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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/70

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62
Sacred Wells in Wales.

the name of the thief who had stolen from him, he had to throw a bit of bread into the well and name the person whom he suspected. At the name of the thief the bread would sink; so the inquirer went on naming all the persons he could think of until the bit of bread sank: then the thief was identified. Another well of the same kind was Ffynnon Saethon, in Llanfihangel Bachellaeth parish, also in Lleyn. Here it was customary, as he had it in writing, for lovers to throw pins (pinnau) into the well; but these pins appear to have been the points of the blackthorn. At any rate, they cannot well have been of any kind of metal, as we are told that, if they sank in the water, one concluded that one's lover was not sincere in his or her love. Ffynnon Gybi, or St. Cybi's Well, in the parish of Llangybi, was the scene of a somewhat similar practice; for there the girls who wished to know their lovers' intentions would spread their pocket-handkerchiefs on the water of the well, and, if the water pushed the handkerchiefs to the south—in Welsh i'r dé—they knew that everything was right—in Welsh o ddê—and that their lovers were honest and honourable in their intentions; but, if the water shifted the handkerchiefs northwards, they concluded the contrary. A reference to this is made in severe terms by a modern Welsh poet, as follows:—


Ambell ddyn, gwaelddyn, a gyrch
I bant goris Moel Bentyrch,
Alewn gobaith mai hen Gybi
Glodfawr sydd yn llvyddaw'r lli.


Some folks, worthless folks, visit
A hollow below Moel Bentyrch,
In hopes that ancient Kybi
Of noble fame blesses the flood.


The spot is not far from where Myrddin Fardd lives; and he mentioned that adjoining the well is a building which was probably intended for the person in charge of the well. However that may be, it has been tenanted