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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/72

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64
Sacred Wells in Wales.

not appear to be at all modern, but very decidedly the contrary.

For the next legend of this kind I have to thank the Rev. J. Fisher, Curate of Llanllwchaiarn, Newtown, Mont., who, in spite of his name, is a genuine Welshman, and—what is more—a Welsh scholar. The following are his words: —"Llyn Llech Owen (the last word is locally sounded w-en, like oo-en in English, as is also the personal name Owen) is on Mynydd Mawr, in the ecclesiastical parish of Gors Las, and the civil parish of Llanarthney, Carmarthenshire. It is a small lake, forming the source of the Gwendraeth Fawr. I have heard the tradition about its origin told by several persons, and by all, until quite recently, pretty much in the same form. In 1884 I took it down from my grandfather, Mr. Rees Thomas (b. 1809, d. 1892), of Cil Coll, Llandebïe—a very intelligent man, with a good fund of old-world Welsh lore—who had lived all his life in the neighbouring parishes of Llandeilo Fawr and Llandebïe.

"The following is the version of the story (translated) as I had it from him:—There was once a man of the name of Owen living on Mynydd Mawr, and he had a well ('ffynnon'). Over this well he kept a large flag ('fflagen neu lech fawr': 'fflagen' is the word in common use now in these parts for a large flat stone), which he was always careful to replace over its mouth after he had satisfied himself or his beast with water. It happened, however, that one day he went on horseback to the well to water his horse, and forgot to put the flag back in its place. He rode off leisurely in the direction of his home; but, after he had gone some distance, he casually looked back, and, to his great astonishment, saw that the well had burst out and was overflowing the whole place. He suddenly bethought him that he should ride back and encompass the overflow of the water as fast as he could; and it was the horse's track in galloping round the water that put a stop to its further overflowing. It is fully believed that, had he