‘Where is the band?’ I said,
As the old man limped
And stumbled, head down,
Across the tussocked space between us.
‘Band? What band?’ he answered;
‘I heard nothing’.
‘But there were flutes, and other pipes,
Soft and sad;
A quiet drum, and the voices of girls.’
‘ No- I only heard those gulls down there,
The waves on the rocks
And the wind blowing through the heather.
There was no band,…
Nobody singing or playing
There never was, You dreamt it’
Sad, to have missed the secret music,
And not to know his heritage was gone.
Children of the Mist,
There’s an island in Cardigan Bay, somewhere between Llyn and Strumble Head where the faeries live. They are a small and handsome race known as "Plant Rhys Ddwfn" (The children of Rhys of the Deep). Often times they would visit Rhiw, especially to the market at Treheli that was held in days gone by. They were never seen arriving or leaving, but could be seen buying many goods at the market. They always had plenty of money, and never wanted any change. Sometimes they’d come over to buy corn from the farmers of Rhiw. It was always misty when they came, and it is said that they created the mist so no one would notice where they came from and find their island.
At times they’d be seen dancing and singing in the mist around Clip Gylfinir and the fields of Conion. If you went too close they would disappear and all you could hear was sweet music all around.
Once upon a time a man became so enchanted with the sweet music that he was transported by the faeries to their island. When he opened his eyes he saw a green and fertile land full of the most beautiful treasures the eye could behold, and the faeries showed him many miraculous and wonderful sights. When he awoke again he was on the doorstep of his tiny cottage surrounded by the many gifts the faeries had given him. For the rest of his life he was bestowed with many blessings.
So next time you are in Rhiw don’t forget to look and listen for "Plant Rhys Ddwfn" playing in the mist and you never know they may just bless you with their treasures.
This fairy tale was told to the children of Rhiw by their parents and grandparents many many years ago. Similar tales were told in communities all along the Welsh coastline. We came across a reference to the tale in a book called "Y Llong Lo" written by William Rowlands of Rhiw. It was an adventure story for boys, published in 1924, and was a prize winner at The National Eisteddfod in Rhydaman in 1922.
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