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Ill-omened bird! as legends say,
Who hast the wonderous power to know, While health fills high the throbbing veins,
The fated hour when blood must flow.
Blinded by rage, alone he passed,
Nor sought his ready vassals' aid; But what his fate lay long unknown,
For many an anxious year delayed.
A peasant marked his angry eye,
He saw him reach the lake's dark bourne, He saw him near a Blasted Oak,
But never from that hour return.
Three days passed o'er, no tidings came;
Where should the chief his steps delay? With wild alare the servants ran,
Yet knew not where to point their way.
His vassals ranged the mountain's height,
The covert close, and wide-spread plain ; But all in vain their eager search,
They ne'er must see their lord again.
Yet Fancy, in a thousand shapes,
Bore to his home the Chief once more: Some saw him walk the mountain's top,
Some saw him on the winding shore.
With wonder fraught the tale went round,
Amazement chained the hearer's tongue; Each peasant felt his own sad loss, Yet fondly o'er the story hung.
Oft by the moon's pale shadowy light,
His aged nurse, and steward grey, :, : Would lean to catch the storied sounds,
Or mark the flitting spirit stray.
Pale lights on Cader's rocks were seen,
And midnight voices heard to moan; 'Twas even said the Blasted Oak,
Convulsive, heaved a hollow groan :
And, to this day, the peasant still,
With cautious fear, avoids the ground; In each wild branch a spectre sees,
And trembles at each rising sound.
Ten annual suns had held their course,
In summer's smile, or winter's storm; The lady shed the widowed tear,
As oft she traced his manly form.
Yet still to hope her heart would cling,
As o'er the mind illusions play, Of travel fond, perhaps her lord
To distant lands had steered his way.
'Twas now November's cheerless hour,
Which drenching rains and clouds deface; Dreary the mountain tract appeared,
And dull and dank the valley's space.
Loud o'er the wier the hoarse flood fell,
And dashed the foamy spray on high; The west wind bent the forest tops,
And angry frowned the evening sky.
A stranger passed Llanelltid's waste,
His dark-grey steed with sweat besprent, Which, wearied with the lengthened way,
Could scarcely gain the hills 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 she loved so well.”.
Then, as he crossed the spacious hall,
The menials look surprise and fear; Still o'er his barp old Modred hung,
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 from 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 pow that mighty Chief lies low!
“ E'en from the day, when, chained by fate,
By wizzard'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 faultering 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 faint the tongue that proudly spoke, And weak that arm, still raised to me,
Which oft had dealt the mortal stroke.
“ How could I then his mandate bear?
Or how his last behest obey?
With him I shunned the light of day.
“ Proscribed by Henry's hostile rage,
My country lost, despoiled my land, Desperate, I fled my native soil,
And fought on Syria's distant strand.
“O, had thy long-lamented lord :
The holy cross and banner viewed, Died in the sacred cause! who fell
Sad victim of a private feud !
“ Led, by the ardour of the chace,
Far distant from his own domain; From where Garthmadan spreads her shades,
The Glyndwr sought the opening plain.
o With head aloft, and antlers wide,
A red buck roused then crossed in view; Stung with the sight, and wild with rage,
Swift from the wood fierce Howel flew.
“ With bitter taunt, and keen reproach,
He, all impetuous, poured his rage; Reviled the Chief as weak in arms,
And bade him loud the battle wage.