Go to Index:    

You are here: arthurian » mabinogion » manawyddan, son of llyr (part 5)


Manawyddan, son of Llyr

part 5

When Kicva the daughter of Gwynn Gloew saw that there was no one in the palace but herself and Manawyddan, she sorrowed so that she cared not whether she lived or died. And Manawyddan saw this.
  "Thou art in the wrong," said he, "if through fear of me thou grievest thus. I call Heaven to witness that thou hast never seen friendship more pure than that which I will bear thee, as long as Heaven will that thou shouldst be thus. I declare to thee that were I in the dawn of youth I would keep my faith unto Pryderi, and unto thee also will I keep it. Be there no fear upon thee, therefore," said he, "for Heaven is my witness that thou shalt meet with all the friendship thou canst wish, and that it is in my power to show thee, as long as it shall please Heaven to continue us in this grief and woe."
  "Heaven reward thee," she said, "and that is what I deemed of thee."
And the damsel thereupon took courage and was glad.

  "Truly, lady," said Manawyddan, "it is not fitting for us to stay here, we have lost our dogs, and we cannot get food. Let us go into Lloegyr; it is easiest for us to find support there."
  "Gladly, lord," said she, "we will do so." And they set forth together to Lloegyr.
  "Lord," said she, "what craft wilt thou follow? Take up one that is seemly."
  "None other will I take," answered he, "save that of making shoes, as I did formerly." "Lord," said she, "such a craft becomes not a man so nobly born as thou."
  "By that however will I abide," said he.

So he began his craft, and he made all his work of the finest leather he could get in the town, and, as he had done at the other place, he caused gilded clasps to be made for the shoes. And except himself all the cordwainers in the town were idle, and without work. For as long as they could be had from him, neither shoes nor hose were bought elsewhere. And thus they tarried there a year, until the cordwainers became envious, and took counsel concerning him. And he had warning thereof, and it was told him how the cordwainers had agreed together to slay him.

  "Lord," said Kicva, "wherefore should this be borne from these boors?"
  "Nay," said he, "we will go back unto Dyved."
So towards Dyved they set forth.

Now Manawyddan, when he set out to return to Dyved,, took with him a burden of wheat. And he proceeded towards Narberth, and there he dwelt. And never was he better pleased than when he saw Narberth again, and the lands where he had been wont to hunt with Pryderi and with Rhiannon. And he accustomed himself to fish, and to hunt the deer in their covert. And then he began to prepare some ground and he sowed a croft, and a second, and a third. And no wheat in the world ever sprung up better. And the three crofts prospered with perfect growth, and no man ever saw fairer wheat than it.

And thus passed the seasons of the year until the harvest came. And he went to look at one of his crofts, and behold it was ripe.
  "I will reap this to-morrow," said he.
And that night he went back to Narberth, and on the morrow in the grey dawn he went to reap the croft, and when he came there he found nothing but the bare straw. Every one of the ears of the wheat was cut from off the stalk, and all the ears carried entirely away, and nothing but the straw left. And at this he marvelled greatly.
Then he went to look at another croft, and behold that also was ripe.
  "Verily," said he, "this will I reap to-morrow."
And on the morrow he came with the intent to reap it, and when he came there he found nothing- but the bare straw.
  "Oh, gracious Heaven," he exclaimed, "I know that whosoever has begun my ruin is completing it, and has also destroyed the country with me."
Then he went to look at the third croft, and when he came there, finer wheat had there never been seen, and this also was ripe.
  "Evil betide me," said he, "if I watch not here to-night. Whoever carried off the other corn will come in like manner to take this. And I will know who it is."
So he took his arms, and began to watch the croft. And he told Kicva all that had befallen.
  "Verily," said she, "what thinkest thou to do?"
  "I will watch the croft to-night," said he.

To part 6

Back to Mabinogion Index