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THE MABINOGION


THE DREAM OF RHONABWY





  Madawg son of Maredudd held Powys from end to end, that is, from Porffordd unto Gwafan in the uplands of Arwystli. And at that time he had a brother. He was not a man of, rank equal with himself: he was Iorwoerth son of Maredudd. And he felt great heaviness and sorrow at seeing the honour and power that were his brother's, whereas he had naught. And he sought out his comrades and foster-brothers and took counsel of them what he should do about it. They decided by their counsel to send some from amongst them to demand provision for him. The offer Madawg made him was the captaincy of his war-band, and equal standing with himself, and steeds and arms and honour. And Iorwoerth rejected that, and went harrying into Lloegyr. And Iorwoerth made slaughter and burned houses and carried off prisoners.

  And Madawgh took counsel, and the men of Powys with him. They decided by their counsel to place a hundred men in every three commots in Powys, to seek him out. And they reckoned Rhychdir Powys, from Aber Ceirawg in Hallictwn as far as the Ford of Wilfre on Efyrnwy as equal to the three best commots that were in Powys. And the man would not prosper with a war-band in Powys who would not prosper in that cultivated land. And as far as Didlystwn, a hamlet in that cultivated land, those men took their quarters.

  And there was a man on that quest, his name was Rhonabwy. And Rhonabwy and Cynwrig Frychgoch, a man from Mawddwy, and Cadwgawn Fras, a man from Moelfre in Cynlleith, came to the house of Heilyn Goch son of Cadwgawn son of Iddon for lodgings. And as they came towards the house, they could see a black old hall with a straight gable end; and smoke a-plenty from it. And when they came inside, they could see a floor full of holes and uneven. Where there was a bump upon it, it was with difficulty a man might stand thereon, so exceeding slippery was the floor with cows' urine and their dung. Where there was a hole, a man would go over the ankle, what with the mixture of water and cow-dung; and branches of holly a-plenty on the floor after the cattle had eaten off their tips. And when they came to the main floor of the house they could see bare dusty dais boards, and a crone feeding a fire on the one dais, and when cold came upon her she would throw a lapful of husks on to the fire, so that it was not easy for any man alive to endure that smoke entering his nostrils. And on the other dais they could see a yellow ox skin. And good luck would it be for the one of them whose lot it would be to go on that skin.

  And after they had sat down they asked the crone where were the people of the house. But the crone spoke nothing to them save incivility. And thereupon, lo, the people coming: a red-headed, exceeding bald and wizened man, with a bundle of sticks on his back, and a little skinny livid woman, and with her too a bundle under the arm. And a cold welcome they had for the men. And the woman lit a fire of sticks for them and went to cook, and brought them their food, barley-bread and cheese and watered milk. And thereupon, lo, a storm of wind and rain, so that it was not easy for any to go to relieve himself. And so exceeding weary were they from their journey that they drowsed and went to sleep.

  And when their resting-place was examined there was nothing on it save dusty flea-ridden straw-ends, and branch butts a-plenty throughout it, after the oxen had eaten all the straw that was on it above their heads and below their feet. A greyish-red, threadbare, flea-infested blanket was spread thereon, and over the blanket a coarse broken sheet in tatters, and a half-empty pillow and filthy pillow-case thereon, on top of the sheet. And they went to sleep. And sleep came heavily upon Rhonabwy's two companions after the fleas and the discomfort had fretted them. And Rhonabwy, since he could neither sleep nor rest, thought it would be less of a torture for him to go on the yellow ox skin on the dais, to sleep. And there he slept.

  And the moment sleep came upon his eyes he was granted a vision, how he and his companions were traversing the plain of Argyngroeg; and his mind and purpose, it seemed to him, were towards Rhyd-y-Groes on the Severn. And as he journeyed he heard a commotion, and the like of that commotion he had never heard. And he looked behind him.

