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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1804.19
Richard Llwyd, the Bard of Snowden,
To His Countrymen

“Rd. Llywd”
The Anti-Gallican (1804), pp. 139-141

Ye, (1) whom Britain's earliest day
Saw among her meadows play;
Unconscious yet that Ocean's waves
Form'd the isle it loves and laves!

Lords of realms, as yet unknown,
A blest creation all your own;
A region yet by blood unstain'd
Where Peace unbroke, unruffl'd reign'd.

Ere yet, the icy rocky North (2)
Had pour'd her hungry myriads forth,
The hordes that ravag'd guiltless lands,
And forc'd to arms your past'ral bands.

Decreed to share a restless doom,
A world, in vain, resisted Rome:
Yet Claudius (3) heard, on Empire's throne,
A voice then greater than his own.

Led by rapine, fraud and spoil,
Saxons, Normans, trod your soil;
And Bards in strains of sorrow tell,
That Britain's offspring, fought, and fell.

Lost your own paternal plains,
Florid fields, and wide domains;
Fair Cambria saw with beckoning eyes,
And bade ERYRI'S (4) ramparts rise.

Here amid her cliffs of snow,
Ages saw you brave the foe;
Till Concord came, with efforts blest,
And sooth'd Contention's roar to rest!

United now to Britain's throne,
Your Sires (5) return, resume their own;
Chiefs of your country's antient days,
Britannia's wider sceptre sways!

O'er Britain's fair extended face,
One brave, one rich, and potent race;—
High in honour—high in fame—
The first of nations—BOASTS YOUR NAME!

Britons hear, that name's a host,
And forms a bulwark round your coast:
And Fame shall tell, in records fair,
You're worthy of the name you bear!

The foe that racks a suffering world,
At you the bolt of war has hurl'd;
And dares in language loud and high
Your warriors to the field defy:

Dares, and hopes, by threats and wiles,
To ravage, rule—The Queen of Isles:
Her sons shall check his thirst of blood,
By all that's great, and all that's good!

By genuine Freedom's holy flame,
By your own Arthur, Alfred's name;
By Deva's (6) waves, when Ida fled,
By Mona's sons, and Merfyn (7) led.

By Rodri's (8) bright and vengeful sword,
That gleam'd in Conway's lucid ford;
By Euloe's (9) forests, Berwyn's heath,
Where Owen gain'd th' unfading wreath.

By Jorwerth (10)—Cynan—Howel's name,
By all that fills the rolls of fame,
Unfold your banners, rend the air,
And proudly show the shields (11) you bear!

Sons (12) of Snowden, yours the need,
Nobly live, or nobly bleed;
Your Country, Parents, Children, save,
Or fill one great and glorious grave!

[The parenthetical numbers in this poem are the author's own]


Notes

1. [Author's note]: "Aborigines."

2. [Author's note]: "Invasion of the Danes and Norwegians."

3. [Author's note]: "See an elegant version of the speech of Caractacus, before Claudius, in the Juvenilia of my accomplished friend J. H. L. Hunt, Esq."

4. [Author's note]: "The ridge of Snowdonia."

5. [Author's note]: "The restoration of the British line, in Henry the 7th, of the House of Tudor."

6. [Author's note]: "The battle of Bangor, upon the Dee."

7. [Author's note]: "That of Llanfaes in Anglesey."

8. [Author's note]: "Dial Rodri, or Roderick's Revenge at Cymryd, upon the River Conway."

9. [Author's note]: "In the forests of Euloe, in Flintshire, and on the mountain of Berwyn, the fortune of Henry II, the Power of England, aided by a diversion from Ireland, upon the coast of Wales, and a full exertion of the old maxim, Divide et impera, gave way to a combination of elemental warfare, an inaccessible country, and the prowess of Owen Gwynedd."

10. [Author's note]: "Llewllyn ap Jorwerth, Gryffyth ap Cynan, and Howel Dda (for the good) Princes of Wales."

11. [Author's note]: "In the ages of contention and discord, before the incorporation by which we became one great and happy people, the now neglected language of Shields, of Chivalry, and Arms, was that which symbolically recorded the actions of those to whom their country was indebted for safety in the hour of danger: whose names it is honourable to recollect, and whose exploits it is glorious to emulate. Of those of Gwyerd ap Rhys Goch, Ednyfed Vychan, Carwed of Twrcelyn, Meurig, from Hedd Moelwynog, Howel y Fwyall Dafydd Gam (see History, battle of Cressy and Poictiers) and that of the Lloyds of Bod Idris in lal, are particularly instructing and entertaining."

12. [Author's note]: "Llangciau'r Eryri."

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September 2004

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