The Loom of Dreams

“As perfume doth remain In the folds where it hath lain, So the thought of you, remaining Deeply folded in my brain, Will not leave me: all things leave me: You remain.”

– Arthur Symons

A quick one… (well, not really) Not much to say, except it has been a social and work whirl around the digs… 2 days of celebration of Mike & Julie’s wedding (more on this below), followed by Rowan’s gang showing up for D&D on Sunday going until 10, mixed with working on Saturday… I needed to go back to work on Monday just to get rested.
Rowan got a wonderful and most generous present of a Ford Taurus 97′ from our friends the Nixon’s for his graduation and 18th birthday, a wonderful gift! He is determined to get his license so he can use it when he needs it for filming etc. The Taurus is in spotless condition and Rowan’s head is spinning with it all.
Working on the magazine again finally, and will have a listing of articles etc. soon to share.
The emphasis on this edition (stories & poetry) centers on Wales and Cymric culture and mythology. I am excited about bringing you the poetry of Arthur Symons, a British Symbolist Poet from Wales. Wonderful stuff.
Bright Blessings,

On The Menu:

Mike & Julie Get Married!

The Shepherd of Myddvai

From Fairy-Faith In Celtic Countries…Wales

Welsh Symbolist Poet: Arthur Symons

Art: Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Mike & Julie Get Married!
So this past Friday we attended the wedding of our friends Julie and Mike. We have known Julie for 16 years, and Mike for 3-4 years. They have been the best of friends, and constant parts of our lives. The wedding was a wonderful event, and I am very happy that we were invited. We saw many friends, Randy and Deirdre with their daughter Bailey were up from Medford, John Gunn and Sebong were there, and up from Ashland: Karen and Emil, along with their daughter Alex, and son CoCo. Our friends the Rizzo’s were in attendance, and it was a very happy time. We met Mike’s parents up from Chattanooga, and Julies’ brother for the first time.
Mike and Julie are like peas in a pod, they go together so well. Here is wishing them much love and happiness! We will have a few more pictures of the wedding and the party the next evening as well in our next Turfing.
On Marriage

Kahlil Gibran

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

The Shepherd of Myddvai

This tale tells how a young shepherd won and lost a fairy bride from Lynn y Fan Fach (Van Vach), the fairy lake of the Brecon Beacons. This version was collected and told by Joseph Jacobs and appeared in his book Celtic Fairy Tales published in 1892 (David Nutt). The tale also appears in the chapter on Lake Fairies in British Goblins by Wirt Sikes 1881, as well as a synopsis of similar tales.
Up in the Black Mountains in Carmerthenshire lies the lake known as Lyn y Van Vach. To the margin of this lake the shepherd of Myddvai once led his lambs, and lay there whilst they sought pasture. Suddenly, from the dark waters of the lake, he saw three maidens rise. Shaking the bright drops from their hair and gliding to the shore, they wandered about amongst his flock. They had more than mortal beauty, and he was filled with love for her that came nearest to him. He offered her the bread he had with him, and she took it and tried it, but then sang to him:
Hard-baked is thy bread,’Tis not easy to catch me,

and then ran off laughing to the lake.
Next day he took with him bread not so well done, and watched for the maidens. When they came ashore he offered his bread as before, and the maiden tasted it and sang:
Unbaked is thy bread,I will not have thee,

