"Ponderynge together yestardayes promise, and two-dayes doyng"
(Hall's Chronicle - 1548)


"Goronigl gwyr yr Ynys" (Lewis Glyn Cothi - 1450)

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Out and About on Bride's Day

Snowdrops under the hedge


So bright for Bride, if cold
So fair for Ffraid the sky’s blue
The track up through the trees still sunk
In mire, sheep grazing bedraggled grass,
But on the ridge the view opens to the far hills
Glinting white with frost in spite of the Sun.

Then down the lane under the wiry stems
Of leafless bramble I see a token of the day:
Snowdrops in the tangle of the hedge quietly claiming
From the last of Winter the first of Spring.
From here the lane tilts down across the hill
To where the river makes a last race to the sea.

Under the bridge I catch a glimpse of a bird
And on the other side see it riding the current
Out of the arch - a goosander gliding over the ripples
Turning against the flow for a while then speeding
Away with the rushing water around the bend
Of the river as I turn the other way heading upstream.

Over the fields along the bank of the river
Running now below deep in a gorge, visible
Through the bare trees. I cross the stream
From the wood of springs and climb to Lôn Glanffraid,
‘Ffraid’s Lane’ - where Bride had a chapel once they say,
before the church was built for Michael further away.

But today is her day.

1 comment:

Lorna Smithers said...

Goosander turning and gliding, yes, they're quite stunning and quite different to the 'usual' ducks.

Lucky you having a Ffraid's lane nearby :) Interesting (but not good) to hear about the Michael replacement.

This has undone my preconception that Christian replacements of older deities map (ie. Brighid and St Brighid, Elen and St Helen, Matrona and St Mary). And made me remember here St Helen (before Elen? was replaced by St James).

Which does make me wonder whether my Gwyn assoication with Castle Hill in Penwortham (the location of fairy funeral legend but dedicated to St Mary) is as far out as I first thought...