John Rhys.

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ef. Wedi idi fod yn trigo gydag ef yn ei gartref am
ysbaid, cafod gandi adaw bod yn wraig idb ar amodau
neittduol. Un o'r amodau hyn ydoed, na bydai ido
gyffwrd yndi ag un math o haiarn. Bit yn wraig ido,
a ganwyd idynt dau o blant. Un diwrnod yr oed y gwr
yn y maes yn ceisio dal y ceffyl ; wrth ei weled yn ffaelu,
aeth y wraig ato i'w gynorthwyo, a phan oed y march yn
carlamu heibio gottyngod yntau y ffrwyn o'i law, er mwyn
ceisio ei atal heibio; a phwy a darazvod ond ei wraig, yr
hon a diflannodynyfan attan o'i olwg?

' The story goes, that the son of a farmer, who lived
at the Ystrad in Bettws Garmon, when returning home
from a journey, late in the evening, beheld a company
of fairies in the middle of their mirth and jollity. The
youth was at once bewildered by the incomparable
beauty of one of these ladies, so that he ventured to
leap into the circle and take his idol away with him.
After she had tarried awhile with him at his home, he
prevailed on her, on special conditions, to become his
wife. One of these conditions was that he should not
touch her with iron of any description. She became

1 Ystrad is the Welsh corresponding to Scotch strath, and it is nearly
related to the English word strand. It means the flat land near a river.

2 Betws (or Bettivs) Garmon seems to mean Germanus's Bede-hus or
House of Prayer, but Garmon can hardly have come down in Welsh from
the time of the famous saint in the fifth century, as it would then have
probably yielded Gerfon and not Garmon : it looks as if it had come through
the Goidelic of this country.


his wife, and two children were born to them. One
day the husband was in the field trying to catch the
horse ; seeing him unsuccessful, the wife went to him
to help him, and, when the horse was galloping past
him, he let go the bridle at him in order to prevent him
from passing ; but whom should he strike but his wife,
who vanished out of his sight on the spot.'

Just as I was engaged in collecting these stories in
1881, a correspondent sent me a copy of the Ystrad tale
as published by the late bard and antiquary, the Rev.
Owen Wyn Jones, better known in Wales by his bardic
name of Glasynys 1 , in the Brython 2 for 1863, p. 193.
I will not attempt to translate Glasynys' poetic prose
with all its compound adjectives, but it comes to this in
a few words. One fine sunny morning, as the young
heir of Ystrad was busied with his sheep on the side of
Moel Eilio, he met a very pretty girl, and when he got
home he told the folks there of it. A few days after-
wards he met her again, and this happened several
times, when he mentioned it to his father, who advised

1 One of the rare merits of our Welsh bards is their habit of assuming
permanent noms de plume, by means of which they prevent a number of
excellent native names from falling into utter oblivion in the general chaos
of Anglo-Hebrew ones, such as Jones, Davies, and Williams, which cover
the Principality. Welsh place-names have similarly been threatened by
Hebrew names of chapels, such as Bethesda, Rehoboth, and Jerusalem,
but in this direction the Jewish mania has only here and there effected
permanent mischief.

2 The Brython was a valuable Welsh periodical published by Mr. Robert
Isaac Jones, at Tremadoc, in the years 1858-1863, and edited by the
Rev. Chancellor Silvan Evans, who was then the curate of ILangiian in
DLeyn : in fact he was curate for fourteen years ! His excellent work in
editing the Brython earned for him his diocesan's displeasure, but it is easier
to imagine than to describe how hard it was for him to resign the honorarium
of 24 derived from the Brython when his stipend as a clergyman was only
92, at the same time that he had dependent on him a wife and six children.
However much some people affect to laugh at the revival of the national
spirit in Wales, we have, I think, got so far as to make it, for some time to
come, impossible for a Welsh clergyman to be snubbed on account of his
literary tastes or his delight in the archaeology of his country.


