“The peat-bog is as the raven’s coat,
the stuttering quagmire rehearses
the talk of the rushes is come;
the ocean sinks asleep into
a smooth sea and the river
which runs apace is cut down;
light swallows dart aloft;
a flock of birds settles in
the midst of a meadow.
A bright shaft has been shot
into the land, splendid is colour
now, settling on every height,
like haze on a lake of full water;
white is every fruitful wood
wherein winds a brawling stream
and the bright green fields rustle
their longing to race wild horses;
blossom covers the world,
bees murmuring no protest,
make heavy their harvest;
the rich mast buds,
and the ant, puny with
strength, carries abundant meal;
the soft white bog-down grows,
the long hair of heather is outspread,
the boughs of the wood are a thicket.
of the forest
a strenuous bard,
the hill; the lofty,
sings a welcome to
the warm pool where
fleet hordes drink and
the speckled fish leap.
The bitterness of bad weather
is past, rough winter has gone,
delightful is the season’s splendour;
perfect is each forest from top to ground;
perfect, each stately plain, and perfect the
peace, as panic startles the heart of the deer;
strong then the bound of the swift warrior,
where the ranked host is ranged round:
and when man flourishes, the maiden
buds in her fair, strong pride.
The blackbird sings a full
lay, if there be but one
slender shaft of day.
the lark trills
the loud cuckoo
little fellow warbles
at the top of his voice:
of delicate colours…
of joyous peace!’”
Crucible of the Sun: The Mabinogion Retold
By Stuart France
“I will dazzle like fire, hard and high, will flame the breaths of my desire; chief revealer of that which is uttered and that which is asked, tonight I make naked the word.”
Once upon a time we gathered around the flames of the hearth and listened to tales of long ago and far away. The stories grew in the telling, weaving ancient lore whose origins lie somewhere in a misty past with tales of high adventure, battles, magic and love. In Crucible of the Sun this oral tradition is echoed in a unique and lyrical interpretation of tales from the Mabinogion, a collection of stories whose roots reach back into the depths of time, spanning the world and reflecting universal themes of myth and legend.
These tales capture a narrative deeply entwined through the history of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles, drawing on roots that are embedded in the heart of the land. In Crucible of the Sun the author retells these timeless stories in his own inimitable and eminently readable style. The author’s deep exploration of the human condition and the transitions between the inner worlds illuminate this retelling, casting a unique light on the symbolism hidden beyond the words, unravelling the complex skein of imagery and weaving a rich tapestry of magic.
‘The author’s creative and scholarly engagement with the material and enthusiasm for the original tales is evident throughout.’ The Welsh Books Council
‘I found it very inspiring!’ Philip Carr-Gomm, Chosen Chief, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (O.B.O.D.)
Available worldwide via Amazon, in paperback and for Kindle.