Page:More Celtic Fairy Tales.djvu/61

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
39
Powel, Prince of Dyfed

plotted together, they accused Rhiannon of having murdered her child before their eyes.

"For pity's sake," said Rhiannon, "the Lord God knows all things. Charge me not falsely. If you tell me this from fear, I assert before Heaven that I will defend you."

"Truly," said they, "we would not bring evil on ourselves for any one in the world."

"For pity's sake," said Rhiannon, "you will receive no evil by telling the truth." But for all her words, whether fair or harsh, she received but the same answer from the women.

And Powel the chief of Annuvyn arose, and his household and his hosts. And this occurrence could not be concealed; but the story went forth throughout the land, and all the nobles heard it. Then the nobles came to Powel, and besought him to put away his wife because of the great crime which she had done. But Powel answered them that they had no cause wherefore they might ask him to put away his wife.

So Rhiannon sent for the teachers and the wise men, and as she preferred doing penance to contending with the women, she took upon her a penance. And the penance that was imposed upon her was that she should remain in that palace of Narberth until the end of seven years, and that she should sit every day near unto a horse-block that was without the gate; and that she should relate the story to all who should come there whom she might suppose not to know it already; and that she should offer the guests and strangers, if they would permit her, to carry them upon her back into the palace. But it rarely happened that any would permit. And thus did she spend part of the year.

Now at that time Teirnyon Twryv Vliant was lord of