him to seize her when he next met her. The next time
he met her he proceeded to do so, but before he could
take her away, a little fat old man came to them and
begged him to give her back to him, to which the youth
would not listen. The little man uttered terrible
threats, but the heir of Ystrad would not yield, so an
agreement was made between them, that the latter was
to have the girl to wife until he touched her skin with
iron, and great was the joy both of the son and his
parents in consequence. They lived together for many
years ; but once on a time, on the evening of the Bettws
Fair, the wife's horse became restive, and somehow, as
the husband was attending to the horse, the stirrup
touched the skin of her bare leg, and that very night
she was taken away from him. She had three or four
children, and more than one of their descendants, as
Glasynys maintains, were known to him at the time he
wrote in 1863. Glasynys regards this as the same tale
which is given by Williams of ILandegai, to whom we
shall refer later ; and he says that he heard it scores of
times when he was a lad.

Lastly, I happened to mention these legends last
summer among others to the Rev. Owen Davies,
curate of ILanberis, a man who is well versed in Welsh
literature, and thoroughly in sympathy with everything
Welsh. Mr. Davies told me that he knew a tale of
the sort from his youth, as current in the parishes of
ILanttechid and ILandegai, near Bangor. Not long
afterwards he visited his mother at his native place,
in ILanliechid, in order to have his memory of it re-
freshed ; and he also went to the Waen Fawr, on the
other side of Carnarvon, where he had the same legend
told him with the different localities specified. The fol-
lowing is the Waen Fawr version, of which I give the
Welsh as I have had it from Mr. Davies, and as it was


related, according to him, some forty years ago in the
valley of Nant y Bettws, near Carnarvon :

Ar brydnawngwaith hyfryd yn Hefin, aeth Wane ieuanc
gwrol-dewr ac anturiaethus, sef etifect a pherchennog yr

Ystrad, i Ian afon Gwyrfai, hebfodyn nepett oi chychwyn-
iad o lyn Cawettyn, ac a yinguttioct yno mewn dyryslwyn,
sef ger y fan y bydai poblach y cotiau cochiony Tylwyth

Tegyn arfer dawnsio. Yr ydoeft yn nosivaith hyfryd

loergannog, heb un cwinwl i gau tfygaid y ILoer, ac anian

yn ctistaw dawedog, octigerth murmuriad ttedfy Wyrfai,

a swnyr awel ysgafndroed yn rhodio brigau deiliogy coed.

Ni bu yn ei ymgudfa ond dros ychydig amser, cyn cael

difyrrn o hono ei olygon a dawns y teulu dedwyd~. Wrth

sytfu ar gywreinrwyfi y tfawns, y chwini droadau cyflym,

yr ymgyniweiriad ysgafn-drocdiog, tarawoft ei lygaid ar

las lodes ieuanc, dlysaf, hardaf, htnieid'iaf a weloct er ei

febyd. Yr occt ei chwim droadau a ttcdneisrivyct ei hag-

wedion wedi tanio ei serch tit ag ati i'r fath radau, fel ag

yr oectyn barod i unrhyw anturiaeth er mwyn ei hennittyn

gydymaith idb ei him. O'i ymgndfa dynyit, yr oed~ yn

givylio pob ysgogiad er mwyn ei gyfleustra ei him. Mewn

mynud, yn ctisymwth tfigon, rhwng pryder ac ofn, ttam-

neidiod' fel ttew gwrol i ganol cylch y Tyhvyth Teg, ac

ymafaeloct a dvoylaw cariad yn y fun hmiaid a danioct ei

serch, a hynny, pan oect y Tylwyth dcdwyft yn nghanol

nwyfiant eu dawns. Cqfleidiod' hi yn dyner garedig yn ei

fynwes wresog, ac aeth a hi i*w gartrefir Ystrad. Ond

diflannoct ei chyd-dawnsyd'ion fel anadl Gorphennaf, er ei

chroch dblefau am gael ei rhydliau, ai hymegnion diflino

i dianc o afael yr hwn a'i hqffod'. Mewn anwylder mawr,

ymd~ygoct ' y itanc yn dyner odiaethol tu ag at y fun deg, ac

yr oea~ yn orawyd'us i'w chadw yn ei olwg ac yn ei fectiant.

