So Gwydion, taking the youth with him, went to Math, the son of Mathonwy, and complained to him most bitterly of Arianrhod "Well," said Math to Gwydion, "we will seek, I and thou, to form a wife for him out of flowers. He has now come to man's stature, and he is the comeliest youth that was ever beheld." So they took the blossoms of the oak, and the blossoms of the broom, and the blossoms of the meadow-sweet, and produced from them a maiden, the fairest and most graceful that man ever saw. And they baptized her, and gave her the name of Blodeuwedd.
And after they had feasted and Blodeuwedd had become the bride of Lleu, Gwydion said to Math, "It is not easy for a man to maintain himself without possessions." "Of a truth," said Math, "it is not, and I will give this young man possessions." And Math gave Lleu a Cantrev
to rule over, and the youth built a palace, and there he and Blodeuwedd dwelt, and Lleu and his rule were beloved by all.
Now a day came when he went to visit Math. And on the day he set out for Math's court, Blodeuwedd walked in the grounds of the palace. And she heard the sound of a horn. And after the sound of the horn, behold! a tired stag went by, with hounds and huntsmen following it. After the hounds and the huntsmen there came a crowd of men on foot. "Send a page," said she, "to ask who the chief of these men may be." "Gronw, the Lord of Penllyn, is chieftain here," the page was told. And he came back and told this to Blodeuwedd.
Gronw pursued the stag, and by the river he overtook the stag and killed it. And what with flaying the stag and baiting his dogs, he was there until the night began to close in on him. As the day departed and the night drew near, he came to the gate of the court. "Verily," said Blodeuwedd, "the chieftain will speak ill of us if we let him at this hour depart to another land without inviting him in." "Yes, truly, lady," said those who were with her, "it will be most fitting to invite him in."
Then went the messengers to meet him and bid him in. And he accepted the bidding gladly, and came to the court, and Blodeuwedd went to meet him, and greeted him, and bade him welcome. "Lady," said he, "Heaven repay thee thy kindness."
Then Blodeuwedd looked upon him, and from the moment that she looked upon him she became filled with love for Gronw. And he gazed on her, and the same thought came unto him as unto her, so that he could not conceal it from her that he loved her, but he declared unto her that he did so. Thereupon she was very joyful. And all their discourse that night was concerning the affection and love which they felt one for the other, and which in no longer space than one evening had arisen. And that evening passed they in each other's company.
The next day Gronw sought to depart. But Blodeuwedd said, "I pray thee go not from me to-day." And that night he tarried also. They consulted by what means they might always be together. "There is none other counsel," said he, "but that thou strive to learn from Lleu in what manner he will meet his death. And this thou must do under the semblance of solicitude concerning him."
The new day Gronw sought to depart. "Verily," said she, "I will
counsel thee not to go from me to-day." "At thy instance will I not go," said he, "albeit, I must say, there is danger that the chieftain who owns this palace may return home." "To-morrow," answered she, "will I indeed permit thee to go forth." The next day he sought to go, and she hindered him not. "Be mindful," said Gronw, "of what I have said unto thee, and converse with him fully, and that under the guise of the dalliance of love, and find out by what means he may come to his death."
That night Lleu returned to his palace. And at night when they went to rest, he spoke to Blodeuwedd once, and he spoke to her a second time. But, for all he said, he could not get from her one word. "What aileth thee?" he said, "art thou well?" "I was thinking," she said, "of that which thou didst never think of concerning me; for I was sorrowful as to thy death, lest thou shouldst go sooner than I." "Heaven reward thy care for me," said he, "but until Heaven take me I shall not easily be slain." "For the sake of Heaven, and for mine, show me how thou mightest be slain. My memory in guarding is better than thine." "I will tell thee gladly," said he.
Then said Lleu, "Not easily can I be slain, except by a wound. And the spear wherewith I am struck must be a year in the forming. Nothing must be done towards it except during the sacrifice on Sundays. And I cannot be slain within a house, nor without. I cannot be slain on horseback nor on foot. Only by making a bath for me by the side of a river, and by putting a roof over the cauldron, and thatching it well and tightly, and bringing a deer, and putting it beside the cauldron. Then if I place one foot on the deer's back, and the other on the edge of the cauldron, whosoever strikes me thus will cause my death." "Well," said Blodeuwedd, "I thank Heaven that it will be easy to avoid this."
