Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/58

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48 The Etiropean Sky -God.

and remarked that Nudd might have passed into Ltidd under the influence of alHteration. The name of Lydney, the cult-centre of Nodons, bears witness, as he pointed out/ to this change of initial. It follows that Nudd gave his name not only to the great Welsh king Lludd Llawereint, ' of the Silver Hand,' better known in English as king Lud, but also to Loth or Lot of the Arthurian romances.^

Lludd of the Silver Hand was the father of Creiddylad, who was betrothed to Gwythyr son of Greidawl. But, before she became his bride, Gwyn son of Nudd came and carried her away by force. The upshot was a great contest in which Gwyn beat Gwythyr. King Arthur made peace between them on the following terms : ' that the maiden should remain in her father's house, without advantage to either of them, and that Gwyn son of Nudd and Gwythyr son of Greidawl should fight for her every first of May from thenceforth until the day of doom, and that whichever of them should then be conqueror should have the maiden,' ^ This singular recital probably hangs together with another passage in the Mabinogion ^ : ' The second plague was a shriek which came on every May-eve over every hearth in the Island of Britain. And this went through people's hearts, and so scared them that the men lost their hue and their strength, and the women their children, and the young men and the maidens lost their senses, and all the animals and trees and the earth and the waters were left barren.' Lludd king of Britain, at the advice of his brother Llevelys king of France, put an end to

^ Rhys Celtic Folklore ii. 448.

^Rhys Hibbert Lectures pp. 125, 128 f., Celtic Folklore ii. 448, Studies in the Arthurian Legend Oxford 1 891, pp. 11, 239.

^Lady Charlotte Guest The Mabinogion London 1904 p. 138 f. See Rhys Hibbert Lectures p. 561 ff.

  • Lady Guest ib. p. 93 f.