K.wyctoct drwy ei dynerwch tu ag ati i gael gancti adaw

dyfod yn forwyn idb yn yr Ystrad. A morwyn ragorol

oect hi. Godrai deirgwaith y swm arferol o laeth odiar


bob buwch, ac yr oect yr ymenyn heb buys arno. Ond er
ei hoff daerni, nis gaitai mewn un mod gad gand~i dyweud
ei henw wrtho. Gwnaeth laiver cais, ond yn gwbl ofer.
Yn damweiniol ryw dro, wrth yrru

Brithen a'r Benwen ir borfa,

a hi yn noswaith loergan, efe a aeth fr man tte yr arferai

y Tylwyth Teg fyned drwy eu campan yng ngoleuni'r

ILoer wen, Y fro hwn eto, efe a ymgudiod mcwn dyrys-

Iwyn, a chlywoct y Tylwyth Teg yn dywedyd y naiU wrth

y ffatf' Pan oedym niyny ffe hwny tro diwedaf, dygwyd

ein chwaer Penelope odiarnom gan un or marwolion. 1

Ar hynny, dychwelody tfencyn adref, a'i fynwes yn ttawn

o falchder cariad, o herwyd idb gael gwybod enw ei hoff

forwyn, yr hon a synnoctyn aruthr, pan glywocf ei nieistr

ieuancyn ei galw wrth ei henw. Ac am ei bodyn odiacthol

dlos } a ttuniaict, yn fywiog-weithgar, a medrns ar bob

gwaith, a bod popeth yn ttwydb dan ei Haw, cynygioct ei

hnn idi yn wry celai fod yn feistres yr Ystrad,yn ttebod

yn forwyn. Ond ni chydsyniai hi a'i gais ar un cyfrif;

ond bod braid yn bendrist oherwyd idb wybod ei henw.

Fod bynnag, gwedi maith amser, a thrwy ei daerineb

diflino, cydsyniod', ond yn amodol. Adawod' ayfod yn

wraig idb, ar yr amod canlynol, sef, ' Pa bryd bynnag

y tarawai efhi a haiarn, yr elai ymaith odi wrtho, ac na

dychwelai byth ato mwy.' Sicrhawyd yr amod di du

yntau gyda pharodrwyft cariad. Buont yn cyd-fyw a'u

gilyd yn hapus a chysurus lawer o flynydoed, a ganwyd

idynt fab a merch,y rhai oedynt dlysaf a Uunieidiaf yn yr

hoit froyd. Ac yn rhinwed ei medrusrwyd' a't deheurwyd

fel gwraig gait, rimvedbl, aethant yn gyfoethog iawnyn

gyfoethocach na nebynyr hott wlad. Heblaw ei etifediaeth

ei hun Yr Ystrad, yr oeft yn ffarmio hott ogled-barth

Nant y Betws, ac odi yno i ben yr Wydfa, ynghyd a hoit

Givm Brwynog,yn mhlwyf ILanberis. Ond, ryw diwrnod,


yn anffortunus digon aeth y ctau i'r cfol i ftal y ceffyl, a
chanfody ceffylyn braid: yn wyttt ac an-nof,yn rhedeg octi
arnynt, tafloct y gwr y ffnvyn tnewn gwyfftineb yn ei erbyn,
er ei atal, ac ar bivyy disgynnoct y ffrwyn, ond ar Penelope,
y wraig! Diflannocf Penelope yn y fan, ac ni weloct byth
mo honi. Ond ryw noswaith, a'r gwynt yn chwythu yn
oer 0V gogled, daeth Penelope at ffenestr ei ystafctt wely,
a dywedod wrtho am gymmeryd gofal o'r plant yn y
geiriau hyn :

Rhag bod anwyd ar fy mab,
Yn rhodt rhowch arno gob ei dad;
Rliag bod anwyd ar liw 'r can,
Rhoctwch ami bais ei mham.

Ac yna ciliod, ac ni chlywyd na siw na miw byth yn ei

For the sake of an occasional reader who does not
know Welsh, I add a summary of it in English.