  He could see a youth with yellow curly hair and his beard new trimmed, upon a yellow horse, and from the top of his two legs and the caps of his knees downwards green. And a tunic of yellow brocaded silk about the rider, sewn with green thread, and a gold-hilted sword on his thigh, and a scabbard of new cordwain for it, and a deerskin thong and a clasp of gold thereon. And over and above those a mantle of yellow brocaded silk sewn with green silk, and the fringes of the mantle green. And what was green of the rider's and his horse's apparel was green as the fronds of the fir trees, and what was yellow of it was yellow as the flowers of the broom. And so awe-inspiring did they see the rider that they were frightened and made to flee. And the rider pursued them, and when the horse breathed forth his breath the men grew distant from him, and when he drew it in they were drawn near to him, right to the horse's chest. And when he caught up with them they asked him for quarter. 'You shall have It gladly, and let there be no fear upon you.' 'Ah, chieftain, since thou hast granted us quarter, wilt thou tell us who thou art?' said Rhonabwy. 'I will not hide my identity from thee: Iddawg son of Mynio. But for the most part it is not by my name I am spoken of, but by my nickname,' 'Wilt thou tell us what thy nickname is?' 'I will. Iddawg the Embroiler of Britain am I called.' 'Chieftain,' said Rhonabwy, 'for what reason then art thou so called?' 'I will tell thee the reason. I was one of the envoys at the battle of Camlan, between Arthur and Medrawd his nephew. And a spirited young man was I then! And I so craved for battle that I kindled strife between them. This was the kind of strife I kindled: when the emperor Arthur would send me to remind Medrawd that he was his foster-father and uncle, and ask for peace lest the kings' sons of the Island of Britain and their noblemen should be slain, and when Arthur would speak to me the fairest words he could, I would speak those words the ugliest way I knew how to Medrawd. And because of that the name Iddawg the Embroiler of Britain was set on me. And because of that was woven the battle of Camlan. But even so, three nights before the end of the battle of Camlan I parted from them, and I went to Y Llech Las  1   in Prydein to do penance. And I was there seven years doing penance, and I won pardon.'

  Thereupon, lo, they could hear a commotion which was greater by far than the former commotion. And when they looked in the direction of the commotion, lo, a young man with yellow-red hair, without beard and without moustache, and a nobleman's bearing upon him, on a great charger. And from the top of his shoulders and the caps of his knees downwards the horse was yellow, and a garment about the man of red brocaded silk, sewn with yellow silk, and the fringes of the mantle yellow. And what was yellow of his and his horse's apparel was yellow as the flowers of the broom, and what of them was red was red as the reddest blood in the world. And then, lo, the rider overtaking them and asking Iddawg if he might have a share of those little fellows from him. 'The share it is proper for me to give, I will give; to be a comrade to them even as I myself have been.' And so the rider did, and went away. 'Iddawg,' said Rhonabwy, 'who was this horseman?' 'Rhwawn Bebyr son of Deorthach Wledig.'

  And then they traversed the great plain of Argyngroeg as far as Rhyd-y-Groes on the Severn. And a mile from the ford, on either side the road, they could see the tents and the pavilions and the mustering of a great host. And they came to the bank of the ford. They could see Arthur seated on a flat island below the ford, and on one side of him Bedwin the bishop, and on the other side Gwarthegydd son of Caw, and a big auburn-haired youth standing before them, with his sword in its sheath in his hand, and a tunic and surcoat of pure black brocaded silk about him, and his face as white as ivory and his eyebrows black as jet; and where a man might see aught of his wrist between his gloves and his sleeves, it was whiter than the water-lily, and thicker it was than the small of a warrior's leg.

  And then Iddawg and they too along with him came before Arthur and greeted him. 'God prosper thee,' said Arthur. 'Where, Iddawg, didst thou find those little fellows?' 'I found them, lord, away up on the road.' The emperor smiled drily. 'Lord,' said lddawg, 'at what art thou laughing?' 'Iddawg,' said Arthur, 'I am not laughing; but rather how sad I feel that men as mean as these keep this Island, after men as fine as those that kept it of yore.' And then Iddawg said, 'Rhonabwy, dost see the ring with the stone in it on the emperor's hand?' 'I do,' said he. 'It is one of the virtues of the stone that thou shalt remember what thou hast seen here to-night. And hadst thou not seen the stone, thou shouldst remember not a whit of this adventure.'

