Faithful Gelert

I’d like to tell you a story that I heard many times whilst growing up in Wales.  It never fails to move me.  The story is inscribed on a gravestone in Beddgelert, North Wales:

In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent.

On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood.

The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry.

Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here.

And here is a related quote I found on Wikipedia:

Shaw13

Thou hast not trod with pilgrim foot the ground

Where sleeps the canine martyr of distrust,

Poor Gelert, famed in song, as brave a hound

As ever guarded homestead, hut, or hall,

Or leapt exulting at the hunter’s call;

As ever grateful man consigned to dust.

John Critchley Prince lines 24 to 29 of “North Wales”

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Posted on December 23, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. To act in haste, as we have all, is rarely without consequence. A sad, though lovely tale.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How unusual to have such an anecdote inscribed upon a gravestone – a human burial place presumably?

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    • Sorry Hariod, I should have explained, Beddgelert translates to “Gelert’s grave”. It is supposed to be where Gelert was buried. However, the truth of the matter is disputed. As with LlanfairPG, it may have been a ploy to attract visitors. I prefer to believe the story. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. a wonderful tale 🙂

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  4. Touching indeed, Sarah – thank you and I do hope you have a big smile on your face for Christmas Day. Merry Christmas 😀

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  5. As a small child I remember being told a similar tale, by my granddad, whilst looking at a huge painting, could be the very same story. I was so young, but, I remember the impact of the tale though not any of the names involved, and my granddad’s dad came from Wales!
    Wishing you and Yours a lovely Christmas and New Year Sarah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a terribly sad tale and that painting is heartbreaking. I, too, find it moving and I can see why it would stick with you. Injustice is right. Perhaps it’s so painful because it’s so easy to believe. There are certainly times when I assumed the wrong thing and I am so, so sorry that I did.

    On that sad note, Merry Christmas to you, all the way across the sea. Love from Oregon. ❤

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    • Thank you Crystal. I’m sorry if I made you sad. It wasn’t a particularly appropriate time to post such a sad story but I felt moved to do it. It turned out to be something that another blogging friend needed to hear.
      I hope you had a good Christmas and that 2016 brings you great joy. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The story was very touching even I hate the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy New Year! Sarah.

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  9. Great Truth here. Also, they present the same story in India, substituting Snake for Wolf. It is interesting that these pieces of Wisdom are shared so far across the Seas.

    Anyway, a Very good lesson against Haste.

    Regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Keep following your instincts Sarah. This story was a great help to me. 😀

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