Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Tale of Blodeuwedd

This in an old old story and there are many tellings of it. The best is to be found in this edition of The Mabinogion but for this time and in this place, in the company of friends this is my telling.

Math ap Mathonwy was a mage and a bold one. He held in his heart a student most dear, one Gwydion ap Don, a wise man and harpist who sang birds from the sky to rest on his hand.
These men had a student, a fair, clever boy but cursed from his birth from the mouth of his dam
- no name to honour him, no bride to warm him and no death to release him from life's sorrow and pain.

By deftness and cunning the boy won him a name - Llew of the Fair Hand for his skill with the bow but no maiden to love him and to bear him a child, no warmth in his bed 'gainst the cold of the night.
No wife could be found for Llew of the Fair Hand.

But the wizard and bard took boughs of an oak tree and sweet scented blossoms as soft as the mist. They wove them with music and words of enchantment and sang them a lady as fair as the moon.
Blodeuwedd they named her for the flowers that formed her and gave her to Llew to have and to hold.

But magic is fickle and not to be trusted. No heart had the lady to give to her lord. She loved another, one Lord Goronwy and together they plotted how they could be free.

The four seasons turned and Goronwy he laboured with metal and fire on a magical spear. Making the weapon in darkest of hope, fashioning murder in the heat of the forge.
More another time, tomorrow maybe...

The second part of the tale can be found here

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