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Syfaddon Lake

SYFADDON LAKE was once a beautiful estate belonging to a great lady. A young warrior from Brecon, of gentle birth but no fortune, loved her, but she would not marry him because he was poor. He, prizing her more than the welfare of his soul, met a rich merchant in a lonely spot and murdered him. Then, showing his lady love the gold and gems which he had taken from the body of his victim, he again asked her to be his wife. This time she consented. She was, however, curious to know how he had procured his wealth, though she did not care whether honestly or otherwise, and he told her. "Have you buried the corpse?" she asked. "No," said he. "You must go this night," she said, "and inter it: otherwise his kindred will find out that you have slain him, and they will avenge his blood."

The young warrior returned to the place where he had committed the foul deed and began to dig a grave. While he was delving he heard a loud voice proclaiming "Vengeance will come." Three times the warning was sounded, the second time more loudly than the first, and the third time in a voice like thunder. He threw down his spade in terror, and, flying to his lady love, told her what he had heard. "You must go back," she said, "and if you hear the voice again, ask when the punishment will fall." He obeyed, and this time he was allowed to bury the body in peace, but as he was turning homewards the dread voice again cried aloud, "Vengeance will come." The murderer plucked up courage to ask when. "In the lifetime of thy grandsons, great-grandsons, ascensors, and their children," was the answer. When he told his lady, "There is no reason for us to fear," said she; "we shall be under the mould long before."

The murderer and the lady felt safe enough, and their marriage was celebrated. They had sons and daughters who in their turn married and had children. These children multiplied, and the family became very numerous, until at last a descendant of the sixth direct generation was born. By this time the original pair were very old; but exulting in their prosperity (for they had flourished like the green bay-tree), they said one to the other, "We are great, rich and powerful, and our family is very numerous. We have lived according to our heart's delight, and have tasted of all the pleasures that life can give. Let us, before we die, make a great and splendid feast to all our family, and make merry with them before we bid them farewell."

A great and splendid feast was made, but when all the generations of the family were banqueting together, and the gaiety and mirth were at their height, the ground that was under them clave asunder and the earth opened and swallowed them up. Not one soul of them escaped, and a deluge of water overspread the place.

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