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Full text of "Poems from the Book of Taliesin"

Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924068919541 



CORNELL UNIVEftSITY LIBRARY 




5Ll?t)pr %alitsin. 



®oI» ijB of Ox 
Series of SDin mele^ Ztpte. 




j\^os. I — 80 on O. W. hand-inade paper; 

Nos. 81 — 330 on deckled-edge paper; 

Four copies on vellum; and a 

number on thin paper. 



from t|)e 

Boofe of Calte0tn 



ffiniteO, 
amennea, ft ttanslaten fip 

31. <?ptt>eno0t)tpn CtJans; 

7fon. D.Litt. (Wales). 



Criticism does not mention the salvages. 

TALIESIN, 30 12. 



SCtemban, ILIanbcDroB. Jra, 5iaiJaIe0 
1915 



^HERE ARE QUALITIES THA T MAKE 
'things live; that which lives becomes classical j 
and what has become classical is mostly remote 
needing hard linguistic and grammatical study, 
which is apt to dry up the little spring of poetry. 
By translating the words into dictionary language 
the original is emptied of most of its meanings ™'^ 
miss form, light, and shade j because we have not 
the knowledge or the sympathy, we fail to catch, 
across the gulf of years, the peculiar thrill of what 
was once a '■winged word' flying from soul to soul. 
It is perhaps in this department that the most pres- 
sing work of pure scholarship remains to be done J'- 

Everything, including this little book, 
has a history. In the far-away 'seventies' I 
bought a copy of the Four Ancient Books of 
Wales.2 After 'looking' at the Welsh text with 
blank amazement I placed the two volumes rev- 
erently on my shelves. My admiration for their 
editor knew no bounds, for did he not understand 
and translate the whole ? I read the prolegomena 
with unquestioning faith, and felt humiliated that 
it had been left to a Scot to render such service to 
Welsh studies. A few years later I read the 
proof-sheets of Celtic Britain, which followed 
the Scot's lead, and thus raised him still higher in 
my estimation. I now turned to the translations 

1 See The Rise of the Greek Epic by Prof. Gilbert 
Murray, pp. 5-7- 

2 Edited by William F. Skene, Edinburgh, i868. 



Pre- 
face 



Pre 
-face 



The 
MS. 



A dis 
-aster 



of the Four Ancient Books with results entirely 
disastrous to my patriotism. I fell into the common 
error of judging the originals by the translations. 
The habit of believing the story of the first nar- 
rator is engrained in human nature. ' Where 
there is smoke there is fire,' sums up the collective 
experience of mankind. Few stay to observe 
closely, so as to distinguish between smoke and 
mirage, or mist. I was no exception. I turned 
my back on the Kymric Muse- — I sought fresh 
woods and pastures new ; I tended sheep with 
Michael in the dells of Cumberland ; I wandered 
on the banks of bonie Doon ; I talked of the Alps 
and Apennines, the Pyrenean and the river Po ; I 
felt the impulse of the wild West Wind ; I learnt 
The letters that Cadmus gave — Think ye he meant 
them for a slave? 

I went to Peniarth and saw the Book of Tal- 
iesin — I borrowed the MS., and copied it. To 
my surprise I found the meaning of a multitude 
of passages was clear as day-light and, like Tar- 
tini's sixth Sonata, their pure, simple harmonies 
haunted me. To account for the obscurity of the 
other parts, I conceived the theory that the 'sixth 
century' work of Taliesin had been vamped in 
the twelfth, for I was nurtured in sixth century 
traditions. I elaborated my theory on 609 folios 
of foolscap. When the last page was written, I 
looked with pride upon my pile of sheets. After a 
week or two I set to the work of testing my thesis 
at every point, and by degrees demolished my own 
superstructure to the last line. To my credit be it 
recorded the 609 folios of foolscap, with all their 
prettily turned passages, were consigned to the 
flames, leaving me sadder, but no whit wiser. 



About this time the late Professor Zimmer 
spent a day at Tremvan. I plied him with many a 
question about Taliesin, but received uniformly 
for answer: nis gwnn^-nis gallav hweyd, I do not 
know — I cannot say. I next turned to a Welsh 
scholar of repute, and proposed that we should '^°""'" 
jointly attempt to amend and translate the ^^^" 
text of Taliesin. He advised me to attempt no '"^"' 
such thing — he, certainly, would not cooperate ; 
'in short I funk it' were his parting words. The 
distraction of reporting on Welsh MSS. thrust 
Taliesin aside for a time. But one day I was with 
my Gamaliel, and as the skies were serene I 
sought for guidance and light, and lo ! the at- 
mosphere became electric. He seized volume ii. 
of the Four Ancient Books and read : agivr bwrr 
byihic . . am ys gwm ffeleic, am ys gwin mynic 
gyliwn, 59' 1 9. Eyeing me intently he asked: 
What do you make of that? or of these 'bones of 
the mist,' escyrn nywl? (22-15). Then turning 
over energetically some more leaves he remarked : 
The only sensible thing I can see in Taliesin is 
this — pren onhyt yw vy awen, 62'25, my muse 
is — is — wooden ! Flinging the book to an adjoin- 
ing table I was asked with crushing emphasis: 
Do you think that you are going to get at the 
bottom of stuff like that?3 Men and brethren! 
I thus became a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee 
of the straitest sect, and renounced Taliesin, as I 
thought and believed, for ever. But the virus was 
in my blood. The unprisoned spirit of Taliesin 
haunted me. I knew his muse was not 'wooden.' 

3 When first I asked to see a MS. it was remarked : 
" What is the good ? You can't read it." The tone in which 
that was said became the driving force that shaped the 
after-activities of my life. 



En 
-cour 



While sitting around the yule log one evening I 
unburdened my soul to the late Professor Strachan. 
My friend became alert, interested, sympathetic, 
protesting that "after so much labour it is wrong 
-age tQ throw your work away. You have learnt more 
■raent than you think. The difficulties are, as is well 
known, very great, and you will have to run the 
risk of making howlers j but in Keltic he, who is 
not prepared to face that risk, will accoinplish very 
little. As for criticism, why should you mind 
that? The few who know anything about Taliesin 
will appreciate your contribution — what the rest 
may think or say — rit does not really matter." 

The pages of Taliesin were scanned once more. 
Many plans were formed, considered, and rejected. 
A At last the policy of the 'clean slate' was adopted, 
fresh I resolved to have no plan, no theory, no object 
start but one — to get at the meaning of the text, and 
follow the evidence whithersoever it might lead. 
A beginning was made with the poems that seemed 
easiest. Metre and orthography were regularised, 
and such portions as I understood translated, the 
remainder being left blank for future effort. This 
tour de force lasted over a year, and seven times 
was it repeated. Gradually one by one certain 
historical and topographical landmarks emerged 
clearly above the mists, but in isolation. I turned 
to the elegies to Owein GwyneS by Gwalchmei 
and KynSel with suggestive results. I, therefore, 
read carefully the works of Meilir, Gwalchmei, 
KynSel, Hywel ap O. G., and the Bard of Moch- 
nant, compiling an Index verborum to each 
poet as I went along. A comparison of these 
vocabularies with one another, as well as with that 
of Taliesin shewed that Meilir, Gwalchmei and 

viii 



Taliesin belonged to the same period. Much of 
their topography is also in common. This led to 
my spending three summer outings in traversing . ^" 
the counties of Flint and Denbigh, as well as the ^ 
English borders from Montgomery to Oswestry — ground 
from Whitchurch to Chester. I climbed the hills 
and surveyed the land from the promontory castle of 
Beeston, from Brei5in, from many points on Ber- 
wyn, from y RhodwyS and BuSugre, from TreiSin, 
Caer Gwrl^, Caer Estyn, and Montalt; and from 
Moel y Gaer to Coppa ILwyvenyS. With the help 
of a bicycle I covered close on a thousand miles.* 
It was only after these interesting, but strenuous 
wanderings that I really began to understand our 
text, and learnt to appreciate the felicity of many 
a descriptive passage. How seldom do we realize 
that so much depends on what we bring to the 
understanding of a subject. Just as mathematical 
formulae convey nothing to a non-mathematical 
mind, so the student who finds no meaning in 
Taliesin doth but proclaim his own ignorance of 
Brythonic twelfth-century thought and action. 
Acquaintance with the records and literatures of 
the Norman period is an illuminating factor in 
providing an insight into our text. It is necessary 
not only to master facts, but also to imbibe the 
spirit of the time. Paleography, Philology, Gram- 
mar can do much for us, but it is the comparative 
study of contemporary literatures and of history 
that will help most to the understanding of our 
author. After all it is Taliesin's poetry & message, 
not his words, that have the human interest. 

4 Part was done a-foot in the company of Mr. Llywarch 
Reynolds. On our way from Gwerni Uygen to Uroiddin the 
bull of Crugion disputed our progress and passage of the 
Severn at the Ferry. On gaining the right bank the Lord 



VoJ. u. 



After such a fashion did this bantling originate. 
But there was no idea of publishing till it became 
evident that the Notes, consisting of emendations, 
alternative suggestions, illustrative passages from 
the poets and historical evidence, would fill up- 
wards of 700 pages. The expense this would 
involve led to the embodiment of the emendations 
in an edited text, thus presenting the thoughts of 
every poem continuously, in place of in a series of 
disjointed comments. To point out irregularities 
would be supererogatory. Metre, assonance, 
and rhyme act as so many detectives of the 
scribe's infidelities, as well as of his omissions and 
interpolations. Those able to count up to ten can 
test the metres; and the reading aloud of the MS. 
text makes us aware of 'things gone wrong.' The 
Tables of Scribal Errors shew how things do 
go wrong — how words get transmogrified in trans- 
cription, and why we should choose one word 
rather than another, though of the same meaning. 

Paleographical mistakesS are mainly due to 
certain resemblances of different letters in com- 
bination, and can be reduced to a fairly fixed rule. 
Emendations worked out on these lines will be 
outside the experience and ken of many of my 
critics, but are none the less valid for that — 
'They don't know everything down in Judee.' 

put it in my heart to run, for my friend carried his seventy 
years with an agility that made light of ditches and seven- 
barred gates, thus reducing the enemy to impotent rage. The 
memory of the after-thirst on the slopes of Breiddin remains, 
as well as of the downpour we experienced west of Corwen, 
while ascending the Berwyn. It is no wonder that the Rain 
on this mountain-range caused Henry ii. to flee. 

5 Mistakes due to metathesis are familiar. So are re- 
petitions and anticipations of neighbouring syllables. The 
tendency to telescope words, like 'whey' for 'when they,' 
is the mark of age — the hand is too slow for the brain. 



Paleo- 



Where there is a lacuna, consisting of a line (part 
or whole), or the end of one line and the beginning 
of the next, we must needs have recourse to divina- 8' P " 
tion, relying on context, rhythm, and rhyme. In- 
sertions of this kind, which have no sanction in 
the original are printed in italics^, being offered 
tentatively as suggestions. Then there are num- 
erous cases where there is something wrong, but 
exactly what is wrong, it is hard to say. In these 
cases there is an equal danger in the avoidance of 
all change as in changing too much. It is likely 
enough that I have erred both ways — that I have 
stuck in the mud here, and meddled there unad- 
visedly. Most workers do such things,? because 
it is only ^Sometimes a light surprises a Christian 
while he' toils. Owing to the fitfulness of this 
discerning light Taliesin provides pitfalls enough 
to ruin the reputation of a dozen Academicians. 
As a guiding principle the fewer the changes the 
better, provided that we get good sense, which is 
ever characteristic of Taliesin's muse. 

In orthography I have not followed my own _ ., 
whims, but rather the practice of the best MSS. 
before Welsh lost its way in Tudor times. All 
the modern patents are unhistorical; they are also 

6 It was intended to italicise also all changes not made 
on paleographical lines ; but here and there I was too intent 
on the meaning of the text to remember my own rule. For 
example, if cledyf were changed into clefyd, celfyd, 
crefyd, or dedyf nothing should be italicised, because 
the five words are, paleographically speaking, liable to be 
confused by our scribe. But if, for any reason, gwaew 
displaces cledyf, gwaew should be in italics, because no 
confusion of form is possible between the two words. 

