Myddfai Legend

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

The Myddfai Legend

No Welsh Taboo story can be complete without the pretty tale of the Van Lake Legend, or, as it is called, “The Myddfai Legend.”  Because of its intrinsic beauty and worth, and for the sake of comparison with the preceding stories, I will relate this legend.  There are several versions extant.  Mr. Wirt Sikes, in his “British Goblins”, has one, the “Cambro-Briton” has one, but the best is that recorded by Professor Rhys, in the “Cymmrodor”, vol. iv., p. 163, in his “Welsh Fairy Tales”.  There are other readings of the legend to be met with.  I will first of all give an epitome of the Professor’s version.

A widow, who had an only son, was obliged, in consequence of the large flocks she possessed, to send, under the care of her son, a portion of her cattle to graze on the Black Mountain near a small lake called Llyn-y-Van-Bach.

One day the son perceived, to his great astonishment, a most beautiful creature with flowing hair sitting on the unruffled surface of the lake combing her tresses, the water serving as a mirror.  Suddenly she beheld the young man standing on the brink of the lake with his eyes rivetted on her, and unconsciously offering to herself the provision of barley bread and cheese with which he had been provided when he left his home.

Bewildered by a feeling of love and admiration for the object before him, he continued to hold out his hand towards the lady, who imperceptibly glided near to him, but gently refused the offer of his provisions.  He attempted to touch her, but she eluded his grasp, saying…..Read More