One fine evening in the month of June a brave,
adventurous youth, the heir of Ystrad, went to the
banks of the Gwyrfai, not far from where it leaves
Cweltyn Lake, and hid himself in the bushes near the
spot where the folks of the Red Coats the fairies-
were wont to dance. The moon shone forth brightly
without a cloud to intercept her light; all was quiet
save where the Gwyrfai gently murmured on her bed,
and it was not long before the young man had the
satisfaction of seeing the fair family dancing in full
swing. As he gazed on the subtle course of the dance,
his eyes rested on a damsel, the most shapely and
beautiful he had seen from his boyhood. Her agile
movements and the charm of her looks inflamed him
with love for her, to such a degree that he felt ready for
any encounter in order to secure her to be his own.
From his hiding place he watched every move for his
opportunity; at last, with feelings of anxiety and dread,


he leaped suddenly into the middle of the circle of the
fairies. There, while their enjoyment of the dance
was at its height, he seized her in his arms and carried
her away to his home at Ystrad. But, as she screamed
for help to free her from the grasp of him who had
fallen in love with her, the dancing party disappeared
like one's breath in July. He treated her with the
utmost kindness, and was ever anxious to keep her
within his sight and in his possession. By dint of
tenderness he succeeded so far as to get her to consent
to be his servant at Ystrad. And such a servant she
turned out to be! Why t she was wont to milk the
cows thrice a day, and to have the usual quantity of
milk each time, so that the butter was so plentiful that
nobody thought of weighing it. As to her name, in
spite of all his endeavours to ascertain it, she would
never tell it him. Accidentally, however, one moonlight
night, when driving two of his cows to the spot where
they should graze, he came to the place where the
fairies were wont to enjoy their games in the light of
the moon. This time also he hid himself in a thicket,
when he overheard one fairy saying to another,
' When we were last here our sister Penelope was
stolen from us by a man.' As soon as he heard this off
he went home, full of joy because he had discovered
the name of the maid that was so dear to him. She, on
the other hand, was greatly astonished to hear him call
her by her own name. As she was so charmingly
pretty, so industrious, so skilled in every work, and so
attended by luck in everything she put her hand to,
he offered to make her his wife instead of being his
servant. At first she would in no wise consent, but she
rather gave way to grief at his having found her name
out. However, his importunity at length brought her
to consent, but on the condition that he should not


strike her with iron ; if that should happen, she would
quit him never to return. The agreement was made on
his side with the readiness of love, and after this they
lived in happiness and comfort together for many years,
and there were born to them a son and a daughter, who
were the handsomest children in the whole country.
Owing, also, to the skill and good qualities of the
woman, as a shrewd and virtuous wife, they became
very rich richer, indeed, than anybody else in the
country around ; for, besides the husband's own inherit-
ance of Ystrad, he held all the northern part of Nant y
Bettws, and all from there to the top of Snowdon, to-
gether with Cwm Brwynog in the parish of ILanberis.
But one day, as bad luck would have it, they went out
together to catch a horse in the field, and, as the animal
was somewhat wild and untamed, they had no easy
work before them. In his rashness the man threw
a bridle at him as he was rushing past him, but alas !
on whom should the bridle fall but on the wife ! No
sootier had this happened than she disappeared, and
nothing more was ever seen of her. But one cold night,
when there was a chilling wind blowing from the north,
she came near the window of his bedroom, and told him
in these words to take care of the children :

Lest my son should find it cold,
Place on him his father's coat :
Lest the fair one find it cold,
Place on her my petticoat.

Then she withdrew, and nothing more was heard of

In reply to some queries of mine, Mr. O. Davies tells
me that Penelope was pronounced in three syllables,
Penelop so he heard it from his grandfather : he goes
on to say that the offspring of the Lake Lady is sup-
posed to be represented by a family called Fellings,


which was once a highly respected name in those parts,
and that there was a Lady Bulkeley who was of this
descent, not to mention that several people of a lower
rank, both in Anglesey and Arfon, claimed to be of the
same origin. I am not very clear as to how the name
got into this tale, nor have I been able to learn an}^thing
about the Fellings ; but, as the word appears to have
been regarded as a corrupt derivative from Penelope,
that is, perhaps, all the connexion, so that it may be
that it has really nothing whatever to do with the
legend. This is a point, however, which the antiquaries
of North Wales ought to be able to clear up satis-