7 The man who never makes a mistake is a prattling 
dummy. J. Stuart Mill spent his life "struggling on, 
making mistakes and correcting them." And Sir 
Edward Grey has told us that ' If we get into a mess every- 
body knows about it, but it is only we ourselves know the 
mess into which we did not get.' 17. ii. 12. 



graphy 



Trans- 
lation 



unscientific, because they ignore the dominating 
influence of the accent. To intrude etymology 
into spelling is sheer pedantry. Our spelling 
once represented sound in the simplest possible 
way. 8 To double consonants except under the 
accent is to defy the practice of the golden age of 
Welsh literature, and of every Welsh mouth^. 
What a reader wants are ideas, not an uncouth 
agglomeration of redundant consonants. The man 
who writes y«^-A^hymry is like a drunkard who 
sees double, but then he is drunk. 

Mutations take place in the Genitive case, in the 
Accusative, in words expressing duration of time, 
and with verbs of motion, as 'aeth Von.' Words 
in opposition are also mutated, and even verbs, 
though the relative be dropped, as 'Taliesin^n,' 
yscriven Brydein ^ryder, etc. 

The translation was begun solely for my own 
discipline and correction. Seeking for the inward 
thought and spirit of the poems, I tried to inter- 
pret them to myself, so as to render sense for 
sense, rather than follow the letter which killeth. 
In the revisions I strove further to provide not a 
crib for the class-room, but a version for the lover 
of literature who needs, along with the sense, 
something of the bloom of the poet's inspiration, 
so hard 'to keep unhurt in another tongue.' If I 
have failed, I have done my best, and I feel no 
shame to fall where 'other footsteps dare not' 

8 The older the MS. the simpler the spelling. See B. B.C., 
note 2-2. cp. ' YngHaerwys, YngWynedd.' Gr. Hiraethog. 
9 Cp. ynghyngori28, ynghyoefi33'2, yng Wensteri 30' 12, 
yngWyneS 6420, yngwarth 1717, yng wlat 4425, 76-8, 
ymro 306, ymryn 22-25, yi"y' 366, yMon 4518, 73-i5, 
ymrythwch 11 6, 48'20, ymhwyllat 927, vyng hyfalle 3-20, 
vyng hynnyS 74'io, anghyfieith 79'3, anihir 16 6, &c., &c. 



The question is not so much how many mistakes 
have been made as how many have been avoided — 
how many errors have been corrected — how many 
obscurities have been removed. lo 

Taliesin is a well-authenticated historical char- 
acter. He tells us that he 'was not born in 
adversity,' 27-3, though he grew up in abject pov- 
erty. At 71-9 he says that he was 'a prince in 
disguise'; and yet he had no settled home, but 
simply 'slept at Pulford.' His play-ground was 
the watery lane that led thence to the city of the 
Legion." He was a subject of the earl of Chester 
till the battle of Godeu, whence he was carried off 
to Powys, and made a herdsman there. After a 
time he escaped into the Forest of ILwyvenyS, 
and became subject and bard to Owein GwyneS. 
There are two additional passages, 42-67 — the one 
speaks of him as 'a preceptor in Dygen,' i.e. at 

10 Even if it be proved that I have made a mistake in 
every line the time of composition, the chief actors, and 
the GEOGRAPHY will remain unaffected. A critic may dispute 
my rendering, but it does not follow that he is right because 
he differs from me, or cannot in 7 minutes see what it has 
taken me 7 years to 'grip.' However the really obscure 
passages are but a fraction of the whole- 

11 Note .1. that Caer Lleon is not used for Chester by 
Taliesin (see nn. 69-i2,b; 73-ii); a- that Caer Lleon is un- 
known to Aneirin ; 3- that the one instance of its occurrence 
in the B-B.C is later than 1200, and that it sets the metre 
wrong. The list of cities in the Nennian Additamenta 
has Cair Ligualid, Cair legion, & Cair legeion guar 
ufic. In Taliesin and the Bard of Mochnant Caer Liw- 
elydd means Chester. Can it be that the Cair legion of the 
list means Holt, to which the name of 'Caer lleon' has ad- 
hered? The 'Gweilh Cair Legion' of Annales Cam- 
brie, Ao. 613, may have taken place at or near Holt, or 
between Holt and Bangor Iscoed, whose monks were present 
in their hundreds. (Bede Bk. ii. cap. ii.) Had the battle been 
at Chester the monks would hardly have turned out in a 
body : observe also that the Welsh leader was the prince of 
Powys, and that Powys never reached beyond Pulford. The 
best ford on the lower Dee is at Holt, near which the 
XXth Legion had its tile kilns. 



Tal 



The 

Welsh 

Atom 



Strata Marcella; the other as 'a hoary wanderer' 
at Norham on the Tweed in 1209. In as much 
as the house of Powys was anathema to the bard, 
it is, on the face of it, incredible that he would 
enter a Powysian foundation; and chronology con- 
demns the reference to the northern expedition as 
a later accretion ' in the manner of Taliesin.' 

On the other hand 'patriots' of the mythological 
school tell us that Taliesin flourished in the sixth 
century. In the Introduction to volume i., the 
evidence has been reviewed briefly, but with care. 
'It will be wise to hearken not to me but to my 
arguments.' However, we have Mr. Lloyd George's 
assurance that 'there is nothing a man likes less 
than to be convinced by argument.' And I have 
myself observed that there is always in fact 
something trivial not to the taste of poetic minds. 
It has ever been so. The Greek Atomistsi^ were 
proof against the discovery that the earth was 
round — they preferred a world shaped "like a 
tambourine" that rested elegantly 'on air.' Simil- 
arly the Welsh Atomist^3 hugs tradition, repels 
discovery, and loves not the truth. 14 

From idle dreams, and rant — 

From tambourines aslant, 
Good Lord ! deliver us. 

12 Leukippos, the father of the atom, deliberately rejected 
the Pythagorean discovery that the earth was spherical, and 
taught that it was in shape "like a tambourine," resting on 
the air, and sloping towards the south. J. Burnet. 

13 The Welsh ' atom ' is true to type — it has ' no weight,' 
though characterised by ' excess of magnitude. ' Its votary 
cannot construe a dozen lines of early Welsh poetry, nor 
write a modern dozen with decency, but he struts before the 
public with hat a-tilt, deceiving himself and some others by 
the tinkle of his tambourine. 

14 "It is difficult to get the truth believed. It is quite 
easy to get something which is not the truth believed." Sir 
Edward Grey. 



The proof-sheets of a portion of this booklet 
were seen by Mr. T. Gwynn Jones, and received a 
good deal of frank, honest comment. But as there 
is no way of indicating minute criticism except by 
reproducing it, I can only refer to it in general 
terms, while tendering my cordial thanks. For what 
Mr. Gwynn Jones is directly responsible see the 
Notes. It is also a pleasant duty to thank the 
Council and Librarian of the National Library of 
Wales, for allowing this little book, as well as the 
Notes and Index of Vol. i., to be machined in their 
printing department. Neither must I pass over in 
silence the efficient and rare service of my some- 
time assistant, Mr. George Jones ; nor omit to 
mention the information I received, on certain 
points of medieval theology, from my friend and 
neighbour, Mr. Ernest Edwin Williams of the 
Inner Temple. 

y. Qwenogvryn Svans. 

Tremvan, Llanbedrog. 
May ss, 1915. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Ahv^vyn Geyryh — the pleasant Forts ... 

Abwyneu Taliesin — the Delights of T. 

Arhwyre Reged — the Rising of Marchia 

Armes, the Prophecy oi Prydein 

Barb-gyvreu, the Bardic Lore of Taliesin 

Brad, the Betrayal of O. ap Kadwgan .. 

Buarth Beirh, Congress of the Bards .. 

Cad Godeu 26 = 2 'i; CadLlechWen .. 

Cad Trwyn Moelvre 

Cadeir Keridwen 60 = 35; Cadeir Tal. 

Cadeir Teyrnon 

Caer Sidi — Joppa 

Canu, the Song of Cadwgan ap Blebyn 

Canu Owein ap Cadwgan 

Canu Uryen 'j6 = ^j, ... 106 = 58, 

Canu y Cwrw 102 = ^0; Canu y Meb .. 

Canu y Gwynt, Song oi th& 'WinA 

Codiad yr I/aul— the Rising of the Sun 

Crogiad Madog ap Maelgwn 

Cwyndawd — the Festival 

Cyvarch Llewelyn 

Dadolwch Urien 94 = 65; Darogan 

Daronwy 172; Dysgogan 150; EchrysY. 

Glaswawd Taliesin 

Gwawd lluyh mawr 

Gweith Cynrein 88 = 60; Gwrhad Erov 

Mab-gyvreu Taliesin 

Martfiawd Corroi 142 = 66 ; m. dylan .. 

Marthawd uthyr ben 

Marwnadeu Owein Gwyneh 120 = 69 •• 

Marwnad Run ap O.G. 

Marwnad Richard i. 
Traws ganii Cynan Garwyn 
Yn wir dySyvi 
Yspeil Taliesin 



116 = 42 
72 = 8 
82 = 61 

160=13 
64=1 

154 = 39 
6 = 7 

158 = 56 
86 = 29 
46 = 31 

56 = 34 
126 = 54 

154 = 38 
152 = 72 
112 = 62 
100 = 40 
2 = 36 
194 = 47 
138 = 66 

10= 19 
142 = 72 
188 = 80 
132 = 68 

98 = 30 

174 = 74 
142 = 65 

42 = 27 
140 = 67 
144 = 71 
124 = 67 

78 = 64 
130=51 

90 = 45 
182 = 76 
112 = 62 



CORRECTIONS. 



\* Certain inconsistencies in the orthography were 
mainly introduced by the Compositors, who could not 
unlearn old ways. My punctuation was also persistently 
edited. As it was not feasible to revise the final ' correc- 
tions ' on the machine many errors have remained, and 
a few fresh ones have crept in. 

The following references specify passages that 

have been amended in the Miscellaneous Notes, 

(pp. 82-145 of Vol. i.) 

1579, 26-3, 28-287076, 3068, 34-121, 36-180, 
38-186-195, 40-230, 50-43, 52-96, 54-108-119-131, 
55-108, 56-13, 58-36, 62-19, 64-10, 70-1 i3i 72-20, 
78-3, 82-49, 84-22-29-32-33, 86-14, ?>^-47, 90-20, 
94-13-50, 108-41, 114-28, 116-46, 118-43, 120-59, 
120-4-7, I22-29-32-35, 124-6, 126-17, 128-56, 
134-32, 140-15, 142-6, I44-I8-26-8, 146-19-25-40, 
158-29, 168-148, 176-39, 180-93, 188-6. 

Alternative readings have been offered in other 

xii., 1. 1 5 for 'opposition' read 'apposition.' LP'^'^^s. 

1-22 for '1220' read '1230.' 

1-25 Delete 'Owein Kyveilog.' 

7-15 for si7tgers rsa-A joglars. 

12-24 for 'WenSyS' read 'GwenSyS.' 

16-14 for suhen ? read sudem, we must sink. 

29-49 for princes read prince. 

30-70 for Giuern read Derw, oak. 

31-76 ior medlar read briar. 

41-27 read : / was not born in adversity. 

42-3 for '«■ ^anghen' read a«^/2^«. 
who sustained poverty, etc. 

42-19 for 'govarwan' x^zA govaran. 



5o-6i {or a dwvn ?read a&it/j/n. 

53'96 read : 'in the treasury of lyric song.' 

55' 1 19 From //ofy-hezd to 'Lache eyes.' 

6o-io fread: DedwyS DovyS . . . the Blessed 
Lord, too, created my own son, Avaghu. 

64-1 ioT gelvyh read celvyh. 

64-3 1 for 'en-2eineu' read eneineu. 

66-52 for an read ant. 

69-64 read : The Saxons, having been crippled at 
Seon, show signs of exhaustion. 

71-113 for 'bears an' ?read introduces his 

76- 1 2 for a'i read ncfi. 

78-41 for 'eisyllyS' read 'eisyllyS.' 

