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53 THE LEGEND OF BALA LAKE. Lake of Meirionydd ! thou beautiful, thou incorruptible sepulchre of the palaces of iniquity! The king of the morning looks as joyously down upon the gambols of thy tiny billows as upon the proud ocean itself, or his heavenward mirrors on Arvon's precipices. Many a time, when the clear harvest moon is shining, has the old boatman seen towers and parapets far beneath thy waters, not in a rippling outline like the reflections of the mountains in thy margin, but sternly fixed and unwavering like the mountains themselves; and often, in the furious and harrowing blasts of December, he still perceives the spot where the highest pinnacle rises by a turbulent column of foam jutting upwards ; and oft, in the intervals of the storm, you may, it is said, sometimes hear a still small voice wailing out, " Edivar! Edivar!" (repentance ! re¬ pentance !) Tn the far-gone ages, when the Cymry were yet lords of the Beautiful Isle, there lived in the valley where the lake now stands a prince, the richest and the proudest in all the land of Gwynedd. But it was known that his treasures, and his palaces, and his hunting-grourjds, were all the wages of sin ; and, as he first entered his palace-door, a voice was heard from the distant mountains, crying out, " Edivar a ddaw! Edivar a ddaw !" (repentance will come! repentance will come!) "When will repentance come V* asked the prince?" " At the third generation!" replied the voice; and a deep thunderclap broke forth from the distant mountains, that seemed to join all their echoes in one terrific acclamation of assent. The wilful prince laughed at the voice he had heard, and still went on in his crimes,—careless of God and man,—plundering and murdering the poor peasants around him ; and many a time he has been heard to burst into proud and frantic laughter, as the hymn from the distant church rose faintly upon his ear * * • • * * » An old harper, from the neighbouring mountains, was one night summoned to the palace. He heard, on his way, that they were rejoicing at the birth of the first child born to the prince's eldest son. When the harper arrived in the hall, there was such feasting, and such a number of lords and ladies, he had never seen any thing like it before. And, when he began to strike up with his harp, it was a beautiful sight to see the dance of those proud-eyed gentlemen, and those damsels with necks as white as a morning cloud, that rises blanched from the ocean. And so it went on ; and the old harper was not a whit less delighted to play to them, than they to dance to his music. It was now just midnight; there was a pause in the dance, and the old harper was left in his nook quite alone, when suddenly he