In reply to queries of mine, Mr. O. Davies gave me
the following particulars : ' I am now June, 1881) over
fifty-two years of age, and I can assure you that I have
heard the legend forty years ago. I do not remember
my father, as he died when I was young, but my grand-
father was remarkable for his delight in tales and
legends, and it was his favourite pastime during the
winter nights, after getting his short black pipe ready, to
relate stories about struggles with robbers, about bogies,
and above all about the Tylwyth Teg; for they were
his chief delight. He has been dead twenty-six years,
and he had almost reached eighty years of age. His
father before him, who was born about the year 1740,
was also famous for his stories, and my grandfather
often mentioned him as his authority in the course of
his narration of the tales. Both he and the rest of the
family used to look at Corwrion, to be mentioned pre-
sently, as a sacred spot. When I was a lad and
happened to be reluctant to leave off playing at dusk,
my mother or grandfather had only to say that 'the
Fellings were coming,' in order to induce me to come
into the house at once : indeed, this announcement had


the same effect on persons of a much riper age than
mine then was.'

Further, Mr. Davies kindly called my attention to
a volume, entitled Observations on the Snoivdon Moun-
tains, by Mr. William Williams, of ILandegai, published
in London in 1802. In that work this tale is given
somewhat less fully than by Mr. Davies' informant,
but the author makes the following remarks with regard
to it, pp. 37, 40 : ' A race of people inhabiting the
districts about the foot of Snowdon, were formerly
distinguished and known by the nickname of Fellings,
which is not yet extinct. There are several persons
and even families who are reputed to be descended from
these people. . . . These children [Penelope's] and
their descendants, they say, were called Fellings, a word
corrupted from their mother's name, Penelope. The
late Thomas Rowlands, Esq., of Caerau, in Anglesey,
the father of the late Lady Bulkeley, was a descendant
of this lady, if it be true that the name Fellings came from
her ; and there are still living several opulent and respec-
table people who are known to have sprung from the
Fellings. The best blood in my own veins is this fairy's.'

Lastly, it will be noticed that these last versions do
not distinctly suggest that the Lake Lady ran into the
lake, that is into Cwettyn, but rather that she disap-
peared in the same way as the dancing party by simply
becoming invisible like one's breath in July. The
fairies are called in Welsh, Y Tylwyth Teg, or the Fair
Family; but the people of Arfon have been so familiar-
ized with the particular one I have called the Lake
Lady, that, according to one of my informants, they
have invented the term Y Dylwytlics Deg, or even
Y Dylwythen Deg, to denote her ; but it is unknown to
the others, so that the extent of its use is not very


This is, perhaps, the place to give another tale, accord-
ing to which the man goes to the Lake Maiden's country,
instead of her settling with him at his home. I owe it
to the kindness of Mr. William Jones, of Regent Place,
ILangollen, a native of Bedgelert. He heard it from an
old man before he left Bedgelert, but when he sent
a friend to inquire some time afterwards, the old man
was gone. According to Mr. Jones, the details of the
tale are, for that reason, imperfect, as some of the in-
cidents have faded from his memory; but such as he
can still remember the tale, it is here given in his own
words :

Ryw noson lawn itoer ac un o feibion ILwyn On yn
Nant y Betws yn myned i garu i Glogwyn y Gwin, efe
a welod y Tylwyth yn ymlodestu a dawnsio ei hochr hi ar
weirglod wrth Ian JLyn Cawettyn. Efe a nesaod tuag
atynt ; ac o dipyn i bethfe'i ttithiwyd gan bereiddra swynol
eu canu a hoender a bywiogrwyd eu chwareu, nes myned
o hono tu fewn i'r cylch; ac yn fuan fe daeth rhyw hud
drosfo, fel y cottod adnabydiaeth o bobman; a chafed ei
hun mewn gwlad hardafa welod erioed, tte'r oed pawb yn
treulio eu hamser mewn afiaeth a gorfoled. Yr oed' wedi
bod yno am saith nilyned, ac eto nid oed dim ond megis
breudwyd nos ; ond daeth adgof i'zv fedwl am ei neges,
a hiraeth yndo am weled ei anwylyd. Petty efe a ofynod
ganiatad i dychwelyd adref,yr hyn a rodwyd ynghyd a Uu