78-3 History suggests reading: gor-vodeso-gyvnes 
WelySon, (Rhun) mastered the rather near 
neighbourhood of the Laches. 

85-19 {or flows res-d. flowed. 

86-IO for 'Clydwyn' ?read cyrchyn. 

These could not sustain the counter-action of the 
power of the ally they '•went for.' 

101-36 for or read nor. 

158-7 for hyd read dyh. 

182 (title) read ^Am SySyvi.' 
i8g for 'a an' read an. 

Change d to h and read: gorvloeS 6-72, Syenn 
illin IO-8, Selideu 12-21, 5y-gwyn 20-159, Sylivas 
20-175, Deganhwy 54-107, DovyS 60-10, vlwySyn 
68-87, Sy-hawl 84-41, bySiv 90-28, Sigones 102-8, 
see Preface, p. xii. 

The words following should also be read in the 
mutated form : verwei io-i8, gwfyndawd 12-25, 
orfFennas 20-176, PwaSawl 48-21, i ^rachwres 
86-14, y ar vur 128-31. See corrections in vol. i. 
of 116-46, 118-34, 140-19. 
Early Welsh had a 3 pi. future-present ending in 
-int, which appears occasionally as -ynt. 



THE ARGUMENT 



^HE OPINIONS OF MOST MEN 
ARE WORTH HAVING, SO it has been said, 
"while their reasons seldom convince any but them- 
selves?' Acting on this maxim, I submit, without 
comment, in the pages which follow, a transliter- 
ated, amended version of the BOOK OF Taliesin, 
with a sense for sense translation. In doing so T 
am under no illusion. The obscurities of the 
original are notorious; and I, of all men, have 
most reason for knowing them,, having spent years 
in going systematically through the text many 
times. The result offered, though not unconsidered, 
is necessarily tentative. The stumblings may be 
frequent, yet the number of problems solved, with 
a reasonable degree of certainty, is considerable. 
The question of the date of composition, which 
goes to the root of the whole matter, has been 
settled. So long as a student labours under the 
belief of a sixth century origin, so long will he 
walk in blinkers, and fail to perceive the plainest 
references to historical events between zogS and 
I3SO. The bard, or bards, after the fashion of 
this time, sang of contemporaries under assumed 
ruimes. Owen Gwyneh and his sons, Henry II, 
Owen Kyveilog, Richard I, Gwen Wynnwyn, and 
King John are among the chief actors who figure 
in the poems which follow. 

J.G.E. 



Llyyyr Taliessin 



Y^YCHYMIG pwy yw ? . 
<V-/ cread cyn dilyw — 

36 Creadur cadam, 

24 heb gig, heb ascwrn, 4 
heb wytheu, heb waed, 

25 heb ben, a heb draed. 

Ni byS h^n, na ieu, 7 

26 noget y dechreu. 
Ni Saw o'i o5eu 

37 er ovn, nag angheu : 10 

1 Ni Si-oes i eiseu 

gan greadurieu. 

2 Mawr Duw morwynneu ! 13 

ban Saw o Sechreu ? 
Mawr i verthideu, 

3 y Gwr a-i goreu. 16 
Y-maes, yng-hoed, 

heb law, a heb droed : 

4 Heb haint a heb hoed, 19 

ev eiSig aSoed. 

5 Ac ev yn gyvoed 

a phymhoes pymhoed : 

6 Hevyd yssyS hyn 23 

ped pymhwnt vlwySyn. 
Ac ev yn gyvled 

7 ac wyneb tydwed. 

Ac ev ni aned : 27 

Ac ev ni weled. 

8 Ar vor, ac ar dir, 

ni v/f\, ni welir. 30 



Book of Taliesin 



K^e €bon(s of tije Minti, 

YptaOSE idea was the wind ? i 
xX/^, Created before the deluge, 

he is a powerful creature, 

sans flesh, sans bone, 4 

sans veins, sans blood, 

sans head, and sans feet. 
He grows nor older, nor 

younger, than at the first. 8 

Nor fear, nor death 

will turn aside his purpose. 
The world of the living will never 

survive the need of him. u 

Great GOD of the whirlwinds ! 

whence comes his beginning ? 
Great the resources of Him 15 

who made the Wind, (which 

traverses) field and forest, 

without hand, or foot. 
Without sickness or sorrow, 19 

he is impatient of delay. 
And he is co-eval with the 

five ages of the five periods. 
Moreover, he is older, though 23 

it be half a million years. 
And he is as widespread 

as the face of the earth. 
Bom he was not, 27 

nor ever was seen. 
On sea, and on land, 

he neither sees, nor is seen. 30 

Aa 3 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

37 Ev yn ang-hywir, 31 

ni Saw ban vynnir. 
Ar dir, ac ar vor, 

10 ev yn an-hepcor. 34 
Ev yn Si-achor : 

Ev yn 5i-eisor : 

11 Ev, o bedeiror, 

ni byS wrth gynghor. 38 
Ev gychwyn nmgor, 

12 o5-uch maen yn-yvnvor. 
Ev Ilavar, ev mud, 

ev yn an-vynud : 42 

Ev yn wr5, yn 5rud, 

ban dremyn dros dud. 
14 Ev mud, ev Ilavar, 

ev yn or-5ear — 46 

mwyhav i vaniar 

ar wyneb daear. 
Ev yn 5a, yn 5rwg, 

ev yn an-eglwg. 50 

Ev yn an-amlwg, 

can nis gw^l golwg. 
17 Yn 5rwg ac yn 5a, 

ev hwnt, ev yma. 54 

Ev y5 an-rhevna — 

ni 5iiwg a wna : 
Ni 5i wg a wrech, 

ac ev yn 5i-bech. 58 

19 Yn wlyb ac yn sych, 

ev a 5awn vynych. 

20 Gwres heul ac oervel 

a dry naws awel : 62 

Teithi symudir, 
ac ev ni bitnyir. 



THE SONG OF THE WIND 

He is unreliable — 31 

he will not come when desired. 
On land and sea, 

he is indispensable. 34 

He knows no restraint — 

his lot has not been cast. 
He comes from the four quarters ; 

he will brook no counsel. 38 

He starts on his round, from the 

crest of a rock in the deep. 
He is loquacious, he is mute, 

he is frolicksome. 42 

He is vehement, intrepid, 

when he scours the land. 
He is mute, he is loquacious, 

he is uproarious — - 46 

The most tumultuous 

on the face of the earth. 
He is good, he is evil, 

he is blind : 50 

He is invisible — 

no eye can see him. 
He is evil, he is good, 

he is there, he is here. 54 

When he works confusion, 

he will not repair what he does. 
He will not restore what he wrecks, 

and yet he is without sin. 58 

Now wet, and now dry, 

he comes frequently. 
The sun's heat, and cold 

affect the feel of the wind, 62 

which ever changes his part, 

but never is destroyed. 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

40.22 Menhyd tragywyS ! 65 

23 ys Tydi ivehyb 
Syliv oil yssyi; 

21 Pawb a-th edny^ynt — 
Gwr a gadwyn wynt. 69 

41.12 Er maint vo ym-chwyb 

tonneu y Weryh — 
40.22 Er gor-vloed eryv 

22 ban 5el yn rhw/>4ry5, 73 

41.13 Cyn traeth, cyverchyS, 

a'i yrva bervyh. 
14 A-m cnhwy tywawd, 

ac ev yn deithawg. 77 



/] V ym peillied ynvkob pwyllad, i 

V>4. gan veir5 Brython, a-r cawceinad. 
7 PrySest over yng-hywrysseb : 3 

A-m rhyor-seiv a-m rhyor-se5. 

15 I-r govan goval Sigawn gorS ; 5 
Wyv eisig bren, cyvyng ar gerS. 

16 Buarth beirS ban vo, 

pivy ar nis gwypo ? s 

17 Pymtheg mil drostaw, 

yn i gym-hwysaw. 

18 Wyv cerSoliad ; wyv saer mal dryw ; n 

wyv ceiniad claer : wyv drua? ; wyv syw 

19 tnal sarff, mal serch ; y5 ym-ge/sav : 

20 Neu'd wyv var5 swyn ; y5 ar'veiSav. 
Ban gin ceinieid ganu yng-hov, 15 

21 nid ev wnant wy ryveS uchov. 

6 



THE SONG OF THE WIND 

Eternal Mind! es 

'Tis Thou that weavest 

the web of all there be : 
All men honour Thee 

who dost chain the Wind. 
However much he upheaves 70 

the Ocean billows, 

or shrieks in his violence 

when he comes in gusts, 

ere he touches shore, Thou speakest ! 

and his race is run. 73 

May the sands cover me, 

an the wind be in full career. 



Concie0i3 of tt)r 93atiii3. 

I Was sifted in every faculty by the i 

Brython bards, and the crowned minstrel. 
Poetising is futile in competition ; 

my competitor, however, chairs me. 4 

Care enough to the young smith is his hammer ; 
I, too, am but a slender twig, inexperienced in craft. 
The congress of the bards, when it takes place, 

who is there that knows not of it ? 
Fifteen thousand favouring it, 9 

and arranging for it. 
I am a musician — an artificer like the wren ; 
I am a brilliant singer ; I am formidable, subtle 
as a serpent, as love ; I will enter the lists : 13 

I am an enchanted bard ; I will dare (them all). 
When the singers sing a song from memory, 
they perform no great wonder beyond what I can do. 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

7 Handid i mi eu herbyniaw, 

yn hi-vyvyr, heb dysc, heb braw, 18 

mal arvoHi dillad heb law — 
S3 val so5i yn Ilyn heb allu naw. 

Tyrvid aches ; ehovn i graS ; si 

24 uchel y gwaeS ; mordwy deryS. 
s5 Craig am waneg, wrth vawr drevnad — 

ang-hlud yscrwth, escar noSiad : x^ 

27 Craig rhag perchen pen an-ynad ; 
8.3 nid ev garav amrysoniad. 
7.27 Ys gwna meSud veSdawd me5y5 ; 27 

a gor-wyth meS warthruh brydyb. 

8 Ev cell, ev druU ; ev darweir Had ; 

ev Ilogell cerS ; ev Hemynnied. 30 

2 Carav i or-wy5, a chil gorr gled, 

a barS a bryd — ni bryn i ged. 
4 A geibl gelvyS, meue5 ni ved. 33 

Madws myned, er ym'draz/awd 

a chelvySeid am gelvySawd ; 

6 a chanu clwm, cystvvm cywlad, 36 
i vugeil bro, porth neithoriad. 

7 Mal ym'5eith tranc heb drwyd i gad, 

8 eiriz/ vynnei ymSeith heb oed — 

eiriz/ vagei gneuha heb goed — 40 

9 mal ceisaw bydav yng-rug, 
mal peireint an-rheith yn vud, 
mal goscorS HiiyS heb benn, 

11 mal porthi ang-hlyd ar cenn, 44 
mal grynniaw tyndei a gwrach, 

12 mal haeSu awyr a bach, 
mal eirach gwaed ac yscall, 

13 mal gwneuthur goleu i Sail, 48 
mal dogni dillad i noeth, 

mal tannu ewyn ar draeth, 

8 



CONGRESS OF THE BARDS 

It falls to me to compete with them, 17 

extemporaneously, without training or experience, 
like a man donning armour without a hand, 
or sinking in water without being able to swim. m 

The flowing tide seethes ; eager its pace ; 
loudly it roars ; then rushes ashore. 

B y a great design, the rock beyond the surf, 23 

an immovable pile, is an insular refuge : 
it is a defence against every madman : 

I do not love contention. aS 

'Tis drinking makes drunk the brewer ; and 
over-draining of mead disgraces the bard, who is 
a cellar, a liquor store ; a lewd, paunchy fellow ; 
a receptacle of song ; a mere vagabond. 30 

I love the woods, — a retreat in a cosy border, and 
a bard who creates — not one who cadges for gifts. 

The man who curses the artist will never prosper. 

It is well to go (to Congress) for the sake of 34 

deliberating with artists about art ; and 
to sing a string of verses, as the custom is, to the 
governor of the district, the provider of the feast. 