and again disappeared in the waves.
A third time did the shepherd of Myddvai try to attract the maiden, and this time he offered her bread that he had found floating about near the shore. This pleased her, and she promised to become his wife if he were able to pick her out from among her sisters on the following day. When the time came the shepherd knew his love by the strap of her sandal. Then she told him she would be as good a wife to him as any earthly maiden could be unless he should strike her three times without cause. Of course he deemed that this could never be; and she, summoning from the lake three cows, two oxen, and a bull, as her marriage portion, was led homeward by him as his bride.
The years passed happily, and three children were born to the shepherd and the lake-maiden. But one day here were going to a christening, and she said to her husband it was far to walk, so he told her to go for the horses.
“I will,” said she, “if you bring me my gloves which I’ve left in the house.”
But when he came back with the gloves, he found she had not gone for the horses; so he tapped her lightly on the shoulder with the gloves, and said, “Go, go.”
“That’s one,” said she.
Another time they were at a wedding, when suddenly the lake-maiden fell a-sobbing and a-weeping, amid the joy and mirth of all around her.
Her husband tapped her on the shoulder, and asked her, “Why do you weep?”
“Because they are entering into trouble; and trouble is upon you; for that is the second causeless blow you have given me. Be careful; the third is the last.”
The husband was careful never to strike her again. But one day at a funeral she suddenly burst out into fits of laughter. Her husband forgot, and touched her rather roughly on the shoulder, saying, “Is this a time for laughter?”
“I laugh,” she said, “because those that die go out of trouble, but your trouble has come. The last blow has been struck; our marriage is at an end, and so farewell.”

And with that she rose up and left the house and went to their home. Then she, looking round upon her home, called to the cattle she had brought with her:
Brindle cow, white speckled,

Spotted cow, bold freckled,

Old white face, and gray Geringer,

And the white bull from the king’s coast,

Grey ox, and black calf,

All, all, follow me home,
Now the black calf had just been slaughtered, and was hanging on the hook; but it got off the hook alive and well and followed her; and the oxen, though they were ploughing, trailed the plough with them and did her bidding. So she fled to the lake again, they following her, and with them plunged into the dark waters. And to this day is the furrow seen which the plough left as it was dragged across the mountains to the tarn.
Only once did she come again, when her sons were grown to manhood, and then she gave them gifts of healing by which they won the name of Meddygon Myddvai, the physicians of Myddvai.
The physicians of Myddvai were famous throughout the middle Ages, their power and knowledge thought to have its roots in the power of the fairy race. Their last surviving descendant was said to have died in the 19th century.

From Fairy-Faith In Celtic Countries…Wales

Testimony From An Anglesey Seeress
At Pentraeth, Mr. Gwilyn Jones said to me :- ‘ It always was and still is the opinion that the Tylwyth Teg are a race of spirits. Some people think them small in size, but the one my mother saw was ordinary human size.’ At this, I immediately asked Mr. Jones if his mother was still living, and he replying that she was, gave me her address in Llanfair. So I went directly to interview Mr. Jones’s mother, Mrs. Catherine Jones, and this is the story about the one of the Tylwyth Teg she saw :-
‘Tylwyth Teg’ Apparition.-‘
I was coming home at about half-past ten at night from Cemaes, on the path to Simdda Wen, where I was in service, when there appeared just before me a very pretty young lady of ordinary size. I had no fear, and when I came up to her put out my hand to touch her, but my hand and arm went right through her form. I could not understand this, and so tried to touch her repeatedly with the same result; there was no solid substance in the body, yet it remained beside me, and was as beautiful a young lady as I ever saw. When I reached the door of the house where I was to stop, she was still with me. Then I said “Good night” to her. No response being made, I asked, “Why do you not speak?”
And at this she disappeared. Nothing happened afterwards, and I always put this beautiful young lady down as one of the Tylwyth Teg. There was much talk about my experience when I reported it, and the neighbours, like myself, thought I had seen one of the Tylwyth Teg. I was about twenty-four years old at the time of this incident.’ (1)
Just before crossing the Menai Straits I had the good fortune to meet, at his home in Llanfair, Mr. J. Morris Jones, M.A. (Oxon.), Professor of Welsh in the University College at Bangor, and he, speaking of the fairy-belief in Anglesey as he remembers it from boyhood days, said :-
‘Tylwyth Teg.’- ‘
In most of the tales I heard repeated when I was a boy, I am quite certain the implication was that the Tylwyth Teg were a kind of spirit race having human characteristics, who could at will suddenly appear and suddenly disappear. They were generally supposed to live underground, and to come forth on moonlight nights, dressed in gaudy colours (chiefly in red), to dance in circles in grassy fields. I cannot remember having heard changeling stories here in the Island: I think the Tylwyth Teg were generally looked upon as kind and good-natured, though revengeful if not well treated. And they were believed to have plenty of money at their command, which they could bestow on people whom they liked.’
(1) After this remarkable story, Mrs. Jones told me about another very rare psychical experience of her own, which is here recorded because it Illustrates the working of the psychological law of the association of ideas: – ‘My husband, Price Jones, was drowned some forty years ago, within four miles of Arms Head, near Bangor, on Friday at midday; and that night at about one o’clock he appeared to me in our bedroom and laid his head on my breast. I tried to ask him where he came from, but before I could get my breath he was gone. I believed at the time that he was out at sea perfectly safe and well. But next day, Saturday, at about noon, a message came announcing his death. I was as fully awake as one can be when I thus saw the spirit of my husband. He returned to me a second time about six months later.’ Had this happened in West Ireland, it is almost certain that public opinion would have declared that Price Jones had been taken by the ‘gentry’ or ‘good people’.

