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Association of Polytheist Traditions

The plains of Annwn

Copyright © by Nick Ford 2002

image Epona statue

Broad and wide the plains of Annwn,(1)
Sweet and thick, the grass thereon;
Fragrant with a million flowers,
Where graze the herds of Riganton. (2)

Mild the breeze breathes on the pastures,
Blows the grasses that way, this;
As the horse-herds, like the wind, race
Further than the mind can guess.

Whoso would ride to Gwlad o'r Annwn (3)
Shall find himself without a steed;
How then, of whom, asks he the horse-gift,(4)
Through floods, to fields, safe home to speed?

Broad and wide the plains of Annwn,
Sweet and thick, the grass thereon;
Fragrant with a million flowers
Where graze the herds of Riganton.

(1) The Otherworld. Earliest reference to it I know of is in 'Pwll Prince of Dyfed' in the Mabinogion.
(2) Rigantona (literally, 'Queen of the Meadow', alias Rhiannon, identifiable with Epona. Source as (1) above.
(3) The Land of Annwn.
(4) The ritual included a recitation of part of the poem 'Y March' by the 16thC. bard Tudur Aled, in which he praises a horse belonging to the Abbot of Conwy in such a manner that the abbot is bound to make him a present of it. It was the nicest stuff anyone I knew had ever said about a horse in any language, and it seemed to be well received. It refers to my own request for a horse to take me on my last journey.