Arthur Blayney’s farewell to Gregynog, 1795

April 27, 2013 2 Comments


As I survey my estate
And my blood’s come
To nought
In this parchment dry body

And as I consider my kin’s line
Scrolling back unbroken
To Brochwel Ysgythrog
Prince of Powys

And down the lane
As I plan my last journey
To be laid, as I directed you, north
Of Cynon’s church

Here are three of the tokens
I beg you to lay on my plain
Hearse, lacking the usual
Fantastical decorations:

First, an oak panel, the sign of
Bleddyn the wolf man.
An arrow pierced his tongue, ended
Centuries of knifefights and fear.

Next, a yellow iris from the lily lake.
She will teach me to be
Patient as I begin my new
Century of sleep.

Last, a seed from the baby pine
That will stand, an age from today,
And greet the traveller
To my tall house of learning,
To the silence I have planted
In this green cwm.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Mary Oldham says:

    Dear Andrew Green,
    I’m the Librarian at Greygnog and I was fascinated to come across your poem about Arthur Blayney. My attention was drawn to it by someone who thought it was by Arthur himself! We’d love to know more about the origins of the poem – you clearly know Gregynog well.
    May I refer to it or quote it in an anthology we’re compiling of poems written at or about Gregynog over the centuries?

    • Andrew Green says:

      Hello Mary
      Many thanks for getting in touch. I must confess to having written the poem, even though I like the idea that Arthur B. himself might have been the author! You’re very welcome to refer to it, quote it or reproduce it whole in your anthology. Gregynog is one of my favourite places: I first visited it in the late 1970s, and for 20 years came to stay twice a year, in spring and autumn, with fellow WHELFers. As WHELF Chair I would often open meetings with a poem, and this was one of them. AB’s directions for his own funeral were reprinted by the Gregynog Press in 1980, if I remember rightly. The three tokens are my own invention.
      Good luck with the anthology: I hope you include BS Johnson.

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