Графични страници
PDF файл

The stag had dash'd through air with fearless bound,
And thus a death more merciful had found,
Than spearman's murderous lance, or tooth of madden'd

Now slowly onward wend the weary train
Dismounted, on the arm the loosen'd rein.
In mute amaze they view the grand expanse
Of land and ocean. There a distant glance
Of Erin's Isle—of Cumbria's pale blue mountains,
Nearer, the Isle of Mona. Here the fountains
Springing through peat-moss, or in torrents gushing,
Widening to rivers, and to ocean rushing.
“ How oft these deep ravines and mountains hoary
Have check'd the Saxon's pride and echoed Cambria's

E'en the fierce Roman, the exulting foe,
Who "

came, and saw, and conquerd,” at a blow;
Whose matchless discipline and powerful legions
Had tamed the higher Alps of Southern regions,
Found in Snowdonia's well-defended right,
Impenetrable strength that foiled his might.
Behold! that peak, crown’d with a heap of stones,
Carnedd Llewelyn. There are laid the bones
Of that dread champion, who with strength sublime,
Had killed so many giants in his time,
That of their beards he made a vesture hoary.”

Thus they beguiled the way with ancient story,
Unheeding that their prince had onward stole
For scenes and joys far dearer to his soul.
Oh! there is not on earth so transcendent a pleasure,
As a parent's return to his dear infant treasure,
The guileless endearments of childhood are worth
All the pearls of the ocean or gems of the earth ;
The innocent confidence, playful caresses,
They twine through the heart to its inmost recesses.
Then the wife's welcome home with the smile of affection,
That seeks in one bosom her safest protection ;
Be the dwelling a hut, or a glittering dome,
These blessings alone make an Eden of home.
Such was Llewelyn's Paradise, all in a nook
Of emerald green, shelter'd by woods; the brook
Which long had push'd through rocks and tangled weeds,
Here wander'd pleasantly through verdant meads.
Courting the gaze of overhanging flowers,
Or glittering through the summer's waving bowers.
A fairy ring of gentle hills inclosed
This happy vale, where Love and Peace reposed.

Perpetual calm is not for mortal man!

His bark is launch'd upon a stormy sea ; And if with rainbow promise he began,

The shower will follow, and the sunshine flee.

The band of woe has mixed our cup of glee; And while with joy we view the sparkling tip,

The fiend is mocking our hilarity, And waits the hour to dash it from the lip; Grief we may deeply drink, but Pleasure only sip. Swift as the wind Llewelyn's courser flies,

And safe his master to his home has brought; The chieftain lifts the latch, and forward hies

To kiss the infant of his tender thought.

'Twas ever thus the nursery first he sought; And, though fatigued with toil of war or chase,

Or summer's heat, or winter's cold, he caught From wife and children's smile and lov'd embrace, New life, that gave his soul refreshing resting-place. His features all with glowing rapture bright,

Parental transport kindling in his eye ; His buoyant spirit dancing with delight,

He gently opes the door his babe to spy.

But horror chills his frame,-pale agony Makes to its source the curdling blood rebound,

When overturn'd he sees the cradle lie,
The clothes in loose confusion scatter'd round,
And with his jaws all gore beholds his favorite hound
“ Gelert! hast thou devour'd my child ?"

The frantic father cried ;
Then drew his sword with anger wild,

And plung'd it in his side.
The faithful creature as he fell,

Lick'd his old master's feet; His heavy groans, his dying yell,

Rang through the whole retreat.
But what is that soul-thrilling noise,

That shrill awak'ning cry,
Like spirit from the dead ?---a voice

That tells of bliss gone by!

Yet, hush !-again-it is my boy!

Where art thou, cherub?-where?
He moves—he lives !—What joy! what joy!

My lost one, art thou there?

There, where the clothes were lightly thrown,

In slumber unmolested,
Till waked by Gelert's dying groan,

The little babe had rested.
Llewelyn's first high transport o'er,

He search'd with anxious care
The blood-stained heaps that strew'd the floor,

To find if aught were there
That could unveil the mystery;

When lo! beneath the bed,
With faws still grinning horribly,

A hideous wolf lay dead.
“ Ah! faithful dog! too late I see

The tale of bloody strife.
Thy courage, thy fidelity,

Have saved my darling's life.
And thine I've sacrificed in rage

That fired my soul to madness.
Time may roll on--twill ne'er assuage

This heart's remorseful sadness.
A pious monument* I'll rear

In mem'ry of the brave;
And passers-by will drop a tear

On faithful Gelert's grave.t

[The extensive prevalence of this little tale is astonishing. It is to be found under various modifications in many

works and languages. In the story of "The Seven Wise Masters," under the title of The Knight and the Greyhound;" as well as in the English Gesta Romanorum ; also in the Centi Novelli; in the Turkish Tales, Persian Tales, &c. &c.]

