A Man Spending Seven Years in Fairy Land, Fairies in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Rhyd Ddu Wales
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Category: Fairies
Sub Category: Men captured by Fairies
Title: A Man Spending Seven Years in Fairy Land

One bright moonlight night, as one of the sons of the farmer who lived at Llwyn On in Nant y Bettws was going to pay his addresses to a girl at Clogwyn y Gwin, he beheld the Tylwyth (Fairies) enjoying themselves in full swing on a meadow close to Cwellyn Lake. He approached them and little by little he was led on by the enchanting sweetness of their music and the liveliness of their playing until he got within their circle. Soon some kind of spell passed over him, so that he lost his knowledge of every place, and found himself in a country the most beautiful he had ever seen, where everybody spent his time in mirth and rejoicing. He had been there seven years, and yet it seemed to him but a night’s dream; but a faint recollection came to his mind of the business on which he had left home, and he felt a longing to see his beloved one: so he went and asked permission to return home, which was granted him, together with a host of attendants to lead him to his country; and, suddenly, he found himself, as waking from a dream, on the bank where he had seen the Fairy Family amusing themselves. He turned towards home, but there he found everything changed: his parents were dead, his brothers could not recognize him, and his sweetheart was married to another man. In consequence of such changes, he broke his heart, and died in less than a week after coming back.|Many variants of the legends already related are still extant in Wales. This much can be said of these tales, that it was formerly believed that marriages took place between men and Fairies, and from the tales themselves we can infer that the men fared better in Fairy land than the Fairy ladies did in the country of their earthly husbands. This, perhaps, is what might be expected, if, as we may suppose, the Fair Tribe were supplanted, and overcome, by a stronger, and bolder people, with whom, to a certain extent, the weaker and conquered or subdued race commingled by marriage. Certain striking characteristics of both races are strongly marked in these legends. The one is a smaller and more timid people than the other, and far more beautiful in mind and person than their conquerors. The ravishing beauty of the Fairy lady forms a prominent feature in all these legends. The Fairies, too, are spoken of as being without religion. This, perhaps, means nothing more than that they differed from their conquerors in forms, or objects of worship. However this might be, it would appear that their conquerors knew but little of that perfect moral teaching which made the Fairies, according to the testimony of Giraldus, truthful, void of ambition, and honest. |It must, however, be confessed, that there is much that is mythical in these legends, and every part cannot well be made to correspond with ordinary human transactions.|It is somewhat amusing to note how modern ideas, and customs, are mixed up with these ancient stories. They undoubtedly received a gloss from the ages which transmitted the tales.

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