The Wild Hunt
by Michael R. Burch
Near Devon, the hunters appear in the sky
with Artur and Bedwyr sounding the call;
and the others, laughing, go dashing by.
They only appear when the moon is full:
Valerin, the King of the Tangled Wood,
and Valynt, the goodly King of Wales,
Gawain and Owain and the hearty men
who live on in many minstrels’ tales.
They seek the white stag on a moonlit moor,
or Torc Triath, the fabled boar,
or Ysgithyrwyn, or Twrch Trwyth,
the other mighty boars of myth.
They appear, sometimes, on Halloween
to chase the moon across the green,
then fade into the shadowed hills
where memory alone prevails.
Published by Celtic Twilight, Celtic Lifestyles, Boston Poetry and Auldwicce. Few legends have inspired more poetry than those of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. These legends have their roots in a far older Celtic mythology than many realize. Here the names are ancient and compelling. Arthur becomes Artur or Artos, “the bear.” Bedivere becomes Bedwyr. Lancelot is Llenlleawc, Llwch Lleminiawg or Lluch Llauynnauc. Merlin is Myrddin. And there is an curious intermingling of Welsh and Irish names within these legends, indicating that some tales (and the names of the heroes and villains) were in all probability “borrowed” by one Celtic tribe from another. For instance, in the Welsh poem “Pa gur,” the Welsh Manawydan son of Llyr is clearly equivalent to the Irish Mannanan mac Lir. Keywords/Tags: King Arthur, wild hunt, Halloween, Artur, Bedwyr, Valerin, Valynt, Gawain, Owain, Devon, Wales