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18


ERYRI WEN.

["Snowdon was held as sacred by the ancient Britons, as Parnassus was by the Greeks, and Ida by the Cretans. It is still said, that whosoever slept upon Snowdon would wake inspired, as much as if he had taken a nap on the hill of Apollo. The Welsh had always the strongest attachment to the tract of Snowdon. Our princes had, in addition to their title, that of Lord of Snowdon."—Pennant.]


Theirs was no dream, O monarch hill,
    With heaven's own azure crown'd!
Who call'd thee—what thou shalt be still,
    White Snowdon!—holy ground.

They fabled not, thy sons who told
    Of the dread power enshrined
Within thy cloudy mantle's fold,
    And on thy rushing wind!

It shadow'd o'er thy silent height,
    It fill'd thy chainless air,
Deep thoughts of majesty and might
    For ever breathing there.

Nor hath it fled! the awful spell
    Yet holds unbroken sway,
As when on that wild rock it fell
    Where Merddin Emrys lay!2[1]

Though from their stormy haunts of yore
    Thine eagles long have flown,3[2]
As proud a flight the soul shall soar
    Yet from thy mountain-throne!

Pierce then the heavens, thou hill of streams!
    And make the snows thy crest!
The sunlight of immortal dreams
    Around thee still shall rest.

Eryri! temple of the bard!
    And fortress of the free!
Midst rocks which heroes died to guard,
    Their spirit dwells with thee!



  1. 2Dinas Emrys, (the fortress of Ambrose,) a celebrated rock amongst the mountains of Snowdon, is said to be so called from having been the residence of Merddin Emrys, called by the Latins Merlinus Ambrosius, the celebrated prophet and magician: and there, tradition says, he wrote his prophecies concerning the future state of the Britons. There is another curious tradition respecting a large stone, on the ascent of Snowdon, called Maen du yr Arddu, the black stone of Arddu. It is said, that if two persons were to sleep a night on this stone, in the morning one would find himself endowed with the gift of poetry, and the other would become insane.—Williams's Observations on the Snowdon Mountains.
  2. 3It is believed amongst the inhabitants of these mountains, that eagles have heretofore bred in the lofty clefts of their rocks. Some wandering ones are still seen at times, though very rarely, amongst the precipices.—Williams’s Observations on the Snowdon Mountains.