Pince Elphin's Song
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

The melody is most famous as White Snowdon, whose English lyrics were written by Felecia Hemans. These lyrics appear in Our National Songs (circa 1890).

According to myth Prince Elphin was the person to found a baby who had been discarded and named him "Taliesin," meaning "fine value" or "Shining Brow." Taliesin grew up to become a renoun bard. Prince Elphin was later imprisoned by his uncle in Tregonwy Castle from which Taliesin rescued him. The lyrics are supposedly addressed to a bird that sang near his prison window.

Thy silver notes, oh, tuneful bird,
Steal sweetly o'er mine ear;
Save thine, no friendly voice is heard
My harrowed soul to cheer.
Like thee, I once regardless sung,
Like thee, ere while was free,
But now, alas! my wretched tongue
Is dumb to all but thee.

Unjustly doomed to linger here,
A prey to foul despair;
Removed from all my soul held dear,
My Ellen, beauteous fair.
Sing on, sweet bird, and soothe my woe,
No other comfort's nigh
When death shall give the welcome blow
I'll smitle on thee and die.

Related Links
Other tunes related to Taliesin
From Our National Songs
See Bibliography for full information.