  And after that he saw a troop coming towards the ford. 'Iddawg,' said Rhonabwy, 'whose is the troop yonder?' 'The comrades of Rhwawn Bebyr son of Deorthach Wledig; and yonder men have mead and bragget in honour, and they have the wooing of the kings' daughters of the Island of Britain, without let; and they have a right thereto, for in every strait they come in his van and in his rear.' And no other colour could he see upon horse or man of that troop save that they were red as blood. And if one of the riders parted from that troop, like to a pillar of fire would he be, mounting into the sky. And that troop pitching its tents above the ford.

  And thereupon they could see another troop coming towards the ford, and from the front saddlebows of the horses upwards as white as the water-lily, and thence downwards as black as jet. They could see a rider coming on ahead and spurring his horse into the ford till the water splashed over Arthur and the bishop and those who held counsel along with them, until they were as wet as if they had been dragged out of the river. And as he was turning his horse's head, the youth who was standing in front of Arthur struck the horse on its nostrils with the sword in its scabbard, so that it would be a marvel were it struck upon iron that it were not broken, let alone flesh or bone. And the rider drew his sword the length of half his scabbard and asked him, 'Why didst thou strike my horse, by way of insult, or by way of counsel to me?' 'Thou hadst need of counsel. What madness could make thee ride so recklessly that the water of the ford was splashed over Arthur and the holy bishop and their counsellors, till they were as wet as if they had been dragged out of the river?' 'Then I shall take it as counsel.' And he turned his horse's head back towards his troop.

  'Iddawg,' said Rhonabwy, 'who was the rider just now?' 'He who is reckoned the most accomplished and wisest young man in this kingdom, Addaon son of Teliesin.' 'And who was the man who struck his horse?' 'A cross-grained froward youth, Elphin son of Gwyddno.'

  And then a proud handsome man, with bold eloquent speech, said that it was a marvel how a host so big as this was contained within a place so exceeding strait as this; and that it was to him a greater marvel how there should be here at this very hour those who promised to be in the battle of Baddon by mid-day, fighting against Osla Bigknife. 'And choose thou, whether thou go or go not. I shall go.' 'Thou speekest true,' said Arthur, 'and let us go together' 'Iddawg' said Rhonabwy, 'who is the man who spoke so forwardly to Arthur as he spoke just now?' 'A man who had a right to speak to him as bluntly as he wished, Caradawg Stout-arm son of Llyr Marini, chief counsellor and his first cousin.'

  And after that Iddawg took Rhonabwy up behind him, and they set out, that great host, each troop in its place, in the direction of Cefyn Digoll. And when they had come to the middle of the ford on the Severn, Iddawg turned his horse's head around, and Rhonabwy looked upon the valley of the Severn. He could see two most leisurely troops coming towards the ford on the Severn; and a brilliant white troop coming, and a mantle of white brocaded silk about each man of them, and the fringes of each one pure black, and the knee-caps and the tops of the horses' two legs black, and the horses pale white all over save for that; and their standards pure white, and the tip of each one of them pure black.

  'Iddawg,' said Rhonabwy, 'what is the pure white troop yonder?' 'Those are the men of Llychlyn,  2   and March son of Meirchawn at their head. A first cousin of Arthur is he.' And then he could see a troop, and a pure black garment about each one of them, and the fringes of each mantle pure white, and from the top of the horses' two legs and the caps of their knees pure white; and their standards pure black, and the tip of each one of them pure white.

  'Iddawg,' said Rhonabwy, 'what is the pure black troop yonder?' 'The men of Denmark, and Edern son of Nudd at their head.'

