A Harper And The Fairies
: FAIRY DANCES.
: 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.