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Old 04-09-2014, 06:57 PM   #195
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Arrow Albion

AS travelers, who have lost their way by night, gaze ever towards the east for the first rays of light and hope, so we who grope in the darkness of antiquity must direct our eyes to the land of the rising sun, whence learning and life itself first sprang.

Listen then to a romance of the East.

Danaus, King of Greece, had fifty sons, whom he married to the fifty daughters of his brother Ægistus, King of Egypt. But soon these women thirsted for dominion, and conspired secretly to slay their husbands and to rule in their steads. But the youngest and the most beautiful had a tender heart, which crept from her lips in words of warning to her father and her spouse. Then they were all seized and set adrift in ships upon the sea, which after many storms bore them in safety to a large and uninhabited island.

Here they staid and named it Albion, after Albina their eldest sister, and here they maintained themselves by the chase, killing the deer and the boars, and wild bulls, and large birds which they found in the forests with arrows and bolts, and bowstrings, and snares and pitfalls.

And while filled with meat and drink, and with lustful thoughts, they lay sleeping on the ground covered with the skins of wild beasts, dark brooding spirits swept towards them from the sky, and encircled them with their shadowy arms, and intoxicated them with their flaming breath

By these were born huge and hideous giants which soon bore others, till they filled the whole land with a strange and fierce crew..


MEANWHILE Troy had fallen: the wanderings of Eneas were past: and Ascanius had died leaving behind him his son Silvius.

The son of Silvius loved a maid, who became pregnant. Then the wise men and women of the land were sent for, and all those who knew songs of magic art. They cast. their lots and found sorrowful spells: that a child would be born through whom both his father and mother would suffer death: that through their death he would be driven from the land, and after a long time would be crowned with honor.

His mother died as she gave him to the world, and the child, whom they named Brutus, when he had become a youth, shot his father through the breast a-hunting the deer.

His kindred banished him from the land, and he sailed sadly over the sea-streams into Greece where he headed an insurrection against Pandrasus the king, and with such success that the king offered him all his ships, and treasures, and Imogen his only daughter if he would consent to seek another kingdom.

So Brutus, with his followers, like Eneas of old, sailed forth upon the waters in search of a new land.

After two days and two nights the sea became blue: the wild waves were hushed: they came to a desolate island: its inhabitants had been slain by the pirates: the timid deer coursed over its wasted shores.

But they found there a marble temple, and within the fair and beautiful image of Diana.

Brutus with twelve wise men, and with Gerion, his priest, entered the temple while his followers remained without. He bore a vessel of red gold in his hand: it was filled with wine and with the milk of a white hind which he had killed. Having kindled a fire by the altar, he walked around it nine times. He called to the goddess beloved of his heart: he kissed the altar and poured the wine and milk upon the fire.

"Lady Diana! loved Diana! High Diana!" he cried. "Help me in my need. Teach me whither I may go and wherein I may dwell. And there I will make thee a lofty dwelling and honor thee with great worship...

Then he spread the hide of the white hind upon the altar, and kneeling upon it fell asleep. In his dreams he beheld Diana floating towards him with sweet smiles. She laid her hands like a wreath of flowers upon his head, saying:

Beyond Gaul in the west thou shall find a winsome land: therein thou shalt prosper. Therein is fowl: there is fish: there dwell fair deer: there is wood: there is water: there is much desert: grim giants dwell in the land. It is called Albion.

For thirty days and thirty nights they sailed past Africa and over the lake of Silvius, and over the lake of Philisteus: by Ruscikadan they took the sea, and by the mountain country of Azare. They fought with the pirates, and gained from them such treasures that there was not a man in the fleet who did not wear gold and pall. And by the pillars of Hercules they were encompassed by mermen who sing songs so sweet that mariners will rest slothfully on their oars, and listen to them for days without wearying of their songs to hear--these impeded them much with their wicked crafts, but they escaped them safely.

In a peaceful sea, and among the playing fish they came to Dartmouth in Totnes. There the ships bit the sands, and with merry hearts the warriors went ashore.

It happened after many days that Brutus and his people were celebrating holy writs, with meat, with drink, and with merry glee sounds: with silver and with gold: with horses and with vestments.

Twenty strong giants descended the hills: trees were their clubs: in the centre of their foreheads was a single eye vivid as the blue ice. They hurled huge stones and slew five hundred of the Trojans. But soon the fierce steel arrows of the Trojans whistled through the air, and blood began to spurt from their monstrous sides. They tried to fly; but those darts followed them swift and revengeful, as birds of prey winged with the dark feathers of death.