But the next day she sent word to Gronw as to how Lleu could be slain. Gronw toiled at making the spear, and that day twelvemonth it was ready. And the very day the spear was ready he caused Blodeuwedd to be informed thereof. "Lord," said she then to Lleu, "I have been thinking how it is possible that what thou didst tell me formerly can be true; wilt thou show me in what manner thou couldst stand at once upon the edge of a cauldron and upon the back of a deer, if I prepare the bath for thee?" "I will show thee," said he.
The next day she spoke thus, "Lord," said she, "I have caused the roof and the bath to be prepared, and lo! they are ready." "Well," said Lleu, "we will go gladly to look at them." They came and looked at the bath. "Wilt thou go into the bath, Lord?" said she. "Willingly will I go in," he answered. So into the bath he went, and he anointed himself. "Lord," said she, "behold! there are deer here." "Well," said he, "cause one of them to be caught and brought here." And the deer was brought. Then Lleu rose out of the bath, and he placed one foot on the edge of the bath and the other on the deer's back.
Gronw was in ambush on a hill. He rose up from his ambush, and he rested on one knee, and flung the poisoned dart and struck Lleu on the side, so that the shaft started out. Thereupon there was a fearful scream, and behold! Lleu flew up in the form of an eagle.
And Gronw and Blodeuwedd went into the palace that night. And the next day Gronw arose and took possession of Lleu's dominion. He ruled over it so that his dominion and Lleu's were under one sway. Then these tidings reached Math, the son of Mathonwy, and heaviness and grief came upon him, and even more of heaviness and grief came upon Gwydion. "'Lord," said Gwydion, "I shall never rest until I have tidings of Lleu."
So Gwydion went forth, and in many places, and for a long time he kept up the search for Lleu. One night he alighted at a house, and stayed there that night. The man of the house and his household came in, and last of all there came the swineherd. Said the man of the house to the swineherd, "Well, youth, has thy sow come in to-night?" "She has," said the swineherd. "Where does this sow go?" said Gwydion. "Every day, when the sty is opened, she goes forth and none can catch sight of her, neither is it known whither she goes more than if she sank into the earth." When Gwydion heard this he said, "Wilt thou grant unto me not to open the sty until I am by the sty with thee?" "This I will do right gladly," he answered.
That night they went to rest; and as soon as the swineherd saw the light of day, he awoke Gwydion. And Gwydion arose and dressed himself, and went with the swineherd, and stood beside the sty. Then the swineherd opened the sty. And as soon as he opened it, behold! the sow went forth., and set off with great speed. Gwydion followed her and she went against the course of a river, and made for a brook, and
there she halted and began feeding. Gwydion came under a tree, and looked what it might be the sow was feeding on. And he saw that she was eating putrid flesh. Then he looked up to the top of the tree, and as he looked up he beheld an eagle on the top of the tree, and when the eagle shook itself, there fell vermin and putrid flesh from off it, and these the sow devoured. Then Gwydion sang:
[paragraph continues] Upon this the eagle came down until he reached the centre of the tree. Then Gwydion sang:
[paragraph continues] Then the eagle came down till he was on the lowest branch of the tree, and thereupon Gwydion sang:
[paragraph continues] Then the eagle came down upon Gwydion's knee. And Gwydion struck him with his magic wand, so that he returned to his own form. No one ever saw a more piteous sight, for Lleu was nothing but skin and bone.
In a year he was healed. Then said Lleu to Math, the son of Mathonwy, "It is full time now that I have retribution of him by whom I have suffered all this woe." "Truly," said Math. Then they called together the whole of Math's dominion. Gwydion went on before Lleu's muster. And when Blodeuwedd heard that he was coming, she took her maidens with her, and fled to the mountain. As for the maidens, as they passed through the river, and went towards a court that was there upon the mountain, through fear they could not proceed except with their faces looking backwards, so that unawares they fell into
the lake. Then Gwydion overtook Blodeuwedd. He said unto her, "I will not slay thee, but I will do unto thee worse than that. For I will turn thee into a bird; and because of the shame thou hast done unto Lleu, thou shalt never show thy face in the light of day henceforth. And it shall be the nature of the other birds to attack thee, and to chase thee from wheresoever they may find thee. And thou shalt not lose thy name, but shalt be always called Blodeuwedd." Then he changed her into the owl that is hateful unto all birds, and even now the owl is called Blodeuwedd.