As Death doth travel without track to war, 38 

so a number went without assignation, 
and many nursed the idea of nutting without trees, 
like men seeking for a swarm of bees in heather, 
like engines of destruction mute, 42 

like a company of soldiers without a leader, 
like men feeding the comfortless with husk, 
like ridging tumbled-down houses with a gwrach, 
like men reaching for the sky with a hook, 46 

like men stanching blood with thistles, 
like men striking a light for the blind, 
like men allotting a coat of mail to the unarmed, 
like men scattering foam on the strand, 50 



BOOK OF TALIES/N 

i; mal porthi pyscawd ar laeth, 

mal toi neuaS a dail, s^ 

i6 mal HaS Hurif a gwyeil, 

mal to5i tavled rhag gair. 

17 Wyv bar5 neuaS, wyv gyw cadeir : 

18 DySygnad beirS ; llavar Uysceir. 58 

Cyn vy ar-gywein i-m garw gyvlog 
rhyphrynwyv i'm log i-th dy, Vab Meir ! 

T T T 
ertoEttiiatDti. 

'^OaRD, yman y bo, i 

«4J neirtheint a gaffo : 
19 Caned ban dyrffo : 

Sywed yn yd vo : 

Haelon vanacco, s 

3 neu's bi a rotho. 
Drwy ieith Daliessin, 

4 beirS, dyennillin. 
Ciawr, ban 5arvu 

Uiaws i olychu. 10 

5 Bid eihaw wylleith — 

anrheith AvagSu : 
Neu-s dug, yn gelvyS, 

6 gyvreu ar gywyS. 
Gwiawn leveryS — ,5 

o Z>atn'«em dyvyS. 
8 GwiSon, y peiran, 
berwei, heb walhaxi ; 

7 gwnaei o varw vyw, 

ac an-hyweith yw. 20 



CONGRESS OF THE BARDS 

like men feeding fish with milk, si 

like men thatching the hall with leaves, 
like men battering armour with withies, 
like men melting a tablet against speech. 54 

I am the bard of the Hall ; I am the winner of the chair : 
The bards are greatly incensed ; loud their anathemas. 
Before my ferrying over to my hard wages, 
may I secure a place in thy mansion, Son of Mary I 58 

T T T 

%\)t JFcBtlbal. 

HE Bard, wherever he may be, 
shall have entertainment. 
Let him sing when the spirit moves : 
Let him prophesy while he lives : 
Let him proclaim the generous, s 

and there will be no lack of givers. 
By the teaching of Taliesin 

the bards greatly profit. 
He will fall, when the people 

stop admiring him. 10 

Witchery is wont to be his — 

the spoliation of AvagSu ; 
And, by skill, he has brought 

a finish to poetry. 
Gwion opens his mouth — 15 

an accident his song. 
The GwiSon kept the kettle 

boiling without lapse of fire ; 

it could make the dead alive — 

a most difficult task. so 

II 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

19 Gwnaethei delideu, 21 

er yn oes oeseu. 
9 Y trwyth dySyccawd, 

o 5awn Wen5y5 gwawd. 24 

10 Neu'd amgar cwyndawd, 

namyn pwy i chyn-evawd ? 

11 Cymeint cer5 davawd 

a dilis ciwdawd. 28 

12 Pyr na thraethwch, rhawg, 

lad uch Hyn Hathrawd? 

13 Pennilliach rhoed pawb — 

dybyS yna nawd. 

14 ^5-wyn daicanind ; 33 

neuT 5oeth ostegiad. 

15 TrwySed, peir ynad 

/ varS a chdnad. 
Tri ugein mlyneS, 37 

iS yd bortheis lawrweS, 
yn-ovr caw giwed, 
yn elvyS Red«^. 

17 Can gwys a-m dyoeS ; 
Can rhi ynSun oe5 ; 

18 can yw yS aethant 43 
pan yw y doethant, 

cin eilewyS gant, 

19 ac a'u darogant. 
ILadon, verch Liant, 

20 oeS bychan i chwant 48 
o eur ac ariant. 

Pwyr byw 5yadas 

21 waed yar i gwynnglas ? 
Odid traethator ; 

mawr y molhator. 53 

12 



THE FESTIVAL 

She had worked at metals ai 

from immemorial times. 

She now brings a concoction 
of the gift of the goddess of song. 

She dearly loves a festival — 
but what of the old custom ? 26 

The community's pay being propor- 
tionate to the quantum of poetry, 
why do ye not, for a while, recite 
what is good over the sparkling li- 

Let all fow/n^K^^ verses — [quor? 
the custom will then appear. 32 

Pleasant was the recital ; 
then silence was proclaimed : 

The Justiciar causes a licence (to 
be given) to bard and minstrel. 36 

For three score years, 

I have supported earthly form in 
the quarter of the licensed tribe, 
in the land of Red^^. 40 

A hundred mansions I frequented ; 

A hundred chiefs in them were ; 

Since they have gone, 
whence they came, 
the minstrel shall sing of all, 45 

and prophesy concerning them. 

Latona, daughter of the Ocean, 
had small desire 
for gold and silver. 

What living person has shed 50 

blood on her sacred island ? 

The fact has hardly been mentioned, 
though it is worthy of great praise. 

13 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

19 Mi-d-wyv Daliessin : 54 
Rhyphrydav iawn Ilin. 

13 Parahav, hyd ffin, 
yng-hyn-elw Elphin. 
Neu-r ^z-deilynghed 

24 o riv eur Slyed. 

Pan gassed, carad 60 

anudon a brad. 

25 Nu, neuT chwenych vad, 

trwy gyweg avrllad: 

26 Go'gyvarchwyi' vrawd. 

Ni wyrthid an gwawd : 65 
Ni wybyS nebawd. 

20 Doethur, priv gelvyS, 

dis-pwyllawd sywyS, 

2 am wyth edryvyS — 69 
doleu dynwedyS. 

3 A-m gwyr gwawd gelvyS : 
CerSwn Duw yssyS. 

4 Drwy ieith Dalhaearn, 
BedyS vu5 5y5 varn. 

A varnwys deithi 75 

5 angerS varSoni, 
Ev, o-i rin, ro5es 

awen ang'hymes. 

6 Seith ugein ogrven 

yssyS yn awen : 80 

7 wyth, o bob ugein, 
yd vy5 yn un sain — 
asswyn yn-i-w^th ; 

8 asswyn yng-or-wjth ; 
asswyn oil yssy5. 85 

9 Yn nev, uch elvyS, 

y mae a'u gwyby5. 

14 



S4 



THE FESTIVAL 

I am Taliesin — 
I sing of true lineage. 
I shall continue, to the end, 
in my pristine service of EHBn. 
He was removed from among the 
number of the golden nobility. 59 

When he was hated, loved were 
perjuries and treachery. 
Now, he seeks relief 

from the fragile wafers. 
Let me call in a frate. 
He will set no value on our praise : 65 
he will know no one. 
The sage, foremost in skill, 
shall consult astrology, 
about the main line of descent — 
the links of the anthropologist. 70 

I know a fine psalm : 
Let us laud the Living God. 
By the teaching of Talhaearn, 
Baptism will help at the last. 
He, who fixed the conditions 75 

of poetic frenzy, 
did, of his secret, impart 
inspiration without stint. 
Seven score chords 

there are in music : 80 

The octave of every score, 
which is ever in harmony, 
enchants in calm — 
enchants in storm — 
enchants all there is. ss 

In heaven above there is One 
who knows the harmonies. 

15 



BOOK OF TALIS SIN 

20 Py dristid yssyS 
well no HewenyS ? 
Go-GWN 5e5v rhadeu 

11 awen, ban Syffreu — 
am gelvy5 dileu — 
am SedvvyS 5ieu — 

12 am vucheS ara 
oeseu escorva — 

13 am hawl teyrnva 
byhyd cyng-wala. 

Am gyhaval vyrf, 

14 j«5en trwy weryd. 
Mawrhydig sywyd ! 

15 Pan dygyvrensid ? 
Pan och awel gryd ? 
Pan vy5 go-hoew bryd ? 

16 Pan vy5 m6r hyvryd ? 
Pan yw gwrS echen ? 

17 Pan echrewyd nen ? 

neu heul, pan Sodir? 
Pan yw toir tir? 

18 T6 y tir, pwy i vaint? 
Pan tyvhid gwycheint ? 

19 Gwycheint pan dynnit? 
Pan yw gwr5 gweryS ? 

20 Gweryd pan yw gwyr5 ? 
Pwy echenis gyrS ? 

21 CyrS pwy echenwys ? 
Ys-tir, ystyriwys, 

ystyrieid Ilyvreu, 
cylch beirh, a-u cyvreu. 

22 Ped vwynt yd fifreuynt ; 

ped ffreuynt y5 ynt : 

16 



THE FESTIVAL 

What sadness is there as 

better than gladness ? 
I KNOW the law of the favours 

of the muse, when she gushes forth — 
about the artistic recompenses — 
about the happy days — 93 

about the quiet life 
of the ages to come — 
about the claim of the kingdom 96 
unto full fruition. 
To obtain such a life, they 

must sink through the sod. 
Majestic is knowledge ! 100 

Whence has it been imparted ? 
Whence the moan of the wind that stirs ? 
Whence the light of the countenance ? 
Whence is the sea pleasant ? 
Whence is the race vigorous ? 105 

Whence was created the firmament ? 

or the sun, whence is it fixed ? 
Whence is clothed the land ? 

covering the earth to what extent ? 
Whence grows its splendour ? no 

Whence does its splendour attract ? 
Whence is youth ardent ? 
Whence is green the sod ? 
Who has sung the songs ? 
Whose song did he sing ? ns 

It is necessary, he considered, 
to study the books of the bards, their 
round, and all that pertains to them. 
The bards bring forth what is in them ; 
what they bring forth, that they are : 

B 17 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

20 Beth a vont ar hynt, 121 
23 llyna beth ydynt. 

Y Saear, pwy i lied, 
34 neu vaint i thewhed? 

Go-gwn drws/ llavnawr, 125 

25 a xaael rhu5 ami awr. 
Go-gwn a drevnawr, 

yrhwng nev a llawr. 

26 Pan at-sein ^(7-bant? 

Pan er-gyr di-vant ? 130 

21 Pan lewych arz/ant? 
Pan vy5 tywyll nant ? 
Anadl, pan yw du? 

2 Pan yw creu avu ? 134 
Bwch, pan yw bannawg? 

3 Gwraig, pan yw serchawg? 
Llevrith, pan yw gwyn? 
Pan yw glas celyn ? 138 

4 Pyr br«7/arawt myn, 

yn Iliiaws mehyn? 

5 Pan yw barvawt gwrf 

Pan yw ceu evwr? 142 

6 Pan yw meSw Colw'yn ? 
Pan yw IleSv tnoxviyn'i 
Pan yw brith iyrchwyn ? 

7 Pan yw hallt halwyn ? 146 
Cwrw, pan yw ystern ? 

8 Pan yw HedruS gwern ? 

9 Pan yw rhu5 egroes ? — 

Nev wraig a-u d^-roes. 150 
8 Pan yw gwyrS Ilinos ? 
lo Pan ftygevna nos, 
py 5ar-weir yssyS 
yn eur Iliant dy5 ! 154 

18 



THE FESTIVAL 

What they are on tour, ,2, 

that is their true character. 
The earth, what is its extent, 

or how great its thickness ? 
I know the clash of arms, and 125 

the ruddy work of constant shouting. 
I know something of what is ordained 

twixt heaven and earth, (but) 
Whence the echo of the hollow ? 
Whence the stroke of extinction ? 130 
Whence the brightness on the height ? 
Whence is the ravine ever in shadow ? 
The breath, whence is it foul ? 
Whence is the liver's blood ? 134 

The buck, whence is it antlered ? 
Woman, whence is she loving ? 
Milk, whence is it white ? 
Whence is green the holly ? 
Why does the kid bleat 

all over the place ? 140 

Whence is man bearded ? 
Whence is the cow-parsnip hollow ? 
Whence is the Calenian drunk ? 
Whence is a maiden gentle ? 
Whence is the roebuck spotted ? 145 
Whence is brine salty ? 
Beer, whence its ferment ? 
Whence the alder's reddish tinge ? 
Whence the ruddiness of hips ? — 

Heaven's lady bestowed them. 150 

Whence is green the linnet ? 
When the night retires, 

what wanton effulgence there is 

in the golden flood of day ! 154 

Bs 19 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

21 N», a wyr neb pam 155 

y rhu5ir bron huan, 

12 yn niw er-cyman ? 
NewyS an-a5-wyn, 

tant telyn dygwyn. 

