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century, old Welsh customs were preserved, and here they are still held in high esteem. While the Saxons passed round their wassail bowl and talked defiantly of the Welsh Britains, these sturdy sons of one soil passed round their hirlas, or drinking horn, and pledged each other in a loving cup. Thus sings the gifted poetess:
"Fill high the blue hirlas, that shines like the wave,
"Fill higher the hirlas! forgetting not those
Who shared its bright draughts in the days which are fled;
Their lot shall be lovely-renown to the dead!
And the heart of the hero shall burn at the sound.
"Near to the gates, conferring as they drew,
BEDDGELERT, or the Grave of Gêlert, is an extensive parish lying partly in Carnarvonshire and partly in Merionethshire. It has a small church formerly belonging to the Augustine Priory. Scarcely any remains of this monastic house are now to be seen. The name of the place is derived from an affecting legend, on which the Hon. W. R. Spencer has composed a touching poem, which may be appropriately introduced here-premising that Llewellyn was a Welsh Prince in the days of King John:—
The spearsman heard the bugle sound,
And still he blew a louder blast,
And gave a louder cheer, "Come, Gêlert; why art thou the last Llewellyn's horn to hear?
"Oh, where does faithful Gêlert roam ?
So true, so brave; a lamb at home,
'Twas only at Llewellyn's board
The faithful Gêlert fed,
He watched, he served, he cheered his lord,
In sooth, he was a peerless hound,
The gift of royal John;
But now no Gêlert could be found,
And now, as over rocks and dells
The gallant chidings rise,
That day Llewellyn little loved
The chace of hart or hare;
Unpleased, Llewellyn homeward hied:
But when he gained the castle-door,
The hound was smeared with gouts of gore,
Llewellyn gazed with wild surprise:
His favourite checked his joyful guise
Onward in haste Llewellyn passed,
Fresh blood-gouts shocked his view.
He called his child-no voice replied
He searched with terror wild;
"Hellhound! by thee my child's devoured!"
His suppliant, as to earth he fell,
Aroused by Gêlert's dying yell,
Some slumberer wakened nigh:—
Nor scratch had he, nor harm, nor dread,
Ah, what was then Llewellyn's pain!
Vain, vain was all Llewellyn's wo:
And now a gallant tomb they raise,
Here never could the spearsman pass,
And here he hung his horn and spear, And oft, as evening fell,
In fancy's piercing sounds would hear Poor Gêlert's dying yell!