09. I Ffynnon Llanwenfrewy

Introduction

This poem to St Winefride’s Well in Holywell in Flintshire is the work of Wiliam Llŷn. It focuses on the sanctity of the renowned pilgrimage site, with an indistinct reference in the first line to the healing benefits of its waters.

Date

Wiliam Llŷn was born in 1534/5. Assuming that he would have been capable of composing an englyn by his twentieth birthday, it is likely that this poem was composed between c.1555 and his death in 1580.

Previous editions

Stephens 1983: poem 177; NSNW poem XXVII.

Metre and cynghanedd

Englyn unodl union, 4 lines.

Cynghanedd: croes 33% (1 line), traws 33% (1 line), sain 33% (1 line), no llusg.

As is usual in an englyn, the first line is a cynghanedd sain (CD 276; Stephens 1983: lxix). The word following the rhyme-word in the first line (although absent) would have formed a consonantal cynghanedd with the beginning of the second line. The last two lines (the esgyll) are loosely linked by the alliteration of the letter d-.