A Harper And The Fairies

: Welsh Folk-lore

There once lived in a remote part of Denbighshire, called Hafod Elwy, an

old harper, named Shon Robert, who used to be invited to parties to play

for the dancers, or to accompany the singers. One evening he went to

Llechwedd Llyfn, in the neighbourhood of Cefn Brith, to hold a merry

meeting, and it was late before the lads and lasses separated. At last

the harper wended his way homeward. His path was over the bare mountain.

As he came near a lake called Llyndau-ychain, he saw on its verge a grand

palace, vividly illuminated. He was greatly surprised at the sight, for

he had never seen such a building there before. He, however, proceeded

on his way, and when he came in front of this beautiful palace he was

hailed by a footman, and invited to enter. He accepted the invitation,

and was ushered into a magnificent room, where a grand ball was being

held. The guests surrounded the harper and became very friendly, and, to

his wonder, addressed him by name. This hall was magnificently

furnished. The furniture was of the most costly materials, many things

were made of solid gold. A waiter handed him a golden cup filled with

sparkling wine, which the harper gladly quaffed. He was then asked to

play for the company, and this he did to the manifest satisfaction of the

guests. By and by one of the company took Shon Robert's hat round and

collected money for the harper's benefit, and brought it back to him

filled with silver and gold. The feast was carried on with great pomp

and merriment until near the dawn of day, when, one by one, the guests

disappeared, and at last Shon was left alone. Perceiving a magnificent

couch near, he laid himself thereon, and was soon fast asleep. He did

not awake until mid-day, and then, to his surprise, he found himself

lying on a heap of heather, the grand palace had vanished away, and the

gold and silver, which he had transferred from his hat the night before

into his bag, was changed to withered leaves.

The following tale told me by the Rev. R. Jones shows that those who

witness a Fairy dance know not how time passes.