An insightful and relevant short tale from Welsh tradition. Its sentiments reminiscent of the Cathars, or ‘the Albi’ -which is another name for the elusive race people know as elves and fairies.
Gwraig means ‘wife’. The plural is ‘gwragedd annwn’.
[An] enamoured farmer had heard of the lake maiden, who rowed up and down the lake in a golden boat, with a golden oar. Her hair was long and yellow, and her face was pale and melancholy. In his desire to see this wondrous beauty, the farmer went on New Year’s Eve to the edge of the lake, and in silence awaited the coming of the first hour of the new year. It came, and there in truth was the maiden in her golden boat, rowing softly to and fro.
I watched a very moving World War 1 documentary focussing on the British forces’ Pals’ Brigades, a colossal blunder that decimated towns and villages. (The video has been posted at the end of this article – please watch it when you get there.) – – Of course it was removed from YT. Here’s some pages of other film offerings on YT: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Pals%E2%80%99+Brigades
Britain, as well as many other countries, lost the cream of their male genetic pool during this slaughter (World War 11 robbed humanity of most of what was left among the major combatant nations). Only a few countries’ male gene pools were relatively unscathed after these calculated reapings. It is estimated that there were 16 million deaths and 21 million wounded, including millions of women and children – altogether about 6.8 million civilians. Millions and millions of mothers were left widows – and a great percentage of these destitute, or almost, to bring up father-less children until they were old enough to die in the next one.