Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose

By Meic Stephens | Go to book overview

How beautiful the gathering
In God's wondrous temple,
To worship together sweetly
His seemly, holy name;
We come to his gracious altar
For every pleasant gift,
To hear the voice of mercy
Sounding Oh, so sweet. 4

The little congregation rose to its feet and began singing. I wanted to join in the chorus, but some kind of apprehensive shyness, perhaps a feeling of unworthiness, held me back. To the sound of the hymn I went out and back along the road.

As I passed by the park gates, I remembered my fellow-passenger on the bus. I could see some resemblance between us two, and I fell to wondering whether he too had been given a wistful glimpse of something lost.

Yr Efrydydd ( 1944),
Trioedd (Christopher Davies, 1973)


Salem

E. Morgan Humphreys

A few weeks ago there were some interesting articles in Yr Herald Cymraeg1 about the painting known as 'Salem', and someone asked me whether I knew anything about it. Most of us have seen that picture at some time or another — the simple country chapel with its window in the background opening on the countryside; the old woman in her tall hat and Paisley shawl, making for her seat; a bearded, middle-aged man, pressing his forehead on his hands, and another in the same posture near the farthest wall; a small boy with bowed head in another pew, and a few more neighbours here and there in the others. As it happens, I know the chapel, and I knew some of the people in the picture, which was painted about forty years ago by an artist know as Curnow Vosper. Salem is a Baptist chapel in Cefncymerau, above Llanbedr and Gwynfryn in Ardudwy,

-61-

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Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • The Village School 1
  • Fear of the Sea 7
  • A Windy Night 9
  • The Late Lemuel Parry, Esq., J.P., O.B.E. 12
  • On Drowning a Cat 18
  • The House Across the Way 21
  • Weobley and St. Emilion 25
  • The Man in the Street 28
  • Old Dent 31
  • On Collecting Roads 34
  • 'their Land They Shall Lose' 42
  • The Red Flag 46
  • Strolling Players 50
  • One Sunday Afternoon 57
  • Salem 61
  • A Trip to the Circus 63
  • Thoughts on Coronation Day, 1953 68
  • From the Pulpit 72
  • How to Choose and Treat a Wife 77
  • To the Mountain 83
  • The Imperative Upon Me 88
  • Disenchantment 92
  • The Hiring Fair 94
  • The Man at Chapel House 97
  • Question and Answer 102
  • The Little Llandeilo Boots 105
  • My Last Day in Prison 108
  • A Discovery 118
  • A Land of Romance 121
  • Hi-Ho! 129
  • Ancestors 133
  • While Shaving 138
  • Of Time and Distance 141
  • A Methodist Deacon's Advice 146
  • Of Violets and Bells 148
  • Remembering Mrs Newbould 151
  • Good Morning, Lloyd 156
  • In Modesty and Trembling 162
  • Christmasn in the Valley 166
  • On Stammering 169
  • Butlins 172
  • A Millionaire 176
  • A Scene from Military Life 178
  • An Exile 180
  • The Fox Under Glass 183
  • A Doctor's Medicine 186
  • The Little Huts 189
  • Three Heads 191
  • On Memory 198
  • Uncle John's Boots 202
  • The Fur Coat 207
  • An Holy Kiss 214
  • Notes on Authors and Texts 217
  • Acknowledgements 238
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