13 Cog yn //wyn pyr gan ? 160 

py geidw yn 5i5an ? 

14 P«/y 5wg yng-axihaxi 

gereint a-r arman ? 
Py 5y5wg y glain 

15 o er-Sygnawd vein ? 165 
Pan yw pSr erwein ? 

16 Pan yw gwyrliw brain ? 

Talhaearn yssyS 

17 mwyhav sywedyS : 

Ev am'gyfFrawd wy5 170 
aches amod dyS. 

18 Go-gwn 5a a drwg — 

cw5 4 mownir vwg ? 

19 Mawr maint i o-gyhwg ! 

Cawg pwy dylivas ? 175 

20 Gwawr pwy gor-flfennas ? 
Pwy a bregethas 

Eli ac Elias ? 

21 Go'gwn gogeu hav — 

a vySant aeav ? iSo 

Awen a ganav, 
23 o 5wvn ys dygiv. 
Aw^n, cyd bei inxA, 

go-gwn i gcr-i/ryd. 184 

23 Go-gwn ban 5y veinw ; 
Go'gwn ban Syleinw? 

24 Go-gwn ban SillyS? 
Go-gwn ban wescryB. 188 

20 



THE FESTIVAL 

Now, does any one know why 155 

the sun's breast is crimsoned 

in pigment so perfect ? 
Unpleasant news, ,58 

the harp-string will bewail. 
Why calls the Cuckoo in the grove ? 

what keeps it cheery ? 
Who will bring into camp 

friends that make a great outcry ? 163 
What brings the sparkle 

out of highly polished stones ? 
Whence is perfumed the meadow-sweet ? 
Whence is the greenish sheen of rooks ? 
Talhaiarn is the 
greatest seer : 169 

He comprehends the science of 
the approaching birth of day. 
I know something of good and evil, (but) 

whither goes the smoke of green peat ? 
Great the size of its curlings ! 
Whose bowl poured it forth ? 175 

Whose dawn did it end ? 
Whom did Eli and 

Elias declare ? 
I know the summer cuckoos — 

do they live in winter .■' 180 

I shall sing of the muse, which 

I shall obtain from the abyss. 
The muse, though it were mute, 
I know its great impulses. 184 

I know when it minishes ; 
I know when it wells up ; 
I know when it flows ; 
I know when it overflows. 188 

21 



BOOK OF TALIESm 

21 Go'gwn py begor 189 

25 yssyS ydan vor. 
Go-GWN eu heisorS — 

26 pob un yn i oscor5 — 
Beth giglwyd yn'yS, 193 

22 bob dyS ym'lwySyn — 
Pob paladr yng-had — 

2 Pob d6s yng-hawad — 196 
A5'vwyn yd rann wawd ; 

3 nwy mevl go'gyfifrawd. 
Aches gwyS gwypawrf: 

4 Go'gwn i nebawd. 200 
Py lenwis avon 

ar bobl Pharaon ? 

5 Py 5y5wg g\^ynzon — 

baran achwyson ? 

6 Py oeh yscawl odrev, 205 

ban Srychavwyd nev ? 
Pwy vu iforflrj'ch hwyr, 

7 o 5aer hyd awyr? 
Pet bysseS am peir, 

a-m amwyn neSeir. 210 

8 Pwy enw y 5eu air 

ni eing yn un pair ? 

9 Pan yw mor meSwhawd? 
Pan yw dil pyscawd ? 214 

10 mor vwy« vy5 eu cnawd, 
hyd ban yw meSysc. 

11 Pan yw gennawc pysc — 

du troed alarch gwyn — 213 

12 pelydrawg gwaew Ilym ? 
E.wyth nev nid ystwng : 

13 Py bedeir echen 

ni wys eu gor-ffen ? 222 

22 



THE FESTIVAL 

I know what motion 189 

there is beneath the sea. 
I know the warp of the web, 
of every man in his clan^ 
What was heard during the day, 

every day in the year— 194 

Every shaft in battle — 
Every drop in a shower ( — these I know). 
Kindly will the muse apportion praise — 
she will not stir mischief 
The access of knowledge she knows : 

I know nothing. 200 

What waters flowed 

over the people of Pharoah ? 
Who will endure complaints — 

the rage of followers ? 204 

What was the ladder's base, 

when it was raised towards heaven ? 
Who was the evening's guide 
from earth to heaven ? aoS 

If it be fingers that fashion me, 
the hollow of the hand will shield me. 
What name of two words 

will not go into any cauldron ? 212 

Whence is the heaving of the sea ? 
Whence is the structure of fish ? 
How pleasant their " flesh '' 

until it be tainted. 216 

Whence is fish scaly ? (Whence is) 

black, the foot of a white swan ? 
Whence the gleaming of the sharp lance ? 
Heaven's lineage is not abased : 
Which are the four stocks 
which will know no end ? 222 

23 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

22 Gan nad p wy vych, py r grwydryS ? 
IS A-th gyvarchav vargad cyxft : 

Gwr i'th gynnyS ; escyn hynt ! 
j6 Cu5 ynt a 5gn raeadr gwynt. 

Traether vyng-oveg, 227 

17 yn Evrev, yng-Roeg, 

Lladin, a Chymraeg. 
i3 Lauda, laudate, 

Jesu vab Jose. 

Eilweith ym rhithad : — 232 

19 Bum glas, bum gleisad ; 
Bum ci, a bum hyS ; 

20 Bum iwrch ymynyS ; 

Bum cyff, a bum rhaw ; 237 

21 Bum bwell yn Haw ; 
Bum ebin gevel, 

vlwySyn a banner : 

22 Bum ceilawg brithwyn, 

ar ieir yn e5nn ; 242 

23 Bum amws ar re ; 
Bum tarw trostre ; 

24 Bum rwch melinawr — 

mil y(d a)maethawr. 
Bum gronyn ^«'^orgwys ; 247 

25 neu-7n tyvwys ym-ryn ; 
MedawS am dodaw5 ; 

26 Yn sawell gyrrawS ; 

Y'm rhuglawS o law, 251 

23 wrth vyng"0'5eivaw. 
A'm harvoHes iar 

gravru5, grib escar ; 
2 Gor-ffwyseis naw nos, 

yn i chroth yn was. 256 



THE FESTIVAL 

Whoever thou art, why dost thou wander ? 

I greet thee a student of arts : 
A man to thy stature ; ascend in thy course. 
Dark are what induce the rush of inspiration. 

Let my mind be set forth 227 

in Hebrew and Greek, 

Latin and Welsh. 

Praise thou, praise ye 

Jesus the son of Joseph. 

Another time I was enchanted : — 332 

I was a kingfisher ; I was a young salmon ; 

I was a hound, and I was a hind ; 

I was a buck on the mountain ; 

I was a butt, and I was a spade ; 236 

I was a hatchet in the hand ; 

I was the pin of the tongs, 

for a year and a half. 
I was a light-speckled cock 240 

over cackling hens. 
I was the stallion of a stud : 
I was the bull of a homestead : 
I was the miller's bolter — 244 

the ground corn of the farmer. 
I was a grain in the furrow's womb ; 
1 grew up on the hill ; 

He, who sowed, reaped me ; 248 

Into the kiln-pipe he drove me ; 
He rubbed me out of hand, 

while he was scorching me. 251 

There received me a hen, 

ruddy-clawed, with a divided comb ; 
I rested nine nights 

in her womb a child. «ss 

25 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

23 Bum aSevedig; ajfi 

Bum Had rhag gwledig. 

4 Bum marw ; bum «liw — 

ceint y5 ym'e5iw. 
Bum swyv et waSawd — 260 

5 yrac5aw bum tawd. 
A'm eil gynghores, 

6 gras rhwyS a-m rhoSes. 
Odid traethator ; 

7 Mawr y molhator. 365 

Mi-d'wyv Daliessin : 
Rhyphrydav iawn Hin. 
Parahav, hyd ffin, 

8 yng-hyn-elw Elffin. 370 



Can iSoUeu. 

«/3UM yn Iliaws rhith, . 
«4_l cyn bum dis-gyvrith. 
23 Wyv clerwr cwlvrith ; 

Credav yng-o-niki. 4 

II Bum dreigl yn awyr : 
Bum yn serwaw syr. 
13 Bum gair yn Hythyr : 8 

Bum Hyvr i-m privder. 

13 Bum Ilugyrn Ileuver, 

vlwySyn a hanner. 

14 Bum bont, a-r driger 

ar drugein aber. 13 

Bum hynt ; bum eryr. 

15 Bum corwg ymyr. 
Bum darwe5 yn Had. 

i« Bum d6s yng-hawad. is 

26 



THE FESTIVAL 

I was confessed ; 356 

I was a wafer before the Gwledig. 
I was dead ; I was a wraith. 
I have sung of what I passed through. 
I was the scum on the lees ; 260 

Before that, I was yeast. 

He, a second time, counselled me, 
who gave me free grace. 
It scarcely can be told — 265 

greatly it will be praised. 
I am Taliesin 
I sing of true lineage. 
I will continue to the end =68 

in the pristine service of Elfin. 



W9Z 38attle of tjje Scrub. 

I Was in many a guise, i 

before I was disenchanted. 
/ am a grey-cowled minstrel : 

I believe in illusion. 
1 was for a time in the sky : 5 

I was observing the stars. 
I was a message in writing : 

I was a book to my priest. 
I was the light of the altar-horns, 

for a year and a half 10 

I was a bridge, which is stationed 

over three score water-meets. 
I went travelling : I was an eagle ; 
I was a coracle on the seas. 
I was the attraction in good. 15 

I was a drop in a shower. 

27 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Bum cleSyv yn anghad. 17 

17 Bum yscwyd yng-hid. 

Bum tant yn-helyn 
i8 Hedrith, naw blwySyn. 20 

Yn-wvr bum ewyn. 

Bum yspwng yn-h4n. 
19 Bum gwyS yng-warthan. 

Nid un wyv ni gin ; 24 

so Ceint, er yn vychan, 
yng-had godeu-vrig, 

21 rhag Prydein wledig — 
gwySveirch G^TtySelig, 28 

22 Hynghes veueSig. 

A gweint vil mawr em : 

23 arnaw oeS ganpen : 

Ac h4d er-5ygnawd, 32 

dan v6n i davawd : 

24 Had arall yssyS, 

yn i wegilyS. 

25 n„yffan du gavla\v^: 36 

cant ewin arvawf. 

26 Y neidr vreith gribawg : 
Eneid, drwy i phechawd, 

a boenir yng-hnawd. 40 

24 Bum yMevenyS : 

Cryssynt wellt a gwyS : 

2 Cenynt ger5orion : 
Cyrchynt gadvaon : 44 

3 Dadwyrein Vrython 

a oxvn Wydion. 

4 Gelwyssid ar nevion, 

ar Grist, a'i achwysson, 48 
i hiffrid eu teyrnon, 

5 hyd ban y gwarettei 

38 



THE BATTLE OF THE SCRUB 

I was a sword in the hand-grip : 17 

I was a shield in battle. 

I was a string in the harp of 

enchantment for nine years. 20 
In water I was the spume. 
I was a sponge in the fire. 
I was scrub in the covert. 23 

I am not one who does not sing ; 

I sang, though I was little, 

at the battle of the Scrub-shoots, 

against Britain's Ruler 

and the Irish ships, is 

a rich-laden fleet. 
I speared the bejewelled beast, 

which had a hundred heads ; 

with seed of great trouble 32 

under the root of his tongue ; 

and another seed 

at the base of his skull. 35 

Also the cloven-footed black toad, 

armed with a hundred claws. 
And the crested speckled snake — 

the soul, through ker sin, 

will be punished in the flesh. 40 
I was at Meveny5 : 
They hied to the reeds and woods ; 
The minstrels played ; 
The (men) rushed into battles. 
The ascendancy of the Brython, 45 

bested Gwydion. 
They called upon the saints, 

upon Christ, and his ministers, 48 
io protect their princes 

until the Father, who had made them, 

29 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

24 eu Rhi, rhwydigonsei. s' 

As attebwys DovyS, 

6 drwy iaith a-chelvyS : 
"Rhwthrwch, rieS gwyS, 

gantaw yn UuyS, 55 

7 i rwystraw pobl 8ig, 
ar lawr anneSig. 

