Ystrad Fflur: Dusk

Who will ever tell or know

the unheard silent echoes

from passing lives laid low:

those ghosts of chanted psalms

once melodious in their praise

lie buried beneath the turf

within walls they helped to raise;

and who can see the cowled monks

whose ghostly whispered prayers

whose canticle or hymn

whispers through the evening's airs -

through the great stone entrance arch

standing guard to the cloistered church

process the silent hooded corps:

those silent steps in silent search

of peace beneath the agéd hills;

heads bowed they walk the grassy aisle

between the grass bound pews

down mossy nave, a silent file

to lie prostrate before the alter yews...

the ghostly glow of candle lamps

is still reflected through the ruins  

a hopeful glim 'mongst chills and damps,

as valley mists blow in from darksome hills

until in dampened nooks or corners

a hundred 'wrymouthed' misty wisps

swirl quiet o'er bardic mourners

to bless each bowed head with icy dew -

I see them kneel in that deepening gloom:

so many monks beside so many princes

buried 'neath the sod in so many a tomb,

pray on bended knee,

pray fading into night

There was in every hollow
A hundred wrymouthed wisps.

—Dafydd ap Gwilym, buried at Ystrad Fflur (trans. Wirt Sikes), 1340.

abbeyCeredigionduskghostsmistsmonasterymonksprincesStrata FloridaWalesYstrad Fflur

◄ Evening Light

Sub Rosa ►


No comments posted yet.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message