Years ago, when Old Man Time was still a boy, an underground spring coughed its waters from the mountains above the settlement of Tydfil the Martyr. The brook babbled down to meet the River Taff, washing rocks into pebbles on its gossipy way. Such was the gurgling noise it made, people called it Morlais, the stream with the voice of the sea.
An echo way, squatting on a hill was Morlais Castle, the home of King Bran the Blessed.
Once upon a morning, Brans two daughters, Gwladus and Tydfil, were some ten hundred paces from the Castle, gathering fragrant violets to treat tender throats. At that instant Gwladus set eyes upon one of her fathers retainers one whom she had not see before. She lost her heart to the handsome lad on the spot, left her sister to collect herbs, and ambled arm in arm with her beau back to the castle.
Whenever they could steal a secret moment together, they were like a pair of turtle doves cooing sweet words of love. Gwladus lover murmured that her hair shone like a raven on sunlit wing and her eyes were like stars in a sloe-black sky. She was his darling, the mead in his goblet, the bread on his table, the harpstrings of his heart.
When Bran beheld that his daughter was in love with the lad, he was black as thunder because he had betrothed Gwladus to a Highland Chieftain. The chief was wending his way to Morlais from the Land of Lochs to claim Gwladus hand.
That night, as evening drew its coverlet over a tired land, the young lovers stole away. They journeyed like shooting stars, and the next morning, so early that the larks caught the sun yawning, they reached Bargoed mountain. The lovers lay down to slumber in a purple bodice of heather.
In the meantime, the Scots chieftain, attended by his priest, arrived at Morlais Castle. When Bran discovered that Gwladus had eloped, he spat thunderous words of fire and ordered his retinue to give chase. They pursued the lovers trail in hue and cry and when Bran reached the mountain-top he saw Gwladus sleeping in the embrace of her truelove.
The Highland chief, on thorns to take up his cudgel against the lad, fell from his horse and was killed.
When Brian saw Gwladus his anger melted away and he declared that he would no longer be the lion in the path of his daughters happiness. Now that the chieftain was without breath, she was free to become one bone and one flesh with her sweetheart.
In memory of the union, Bran commanded a chapel be built on Bargoed mountain and he named it after his daughter, Capel Gwladus, the chapel of Gwladus.
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