Hans Blodeuwedd

This poem by Robert Graves inspired me whilst writing Stone Circle – it is infused with magic and mythThe story behind the poem is about the magicians Math and Gwydion. They ‘take the flowers of the oak, and the flowers of the broom, and the flowers of the meadowsweet, and from those they conjured up the fairest and most beautiful maiden anyone had ever seen. And they baptized her in the way that they did at that time, and named her Blodeuwedd.’ The story is from the Mabinogion — the earliest prose literature of Britain.

Not of father nor of mother

Was my blood, was my body.

I was spellbound by Gwydion,

Prime enchanter of the Britons,

When he formed me from nine blossoms,

Nine buds of various kind;

From primrose of the mountain,

Broom, meadow-sweet and cockle,

Together intertwined,

From the bean in its shade bearing

A white spectral army

Of earth, of earthly kind,

From blossoms of the nettle,

Oak, thorn and bashful chestnut –

Nine powers of nine flowers,

Nine powers in me combined,

Nine buds of plant and tree.

Long and white are my fingers

As the ninth wave of the sea.

Hanes Blodeuwedd

(The Song of Blodeuwedd)

as reconstructed by Robert Graves

in The White Goddess


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