The Llanfrothen Legend
: WELSH LEGENDS OF FAIRY LADIES MARRYING MEN.
: Welsh Folk-lore
I am indebted to the Rev. R. Jones, Rector of Llanycil, Bala, for the
following legend. I may state that Mr. Jones is a native of Llanfrothen,
Merionethshire, a parish in close proximity to the scene of the story.
Mr. Jones's informant was his mother, a lady whose mind was well stored
with tales of by-gone times, and my friend and informant inherits his
mother's retentive memory, as well as her love of ancient lore.
A certain man fell in love with a beautiful Fairy lady, and he wished to
marry her. She consented to do so, but warned him that if he ever
touched her with iron she would leave him immediately. This stipulation
weighed but lightly on the lover. They were married, and for many years
they lived most happily together, and several children were born to them.
A sad mishap, however, one day overtook them. They were together,
crossing Traethmawr, Penrhyndeudraeth, on horseback, when the man's horse
became restive, and jerked his head towards the woman, and the bit of the
bridle touched the left arm of the Fairy wife. She at once told her
husband that they must part for ever. He was greatly distressed, and
implored her not to leave him. She said she could not stay. Then the
man, appealing to a mother's love for her children, begged that she would
for the sake of their offspring continue to dwell with him and them, and,
said he, what will become of our children without their mother? Her
Gadewch iddynt fod yn bennau cochion a thrwynau hirion.
Let them be redheaded and longnosed.
Having uttered these words, she disappeared and was never seen
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.