Welsh Melodies/Howel's Song
[Howel ab Einion Llygliw was a distinguished bard of the fourteenth century. A beautiful poem, addressed by him to Myfanwy Vychan, a celebrated beauty of those times, is still preserved amongst the remains of the Welsh bards. The ruins of Myfanwy's residence, Castle Dinas Bran, may yet be traced on a high hill near Llangollen.]
Press on, my steed! I hear the swell1
Of Valle Crucis' vesper-bell,
Sweet floating from the holy dell
O'er woods and waters round.
Perchance the maid I love, e'en now,
From Dinas Bran's majestic brow,
Looks o'er the fairy world below.
And listens to the sound!
I feel her presence on the scene!
The summer air is more serene,
The deep woods wave in richer green,
The wave more gently flows!
O fair as ocean's curling foam!2
Lo! with the balmy hour I come—
The hour that brings the wanderer home,
The weary to repose!
Haste! on each mountain's darkening crest
The glow hath died, the shadows rest,
The twilight star on Deva's breast
Gleams tremulously bright;
Speed for Myfanwy's bower on high!
Though scorn may wound me from her eye,
Oh! better by the sun to die,
Than live in rayless night!
- 1 "I have rode hard, mounted on a fine high-bred steed, upon thy account, O thou with the countenance of cherry-flower bloom. The speed was with eagerness, and the strong long-hamm'd steed of Alban reached the summit of the high land of Bran."
- 2 "My loving heart sinks with grief without thy support, O thou that hast the whiteness of the curling waves! . . . . . I know that this pain will avail me nothing towards obtaining thy love, O thou whose countenance is bright as the flowers of the hawthorn!"—Howel's Ode to Myfanwy.