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Pennard Castle

PENNARD CASTLE, in Gower, is now only a few ruined walls all but lost in the sand hills. Once it was the strong castle of a mighty warrior. He was summoned to the aid of a chief of Gwynedd, and his bravery and warlike skill turned the scale against the North Welsh-man's enemies. As a reward he was given the chief's beautiful daughter in marriage, and on his return to Gower high festival was held to celebrate the victory and the wedding.

At midnight the sentinel pacing round the castle wall thought he heard strange music coming from a grassy plot in the centre of the castle yard. He paused and felt a fear in his heart be could not explain. He called the porter; he also, listening intently, heard the strains. It was a clear moonlight night, and the two, approaching the grassy plot, saw a troop of fairies dancing to the music of little harps. Going into the banqueting hall they told their master that the Fair Family were sporting in the castle. The Lord of the Castle, maddened with wine, ordered his soldiers to drive them away.

Then someone said to him, "Have a care: if thou attackest the fairies, it will be thy undoing." The chieftain's rage was unbounded. "What care I," said he, "for man or spirit?" and starting up, he rushed on the moonlit spot, wildly brandishing his sword. But he clove the air in vain, and while he was fruitlessly wielding his weapon, a low voice pronounced his doom. "Since thou hast, without reason, broken in upon our innocent sport, thou shalt be without castle or feast," it said. While the judgment was yet being spoken, a cloud of sand came whirling-round the walls, and faster and thicker the storm raged, until walls and towers were overwhelmed. And a mountain of sand was removed from Ireland that night.

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