The Legend Of Trwst Llywelyn

Once upon a time, Llywelyn was returning from a great battle, against the

Saxons, and his three sisters came down here to meet him; and, when they

heard him coming, they said, "It is Trwst Llywelyn," (the sound of

Llywelyn,) and the place has been called so ever since.--_Old Story_.

It is a scene of other days,

That dimly meets my fancy's gaze;

The moon's fair beams are glist'ning bright,

n the Severn's loveliest vale,

And yonder watchtower's gloomy height

Looks stern, in her lustre pale.

Within that turret fastness rude

Three lovely forms I see,

And marvel why, in that solitude,

So fair a group should be.

I know them now, that beauteous band;

By the broidered vest, so rich and rare,

By the sparkling gem, on the tiny hand,

And the golden circlet in their hair,

I know Llywelyn's sisters fair,

The pride of Powys land:

But the proof of lineage pure and high,

Is better far supplied

By the calm, fair brow, and fearless eye,

And the step of graceful pride.

Why are the royal maidens here,

Heedless of Saxon foemen near?

Their only court, the minstrel sage,

Who wakes such thrilling sound;

Their train, yon petty childish page;

Their guard, that gallant hound.

They have left their brother's princely hall,

To greet him from fight returning;

And hope looks out from the eyes of all,

Though fear in their heart lies burning.

"Now, hark!" the eldest maiden cried,

"Kind minstrel, lay thy harp aside,

And listen here with me;

Did not Llywelyn's bugle sound

From off that dark and wooded mound

You named the Goryn Ddu?" {59}

"No, lady, no; my master, kind,

I strive in vain to hear;

'Tis but the moaning of the wind

That cheats thy anxious ear."

The second lady rous'd her page,

From the peaceful sleep of his careless age;

"Awake, fair child, from thy happy dreams,

Look out o'er the turret's height,

Is it a lance that yonder gleams

In the moonbeams blue and bright?"

"No, lady mine; not on a lance

Does that fair radiance quiver;

I only see its lustre dance

On the blue and trembling river."

The youngest and fairest maiden sits

On the turret's highest stone,

Like the gentle flower that flings its sweets

O'er the ruin drear and lone:

At her feet the hound is crouching still;

And they look so calm and fair,

You might almost deem, by a sculptor's skill,

They were carved in the grey stone there.

A distant sound the spell hath broken,

The lady and her hound

Together caught the joyful token,

And down the stair they bound.

"'Tis Trwst Llywelyn! dear sisters speed,

Our own Llywelyn's near;

I know the tramp of his gallant steed,

'Tis music to mine ear!"

* * * * *

Yes, 'twas his lance gleamed blue and bright,

His horn made the echoes ring;

He is safe from a glorious field of fight,

And his sisters round him cling:

And Gelert lies at his master's feet,

The page returns to his slumbers sweet,

The minstrel quaffs his mead,

And sings Llywelyn's fame and power,

And, Trwst Llywelyn, names the tower,

Where they heard his coming steed.

* * * * *

That tower, no more, o'erlooks the vale,

But its name is unforgot,

And the peasant tells the simple tale,

And points to the well-known spot.

Oh, lady moon! thy radiance fills

An altered scene, to-night,

All here is chang'd save the changeless hills,

And the Severn, rippling bright.

We dwell in peace, beneath the yoke

That roused our father's spears,

The very tongue our fathers spoke,

Sounds strangely in our ears. {61}

But the human heart knows little change:

'Tis woman's to watch, 'tis man's to range

For pleasure, wealth, or fame;

And thou may'st look, from thy realms above,

On many a sister's yearning love,

The same--still, still the same.

Ye students grave, of ancient lore,

Grudge not my skilless rhyme,

One tale (from tradition's ample store)

Of Cambria's olden time;

Seek, 'mid the hills and glens around,

For names and deeds of war;

And leave this little spot of ground,

A record holier far.