8 Pan swynhwyd godeu, 

yng'o-zfeith angheu, 
go'dorrid cadeu 60 

9 o bedryd tanheu ; 
nvy»ynt am aereu — 

10 trychyn drymSieu. 

Dyar garSei bun, 64 

tarSei a-matgun — 

11 blaen Ilin a blaen bun. 
BuSiant buch Anhun, 

12 wnaei ennill i-n, 68 
yng'waed hyd a-n glin. 

J5 Nu, G wern, ^»?-laen Ilin, 

a want gysevin. 
isHelygaCherdin 72 

buant hwyr i-r vySin. 

17 EirinwyS yspin — 

an-whant o Synin — - 
Ceri, cyvrenhin, 76 

18 gor'thrychan wrthrin. 
IFuonwyS eithid, 

19 erbyn llu gwryd. 

A V a n w y 5 wneith^a/yd 80 

20 yn oreu ym-wyd, 
er celwch bywyd, 
nid er nerthu gwyd. 

30 



THE BATTLE OF THE SCRUB 

would bring deliverance. 51 

The Lord made answer 

by efficacious word ; — 
" Rush, ye chiefs of the wood, 

with the prince in your thousands, 

to hinder envious people (coming) 56 

upon an inhabited region. 
When the shrubs were enchanted 

for the work of destruction, 
the engagements were interrupted 60 

by the harmony of the harps, 
which deplored the conflicts, 

and banished sorrowful days. 
Tumult drove away many, but 64 

brought out a noble chief — flower 

of his line, and leader of the host. 
The reward of Anthony's manner 

of life would do us good, 68 

in blood up to our knee. 

Now, the Alders, at the head of the line, 

thrust forward, the first in time. 
The Willows and Mountain Ash 71 

were late joining the army. 
The Black thorns, full of spines — 

(how the child delights in its fruit !) 
and their mate, the Medlar, 

will cut down all opposition. 
The Rose marched along 78 

against a hero throng. 
The Raspberry was decreed 

to serve most usefully as food, 
for the sustenance of life — 8j 

not to carry on strife. 

31 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

24Rhoswy5aGwy5vid 84 
ac E i 5 e w yr-bkMid. 
Mor E i t h n e n ergryd : 

22 S i r i a n levyssid. 

Bedw, er i vawrvryd, 88 

hwyr y gwiscyssid ; 

23 Nid er i lyvrder, 

namyn er i vawreS. 

24 E u r o n , delis bryd 92 

allmyr uch ^vvrhyd. 

25 SeintwyS, yng-hynte5, 

cadeir gyng-wrysseS. 

26 O n n goreu dyrched, 96 

rhac bron teyrned. 
ILwyv, er maraneS, 
25 ni oscoes droedveS ; 

Ev IlaSei berve5, 100 

eithav, a diweS. 

2 CoHwyS, bernyssid, 

wrth eiriv i arv-gryd. 

3 G w y r o s , gwyn i vyd, 104 

tarw trin, teyrn byd. 
Wrth vorawg voryd, 

4 IFawy5 fifyniessid. 
Celyn glesyssid — 108 

bu ev yng-wrhyd. 

5 YspySad am-nid ; 

haint ech yn anghad. 

6 GwinwyS, gor-thoad, 112 

gor-thorsid yng-hid — 
eu grawn an-rheithad. 

7 Banadl, rhag bar cad, 

yn rhychva briwad. 116 

8 E i t h i n ni bu vad : 

er hynn gwerinad. 

32 



THE BATTLE OF THE SCRUB 

The Wild Rose and the Woodbine 84 

with the Ivy intertwined. 
How greatly the Poplar trembles, 

and the Cherry dares. 
The Birch, for all its ambition, 

was tardily arrayed ; 
Not from any diffidence, but 90 

because of its magnificence. 
The Laburnum set its heart on the 

dingles rather than on bravery. 
The Yew is to the fore, 

at the seat of war. 95 

The Ash was exalted most 

before the sovereign power. 
The Elm, despite vast numbers, 

swerved never a foot, 

but fell on the centre, 100 

on the wings, and the rear. 
The Hazel was esteemed, 

by its number in the quiver. 
Hail, blessed Cornel tree, 104 

bull of battle. King of all. 
By the channels of the sea, 

the Beech did prosperously. 
The Holly livid grew, 108 

and manly acts he knew. 
The White Thorn checked all — 

its virus aches in the palm. 
The Vines, which roofed overhead, 

were cut down in battle, 113 

and their clusters plundered. 
The Broom, before the rage of war, 

in the ditch lie broken. 
The Gorse was never prized ; 

thus was it vulgarized. 118 

C 33 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

25 Grug, buSyS am-nad ; 

dy werin swynad ; 120 

10 hydwyll erlyniad. 
Rhac Derw buanawr 

crynei nev a Ilawr. 

11 Gelyn glew drussiawr, 124 

a-i enw ym-heullawr. 

12 CraffusnvyS cyngres, 

cymraw a ro5es. 
Gwazth rhai, gwrthodes ; 128 

13 ereill, go-dylles. 
For goreu, gormes, 

14 ym-hlymnwyd maes. 
GoTuthraw5 gynwyS, 132 

aches veilonwyS. 

15 Cast an, cewilyS, 

wrth rymiad S e i n w y 5 . 

16 Handid du muchyS ; 136 
Handid crwm mynyS : 

17 Handid cyl coedy5 : 
Handid gwynt myr mawr — 

18 er^n, cigleu r awr. 140 
A'n deilTas vedw : 

An dad-rith, dadedw : 

19 A-n maglas blaen derw, 

o warchan mael-derw. 144 

ao Wherthinawg cri craig, 
ne3 nid ev tereig. 

21 Nid o vam a thad, 

pan ym digonad. ,48 

22 Ys crai ym cread, 

o naw elven&A : 

34 



THE BATTLE OF THE SCRUB 

H e a th ! that promotest obstruction, 

thy multitude has been enchanted : u 

Easily ensnared, the pursuer. 
Before the swift oak (-darts) 

heaven and earth did quake. 
A brave enemy is spared, %'. 

and his name preserved on a tablet. 
The acuteness of his combination 

caused consternation. 
The attack of some he refused ; 

others he riddled. is 

The foremost Prince doth give trouble 

in the conflict of the field. 
He rushed the primeval wood, 

the passage of the mast trees. 
The Chestnut feeleth shame i; 

at the opposing power of the Y e w. 

Black is sprung from jet, 
the hump from the mountain, 
the furnace from the woods, 
and great seas from the wind — 
he, who sings, has heard the roar. i. 

We have emanated /n5;« birches : 

He, who disenchants, will restore us. 

Oak saplings ensnared us, 
by the incantation of the Oak-priest. 

Full of laughter is the echo, i. 

which offends no man. 

'Twas not of father and mother, 
whence I was born. 

'Tis after a new fashion I was created 
from nine constituents : i 

C2 35 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

25 O fifrwyth y ffrwytheu, 151 

y gwnaeth Duw 5echreu. 
o Vriall vlodeu ; 

24 o vlawd gwyS-godeu — 

25 blawdDerwa Dynad, 
Erwein a Banad: 156 

24 o Bri5 y briSred : 

25 o Dwr tonn nawved : 
o Dan y lluched: 

25 pan ym digoned. 160 

26 A-m swynwys Vath Hen, 

cyn bum daearew. 

26 A-m swynwys Wydion, 

mawr u5 ^^o-rithion, 164 

2 o eurvys Euron ; 
o orne mordon ; 

o bym rhyw verthon — 

3 pymhwnt celvySon. 168 
Archarfon, eil Math, 

4 ban ym dygna^yS i lath. 
A'm swynwys Wledig, 

5 ban vei loscedig. 172 
A'm swynwys sywyd 

sywySon, cyn byd ; 

6 ban vei genhyv vod ; 

ban v&wn vaint \y^cho&.. 176 

7 HarS varS, bu5 a-n gnawd : 

yd veSav ar-wawd, 

8 a draetho-m tavawd. 
Gwarieis yn Hychvor : 180 

9 cysceis ym-Horffor. 
Neu bum yn yscor, 

gan Dylan, eil mor : 

36 



THE BATTLE OF THE SCRUB 

From the essence of fruits 151 

did God begin : 

from Primrose flowers : 

from the pollen of shrubs — 

the pollen of Oak and Nettle, 155 

of Meadow-sweet and Broom ; 

from the Mould of the earth ; 

from the Water of the ninth wave ; 

from the Fire of the lightning — 

from these things was I made. 160 

Math the Old enchanted me, 

before I was of the earth. 
Gwydion, the great Master of 

phantoms, enchanted me 

from the Laburnum's golden finger ; 165 

from the breaker's prismatic hues ; 

from five kinds of loveliness — 

the five resources of wizards. 
The fosterling of Math was chief lord 

when his wand afflicted me. 170 

A Gwledig enchanted me, 

when he was being toasted. 
The science of the astrologers 

enchanted me, before the world was ; 

when I drew the breath of life ; 17s 

when I was a little thing. 
Glorious bard, largess is ours : 
I have a panegyric, 

which my tongue shall recite. 
I played in the lagoons of the sea ; 180 

I slept at Pulford. 
I was in the fortress 

with Dylan, fosterling of the sea. 183 

37 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

26 Yng-hylch, ym-herveS, 184 

rhwng deu deyrneS : 

11 Yn 5eu waew anxhwant, 

o nev ban Soethant. 

12 Yn annwvn Hei^verant, 188 

wrth vrwydrin by5ant. 

13 Pedwar ugein cant, 

a weint er eu whant. 

14 Nid ynt hyn, na ieu, 192 

no mi yn eu bareu. 

15 Arial canhwr a geni ; 

pawb anaw c^rS, ez'So/ ti. 

j6 Cenhiv inheu i ng-hle5iv 196 

brith, a wehynei waed bri. 

19 ILachar i enw ; IIaw« ffer, 

i luch, llyw niver ; 

20 ysceinynt i uvel, 200 
o 5ovn yn uchel. 

17 h-i darweS, DovyS, 

Q-r golo He by5 : 
A-z oSzv Has baeS — 204 

18 ev gwrith, ev dad'writh, 
yng'O'lithr deithoeS. 

20 Bum neidr vraith ym'rynn : 

21 Bum gwiber yn Ilynn : 208 
Bum serw gan Gynbyn : 

22 Bum bwystner ar hynn : 
Vyng-hassul a-m cawg, 

23 armaav nid ynt dlawd : 212 
Pedrygant mw/wg 

24 yar bawb a 5y5wg. 
Pym pennwn anghell 

a'm dal, a-m cym-hell : 216 

38 



THE BATTLE OF THE SCRUB 

On the borders, and at the centre, 

(I was) between two rulers. 185 

(I was) two lustless lances, 

which came from heaven. 
In the abyss they will scintillate ; 

a-fighting they will be. 
Four score hundred igo 

I thrust for their pleasure. 
They are neither older, nor 

younger, than I in their feuds. 
Of the centurion's courage thou shalt sing : 
Every gift of the muse is thine. igs 

I myself will sing to my decorated 

sword, which spilled blood of renown. 
Flaming his name ; highly tempered, 

his flashing guides the host : 

his sparks do spread 200 

from the low (earth) up high. 
The Lord guides my sword, 

from His dwelling-place ; 
By its stroke was slain the boar, 

which appears, and disappears, 205 

in his elusive journeyings. 
I was a speckled snake on the hill ; 
I was a dragon in the lake ; 
I was the slave of Kynbyn ; 
I was a herdsman besides. 210 

My chasuble and chalice, 

I declare, are not trumperies : 
A quarter per cent of the savings, 

from every one he will take. 
Five flight-feathers of the wing 215 

support, and propel me : 

39 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

26 Whyth march melynell, 

canweith yssyS well : 
26 Vy march, Melyngan, 
cyvr^d a gwylan. 

