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11


THE FAIR ISLE.3[1]

FOR THE MELODY CALLED THE "WELSH GROUND."

[The Bard of the Palace, under the ancient Welsh princes, always accompanied the army when it marched into an enemy's country; and, while it was preparing for battle or dividing the spoils, he performed an ancient song, called Unbennaeth Prydain, the Monarchy of Britain. It has been conjectured that this poem referred to the tradition of the Welsh, that the whole island had once been possessed by their ancestors, who were driven into a corner of it by their Saxon invaders. When the prince had received his share of the spoils, the bard, for the performance of this song, was rewarded with the most valuable beast that remained.—Jones's Historical Account of the Welsh Bards.]

I.

Sons of the Fair Isle! forget not the time

Ere spoilers had breathed the free air of your clime;
All that its eagles behold in their flight
Was yours, from the deep to each storm-mantled height.
Though from your race that proud birthright be torn,
Unquench'd is the spirit for monarchy born.

CHORUS.


Darkly though clouds may hang o'er us awhile,
The crown shall not pass from the Beautiful Isle.

II.

Ages may roll ere your children regain

The land for which heroes have perish'd in vain;
Yet, in the sound of your names shall be power,
Around her still gathering in glory's full hour.
Strong in the fame of the mighty that sleep,
Your Britain shall sit on the throne of the deep.

CHORUS.


Then shall their spirits rejoice in her smile,
Who died for the crown of the Beautiful Isle.



  1. 3Ynys Prydain was the ancient Welsh name of Britain, and signifies fair or beautiful isle.}}