Go to Index:    





Culhwch & Olwen


Macsen Wledig

Lludd & Llefelys



You are here: arthurian » mabinogion » branwen (part 6)


Branwen, daughter of Llyr

Part 6

Then Bendigeid Fran took the letter and looked upon it. And when he had read the letter he grieved exceedingly at the tidings of Branwen's woes. And immediately he began sending messengers to summon the island together. And he caused sevenscore and four countries to come unto him, and he complained to them himself of the grief that his sister endured. So they took counsel. And in the council they resolved to go to Ireland, and to leave seven men as princes here, and Caradawc the son of Bran, as the chief of them, and their seven knights. In Edeyrnion were these men left. And for this reason were the seven knights placed in the town. Now the names of these seven were, Caradawc the son of Bran, and Hefeydd Hir, and Unic Glew Ysgwyd, and Iddic the son of Anarawc Gwalltgrwn, and Fodor the son of Ervyll, and Gwlch Minascwrn, and Llassar the son of Llaesar Llaesgygwyd, and Pendaran Dyved as a young page with them. And these abode as seven ministers to take charge of this island; and Caradawc the son of Bran was the chief amongst them.

Bendigeid Fran, with the host of which we spoke, sailed towards Ireland, and it was not far across the sea, and he came to shoal water. It was but by two rivers; the Lli and the Archan were they called; and the nations covered the sea. Then he proceeded with what provisions he had on his own back, and approached the shore of Ireland.

Now the swineherds of Matholwch were upon the sea-shore, and they came to Matholwch.
  "Lord," said they, "greeting be unto thee."
  "Heaven protect you," said he, "have you any news?"
  "Lord," said they, "we have marvellous news, a wood have we seen upon the sea, in a place where we never yet saw a single tree."
  "This is indeed a marvel," said he; "saw you aught else?"
  "We saw, lord," said they, "a vast mountain beside the wood, which moved, and there was a lofty ridge on the top of the mountain, and a lake on each side of the ridge. And the wood, and the mountain, and all these things moved."
  "Verily," said he, "there is none who can know aught concerning this, unless it be Branwen."

Messengers then went unto Branwen. "Lady," said they, what thinkest thou that this is?"
  "The men of the Island of the Mighty, who have come hither on hearing of my ill treatment and my woes."
  "What is the forest that is seen upon the sea?" asked they.
  "The yards and the masts of ships," she answered.
  "Alas," said they, "what is the mountain that is seen by the side of the ships?"
  "Bendigeid Fran, my brother," she replied, "coming to shoal water; there is no ship that can contain him in it."
  "What is the lofty ridge with the lake on each side thereof?"
  "On looking towards this island he is wroth, and his two eyes, one on each side of his nose, are the two lakes beside the ridge."

To part 7

Back to Mabinogion Index