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A stranger passed Llanelltid's bourne,
His dark-grey steed with sweat besprent, Which, wearied with the lengthened way,
Could scarcely gain the hill's ascent
The portal reached,--the iron bell
Loud sounded round the outward wall; Quick sprang the warder to the gate,
To know what meant the clamorous call.
“ O! lead me to your lady soon;
Say,-it is my sad lot to tell,
She long has proved slie loved so well.”
Then, as be crossed the spacious hall,
The menials look surprise and fear; Still o'er his harp Old Modred bung,
And touched the notes for grief's worn ear.
The lady sat amidst her train;
A mellowed sorrow marked her look: Then, asking what his mission meant,
The graceful stranger sighed and spoke :
“O could I spread one ray of hope,
One moment raise thy soul froni woe, Gladly my tongue would tell its tale,
My words at ease unfettered flow!
“ Now, lady, give attention due,
The story claims thy full belief: E'en in the worst events of life,
Suspense removed is some relief.
“ Though worn by care, see Madoc here,
Great Glyndwr's friend, thy kindred's foe; Ah, let his name no anger raise,
For now that mighty Chief lies low!
“ E'en from the day, when, chained by fate,
By wizard's dream or potent spell, Lingering from sad Salopia's field,
Reft of his aid the Percy fell;
“ E'en from that day misfortune still,
As if for violated faith,
Vindictive still for Hotspur's death.
“ Vanquished at length, the Glyndwr fled
Where winds the Wye her devious flood; To find a casual shelter there,
In some lone cot, or desert wood.
“ Clothed in a shepherd's humble guise, · He gained by toil his scanty bread; He who had Cambria's sceptre borne,
And her brave sons to glory led !
« To penury extreme, and grief,
The Chieftain fell a lingering prey; I heard his last few fanltering words,
Such as with pain I now convey.
• To Sele's sad widow bear the tale,
« Nor let our horrid secret rest; Give but his corse to sacred earth, • Then may my parting soul be blest.'
“Dim waxed the eye that fiercely shone,
And weak that arm, still raised to me,
“How could I then his mandate bear?
A rebel deemed, with him I fled;
“Proscribed by Henry's hostile rage,
Desperate, I fled my native soil,
“O, had thy long lamented lord
Died in the sacred cause! who fell
“Led, by the ardour of the chace,
From where Garthmaelan spreads her shades,
“With head aloft, and antlers wide,
Stung with the sight, and wild with rage,
“With bitter taunt, and keen reproach,
Reviled the Chief as weak in arms,
“ Glyndwr for once restrained his sword,
And, still averse, the fight delays; But softened words, like oil to fire,
Made anger more intensely blaze.
“ They fought; and doubtful long the fray!
The Glyndwr gave the fatal wound! Still mournful must my tale proceed,
And it's last act all dreadful sound.
“How could we hope for wished retreat,
His eager vassals ranging wide?
O'er many a trackless mountain tried ?
“ I marked a broad and Blasted Oak,
Scorched by the lightning's livid glare ; Hollow its stem from branch to root,
And all its shrivelled arms were bare.
“ Be this, I cried, his proper grave!
(The thought in me was deadly sin.) Aloft we raised the hapless Chief,
And dropped his bleeding corpse within.”
A shriek from all the damsels burst,
That pierced the vaulted roofs below; While horror-struck the Lady stood,
A living form of sculptured woe.
With stupid stare, and vacant gaze,
Full on his face her eyes were cast, Absorbed !--she lost her present grief,
And faintly thought of things long past.