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Crotchet Castle

15.
The Farm
Da ydyw'r gwaith, rhaid d'we'yd y gwir,
Ar fryniau Sir Meirionydd;
Golwg oer o'r gwaela gawn
Mae hi etto yn llawn llawenydd.
Though Meirion's rocks, and hills of heath,
Repel the distant sight,
Yet where, than those bleak hills beneath,
Is found more true delight?
At length the young lady awoke. She was startled at the sudden sight of the
stranger, and somewhat terrified at the first perception of her position. But she
soon recovered her self-possession, and, extending her hand to the offered hand
of Mr. Chainmail, she raised herself up on the tree, and stepped on the rocky
bank.
Mr. Chainmail solicited permission to attend her to her home, which the young
lady graciously conceded. They emerged from the woody dingle, traversed an
open heath, wound along a mountain road by the shore of a lake, descended to
the deep bed of another stream, crossed it by a series of stepping-stones,
ascended to some height on the opposite side, and followed upwards the line of
the stream, till the banks opened into a spacious amphitheatre, where stood, in
its fields and meadows, the farmhouse of Ap-Llymry.
During this walk, they had kept up a pretty animated conversation. The lady had
lost her hat, and, as she turned towards Mr. Chainmail, in speaking to him, there
was no envious projection of brim to intercept the beams of those radiant eyes he
had been so anxious to see unclosed. There was in them a mixture of softness
and brilliancy, the perfection of the beauty of female eyes, such as some men
have passed through life without seeing, and such as no man ever saw, in any
pair of eyes, but once; such as can never be seen and forgotten. Young Crotchet
had seen it; he had not forgotten it; but he had trampled on its memory, as the
renegade tramples on the emblems of a faith which his interest only, and not his
heart or his reason, has rejected.
Her hair streamed over her shoulders; the loss of the black feather had left
nothing but the rustic costume, the blue gown, the black stockings, and the
ribbon-tied shoes. Her voice had that full soft volume of melody which gives to
common speech the fascination of music. Mr. Chainmail could not reconcile the
dress of the damsel with her conversation and manners. He threw out a remote
question or two, with the hope of solving the riddle, but, receiving no reply, he
became satisfied that she was not disposed to be communicative respecting
herself, and, fearing to offend her, fell upon other topics. They talked of the
scenes of the mountains, of the dingle, the ruined castle, the solitary lake. She
told him, that lake lay under the mountains behind her home, and the coracle and
the pass at the extremity, saved a long circuit to the nearest village, whither she
sometimes went to inquire for letters.
 
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