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of Huntingdon, who led a discreet and courtly life, and kept

old hospitality in all its munificence, till the death of King Richard and the usurpation of John, by placing their enemy in power, compelled them to return to their greenwood sovereignty ; which, it is probable, they would have before done from choice, if their love of sylvan liberty had not been counteracted by their desire to retain the friendship of Courde-Lion. Their old and tried adherents, the friar among the foremost, flocked again round their forest-banner; and in merry Sherwood they long lived together, the lady still retaining her former name of Maid Marian, though the appellation was then as much a misnomer as that of Little John.

END OF MAID MARIAN.

VOL. II.

7

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THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN.

Unlooked-for good betides us still,
And unanticipated ill :
Blind Fortune rules the hours that roll :
Then fill with good old wine the bowl.

Quod non exspectes ex transverso fit,
Et suprà nos Fortuna negotia curat:
Quare da nobis vina Falerna, puer.

PETRONIUS ARBITER,

(First published in 1829.]

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114

121

122

126

139

141

1. The Circling of the Mead-Horns

2. The Song of the Four Winds

3. A Lament of Gwythno

4. Another Lament of Gwythno

5. The Consolation of Elphin

6. The Mead Song
7. The Song of the Wind

8. The Indignation of Taliesin with the Bards of Maelgon

Gwyneth

9. Taliesin and Melanghel

10. The War-Song of Dinas Vawr

11. The Brilliancies of Winter

12. Merlin's Apple-Trees

13. The Massacre of the Britons

14. The Cauldron of Ceridwen.

143

146

148

171

172

174

176

THE MISFORTUNES OF ELPHIN.

CHAPTER I.

THE PROSPERITY OF GWAELOD.

Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,
That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.

GRAY.

N the beginning of the sixth century, when Uther Pen

a

number of petty kings, Gwythno Garanhir was king of Caredigion. The most valuable portion of his dominions was the Great Plain of Gwaelod, an extensive tract of level land, stretching along that part of the sea coast which now belongs to the counties of Merioneth and Cardigan. This district was populous and highly cultivated. It contained sixteen fortified towns, superior to all the towns and cities of the Cymry, excepting Caer Lleon upon Usk; and, like Caer Leon, they bore in their architecture, their language, and their manners, vestiges of past intercourse with the Roman lords of the world. It contained also one of the three privileged ports of the isle of Britain, which was called the Port of Gwythno. This port, we may believe, if we please, had not been unknown to the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, when they visited the island for metal, accommodating the inhabitants, in return, with luxuries which they would not otherwise have dreamed of, and which they could very well have done without; of course, in arranging the exchange of what they denominated equivalents, imposing on their simplicity, and taking advantage of their ignorance, according to the approved practice of civilized nations; which they called imparting the blessings of Phoenician and Carthaginian light.

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