The dream of Rhonabwy
Then lo! they heard a mighty sound which was much louder than that which they had heard before, and when they looked round towards the sound, they beheld a ruddy youth, without beard or whiskers, noble of mien, and mounted on a stately courser. And from the shoulders and the front of the knees downwards the horse was bay. And upon the man was a dress of red satin wrought with yellow silk, and yellow were the borders of his scarf. And such parts of his apparel and of the trappings of his horse as were yellow, as yellow were they as the blossom of the broom, and such as were red, were as ruddy as the ruddiest blood in the world.
Then, behold the horseman overtook them, and he asked of Iddawc a share of the little men that were with him.
"That which is fitting for me to grant I will grant, and thou shalt be a companion to them as I have been." And the horseman went away. Iddawc," inquired Rhonawby, "who was that horseman?"
"Rhuvawn Pebyr the son of Prince Deorthach."
And they journeyed over the plain of Argyngroeg as far as the ford of Rhyd y Groes on the Severn. And for a mile around the ford on both sides of the road, they saw tents and encampments, and there was the clamour of a mighty host. And they came to the edge of the ford, and there they beheld Arthur sitting on a flat island below the ford, having Bedwini the Bishop on one side of him, and Gwarthegyd the son of Kaw on the other. And a tall, auburn-haired youth stood before him, with his sheathed sword in his hand, and clad in a coat and cap of jet black satin. And his face was white as ivory, and his eyebrows black as jet, and such part of his wrist as could be seen between his glove and his sleeve, was whiter than the lily, and thicker than a warrior's ankle.
Then came Iddawc and they that were with him, and stood before Arthur and saluted him.
"Heaven grant thee good," said Arthur. "And where, Iddawc, didst thou find these little men?"
"I found them, lord, up yonder on the road."
Then the Emperor smiled.
"Lord," said Iddawc, "wherefore dost thou laugh?"
"Iddawc," replied Arthur, "I laugh not; but it pitieth me that men of such stature as these should have this island in their keeping, after the men that guarded it of yore."
Then said Iddawc, "Rhonabwy, dost thou see the ring with a stone set in it, that is upon the Emperor's hand?"
"I see it," he answered.
"It is one of the properties of that stone to enable thee to remember that thou seest here to-night, and hadst thou not seen the stone, thou wouldest never have been able to remember aught thereof."
After this they saw a troop coming towards the ford.
"Iddawc," inquired Rhonabwy, "to whom does yonder troop belong?"
"They are the fellows of Rhuvawn Pebyr the son of Prince Deorthach. And these men are honourably served with mead and bragget, and are freely beloved by the daughters of the kings of the Island of Britain. And this they merit, for they were ever in the front and the rear in every peril."
And he saw but one hue upon the men and the horses of this troop, for they were all as red as blood. And when one of
the knights rode forth from the troop, he looked like a pillar of fire glancing athwart the sky. And this troop encamped above the ford.