The spearman heard the bugle sound,
And cheerily smiled the morn;
And many a brach, and many a hound,
Attend Llewellyn's horn.
And still he blew a louder blast,
And gave a louder cheer:
"Come, Gelert! why art thou the last
Llewellyn's horn to hear?
"Oh, where does faithful Gelert roam—
The flower of all his race!
So true, so brave—a lamb at home,
A lion in the chase?"
That day Llewellyn little loved
The chase of hart or hare;
And scant and small the booty proved,
For Gelert was not there.
Unpleased Llewellyn homeward hied,
When, near the portal-seat,
His truant Gelert he espied,
Bounding his lord to greet.
But when he gained the castle-door,
Aghast the chieftain stood;
The hound was smear'd with gouts of
His lips and fangs ran blood!
Llewellyn gazed with wild surprise,
Unused such looks to meet;
His favourite check'd his joyful guise,
And crouch'd and lick'd his
Onward in haste Llewellyn pass'd
(And on went Gelert too),
And still where'er his eyes were cast,
Fresh blood-gouts shock'd his
O'erturn'd his infant's bed he
The blood-stain'd cover rent,
And all around the walls and ground
With recent blood besprent.
He call'd his child—no voice replied;
He search'd—with terror
Blood! blood! he found on every side,
But nowhere found the child!
"Hell-hound! by thee my child's
The frantic father cried,
And to the hilt his vengeful sword
He plunged in Gelert's side!
His suppliant, as to earth he fell,
No pity could impart;
But still his Gelert's dying yell
Pass'd heavy o'er his heart.
Aroused by Gelert's dying yell,
Some slumberer waken'd nigh:
What words the parent's joy can tell,
To hear his infant cry!
Conceal'd beneath a mangled heap,
His hurried search had miss'd:
All glowing from his rosy sleep,
His cherub boy he kiss'd!
Nor scratch had he, nor harm, nor dread;
But the same couch beneath
Lay a great wolf, all torn and dead—
Tremendous still in death!