Nineteen were slain and Geog-magog, their leader was brought bound before Brutus, who ordered a wrestling match to be held between the giant and Corineus, a chieftain of his army.

A mighty crowd gathered upon the downs by the sea-cliff.

Corineus and the giant advanced towards each other, they yoked their arms and stood breast to breast. Their eyes gushed blood, their teeth gnashed like wild boars, their bones cracked. Now their faces were black and swollen, now red and flaming with rage. Geog-magog thrust Corineus off his breast and drawing him back broke three of his ribs with his mighty hand. But Corineus was not overcome, he hugged the giant grimly to his waist, and grasping him by the girdle swung him over the cliff upon the rocks below.

Which spot is called "Geog-magog's leap" to this day. And to Corineus, the conqueror, was given a dukedom, which was thence called Corinee and thence Cornwall.

Brutus having conquered the giant off-spring of the treacherous sisters, built a New Troy, and erected temples to the great Diana, and caused her to be worshipped throughout the land.

Which was named Britain after Brutus, the first man who set foot upon its shores...


FABLES are seldom actual impostures. They are usually truths disguised in gaudy or grotesque garments, but so disguised that the most profound philosophers are often at a loss how to separate the tinsel from the gold..

But even when they remain insolvable enigmas, they are, at least, to be preferred to the etymological eurekas and tedious conjectures with which antiquarians clog the pages of history, and which are equally false and less poetical.

My fable of Albion is derived from the ancient chronicles of Hugh de Genesis, an historiographer now almost forgotten, and is gravely advanced by John Hardyng, in his uncouth rhymes, as the source of that desire for sovereignty which he affirms to be a peculiarity of his own countrywomen.

The story of Brû or Brutus was first published by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and was generally supposed to have been a monkish fabrication, till it was discovered in the historical poems of Tyssilia, a Welsh bard.

It is worthy of remark that the boys of Wales still amuse themselves by cutting out seven enclosures in the sward, which they call the City of Troy, and dance round and between them as if in imitation of the revolution of the planets.

In a poem by Taliesin, the Ossian of Wales, called The Appeasing, of Lhudd, a passage occurs, of which this is a literal translation:

"A numerous race, fierce, they are said to have been,
Were thy original colonists, Britain, first of isles,
Natives of a country in Asia, and the city of Gafiz
Said to have been a skilful people, but the district is unknown
Which was mother to these children, warlike adventurers on the sea;
Clad in their long dress, who could equal them?
Their skill is celebrated, they were the dread of Europe."

This is strong evidence in favor of the Phœnicians, at that time the pirate-scourges of the sea, but in the Welsh triads, or traditional chronicles, we read that-

"The first of the three chieftains who established the colony was Hu, the Mighty, who came with the original settlers. They came over the Hazy Sea from the summer country, which is called Deffrobani, that is where Constinoblys now stands."-Triad 4.

It maybe possible to reconcile these contradictions of history in its simplest state, to which I might add a hundred from later writers.

We learn fromJosephus that the Scythians, were called Magogœi by the Greeks, and it is probable that these (who certainly did migrate to Britain at a remote period) were the real aborigines, and the race alluded to in the fourth Triad. That then the warlike race of Taliesin also migrated from another region of the East, and that their battles with the Scythians gave rise to the fables of Brutus and Magog; for it was a practice, common enough with illiterate nations, to express heroes in their war-tales by the images of giants.

This superstition is somewhat borne out by the assertion of Tacitus and other classical writers, that at the time of Cæsar's invasion, there were three distinct races in Britain, especially contrasting-the red-haired, large-limbed, and blue-eyed Celts of the North, with the Silures of Devon, Cornwall, and the Cassiterides or Scilly Isles, who had swarthy faces and dark curly hair, like the Iberi of Spain..

But let us pass on from such dateless periods of guess-work, to that in which The White Island first obtained notice from those philosophers, and poets, and historians, whom now we revere and almost deify... course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,to cut the head off and then hack the limbs,like wrath in death and envy afterwards,for Antony is but a limb of Caesar..Let us be sacrificers but not butchers, Caius..We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar,and in the spirit of men there is no blood..Oh, that we then could come by Caesar’s spirit and not dismember Caesar! But, alas, Caesar must bleed for it.. And, gentle friends,let’s kill him boldly but not wrathfully..Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods..And for Mark Antony, think not of him,for he can do no more than Caesar’s arm When Caesar’s head is off...

Last edited by lightgiver; 04-09-2014 at 07:00 PM.
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