gymdeithion i'w arwain tua'i wlad ; ac yn disymwth
cafod ei hun fel yn dejffro o freudwyd ar y dol, tte gwelod
y Tylwyth Teg yn chwareu. Trod ei wyneb tuag adref;
ond wedi myned yno yr oed popeth wedi newid, ei rieni
wedi meirw, ei frodyr yn ffaelu ei adnabod, a'i gariad
wedi priodi un aratt. Ar ol y fath gyfnewidiadau efe
a dorod ei galon, ac a fu farw mewn ttai nag wythnos ar

01 ei dychweliad.

'One bright moonlight night, as one of the sons of the



farmer who lived at ILwyn On in Nant y Bettws was
going to pay his addresses to a girl at Clogwyn y Gwin,
he beheld the Tylwyth Teg enjoying themselves in full
swing on a meadow close to Cweltyn Lake. He ap-
proached them, and little by little he was led on by the
enchanting sweetness of their music and the liveliness
of their playing until he had got within their circle.
Soon some kind of spell passed over him, so that he
lost his knowledge of the place, and found himself in
a country, the most beautiful he had ever seen, where
everybody spent his time in mirth and rejoicing. He
had been there seven years, and yet it seemed to him
but a night's dream ; but a faint recollection came to his
mind of the business on which he had left home, and he
felt a longing to see his beloved one. So he went and
asked for permission to return home, which was granted
him, together with a host of attendants to lead him
to his country; and, suddenly, he found himself, as if
waking from a dream, on the bank where he had seen
the fair family amusing themselves. He turned to-
wards home, but there he found everything changed :
his parents were dead, his brothers could not recognize
him, and his sweetheart w r as married to another man.
In consequence of such changes he died broken-hearted
in less than a week after coming back.'


The Rev. O. Davies regarded the ILanttechid legend
as so very like the one he got about Cwettyn Lake and
the Waen Fawr, that he has not written the former out
at length, but merely pointed out the following differ-
ences : (i) Instead of Cweltyn, the lake in the former
is the pool of Corwrion, in the parish of ILandegai, near
Bangor. (2) What the Lake Lady was struck with was


not a bridle, but an iron fetter : the word used is tfyfether,
which probably means a long fetter connecting a fore-
foot and a hind-foot of a horse together. In Arfon, the
word is applied also to a cord tying the two fore-feet
together, but in Cardiganshire this would be called
a hual, the other word, there pronounced llowethir, being
confined to the long fetter. In books, the word is
written llywethair, llefethair and llyffethair or llyffethar,
which is possibly the pronunciation in parts of North
Wales, especially Arfon. This is an interesting word,
as it is no other than the English term ' long fetter,'
borrowed into Welsh ; as, in fact, it was also into Irish
early enough to call for an article on it in Cormac's
Irish Glossary, where langfiter is described as an English
word for a fetter between the fore and the hind legs :
in Anglo- Manx it is become lanketer. (3) The field in
which they were trying to catch the horse is, in the
ILantlechid version, specified as that called Maes Madog,
at the foot of the ILefn. (4) When the fairy wife ran
away, it was headlong into the pool of Corwrion, calling
after her all her milch cows, and they followed her with
the utmost readiness.

Before going on to mention bits of information I have
received from others about the ILanliechid legend,
I think it best here to finish with the items given me
by Mr. O. Davies, whom I cannot too cordially thank
for his readiness to answer my questions. Among other
things, he expresses himself to the following effect :
' It is to this day a tradition and I have heard it a hun-
dred times that the dairy of Corwrion excelled all other
dairies in those parts, that the milk was better and
more plentiful, and that the cheese and butter were
better there than in all the country round, the reason
assigned being that the cattle on the farm of Corwrion
had mixed with the breed belonging to the fairy, who

E 2


had run away after being struck with the iron fetter.
However that may be, I remember perfectly well the

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