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in history, that William Earl of Pembroke and the Welsh Lancashires under Jevan ap Robert, fought a great fight here—that we know any thing about it.
Beyond lake Gwynant is a narrow wooded valley, leading to Lyn-yddinas, smaller and less picturesque than Llyn-Gwynant; and beyond this is an isolated rock, traditionally associated with the name of Merlin. Very mysterious and obscure are all the records concerning this singular bard and prophet. Some writers assert that there were three individuals of this name Merlin-or more properly Merdhyn Emrys-Merdhyn Wyllt, and Merdhyn ap Morveyn. The two last, however, are said to be the same person. Geoffry of Monmouth represents Merlin as flourishing in the fifth century. His exploits and prophecies are contained in the old metrical romance which bears his name. He is celebrated by Spenser in the Fairy Queen, and Scott thus alludes to him in The Vision of Don Roderik:
"But we weak minstrels of a laggard day,
Timid and raptureless, can we repay
The debt thou claim'st in this exhausted age?
"Ye mountains stern! within whose rugged breast
The friends of Scottish freedom found repose;
Say, have ye lost each wild majestic close,
That erst the choir of bards or Druids flung,
What time their hymn of victory arose,
And Cattraeth's glens with voice of triumph rung,
And mystic Merlin harp'd, and grey-hair'd Llowarch sung."
VIEW ON THE RHIEW.
"O Cambrian river! with slow music gliding,
Art winding still thy sunny meads along,
Murmuring to cottage and gray hall thy song,
Low, sweet, unchanged. My being's tide path passed
If thus wrought free and pure from earthly strain,
THE rivers and lakes of Wales are among the chief attractions of the country, and the sylvan beauty of the scenery through which they glide has inspired the muse of the poet and the pencil of the painter. The Dee, rising on the southern border of Merionethshire, expands into Pebble-meer, or the Lake of Bala, and thence flows through the charming vale of Eidernion. Traversing in many curves and bold sinuosities the picturesque vales of Glyndwdwy and Llangollen, it traces the boundary of the Principality, and expanding into an estuary is continued to the sea. The Clwdd rises in Denbighshire, glides past St. Asaph, washes the Castle walls of Rhyddlan, and so falls into the Irish Sea. The Conway, issuing from Llynn Conway, descends in rapid cataracts and leaps from the Snowdon range, and receives in the course of twenty miles the addition of as many affluents. The Ogden, a rivulet of Carnarvonshire, eventually forms the Cove of Penrhyn on the bay of Beaumaris. The Sciont rising in the upland of Snowdon, forms a commodious harbour on the Menai Straits. The Rheidol rises on the Cardigan side of Plynlimmon, within five miles of the source of the Severn and the Wye, and seeks the sea at the port of Aberystwith. The Ystwith has a common embouchure with the Rheidol, but runs through a more delightful country. The scenic embellishments of the Tivy are also particularly attractive. But the Taff exceeds most of the Welsh rivers in the wildness of its course. Most of the rivers named, and scores of others which we have not space to name, are chiefly valuable as feeders to larger streams; they are spread, as it were, like a net work over the country, and
VIEW ON THE RHIEW.
bear the brawling mountain torrents to swell those rivers which from their depth are capable of navigation.
The Wye, devious in its course and highly romantic in its scenery, rises on the south side of Plynlimmon, about a mile from the source of the Severn, and is fed by numerous affluents. So also is the Severn, gushing from a spring on the north west side of Plynlimmon, coursing through the valley of Glyn Hapen, losing its character of a mountain stream, and assuming a majestic appearance as it passes the towns of Llanidloes and Newton. A little below the latter, the Severn is joined by its tributary the Rhiew-a sketch on the banks of this stream is given in our Illustration-and leaving the Principality enters the great plain of Salop, and takes its title as second river of England.
Of the Welsh Lakes we may mention, that those which are most distinguished for beauty or extent are in north Wales, Llyniaw-Nantle, LlynCywellin, Llyniaw-Llanberris, Llyn Conway, Penble-meer and Tulyllyn; and, in South Wales, Llyn-Bychlyn, and Llyn-Savathan, the former in the County of Radnor, and the later in that of Brecknock.