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9


GRUFYDD'S FEAST.

["Grufydd ab Rhys ab Tewdwr, having resisted the English successfully in the time of Stephen, and at last obtained from them an honourable peace, made a great feast at his palace in Ystrad Tywi to celebrate this event. To this feast, which was continued for forty days, he invited all who would come in peace from Gwynedd, Powys, the Deheubarth, Glamorgan, and the marches. Against the appointed time he prepared all kinds of delicious viands and liquors; with every entertainment of vocal and instrumental song; thus patronising the poets and musicians. He encouraged, too, all sorts of representations and manly games, and afterwards sent away all those who had excelled in them with honourable gifts."—Cambrian Biography.]

Let the yellow mead shine for the sons of the brave,
By the bright festal torches around us that wave!
Set open the gates of the prince's wide hall,
And hang up the chief's ruddy spear on the wall!
    There is peace in the land we have battled to save:
Then spread ye the feast, bid the wine-cup foam high,1[1]
That those may rejoice who have fear'd not to die!

Let the horn whose loud blast gave the signal for fight,
With the bees sunny nectar now sparkle in light;2[2]
Let the rich draught it offers with gladness be crown'd,
For the strong hearts in combat that leap'd at its sound!
    Like the billows' dark swell was the path of their might,
Red, red as their blood, fill the wine-cup on high,
That those may rejoice who have fear'd not to die!

And wake ye the children of song from their dreams,
On Maelor's wild hills and by Dyfed's fair streams!3[3]
Bid them haste with those strains of the lofty and free,
Which shall flow down the waves of long ages to be.
    Sheath the sword which hath given them unperishing themes,
And pour the bright mead: let the wine-cup foam high,
That those may rejoice who have fear'd not to die!



  1. 1Wine, as well as mead, is frequently mentioned in the poems of the ancient British bards.
  2. 2The horn was used for two purposes—to sound the alarm in war, and to drink the mead at feasts.
  3. 3Dyfed, (said to signify a land abounding with streams of water,) the modern Pembrokeshire.