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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/60

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50 The Etiropean Sky -God.

Gwalchmei means ' the Hawk or Falcon of May ' ^ ; and with it should be compared the tradition that the eagles of Llyn Llumonwy, or Loch Lomond, used to congre- gate on the eve of the Calends of May to give the inhabitants auguries for the year then commencing.^ As to Modred, Merlin in Malory's Morte Darthtir^ warns king Arthur that he will be destroyed by one born on May-day : hereupon the king collects all the children so born to his lords and ladies, and sends them to sea in a ship : of their number is Mordred, Le. Modred, who escapes and ultimately slays king Arthur. Equally momentous is the first of May in the tale of Pwyll Prince of Dyved^ and in that of Gwyddneu Garanhir and the weir at Aberdovey.^ Why May-day was such a crisis for the Celtic king, is a question to which we shall have to return. Meantime we are concerned with Lludd, Loth, or Lot.

As Nodons was a river-god in Gloucestershire, so, it would seem, was Lud in Leicestershire. For the town of ' Ltid, alias Louth' as Leland *^ called it, derives its name from the little river Lud or Ludd, in the neigh- bourhood of which are the hamlets Ludborough, Lud- ford, and Ludney.'^ Again, Professor Rhys conjectures that, as the god Nodons had a sanctuary beside the Severn at Lydney, so the god Lud had a sanctuary by the Thames on or near the site of St. Paul's Cathedral.^ Here he was represented by the British king Lud, of

^ Rhys Arthurian Legend p. 13. " Id. ib. p. 238 f.

^ Sir Thomas Malory Le Morte. Darthur ed. Sir E. Strachey London 1904 p. 48 f, ^Lady Guest Mabinogion p. 21, Rhys Hibbert Lecttires p. 497 ff.

  • Rhys Hibbert Lectures p. 545, Arthurian Legend p. 316 f.

^Camden Britannia ed. Gough ii. 274.

' S. Lewis Topographical Dictionary of England London 1842 s.w. ^Rhys Hibbert Lectures p. 129, Celtic Folklore ii. 448.