The Castles Of Wales

Ye fortresses grey and gigantic

I see on the hills of my land,

To my mind ye appear terrific,

When I muse on your ruins so grand;

Your walls were a shelter the strongest

From the enemies' countless array,

When they spilt with the blood of the bravest,

Your sides in our ancestors' day.

Around you the war-horse was neighing,

And pranced his rich trapping
to feel,

While through you were frightfully gleaming

Bright lances and spears of steel;

The fruits of the rich-laden harvest,

Were ruthlessly trod by the foe,

And the thunder of battle was loudest,

To herald its message of woe.

While viewing your dilapidation,

My memory kindles with joy,

To think that the foes of our nation,

No longer these valleys destroy;

By sowing his fields in the winter,

In hope of a rich harvest-home,

The husbandman now feels no terror

Of war with its havoc to come.

When I look at the sheep as they shelter

In safety beneath your rude walls,

Where erst the dread agents of slaughter

Fell'd thousands, nor heeded their calls;

The hillock where crossed the sharp spears

Now shadows the ewe and its lamb,

While seeing the peace of these years,

My heart is with gratitude warm.

Ye towers that saw the wild ravens,

And the eagles with hunger impell'd,

Exultingly gorge 'mid your ruins.

On corpses of men which they held;

How sweet for you now 'tis to hear

The shepherd, so peaceful and meek,

Tune his reed with a melody clear,

While his flock in you shelter do seek.

Upon your battlements sitting,

To view the bright landscape below,

My heart becomes sad when remembering

That silent in death is the foe,

And the friends who bravely did combat,

And raised your grey towers so steep,

Declaring their life-blood should stagnate,

Ere ever in chains they would weep.

When I think of their purpose so pure,

The tear must fast trickle from me,

Their hearts did Providence allure

To their country, and her did they free;

We now live beneath a meek power,

And feel the full blessings of peace,

While on us abundantly shower,

The mercies of Heaven with increase.