The Coming of Olwen

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The Coming of Olwen

by: Ernest Rhys (Author)
from: Welsh Ballads and Other Poems (Pp. 61 - 62)  1898

FROM 'KILHWCH AND OLWEN,' IN THE MABINOGION

The message was sent, and the maiden came;
Her pale form wreathed in a robe of flame.

About her neck was a samite fold,
With emerald and ruby and ruddy gold.

More yellow her hair than the flower of the broom:
Her skin more white than the white sea-foam.

Far fairer her hands and her fingers were
Than the wind-flowers trained by the wood water.

More bright than the sparhawk's eye, her glance,--
Or the spray of the meadow-fountain's dance.

Her bosom was more snowy white
Than the swan that swims in the clear sunlight.

And never roses were seen so red
As her parting lips that their petals spread.

Where'er on the forest floor she stept,
Beneath her feet four trefoils leapt.

The forest flowers made a name:
They murmured OLWEN and she came.

Who sees her once cross the forest floor,
Must follow pale Olwen for evermore.