27 Myhun nid eban, 

cyvrwng mor a glan. 

2 Neu gorwyv waedlan, 

ar naw can cynran. 

3 Rhu5 em vyng-hy/chnvy ; 

Eur vyn yscwytrwy. 
Ni-m ganed yn adwy : 

4 A nil, ym govwy, 

neb namyn Goronwy, 
o 5ol Edrywy. 

5 Hir wynn vym-ysawr : 

pell na bum heusawr. 

6 Treigleis ymywn llawr, 

cyn bum Heenawr. 

7 Cylchyneis ynys ; 

cysceis yng-ha.nn gwys^ 

8 cant caer a-thrugus. 
DerwySon doethur ! 

drogenwch i Arthur. 

9 Yssid yssyS hyn ; 

neu-r vu ergenhym. 

10 Ac un a Seryw 

O ystyr Dilyw, 

a Christ yn croccaw, 

a dySbrawd rhac Haw. 

11 Eurem yn er-wyll, 

a-m hudwy i berthyll ; 

12 a bySiv drythyll, 
o armes IFeryll. 

40 



THE BATTLE OF THE SCRUB 

The staying power of an amber-coloured 

horse is a hundred times better : 
Melyngan, my steed, 

keeps pace with the gull. j2o 

I myself shall not pass 

between sea and land. 
(But) I am winning the battlefield 

against nine hundred warriors. 
Ruby gemmed is my diadem ; 225 

Gold the rim of my shield. 
I was not held in the pass : 

And now, save Goronwy, 

none will visit me 

from the mead of Edrywy. 23c 

Thin and white my fingers : 
It is long since I was a herdsman. 
I wandered in the earth, 

or ever I touched literature. 
I circled the island : 23s 

I slept in a hundred mansions, 
a hundred inhabited forts. 
Ye learned druids 1 

prophesy to Arthur. 
There is what is older, 24c 

of which we shall sing. 
For instance, of what will happen 

in consequence of the Deluge, 

and of crucifying Christ, 

and of judgment to come. 24; 

The gold gem in darkness — 

may its beauty enchant me ; 

and let me be jubilant, 

because of Vergil's prophecy. 24; 

41 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 



iKab e^bieu ^aliessin. 

aYV-ARCHAV Keen 
i ystyriawm awen : 
27 Pwy 5y5ug i hanghen 

cyn no Cheridwen. 
IS Cynhevin i-m byd 
a vu eisywyd : 
Myneich ev a leid ! 
i6 <?ayby5, na-m dyweid. 
Pyr na"m enregid 
un awr na-m erlid ? 

17 Pwy Sodwy reith mwg? 
Pyr echenir drwg? 

18 Py ffynhawn 5iwg 

argel tywyllwg ? 
Pan yw calav cann ? 
ig Pan yw nos Hoergan ? — 

arial ni chynnwyd, 

dyyscwyd allan ? 
ia Pan yw go-varvan 

twrv tonneu wrth lann ? 
21 Er dyar dylann, 

dy 5a hae5 attam. 
Pan yw mor drwm maen ? 
32 Pan yw mor Hym draen ? 

a w5ost pwy gwell, 

23 a"i gwaell, a-i i vlaen ? 
Po/y beris barwyd, 

rhwng dyn ac annwyd? 

24 Pwy gwell yn aSwyd, 

a-i ieuanc, a-i Ilwyd? 

42 



THE YOUTH OF TALIESIN 



%\)Z ffoutlj Of i;aliC0lit. 

I WILL ask the Lord 
to consider my muse : 
He sustained her need 

before the days of Ceridwen. 
Familiar to my lot 5 

has poverty been : 
The monks praise poverty ! 

Know, there is no telling it me. 
Why ! not one hour have I had 

without it persecuting me. 10 

Who shall give a law to smoke ? 
Why will evil be praised ? 
What source can improve 

upon the canopy of night ? 
Whence is white the reed ? 15 

Whence the night's moonshine ? 
(Whence) the splendour unkindled 

that shakes itself out ? 
Whence the angry thunder of 

the waves against the shore ? 20 
For all the tumult of the strand 

Thy goodness doth reach unto us. 
Whence is stone so heavy ? 
Whence is the thorn so prickly? — 24 

Knowest thou which is sharper — . 

its point, or the skewer's f 
Who first raised a partition 27 

to protect man from the cold ? 
In death, whose lot is the better, 

that of the young, or of the old ? 

43 



BOOK OF TAUESIN 

27 A wSost beth wyd, 31 

25 ban vych yn cyscwyd? — 
a-i corfF, a-i eneid, 

26 a-i angel canneid ? 34 
EilewyS celvyS ! 

28 pyr na'm dywedyS ? 

A wSost cw5 vy5 37 

nos yn aros dy5 ? 

2 A wSost ar wy5 

pet deilen yssyS ? 
Py Syrchis vynyS, 41 

3 cyn rhywiaw elvyS ? 
Py gynheil magwyr 

4 daear, yn breswyl ? 

Eneid ! pwy i wyna/a^ ? 45 

s pwy gwelas ? pwy gwyr ? 
Rhyve5 ! yn Uyvreu 

6 nas gw5an yn 5iheu ! 
Enioes — pwy i hadneu ? 49 

7 pwy pryd i haelodeu ? 
Py barth pan Sineu 

rhywynt a rhyffreu ? 

8 Rhyvel an-ygnawd, 

cadwr periglawd. 54 

9 RhyveSav ar-wawd 

pan vu yng'wa5awd. 
Pz£/y goreu meSdawd, 

10 o ve5 a bragawd ? 58 
Pwy goryw yn ffawd, 

11 wamwyn Duw, y Drindawd ? 
Py sxagen draethawd, 

12 traethwn o honawd ? 

Pwy peris ceinhawg 63 

13 ariant, yn rhodawg ? 

44 



THE YOUTH OF TALIESIN 

Knowest thou what thou art, 31 

when thou art sleeping ? — 

a body, or soul, 

or angel of light ? 
Skilled minstrel ! 33 

why wilt thou not answer me ? 
Knowest thou where night 

awaits the day ? 
Knowest thou, on a bush, 39 

how many leaves there be ? 
What raised the mountain, 

before making the earth habitable ? 
What supports the structure 43 

of the earth, for habitation ? 
The Soul ! what is its blest abode ? 

who has seen it ? who knows it ? 
Wonderful ! that in books 47 

they know not for certain. 
Life ! who is its sponsor ? 

what the shape of its limbs ? 
From what quarter pour forth 

hurricane and flood ? 52 

A war, without utmost preparation, 

will endanger the soldier. 
Most astonishing is the eulogy, 

that has sprung from the lees. 56 
Who ordained drunkenness 

from mead and bragget ? 
Who controls our destiny 

but God, the Trinity ? 60 

What fitter utterance could 

I give concerning Thee ? 
Who ordained the silver 

penny to be round ? 64 

45 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

28 Pan yw rhedegawg, 65 

carr mor eichiawg? 

14 Angheu, ys seiliawg ; 

ym-hob gwlad, rhannawg. 
Awyr uch an pen, 

15 ys Ilydan i Hen : 70 
Uch nev nag wybren, 

uch vyth yn Rheen. 

16 Hynav ban anher, 

a ieu ieu, Amser. 

17 Yssid a bryder js 

o-r bresent hae5«r. 
ts Gwedy a-n rheuveS 

pyr-n gwna byrhoedleS ? 

19 Digawn HawrydeS, 

cywestwch a be5. 80 

At Gwr a-n meithrin 

20 OT wlad werthevin 
a-n duccwy^w heb 

21 attaw o'r diweS. 84 

■ T T T 

elalieir ®alie0ein. 

QI-D-WYV merweryS, 
Molawd Duw DovyS : 
31 ELwrw cyvranc cywyS ; 

cyvreu dyvnwedyS. 4 

23 Har5 bron sywedyS, 

ban ad-levery5. 

24 Awen, cw5 echwyS, 

ar veinyoeth veinSyS ? 8 

46 



THE YOUTH OF T A LIES IN 

Whence is the movement 6s 

of a wain so squeaky ? 
Death is established ; 

In every land, 'tis allotted. 
The firmament over our head — 

wide is its canopy : 70 

Heaven is higher than the sky ; 

still higher is our Lord, 
Oldest at its birth, younger 

and younger grows Time. 
There are who fear the 7s 

deserts of their present life. 

After endowing us, 

why make us short-lived ? 
Humiliation enough is 

association with the grave. So 

And may He, who succours us 

from the sovereign land, 

bring us in peace 

to Himself at the last. 84 



T T T 

%\t 2[|)ait of %9\Ua\nk 

I AM the ecstasy 1 

in the praise of the Lord God : 
I am the life of verse competition, 
and the inspiration of the orator. ^ 

Beautiful the presence of the prophet 

when thou art repeating (his teachings). 
The afflatus, where does it drop, 
on a serenely fine day ? i 

47 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

31 BeirS lavar, lug-5e, 

eu gwawd ; ni-m tawr gre : 
26 Rhwystrad, ar ystre, 
ystryw mawr mic-re. 

32 Nid mi wyv gerS vud : 

1 Cyvarchav veirS tud : 
RhyebrwySav 5rud : 

2 Rhydalmav ehud : 
Du'hunav dremud : 

3 Terwynna^/ volud. 
Nid mi wyv gerS vis : 

4 Cyvarchav veirS tras. 
Beth gwaSawl J5as ? 

5 Dovn aig, iawn aSas ! 
pwy am-lenwis gas ; 
pob camp ym-noethas. 

6 Pan yw diien gwlith ? 
Pan yw Had gwenith ? 

7 Gwenyn, pwy y go-litA, 

o glyd ac ystor ? 
Py gelwy tra mor? 

8 yn eurbiben liw? 

a Heu arian gwiw ? 
a rhu5em ang-rawn ? 

9 ac ewyn eigiawn ? 
Py Syvrys ffynhawn ? 

10 Berwr, py i rySawn ? 
Py gysswHt gwerin ? 

11 Brecci, bonheS Hyn — 
aHweS Ilwyr wehyn I 

12 ELeSv llonneS me51yn. 
A sywion synhwyr, 

a sywyd am-lwyr 

13 a ovrwy we5 wyr. 

48 



THE CHAIR OF TALIESIN 

The Bards, at dawn, recite 9 

their songs — I heed not the herd : 
their great plot for a row 
was defeated on the spot. 
I am not, as a singer, mute — 13 

I salute the bards of the district : 
I speed the bold : 

I check the rash : 16 

I wake up the looker on : 
I make eulogy aglow. 
I am not, as a singer, shallow — 

I salute the bards of the clan. 20 

What should the lot of Judas be ? 
The deep sea would be a fit retribution : 
He sated his hate, (and) 
every crookedness displayed. 
Whence is dew pleasant ? 35 

Whence is wheat a blessing ? 
What attracts bees 

from shelter and store ? 
What lies hidden beyond the sea ? 
(What) in the orpiment hue ? 30 

and in quick-silver's sheen ? 
and in the free-flashing ruby ? 
and in the foam of the sea ? 
What hastens the spring ? 
What is the virtue of water-cress ? 35 

What will unite the people ? — 
The nob among drinks is new beer, 
the key of universal good fellowship. 
Subdued is the cheer of mead. 

Both the sparks of wit, 40 

and thorough knowledge 
light up even a wry face. 

IJ 49 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

32 Gwrth a wyr Myrhin, 43 

14 a mall an'oSyn ; 

a gwaSawl tra ffin — 

15 y corwg gwydrin. 46 
Ar-llarf pererin 

ynt : pybyr a phyg, 

16 ac urSawl segrifyg ; 

a Ilyseu meSyg, 50 

ell allwy venffyg ; 

17 Blagtir a blodeu, 

a gwSig bertheu ; 
Briallu doleu; 

18 BriwSeil llawryveu, 55 

a blaen gwyS-godeu ; 
A mael, a meueS, 
ig ac ami ad-neueS ; 
A gwin tal-cibe5, 

20 o gwvein rosseS ; 60 
A d\wn 5wr echwyS — 

21 dawn hyliv DovyS. 
Nev bren, puvawr vy5 ; 

22 ffrwythlawn i gynnyS. 
Rhed i&s berwidyS 65 

23 o5-uch peir pum-wy5 ; 
A Gwiawn avon 

a ovrwy hinon, 

24 a mel, a meillon, 

a meSgyrn llawnion. 70 

25 ASwynid Dragon, 

a dawn derwySon. lb. 

