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20


THE HARP OF WALES.

INTRODUCTORY STANZAS, INSCRIBED TO THE RUTHIN WELSH LITERARY SOCIETY.

Harp of the mountain-land! sound forth again
    As when the foaming Hirlas1[1] horn was crown'd,
And warrior hearts beat proudly to the strain,
    And the bright mead at Owain's feast went round:
Wake with the spirit and the power of yore1!
Harp of the ancient hills! be heard once more!

Thy tones are not to cease! The Roman came
    O'er the blue waters with his thousand oars:
Through Mona's oaks he sent the wasting flame;
    The Druid shrines lay prostrate on our shores:
All gave their ashes to the wind and sea—
Ring out, thou harp! he could not silence thee.

Thy tones are not to cease! The Saxon pass'd,
    His banners floated on Eryri's gales;2[2]
But thou wert heard above the trumpet's blast,
    E'en when his towers rose loftiest o'er the vales!
Thine is the voice that cheer'd the brave and free;
They had their hills, their chainless hearts, and thee.

Those were dark years!—They saw the valiant fall,
    The rank weeds gathering round the chieftain’s board,
The hearth left lonely in the ruin'd hall—
    Yet power was thine—a gift in every chord!
Call back that spirit to the days of peace,
Thou noble harp! thy tones are not to cease!



  1. 1Hirlas, from hir, long, and glas, blue or azure.
  2. 2Eryri, the Welsh name for the Snowdon mountains.