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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/325

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The European Sky -God. 311

so, the oaks after which the place was called must have been objects of veneration.^

Glasteing, ' He of the Oaks,' following a monstrous sow till it lay down beneath a sacred tree, recalls not only the sow with thirty teats found at last by Aeneas beneath the oaks of the Alban Mount,-^ but also the Welsh tale of Math, the Son of Mathomvy? Math and Gwydion together made a wife for Llew Llaw Gyffes (' the Lion of the Sure Hand '), who was the son of Arianrod (' Silver- wheel ') and prince of Dinodig. They called her Blodeu- wedd (' Flower-face '), for she was a lovely creature formed of the blossoms of the oak, of the broom, and of the meadow-sweet. But she was fickle and, through love of

^ Glastonbury has been distinguished for a sacred tree of one sort or another from its earliest foundation to the present time.

The Glastonbury walnut never put forth its leaves before St. Bartholomew's day, Aug. 24, but on that festival was covered with them (Camden Britannia ed. Gough i. 59)- According to others, it never budded before the feast of St. Barnabas, June 11 (R. Folkard Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics London 1884 p. 63, from Collinson's History of Somerset). Or again, it put forth young leaves at Christmas (J. Aubrey The Natural History of Wiltshire ed. J. Britton, London 1847, p. 57). The credulous, including Queen Anne, King James, etc., gave large sums of money for small cuttings from it (Folkard loc. cit.).

The Glastonbury cornel or hawthorn budded on Christmas day (Camden lot. cit.). It was even more sought after (R. Warner An History of the Abbey of Glaston Bath 1826 p.c. ff., Hilderic Friend Flowers and Flower Lore London 1S83 i. 193 f., Folkard op. cit. pp. 62 f., Mrs. J. H. Philpot The Sacred Tree London 1S97 p. 166 ff.).

With these trees should be compared the Cadenham oak in the New Forest, which budded always on Christmas day and was regarded by the country folk with peculiar veneration (Folkard op. cit. pp. 63, 470, J. Nisbet and the Hon. G. W. Lascelles in the Victoria History of Ha^npshire ii. 465). The same is said of the King's oak in the New Forest (Aubrey op. cit. p. 57) ; of an old pollard oak within the trenches of Malwood castle, from which a basket of young leaves used to be sent every Christmas to King Charles i ; and of two other pollard oaks growing not far from the King's oak {id. ib. p. 53 f. ). Cp. also Philpot Sacred Tree p. 167 on two apple-trees blossoming at Christmas.

"^Folk-lore xvi. 281 n. 2.

  • Lady Charlotte Guest Mabinogion ed. 1904 p. 58 ff.