Yew in Churchyards to Ysaie le Triste

Yew in Churchyards. The yew was substituted for “the sacred palm,” because palm trees are not of English growth.

But for encheson, that we have not olyve that berith grained leef, algate therefore we take ewe instead of palme and olyve.—Caxton: Directory for Keeping Festivals (1483).

Yezad or Yezdam, called by the Greeks Oromazês , the principle of good in Persian mythology; opposed to Ahriman or Arimannis the principle of evil. Yezad created twenty-four good spirits, and, to keep them from the power of the evil one, enclosed them in an egg; but Ahriman pierced the shell, and hence there is no good without some admixture of evil.

Yezd , chief residence of the fire-worshippers. Stephen says they have kept alive the sacred fire on mount Ater Quedah (“mansion of fire”) for above 3000 years, and it is the ambition of every true fire- worshipper to die within the sacred city.

From Yezd’s eternal “Mansion of the Fire,”
Where aged saints in dreams of heaven expire.
Moore: Lalla Rookh (“The Fire-Worshippers,” 1817).

Ygerne [E-gern], wife of Gorloïs lord of Tintagel Castle, in Cornwall. King Uther tried to seduce her, but Ygerne resented the insult; whereupon Uther and Gorloïs fought, and the latter was slain. Uther then besieged Tintagel Castle, took it, and compelled Ygerne to become his wife. Nine months afterwards, Uther died, and on the same day was Arthur born.

Then Uther, in his wrath and heat, besieged
Ygerne within Tintagil … and entered in …
Enforced she was to wed him in her tears,
And with a shameful swiftness.
   —Tennyson: Coming of Arthur.

Yggdrasil, the great ash tree which binds together heaven, earth, and hell. Its branches extend over the whole earth, its top reaches heaven, and its roots hell. The three Nornas or Fates sit under the tree, spinning the events of man’s life.—Scandinavian Mythology.

By the Urdar fount dwelling,
Day by day from the rill,
The Nornas besprinkle
The ash Yggdrasil.
   —Lord Lytton: Harold, vii. (1850).

Yguerne. (See Ygerne.)

Yniol, an earl o f decayed fortune, father of Enid. He was ousted from his earldom by his nephew Edyrn (son of Nudd), called “The Sparrow-Hawk.” When Edyrn was overthrown by prince Geraint in single combat, he was compelled to restore the earldom to his uncle. He is described in the Mabinogion as “a hoary-headed man, clad in tattered garments.”—Tennyson: Idylls of the King (“Enid”).

He says to Geraint, “I lost a great earldom as well as a city and castle, and this is how I lost them: I had a nephew, … and when he came to his strength he demanded of me his property, but I withheld it from him. So he made war upon me, and wrested from me all that I possessed.”—The Mabinogion (“Geraint, the son of Erbin,” twelfth century).

Yoglan (Zacharias), the old Jew chemist, in London.—Sir W. Scott: Kenilworth (time, Elizabeth).

Yohak, the giant guardian of the caves of Babylon.—Southey: Thalaba the Destroyer, v. (1797).

Yorick, jester of the king of Denmark; “a fellow of infinite jest and most excellent fancy.”—Shakespeare: Hamlet Prince of Denmark (1596).

Yorick, a humorous and careless parson, of Danish origin, a descendant of Yorick mentioned in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.—Sterne: Tristram Shandy (1759).

Yorick, the lively, witty, sensible, and heedless parson, is … Sterne himself.—Sir W. Scott.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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