Upon leaving Anglesey I undertook some investigation of the Welsh fairy-belief in the country between Bangor and Carnarvon. From the oldest Welsh people of Treborth I heard the same sort of folk-lore as we have recorded from Anglesey, except that prominence was given to a flourishing belief in Bwganod, goblins or bogies. But from Mr. T. T. Davis Evans, of Port Dinorwic, I heard the following very unusual story based on facts, as he recalled it first hand :-
Jones’s Vision .-
William Jones, who some sixty years ago declared be had seen the Tylwyth Teg in the Aberglaslyn Pass near Beddgelert, was publicly questioned about them in Bethel Chapel by Mr. Griffiths, the minister; and he explained before the congregation that the Lord had given him a special vision which enabled him to see the Tylwyth Teg, and that, therefore, he had seen them time after time as little men playing along the river in the Pass. The minister induced Jones to repeat the story many times, because it seemed to please the congregation very much; and the folks present looked upon Jones’s vision as a most wonderful thing.’
To Mr. E. D. Rowlands, head master of the schools at Afonwen, I am indebted for a summary of the fairy-belief in South Carnarvonshire :-
‘Tylwyth Teg.’- ‘
According to the belief in South Carnarvonshire, the Tylwyth Teg were a small, very pretty people always dressed in white, and much given to dancing and singing in rings where grass grew. As a rule, they were visible only at night; though in the day-time, if a mother while hay-making was so unwise as to leave her babe alone in the field, the Tylwyth Teg might take it and leave in its place a hunchback, or some deformed object like a child. At night, the Tylwyth Teg would entice travellers to join their dance and then play all sorts of tricks on them.’ (1)
Fairy Cows and Fairy Lake-Women.- ‘
Some of the
(1) Here we find the Tylwyth Teg showing quite the same characteristics as Welsh elves in general, as Cornish pixies, and as Breton corrigans or lutins; that is, given to dancing at night, to stealing children, and to deceiving traveller.
Tylwyth Teg
lived in caves; others of them lived in lake-bottoms. There is a lake called Llyn y Morwynion, or “Lake of the Maidens “, near Festiniog, where, as the story goes, a farmer one morning found in his field a number of very fine cows such as he had never seen before. Not knowing where they came from, he kept them a long time, when, as it happened, he committed some dishonest act and, as a result, women of the Tylwyth Teg made their appearance in the pasture and, calling the cows by name, led the whole herd into the lake, and with them disappeared beneath its waters. The old people never could explain the nature of the Tylwyth Teg, but they always regarded them as a very mysterious race, and, according to this story of the cattle, as a supernatural race.’

