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Dylan Thomas 1914 - 1953
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Jan Morris 1926 -

The Town Square in Rhuthun

Marchan Wood
A poem on behalf of the squirrels who went to London to file and make an affidavit on the bill for the cutting down of Marchan Wood, near Rhuthun.

Odious and hard is the law
and painful to little squirrels.
They go the whole way to London
with their cry and their matron before them.
This red squirrel was splendid,
soft-bellied and able to read ;
She conversed with the Council
and made a great matter of it.
When the Book was put under her hand
in the faith that this would shame her,
she spoke thus to the bailiff,
"Sir Bribem, you're a deep one !"
Then on her oath she said,
"All Rhuthyn's woods are ravaged ;
my house and barn were taken
one dark night, and my store of nuts.
The squirrels all are calling
for the trees ; they fear the dog.
Up there remains of the hill wood
only grey ash of oak trees ;
there's not a stump unstolen
nor a crow's nest left in our land.
The owls are always hooting
for the trees, they send the children mad.
The poor owl catches cold,
left cold without her hollow trunk.
Woe to the goats, without trees or hazels,
and to the sow-keeper and piglets !
Pity an old red-bellied sow
on Sunday, in her search for an acorn.
The chair of the wild cats,
I know where that was burnt.
Goodbye hedgehog ! No cow-collar
or pig-trough will come from here any more.
If a plucked goose is to be roasted,
it must be with bracken from Rhodwydd Gap.
No pot will come to bubbling,
no beer will boil without small twigs ;
and if peat comes from the mountain
in the rain, it's cold and dear.
Colds will exhaust the housemaid,
with cold feet and a dripping nose.
There's no hollow trunk or branch,
or a fence for the beating of an old thin snipe.
Yes, Angharad spoke the truth,
if we don't get coal it's goodbye to our land."


------------------------

Robin Clydro 1545-1580

a red squirrel

 Glyn Cynon Wood

Aberdare, Llanwynno through,
all Merthyr to Llanfabon;
ther was never a more disastrous thing
than the cutting of Glyn Cynon.


They cut down many a parlour pure
where youth and manhood meet;
in those days of the regular star
Glyn Cynon's woods were sweet.


If a man in sudden plight
took to flight from foe,
for guest-house to the nightingale
in Glyn Cynon Vale he'd go.


Many a birch-tree green of cloak
(I'd like to choke the Saxon!)
is now a flaming heap of fire
where iron workers blacken.


For cutting the branch and bearing away
the wild birds habitation
may misfortune quickly reach
Rowenna's treacherous children!


Rather should the English be
strung up beneath the seas,
keeping painful house in hell
than felling Cynon's trees.


Upon my oath, I've heard it said
that a herd of the red deer
for Mawddwy's deep dark woods has left,
bereft of its warmth here.


No more the badger's earth we'll sack
nor start a buck from the glade;
no more deer-stalking in my day,
now they've cut Glyn Cynon's shade.


If ever a stag got into a wood
with huntsmen a stride behind,
never again will he turn in his run
with Cynon Wood in mind.


If the four-white girl once came
to walk along the brook,
Glyn Cynon's wood was always there
as a fair trysting nook.


If as in times gone by men plan
to span the mountain river;
though wood be found for house and church
Glyn Cynon's no provider.


I'd like to call on them a quest
of every honest bird.
where the owl, worthiest in the wood,
as hangman would be heard.


If there's a question who rehearsed
in verse this cruel tale,
it's one who many a tryst has kept
in the depth of Cynon Vale.


---------------------

Anonymous (16th Century)

"Rowenna's treacherous children" Rowenna, the sister of Hengist and Horsa, and wife to Vortigern, was known to the Welsh triadically as Alis Ronwen, and her progeny of English kings as plant Alis, 'Alice's children'

Rhuthun Castle

 

 
 

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