  And when they overtook the host, Arthur and his host of the Mighty had descended below Caer Faddon, and the way that Arthur was going he could see that he and Iddawg were going too. And when they had descended, he could hear great and dreadful commotion amongst the host, and the man 'who would be now on the flank of the host would be back in their centre, and he who would be in their centre would be on the flank. And thereupon, lo, he could see a rider coming with mail upon him and his horse, and its rings as white as the whitest water-lily, and its rivets red as the reddest blood. And he riding in amongst the host.

  'Iddawg,' said Rhonabwy, 'is the host fleeing before me?' 'The emperor Arthur never fled. And hadst thou been overheard making that remark thou wert a doomed man. But the rider thou seest yonder, that is Cei. The fairest man who rides in Arthur's court is Cei. And the man on the flank of the host is hurrying back to the centre to look on Cei riding, and the man in the centre is fleeing to the flank lest he be hurt by the horse. And that is the meaning of the commotion amongst the host.'

  Thereupon they could hear Cadwr earl of Cornwall called for. Lo, he arising, and Arthur's sword in his hand, and the image of two serpents on the sword in gold; and when the sword was drawn from its sheath as it were two flames of fire might be seen from the mouths of the serpents, and so exceeding dreadful was it that it was not easy for any to look thereon. Thereupon, lo, the host settling down and the commotion ceasing. And the earl returned to the tent.

  'Iddawg,' said Rhonabwy, 'who was the man who brought the sword to Arthur?' 'Cadwr earl of Cornwall, the man whose duty it is to array the king in arms on the day of battle and combat.'

  And thereupon they could hear Arthur's servitor, Eiryn Wych son of Peibyn, called for, a rough red-headed ugly man, with a red moustache, and bristling hair therein. Lo, he coming on a big red horse, with its mane parted on both sides of its neck, and with him a large handsome pack. And the big red servitor dismounted in Arthur's presence and drew forth a golden chair from the pack, and a mantle of ribbed brocaded silk. And he spread the mantle in front of Arthur, and an apple of red gold at each of its corners, and he set the chair on the mantle, and so big was the chair that three warriors armed might sit therein. Gwen  3   was the name of the mantle. And one of the properties of the mantle was that the man around whom it might be wrapped, no one would see him, whereas he would see every one. And no colour would ever abide on it save its own colour.


  And Arthur seated himself upon the mantle, with Owein son of Urien standing before him. 'Owein.' said Arthur, wilt play gwyddbwyll?' 'I will, lord,' said Owein. And the red-headed servitor brought the gwyddbwyll to Arthur and Owein: gold pieces and a board of silver. And they began to play.

  And when they were in this wise most engrossed in play over the gwyddbwyll, lo, they could see coming from a white red-topped pavilion, with the image of a pure black serpent on top of the pavilion, and bright red venomous eyes in the serpent's head, and its tongue flame-red, a young, curly yellow-haired, blue-eyed squire, with a beard starting, and a tunic and surcoat of yellow brocaded silk about him, and a pair of hose of thin greenish-yellow cloth upon his feet, and over the hose two buskins of speckled cordwain, and buckles of gold across his insteps fastening them, and a heavy gold-hilted triple-grooved sword and a scabbard of black cordwain to it, and a tip of refined red gold to the scabbard, coming towards the place where the emperor and Owein were playing gwyddbwyll.

  And the squire greeted Owein. And Owein marvelled that the squire greeted him and did not greet the emperor Arthur. And Arthur knew it was of that Owein was thinking, and he said to Owein, 'Marvel not that the squire greeted thee just now. He greeted me a while back. And it is to thee that his message is.' And then the squire said to Owein, 'Lord, is it with thy leave that the emperor's bachelors and his squires are contending with and harassing and molesting thy ravens? And if it is not with thy leave, have the emperor call them off.' 'Lord,' said Owein, 'thou hearest what the squire says? If it please thee, call them off my little ravens.' 'Play thy game,' said he. And then the squire returned towards his pavilion.

