A Visit From Gwyn ap Nudd Or ‘Twas the Night Before Solstice

by Natalie Reed

Upon the sacred Tor I sit

A fire of Oak, Ash, Thorn is lit

I close my eyes, ask what I seek

Wisdom is not for the meek


Tales of mystic hero lore

Memories from the days of yore

Look to the sky, what do I see?

A spectre looking back at me


Wild dark hair and eyes of fire

A countenance meant to inspire

Antlers crowned His noble head

‘Twas Gwyn ap Nudd, Lord of the Dead!


Upon a huge black horse He rode

The stallions’ eyes a ghastly glow

A pack of hounds surrounded Him

Their Otherworldly baying, grim


The Moon’s aglow with ghostly light

Gwyn ap Nudd rides high tonight!


He beckoned me to join His ride

A look of fright I could not hide

“Fear not” He said, “I’ll do no harm”

And offered out his ample arm


I climbed upon his awesome steed

Who galloped off with lightning speed

And so we flew into the sky

The mighty Gwyn ap Nudd and I


He said one question I could ask

And I replied “What be your task?”

“To gather souls out on the run

Before the rise of new-born Sun”


“I set them free for Samhain Eve

But many overtook their leave

Now is the time of gathering

The souls still out there wandering”


“Soon enough they’ll have their way

Be born anew another day

Until that time they’re mine to rule

From haughty high-born king to fool”


The Moon’s aglow with ghostly light

Gwyn ap Nudd rides high tonight!


And so we flew o’er all the land

O’er mountain, hillside, sea, and sand

O’er city, village, countryside

O’er all the world on our night ride


And every now and then we’d see

A spirit wandering aimlessly

So off the haunted hounds would go

And bring the spirit back in tow


This we did all through the night

Till there were no lost souls in sight

Just ‘fore the sun began to rise

A wondrous vision filled my eyes


A vast expanse of naked land

I saw the Holy Temple stand

Great monoliths of stone so high

Reaching toward us in the sky


The Moon’s aglow with ghostly light

Gwyn ap Nudd rides high tonight!


At Giant’s Dance He set me down

The Druids chanting all around

And with a wink He said goodbye

And galloped off into the sky


The crack of whip and bay of hounds

I’ll not forget those haunting sounds

Nor all the sights I saw the night

That I joined Gwyn ap Nudd’s dark flight!



Natalie Reed has been a practising Pagan for over 20 years, following the Druid’s path for much of that time. She is the Keeper of Cylch Draig, a modern Labyrinth/Stone Circle/Sacred Grove in Northern California where a small group of dedicants gathers to celebrate the seasonal holidays. More information is available at Cylch Draig

2 Comments Add yours

  1. You brought this reader on the Wild ride with you. Very evocative.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ywendragoneye says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

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