THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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350              THE WINNING OF OLWEN
One day when the king was out hunting he rode past the place where the queen lay buried, and there he saw a briar growing with two blossoms on it.
' It is time that I took a wife,' said he, and after long looking he found one. But he did not tell her about his son ; indeed he hardly remembered that he had one till she heard it at last from an old woman whom she had gone to visit. And the new queen was very pleased, and sent messengers.to fetch the boy, and in his father's court he stayed, while the years went by till one day the queen told him that a prophecy had fore­told that he was to win for his wife Olwen the daughter of Yspaddaden Penkawr.
When he heard this Kilwch felt proud and happy. Surely he must be a man now, he thought, or there would be no talk of a wife for him, and his mind dwelt all day upon his promised bride, and what she would be like when he beheld her.
' What aileth thee, my son ? ' asked his father at last, when Kilwch had forgotten something he had been bidden to do, and Kilwch blushed red as he answered :
' My stepmother says that none but Olwen, the daughter of Yspaddaden Penkawr, shall be my wife.'
' That will be easily fulfilled,' replied his father. ' Arthur the king is thy cousin. Go therefore unto him and beg him to cut thy hair, and to grant thee this boon.'
Then the youth pricked forth upon a dapple grey horse of four years old, with a bridle of linked gold, and gold upon his saddle. In his hand he bore two spears of silver with heads of steel; a war-horn of ivory was slung round his shoulder, and by his side hung a golden sword. Before him were two brindled white-breasted greyhounds with collars of rubies round their necks, and the one that was on the left side bounded across to the right side, and the one on the right to the left, and like two sea-swallows sported round him. And his
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