  They finished that game and started another. And when they were towards the middle of the game, lo, a young ruddy curly-headed, auburn-haired, keen-eyed, well-built attendant, with his beard shaved, coming from a bright yellow pavilion, with the image of a bright red lion on top of the pavilion, and a tunic of yellow brocaded silk about him reaching to the small of his leg, sewn with threads of red silk, and a pair of hose on his feet of fine white buckram, and over and above the hose two buskins of black cordwain on his feet, and clasps of red gold upon them, and a huge heavy triple-grooved sword in his hand, and a sheath of red deerskin to it, and a gold tip to the scabbard, coming towards the place where Arthur and Owein were playing gwyddbwyll.

  And he greeted him. And Owein was put out at being greeted, but Arthur was no more taken aback than before. The squire said to Owein, 'Is it against thy will that the emperor's squires are wounding thy ravens, killing some and molesting others? And if it is against thy will, beseech him to call them off.' 'Lord,' said Owein, 'call off thy men, if it please thee.' 'Play thy game,' said the emperor. And then the squire returned towards his pavilion.

  That game was ended and another begun. And as they were beginning the first move in the game, they could see some distance away from them a spotted yellow pavilion, the largest that any one had seen, and the image of a golden eagle thereon, and a precious stone in the eagle's head. Coming from the pavilion they could see a squire with crisp yellow hair upon his head, fair and graceful, and a mantle of green brocaded silk about him, and a gold brooch in the mantle on his right shoulder as thick as a warrior's third finger, and a pair of hose upon his feet of fine totnes, and a pair of shoes of speckled cordwain upon his feet, and gold clasps thereto; the youth noble of countenance, with white face and ruddy cheeks, and great hawk-like eyes. In the squire's hand there was a thick speckled yellow spear, and a newly sharpened head on it, and upon the spear a conspicuous standard.

  The squire came with rage and passion at a quick canter to the place where Arthur was playing with Owein over the gwyddbwyll. And they saw how he was in a rage. But even so he greeted Owein and told him how the most notable ravens among them had been slain. 'And those of them that are not slain have been wounded and hurt to that extent that not one of them can lift its wings one fathom from the ground.' 'Lord,' said Owein, 'call off thy men.' 'P1ay,' said he, 'if thou wilt.' And then Owein said to the squire, 'Away with thee and in the place where thou seest the battle hardest raise on high the standard, and let it be as God will.

  And then the squire went on his way to the place where the battle was hardest on the ravens, and raised on high the standard. And even as it was raised, they too rose into the air in passion, rage and exultation, to let wind into their wings and to throw off their weariness. And having recovered their strength and their magic powers, in rage and exultation they straightway swooped down to earth upon the men who had earlier inflicted hurt and injury and loss upon them. Of some they were carrying off the heads, of others the eyes, of others the ears, and of others the arms; and they were raising them up into the air, and there was a great commotion in the air, what with the fluttering of the exultant ravens and their croaking, and another great commotion what with the cries of the men being gashed and wounded and others being slain. And Arthur's amazement was as great as Owein's over the gwyddbwyll, hearing that commotion.

  And as they looked they could hear a rider coming towards them upon a dapple-grey horse. An exceeding strange colour was upon his horse, dapple-grey and his right leg bright red, and. from the top of his legs to the middle of his hoof-horn bright yellow; the rider and his horse arrayed in heavy foreign armour. The housing of his horse from his front saddlebow upwards pure red sandal, and from the saddlebow downwards pure yellow sandal. A huge gold-hilted one-edged sword on the youth's thigh, and a new bright green scabbard to it, and a tip to the scab- bard of laton of Spain; his sword belt of black fleecy cord- wain, and gilt crossbars upon it, and a clasp of ivory thereon. And a pure black tongue to the clasp. A gold helm upon the rider's head, and precious stones of great virtue therein, and on top of the helm the image of a yellow-red leopard with two bright red stones in its head, so that it was dreadful for a warrior, however stout his heart might be, to look on the face of the leopard, let alone on the face of the rider. A long heavy green-shafted spear in his hand, and from its hand-grip upwards bright red; the head of the spear red with the blood of the ravens and their plumage.


