Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 8/The first-born Prince of Wales


[On the death of Llewellyn, the Welsh demanded a native Prince: so King Edward of England, who was then in Wales, sent for Eleanor, his Queen; and she, soon after her arrival in Caernarvon Castle, was delivered of a son, whom the King presented to the Welsh chieftains, and whom they acknowledged as their native Prince.]


Weep, noble lady! weep no more!
The woman’s joy is won:
Fear not! thy time of grief is o’er,
And thou hast borne a son!


Then ceased the Queen from pain and cry,
And, as she proudly smiled,
The tear stood still within her eye,—
A mother saw her child!


Now bear him to the castle-gate!”
Thus did the King command:
There, stern and stately all, they wait,
The warriors of the land!


They met,—another Lord to claim,—
And loud their voices rung:
We will not brook a stranger’s name,
Nor serve the Saxon tongue!


Our King shall breathe a British birth,
And speak with native voice:
He shall be Lord of Cymrian earth,
The chieftain of our choice!”


Then might you hear the drawbridge fall,
And echoing footsteps nigh:
And, hearken! by yon haughty wall,
A low and infant cry!


God save your Prince!” King Edward said,
Your wayward wish is won:
Behold him, from his mother’s bed,
My child! my first-born son!


Here, in his own, his native place,
His future feet shall stand;
And rule the children of your race
In language of the land!”


’Twas strange to see: so sternly smiled
Those warriors gray and grim:
How little thought King Edward’s child
Who thus would welcome him!


Nor knew they then how proud the tone
They taught their native vales;
The shout whole nations lived to own,—
God bless the Prince of Wales.

R. S. H.