Note.—This story is applied to Llewelyn, but I consider it an ancient piece of mythology; for Sir William Jones, in bis Institutes of Menu, gives it almost in the very words, from old Persian traditions.

Llewelyn is said to have founded a monastery near the spot, as a tribute of gratitude to Divine Providence, and to have built a church over Gelert's grave.

† A village now slands near the spot, bearing the name of Beddgelert, or Gelert's Grave.

To the Editors of the Cambrian and Caledonian Quarterly

Magazine. GENTLEMEN, In ruminating on the lamented decease of my dear friend, the Rev. Dr. Adam Clarke, among various recollections of that great man, and the intercourse I have had with him, it is

very natural for me to recall what has passed between us on the subject of Cambrian literature. Towards the commencement of the present century, while engaged in pursuing my itinerant labours in North Wales, I was desired to visit our countrymen in Liverpool and in Manchester, who wanted religious instruction through the medium of their mother-tongue. Mr. Adam Clarke was then resident, first in the former and then in the latter place, and I soon found that he took a very warm interest in what related to our poor countrymen; and, he observed, it was treating them worse than


not to afford them the benefit of religious instruction in their own language. He encouraged me to resume those classical studies which I had for some time laid aside; and asked me also various questions as to the structure of our ancient tongue, and lamented his not being acquainted with it. He much admired the religious fervour of our countrymen, and was greatly pleased with the account I gave him of the excellency of the Welsh biblical version." He showed me Mr. Edw. Llwyd's “ Archæologia Britannica,” and, speaking of the author, his expressions were," that man was the prince of you all:” but I afterwards told my learned friend, that great as was Mr. E. Llwyd in some respects, he was not the first of Cambrian scholars. Dr. Clarke was among the first promoters of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and he became thereby acquainted with the Rev. Thomas Charles and Mr. Wm. Owen (Dr. Owen Pughe,) and was very friendly to that part of the society's labours which had regard to the Principality, making particular inquiry as to the best edition of the Welsh Bible; and he had a good deal of communication with the gentleman who superintended the Welsh press for the society. One day, when at his house, the doctor made several inquiries of me respecting Mr. Charles; I told him that I considered Mr. C. to be a person of considerable learning and talent. The doctor then said that he understood him to be the author of a Dictionary of the Bible in the Welsh language, and made inquiry, in his familiar

manner, as to the merits of the work, and my reply was, “ that I knew not of any work in the English language equal to it.” The doctor did not hesitate to receive the encomium I gave the work of my learned countryman, nor was offended with the spirit of his Cambrian friend. He further told me that Mr. Charles wished to make use of his works (as I conceived), in carrying on a second edition of his Dictionary, but Mr. C. did not live to see the completion of Dr. Clarke's Commentary, nor to superintend the second edition of his own work, which has been so well supported by his countrymen.

It was about this time, in the year 1809, I contemplated paying particular attention to our national antiquities, in which project my deceased friend gave me every encouragement; but soon afterwards, it being proposed to me to engage in the mission then talked of to Ceylon, my mind was so occupied that my literary project was for the time abandoned, until my friend, Dr. Townley, stirred up the embers, from which at length sprung up the presumptuous attempt of the “ Horæ Britannicæ."

Several years had elapsed since I had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Clarke, or hearing from him; but, having the opportunity, last spring, of communicating with him, through the medium of his son, Mr. Theodore Clarke, of St. John's Square, I found that, though I had not started the subject, the doctor was still curious as to our antiquities, but laboured under the same erroneous views as some other learned men. I shall beg leave to give here some extracts, with my remarks.—Breaking off rather suddenly, from the subject'I had written upon, the doctor inquires of his friend:

“What are you doing now? I have been long looking to get a copy of the original Triads of Taliesin, with a proper translation.

As far as I go, no such thing is to be found. Is the work a forgery, even an old one? What is your opinion of the translation of my two sermons into Welsh? I do not pretend to any knowledge of the language: of this I am satisfied, that the Welsh is corrupt beyond all recovery: its orthography is loose and disorderly beyond any thing I have seen in any other language. It would be well for you Cambrian scholars to collate it with the Armoric. I doubt not whether it is not there less corrupted than in the principality of Wales. It is spoken throughout Brittany to the present day. A Grammar of the Armoric

« ПредишнаНапред »