  The rider came to the place where Arthur and Owein were over the gwyddbwyll, and they could see how he was weary and ill-tempered coming towards them. The squire greeted Arthur and said that Owein's ravens were slaying his bachelors and squires. And Arthur looked at Owein and said,'Call off thy ravens.' 'Lord, 'said Owein, 'play thy game.' And they played. The rider returned towards the battle, and the ravens were no more called off than before.

  And when they had played awhile they could hear a great commotion, and the shrieking of men and the croaking of ravens in their strength bearing the men into the air and rending them betwixt them and letting them fall in pieces to the ground.

  And out of the commotion they could see a horseman coming on a pale white horse, and the left leg of the horse pure black down to the middle of his hoof; the rider arrayed, he and his horse, in great heavy green armour, a surcoat about him of yellow ribbed brocaded silk, and the fringes of his cloak green. The housing of his horse pure black, and its fringes pure yellow. On the squire's thigh was a long heavy triple-grooved sword, and a sheath of red embossed leather to it, and the belt of fresh red deerskin, with many gold cross-bars thereon, and a clasp of walrus- ivory with a pure black tongue thereto. A gold helm on the rider's head, and magic sapphires in it, and on top of the helm the image of a yellow-red lion, and his tongue flame- red a foot-length out of his mouth, and bright red venomous eyes in his head. The rider coming with a stout ashen spear- shaft in his hand, and a new blood-stained head to it, and silver rivets therein. And the squire greeted the emperor. 'Lord,' said he, 'thy squires and thy bachelors have been slain, and the noblemen's sons of the Island of Britain, so that it will not be easy to defend this Island from this day forth for ever' 'Owein,' said Arthur, 'call off thy ravens.' 'Lord,' said Owein, 'play this game.'

  That game was ended and another begun. And when they were at the end of that game, lo, they could hear a great commotion and a shrieking of armed men and the croaking of ravens and their flapping their wings in the air and drop- ping the armour unsheltered to the ground and dropping the men and the horses in pieces to the ground.

  And then they could see a rider on a handsome black high-headed horse, and the top of the horse's left leg pure red, and his right leg to the middle of his hoof pure white; the rider and his horse arrayed in spotted yellow armour speckled with laton of Spain, and a cloak about him and about his horse, in two halves, white and pure black, and the fringes of his cloak of golden purple, and over his cloak a gold-hilted gleaming triple-grooved sword the sword belt of yellow cloth of gold, and a clasp upon it of the eye- lid of a pure black whale, and a tongue of yellow gold on the clasp. A gleaming helm of yellow laton on the rider's head, and gleaming crystal stones therein, and on top of the helm the image of a griffin, and a magic stone in his head; an ashen spear with rounded shaft in his hand, coloured with blue-azure; a new bloodstained point upon the shaft, riveted with refined silver. And the rider came in a rage to the place where Arthur was, and said how the ravens had slain his war-band and the noblemen's sons of this Island, and bade him have Owein call off his ravens. Then Arthur bade Owein call off his ravens. And then Arthur crushed the golden pieces that were on the board till they were all dust. And Owein bade Gwres son of Rheged lower his banner. And therewith it was lowered and all was peace.

  Then Rhonabwy asked Iddawg who were the first three men who came to Owein to tell him how his ravens were being slain, and Iddawg said: 'Men who grieved that Owein should suffer loss, fellow chieftains and comrades of his, Selyf son of Cynan White-shank from Powys, and Gwgawn Red-sword, and Gwres son of Rheged, the man who bears his banner on the day of battle and combat.' 'Who,' asked Rhonabwy, 'are the last three men who came to Arthur to tell him how the ravens were slaying his men?' 'The best of men,' said Iddawg, 'and the bravest, and those to whom it is most hateful that Arthur should suffer loss in aught, Blathaon son of Mwrheth, and Rhwawn Bebyr son of Deorthach Wledig, and Hyfeidd One-cloak.'

