise!

Bear a vanquish'd world the story!
Lords of earth! to Rome returning,

Tell, how Britain combat wages,
How ČASWALLON's soul is burning,

When the storm of battle rages!
And ye that shrine high deeds in song,
O holy and immortal throng!
The brightness of his name prolong,

As a torch to stream through ages!

HOWEL'S SONG. (HOWELL ab Einios: Llygliw was a distinguished bard of the Du

teenth century. A beautiful poem, addressed by him to Myfanwy Vychan, a celebrated beauty of those times, is still preserved amongst the remains of the Welsh bards. The ruins of Myfanwy's residence, Castle Dinas Brân, may yet be traced on a high bill near Llangollen.]

PRESS on, my steed! I hear the swell*
Of Valle Crucis’ vesper-bell,

*“ I have rode hard, mounted on a fine high-bred steed, upon thy account, tho with the countenance of cherry-flo bloom. he Sweet floating from the holy dell

O'er woods and waters round.
Perchance the maid I love, e'en now,
From Dinas Bran's majestic brow,
Looks o'er the fairy world below,

And listens to the sound !
I feel her presence on the scene!
The summer air is more serene,
The deep woods wave in richer green,

The wave more gently flows !
O fair as Ocean's curling foam !*
Lo! with the balmy hour I come,
The hour that brings the wand'rer home,

The weary to repose !
Haste! on each mountain's dark’ning crest,
The glow hath died, the shadows rest,
The twilight-star on Deva's breast,

Gleams tremulously bright;,
Speed for Myfanwy's bower on high !
Though scorn may wound me from her eye,
Oh! better by the sun to die,

Than live in rayless night!


p“ The custom retained in Wales of lighting fires (Coelcerthi' yn No

vember eve, is said to be a traditional memorial of the inassacre of the British chiefs by Hengist, on Salisbury plain. The practice is, however, of older date, and had reference originally the Alban Elved, or new year,"'- See the 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!
Winds of night, though rudely glowing,

Shall but fan the beacon-blaze.
Light the hills till flames are streaming,

Fromt Yr Wyddfa's sovereign steep,

speed was with eagerness, and the strong long-hamm'd steed of A ban reached the summit of the high land of Brân."

*“My loving heart sinks with grief without thy support, O 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!” -Howell's Ode to Myfanwy.

| Yr Wyddfa, the Welsh name of Snowdon, said to mein the conspicuous place, bject

To the waves round Mona gleaming,

Where the Roman track'd the deep!
Be the mountain watch-fires heighten'd,

Pile them to the stormy sky!
Till each torrent-wave is brighten’d,

Kindling as it rushes by.
Now each rock, the mist's high dwelling,

Towers in reddening light sublime ;
Heap the flames! around them telling

Tales of Canbria's elder time.
Thus our sires, the fearless-hearted,

Many a solemn vigil kept,
When, in ages long departea,

O'er the noble dead they wept.
In the winds we hear their voices,

“ Sons! though yours a brighter lot,
When the mountain-land rejoices,

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!
Who call’d thee-what thou shalt be still,

White Snowdon !-holy ground.
They fabled not, thy sons, who told

Of the dread power, 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,
Deep thoughts of majesty and might

For ever breathing there.
Nor hath it fled! the awful spell

Yet holds unbroken sway,
As when on that wild rock it fell,

Where Merddin Emrys lay !*

* Dinas Emrys (the fortress of Ambrose,) a celebrated rock amongst the mountains of Snowdon, is said to be so called from having been

Though from their stormy haunts of yore,

Thine eagles long have flown,*
As proud a flight the soul shall soai,

Yet from thy mountain-throne!
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 !

Ånd fortress the free!
'Midst rocks, which heroes died to guard,

Their spirit dwells with thee!



Raise ye the sword! let the death-stroke be given:
0! swift may it fall as the lightning of heaven!
So shall our spirits be free as our strains :
The children of song may not languish in chains !
Have ye not trampled our country's bright crest?
Are heroes reposing in death on her breast ?
Red with their blood do her mountain-streams flow,
And think ye that still we would linger below?
Rest, ye brave dead! 'midst the hills of your sires,
O! who would not slumber when freedom expires ?
Lonely and voiceless your halls must remain-
The children of song may not breathe in the chain !

says, he

the residence of Merddin Einrys, called by the Latins Merlinus Ambrosius, the celebrated prophet and magician: and there, tradition

wrote his 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 Observations on the Snowdon Mountains.

* It is believed amongst the inhabitants of these mountains, that eagles have heretofore bred in the lofty clefts of their rocks. Some wandering ones are still seen at times, though very rarely, amongst the precipices.--See WillIAMS's Observations on the Snowdon Mountains.

t 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.-Seo the Cambro-Briton, vol. 1., p. 195.


“ All is not lost-the unconquerable will
And courage never to submit or yield."


The Hall of Harps is lone to-night,

And cold the chieftain's hearth: It hath no mead, it hath no light;

No voice of melody, no sound of mirth. The bow lies broken on the floor

Whence the free step is gone; The pilgrim turns him from the door

Where minstrel-blood hath stain'd the threshold stono, And I, too, go: my wound is deep,

My brethren long have died;
Yet, ere my soul grow dark with sleep

Winds! bear the spoiler one more tone of pride!
Bear it where, on his battle plain,

Beneath the setting sun,
He counts my country's noble slain-

Say to him-Saxon, think not all is won.
Thou hast laid low the warrior's head,

The minstrel's chainless hand; Dreamer! that numberest with the dead

The burning spirit of the mountain land!
Think'st thou, because the song hath ceased,

The soul of song is flown ?
Think'st thou it woke to crown the feast,

It lived beside the ruddy hearth alone ?
No! by our wrongs, and by our blood,

We leave it pure and free ;
Though hush'd awhile, that sounding flood

Shall roll in joy through ages yet to be.
We leave it 'midst our country's woe-

The birthright of her breast; We leave it as we leave the snow

Bright and eternal on Eryri’st crest.
We leave it with our fame to dwell

Upon our children's breath.
Our voice in their's through time shall swell-

The bard hath gifts of prophecy from death.

* At the time of the supposed massacre of the Welsh bards by Edward the First.

† Eryri, Welsh name for the Snowdon mountains.

« AnteriorContinuar »