Welsh Symbolist Poet: Arthur Symons

Amends to Nature
I have loved colours, and not flowers;

Their motion, not the swallows wings;

And wasted more than half my hours

Without the comradeship of things.
How is it, now, that I can see,

With love and wonder and delight,

The children of the hedge and tree,

The little lords of day and night?
How is it that I see the roads,

No longer with usurping eyes,

A twilight meeting-place for toads,

A mid-day mart for butterflies?
I feel, in every midge that hums,

Life, fugitive and infinite,

And suddenly the world becomes

A part of me and I of it.

The Opium Smoker
I am engulfed, and drown deliciously

Soft music like a perfume, and sweet light

Golden with audible odours exquisite

Swathe me with cerements for eternity

Time is no more, I pause and yet I flee

A million ages wrap me round with night.

I drain a million ages of delight

I hold the future in my memory.

At Fontainebleau
IT was a day of sun and rain,

Uncertain as a child’s swift moods;

And I shall never spend again

So blithe a day among the woods.
Was it because the Gods were pleased

That they were awful in our eyes,

Whom we in very deed appeased

With barley-cakes of sacrifice?
The forest knew her and was glad,

And laughed for very joy to know

Her child was with her; then, grown sad,

She wept, because her child must go.
And Alice, like a little Faun,

Went leaping over rocks and ferns,

Coursing the shadow-race from dawn

Until the twilight-flock returns.
And she would spy and she would capture

The shyest flower that lit the grass;

The joy I had to watch her rapture

Was keen as even her rapture was.
The forest knew her and was glad,

And laughed and wept for joy and woe.

This was the welcome that she had

Among the woods of Fontainebleau.

By Loe Pool
The pool glitters, the fishes leap in the sun

With joyous fins, and dive in the pool again;

I see the corn in sheaves, and the harvestmen,

And the cows coming down to the water one by one.

Dragon-flies mailed in lapis and malachite

Flash through the bending reeds and blaze on the pool;

Sea-ward, where trees cluster, the shadow is cool;

I hear a singing, where the sea is, out of sight;

It is noontide, and the fishes leap in the pool.

By the Pool of the Third Rosses
I heard the sighing of the reed

In the grey pool in the green land,

The sea-wind in the long reeds sighing

Between the green hill and the sand.
I heard the sighing of the reeds

Day after day, night after night;

I heard the whirring wild ducks flying,

I saw the sea-gull’s wheeling flight.
I heard the sighing of the reeds

Night after night, day after day,

And I forgot old age, and dying,

And youth that loves, and love’s decay.
I heard the sighing of the reeds

At noontide and at evening,

And some old dream I had forgotten

I seemed to be remembering.
I hear the sighing of the reeds:

Is it in vain, is it in vain

That some old peace I had forgotten

Is crying to come back again?

The Loom of Dreams
I broider the world upon a loom,

I broider with dreams my tapestry;

Here in a little lonely room

I am master of earth and sea,

And the planets come to me.
I broider my life into the frame,

I broider my love, thread upon thread;

The world goes by with its glory and shame,

Crowns are bartered and blood is shed;

I sit and broider my dreams instead.
And the only world is the world of my dreams,

And my weaving the only happiness;

For what is the world but what it seems?

And who knows but that God, beyond our guess,

Sits weaving worlds out of loneliness?

Born on Feb. 28th, 1865 at Milford Haven, Wales. Arthur Symons was the son of a Wesleyan minister.
English poet and critic, considered a leader of the symbolists in England. In 1884-1886 he edited four of Quaritch’s Shakespeare Quarto Facsimiles, and in 1888-1889 seven plays of the “Henry Irving” Shakespeare. He became a member of the staff of the Athenaeum in 1891, and of the Saturday Review in 1894.
His first volume of verse, Days and Nights (1889), consisted of dramatic monologues. His later verse is influenced by a close study of modern French writers, of Baudelaire and especially of Verlaine. He reflects French tendencies both in the subject-matter and style of his poems, in their eroticism and their vividness of description. ..


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