  And thereupon, lo, four-and-twenty horsemen coming from Osla Big-knife to ask a truce of Arthur till the end of a fortnight and a month. Arthur arose and went to take counsel. He went to the place where some way from him was a big curly-headed auburn man. and his counsellors were brought to him there: Bedwin the bishop, and Gwarthegydd son of Caw, and March son of Meirchawn, and Caradawg Stout-arm, and Gwalchmei son of Gwyar, and Edern son of Nudd, and Rhwawn Bebyr son of Deorthach Wledig, and Rhiogan son of the king of Ireland, and Gwenwynwyn son of Naf, Howel son of Emyr Llydaw, Gwilym son of the ruler of France, and Daned son of 0th, and Goreu son of Custennin, and Mabon son of Modron, and Peredur Longspear and Hyfeidd One-cloak, and Twrch son of Peryf, Nerth son of Cadarn, and Gobrw son of Echel Big-hip, Gweir son of Gwestel, and Adwy son of Gereint, Dyrstan son of Tallwch, Morien Manawg, Granwen son of Llyr, and Llacheu son of Arthur, and Llawfrodedd the Bearded, and Cadwr the earl of Cornwall, Morfran son of Tegid, and Rhyawdd son of Morgant, and Dyfyr son of Alun Dyfed, Gwryr Interpreter of Tongues, Addaon son of Teliesin, and Llara son of Casnar Wledig, and Fflewdwr Fflam and Greidiawl Gallddofydd, Gilbert son of Cadgyffro, Menw son of Teirgwaedd, Gyrthmwl Wledig, Cawrda son of Caradawg Stout-arm, Gildas son of Caw, Cadyrieith son of Saidi, and many a man of Norway and Denmark, and many a men of Greece along with them; and sufficient of a host came to that counsel.

  'Iddawg,' said Rhonabwy, 'who is the auburn-haired man to whom they came just now?' 'Rhun son of Maelgwn Gwynedd, a man whose authority is such that all men shall come and take counsel of him.' 'For what reason was so young a youth as Cadyrieith son of Saidi brought into the counsel of men of such high rank as those yonder?' 'Because there was not in Britain a man more mighty in counsel than he.'

  And thereupon, lo, bards coming to chant a song to Arthur. But never a man was there might understand that song save Cadyrieith himself, except that it was in praise of Arthur. And thereupon, lo, four-and-twenty asses coming with their burdens of gold and silver, and a weary worn man with each of them, bringing tribute to Arthur from the Isles of Greece. Then Cadyrieith son of Saidi asked that a truce be granted to Osla Big-knife till the end of a fortnight and a month, and that the asses which had brought the tribute be given to the bards, and what was upon them, as an earnest of reward, and that during the truce they should be given payment for their song. And they determined upon that. 'Rhonabwy,' said Iddawg, 'were it not wrong to forbid the young man who gave such munificent counsel as this from going to his lord's counsel?'


  And then Cei arose and said, 'Whoever wishes to follow Arthur, let him be with him to-night in Cornwall; and as for him who does not wish that, let him come to meet with Arthur by the end of the truce.'

  And with the magnitude of that commotion Rhonabwy awoke, and when he awoke he was on the yellow ox skin, having slept three nights and three days.

  And this story is called the Dream of Rhonabwy. And here is the reason why no one, neither bard nor storyteller, knows the Dream without a book-by reason of the number of colours that were on the horses, and all that variety of rare colours both on the arms and their trappings, and on the precious mantles, and the magic stones.

FOOTNOTES


[1]  Y Llech Las: The Blue or Green or Grey Stone.

[2]  Llychlyn: Scandinavia.

[3]  Gwen: White, fair.


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