50 



THE CHAIR OF TALIESIN 

Myrbtn shall know opposition, 43 

and the decay of the abyss ; 

dcndfor dower, beyond the bourne, 

the coracle of glass. 46 

The oblations of the pilgrim 

are : pepper and pitch, 

and worthy sacrifice ; 

and medicinal plants, 50 

which may confer benefit ; 
Blossom and flowers, 

and hedge-row riches ; 
The primrose of the meads, 

the bruised leaves of the bay, 55 

and the (flower-) tops of bushes ; 
Also produce, and store, 

and frequent garnerings ; 

and cups brimful of wine, 

from conventual superfluity. 60 

And the sacred water of baptism, 

the flowing gift of the Lord. 
Heaven's tree, full of fruit will be ; 

prosperously it spreads. 
The boilings of the cauldron 65 

of the five sciences will run over : 

(this overflow), Gwion's stream, 

will produce fine weather, 

white clover, and honey, 

and brimming mead-horns. 70 

The Dragon will pacify 
the vates with a gift. jt> 

Di 51 



& 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

II. 

^OLYCHAV Gu-lwryS— 
Ev arglwyS pob echen : 
33 Arbenhig torvoeS, 75 

yng-hyoe5 am orSen. 

3 Ceint, yn yspySawd, 
uch gwirawd avlawen. 

4 Ceint rhag meibon ILyr, 

yn ebyr Henvelen. 80 

Gweleis drais try^'ar, 

5 ac avar, ac anghen. 

Yd lethrynt lavnawr, 

6 ar bennawr discowen. 

Ceint rhag u5 clodleu, 85 

7 yn-oleu glan Havren — 
rhag Brochvael Powys, 
a garwys vy awen. 

8 Ceint, ymwyn rodle, 

ym-ore rhag Urien — 90 

9 yn ec^wyS, am a-n traed, 
yh oeh gwaed ar-5ien. 

Neu'd amug gadeir — 

10 daeth o bair Ceridwen : 

HawSvryd vyn-havawd 95 

11 yn aSawd gwawd Ogrven. 

12 Gwawd offeren hwyv, rhwy Sigones 

afron, a llefrith, a gwlith, a mes. 

13 Ystyriem yn Ilwyr, cyn ^wyr gyfFes, 

Syvod yn Siheu, angheu_>'« nesnes. 100 

15 Ac o dud Enlli dybi a-n lies — 

dzfyreant Ilongawr ar glawr aches. 

16 Galwn ar y Gwr an digones, 

a-n nothwy rhag gwyth /ylwyth ang-hes. 

52 



THE CHAIR OF TALIESIN 

II. 

I Worship the Dear Lord — 73 

the Lord of every race : 

The supreme leader of the hosts (I 
worship) publicly, because of his majesty. 

I sang over the unfortunate 
liquor at its spilling. 78 

I sang before the sons of Llyr 
at the water-meets of Henvelen. 

I witnessed malignant 
oppression, and sorrow, and want. 

They polished their blades 83 

on the shining helmets. 

I sang before a famous lord, 
in the meads of Severn bank — 
before the Brochvael of Powys, 
who loved my muse. es 

I sang, in a pleasance, 
of a morning, before Urien — 

in the evening, about our feet, 
was the blood of dire execution. 92 

(Urien) defended the chair, which 

emanated from Keridwen's cauldron. 
My tongue delights 

in Ogrven's treasury of song. 96 

The praise of divine service has produced 
abundant fruit, and milk, and dew, and mast. 

We should consider fully, before postponing confession, 
that death's certain approach draws daily nearer. 

From the colony of Bardsey will come our good — 
boats will appear on the face of the ferry. 102 

Let us call on Him who made us : 

May He protect us from the wrath of foreign tribes : 

53 



BOOK OF TAUESIN 

33 Pan a^-alwer Von, dirion vaes, 105 

gwyn eu byd wlei5on, Saeson ar dres. 
19 DoSwyv Deganhwy, er am-rysson, 

ar Vaelgwn, vwywhav ot achwyson. 
Ellyngeis varglwyS, yng-wyS deon, 
21 Elphin, bendevig ^(7«he5igion. no 

Yssid i-m gadeir gyweir gysson ; 

hyd vrawd parahawd gan gerSorion. 
23 Bum yng-had Godeu ygan Wydion, 

a rithwys elvyS^yr elestron — 114 

25 gan vab Iweryh, yn IwerSon ; 

Gweleis ban loscviyd MorSwyd Tyllon. 
27 Cigleu gyvarvod am gerSorion 

a GwySyl, dievyl Sifferogion. 

34 O Benrhyn go-hich hyd lych U^eon, 119 

2 Cymry, un viyd, gwihyd wirion — 

gwared gym-riw^i^ yng-hymelri. 

3 Tair cene51 wythlawn, a«-iawn deithi— 

GwySyl, a Brithzon, a G^rmani, 

a wnahon 5i-he5, a dyvysci. 124 

5 Am dervyn Prydein, cain i threvi, 

ceint rhag teyrneS uch meS lestri : 
7 Yng'heinion deon, a-u dyro5i, 

a-n dwg- ben sywed, ced ryverthi. 128 
a Kyweir vyng'hadeir yng-Haer Sidi : 

Nis plawS haint heneint a vo ynSi. 

10 Ys gwyr Manawyd a Pliryderi, 131 

tyir orian a-dun ■^eulwxi ihegSi ; 

11 ac am i banneu, ffrydieu gweilgi. 

A ffynhawn ffrydlawn yssy5 achSi — 
13 wh^gach nor gwin gwyn y Ilyn ynSi. 

A gweSyth iolav, Oruchav Ri, 136 

41 cyn gweryd gorod, cymmod a mi. © 

54 



THE CHAIR OF TALIESIN 

When he is recalled to Mon, pleasant land, 105 

blessed the inhabitants will be, Saxons sailing away. 
I came to Deganwy for the sake of competing — 

to Maelgwn, gentlest of the courtiers. 
I liberated my lord, in the presence of the gentry, 

Elffin, the prince of the nobles : no 

My chair is one of perfect harmony ; for ever 

it will endure, a possession of the minstrels. 
I was at the battle of Godeu with Gwydion, 

who enchanted the elements of the sedges. 
I was with Bran, (son of IweryS), in Ireland : 115 

I was a witness to the burning of Mor5wyd Tyllon. 
I have heard of minstrels meeting with 

the GwySyl, the protectors of evil spirits. 
From Holy\ytaA to the lagoons of Chester, 119 

the Kymry, unanimously, will champion the in- 
nocent — will deliver those bruised in war. 
Three irascible peoples of wicked propensities — 

the GwySyl, the Scotti, and the Northmen, 123 

do create disturbance and confusion. 
Beyond the border of Prydein, and its sweet homes, 

I have sung before Kings over the mead cups : 
At the feasts of the gentry, and their bounty-giving 127 

may great inspiration, the gift of the spirit, possess us. 
Harmonious is my chair at the fort of the whirlpools : 
Disease shall not strike down the old therein. 
Manawyd and Pryderi know of the moaning 131 

that breaks out from a cave, in front of the fort ; 

and of the tossings of the sea around its heights. 
There is also a plentiful spring close to it ; 

pleasanter than white wine is the drink therein. 
And, lastly, I entreat Thee, Almighty Father ! 136 

ere I go under the sod, be reconciled with me. © 

55 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 



eiaDetr l^eemon. 

HREITH awdl eglur— 
Awen tra messur, 
34 am g^rSeu antur, 
i6 o echen l^xthxx. 
A"i flfon a-i aes ffur, 

17 a'i reon rechtyr, 
a-i ri rwyviadur, 

18 a-i riv yscwthwyr, 
a-i gochl goch-assur, 

19 ev ergyr dros vur ; 
Ev cadr cymessur, 

ym'hlith goscor5 nug ; 

20 Neu's dug, o gawrvur, 

veirch gwelw go-strodur. 

21 Teyrnon, henur, ~] 

heilyn bascadur — 

22 trydyS dwvn Soethur 
i ladu Arthur. 

Arthur vendigad 

23 ar ger5 gyvaenad — 2 
ar-wyneb, yng-had, 

24 or-vawr bystylad. 
Pwy, y tri chynweisad, 

25 a werchedwis wlad ? 
Pwy, y tri chyvarwyS, a 

26 a gedwis arwyS — 
a Saw, wrth awyS, 
erbyn eu harglwy5 ? 

35 Bann rhinweS rhodwyS : 
Bann vy5 hyn^ hoeweS : 3 
2 Bann corn cerSetrwyS : 

56 



THE CHAIR OF TEYRNON 



%^t ttijait Of ®egtnon. 

p-iE declaims a luminous ode, i 
JLc inspired beyond measure, 
about the buffettings of adventure, 
like those of Arthur. 4 

With his lance & his wary shield, 
with his active generals, 
and his sovereign prince, 
and his company of thrusters, 
and his purple cloak, 9 

he pushes forward over the wall : 
He is judiciously bold 
among his agitated retinue. 
He brought, from the great wall, 
creamy horses used to the saddle. 
Teyrnon, the elder, 15 

waits upon his guests : 
he is the third deeply wise 
man to bless Arthur. 
Arthur was praised 
in song by all ; (for) 20 

he would face in battle 
tremendous tumult. 
Who were the three chief ministers, 
who kept guard over the country ? 
Who were the three leaders 25 
who observed the sign — 
who will come with zeal 
to meet their lord ? 
High the merit of a fort in a wood : 
Evident is the pursuit of mirth : 30 
Loud is the horn of the hunt : 

57 



BOOJC OF TALIESIN 

35 Bann biw wrth echwyS : 

3 Bann gwir pan Siscleir — 

bannach pan leveir : 

4 Bann, pan Soeth o bair 

Ogrven awen dair. 
Bum mynawg va.ygr-€v[ 

5 yng-hori' anneSeir. 
Ni 5yly gadeir, 

6 ni gadwo vyng'air — 
Cadeir gyniv glaer : 
Awen huawdl haer. 

7 Pwy enw y tair caer 

rhwng niant a Haer? 

8 Nis gwyr, ni vd taer, 

eisylid eu maer. 
Pedeir caer yssyS 

9 yn-hud PowyssyS. 
Rhieu mor WeryS ! 

10 Am nid vo, nid vy5— 
Nid vyS, am nid vo — 

11 E.ynghesawr a ffo. 
Tohid gwaneg gro ; 

tra dylan dyppo. 

12 Nac aillt, nac adon, 

na bron, na thyno, 
na rhynnawd godo, 
a-ch diffrid yno 

13 rhag gwynt, ban sorho. 
Cadeir teyrn vo ! 

14 celvyS rhwy cadwo : 
cedwitor yng-ho. 

Ceisitor ce«ig 

15 cedwyr colledig. 

58 



THE CHAIR OF TEYRNON 

Lowing the cow at sundown : 32 

Clear is truth when it shines — 

still more clear when it speaks. 
When they emerged from the cauldron 35 

glorious were Ogrven's muses three. 
I was the master of the grand style 

at the dividing line in the stewards' halls. 
None will merit the chair 

who observes not my law — 40 

the glorious chair of the contest : 
The muse of the eloquent is dogmatic. 
What are the names of the three forts 

twixt flood-tide and ebb ? 44 

Only the persistent can learn of 

the expulsion of their steward. 
Four strongholds there are 

in the Powysian country. 48 

Ye lords of the Irish sea ! 

what may not be will not be — 

It will not be because it may not be — 

Your fleets shall flee. 52 

The wave will cover the shingle — 

beyond the very bank it will flow. 
Nor villain, nor lord, 

nor hill-slope, nor plain, 56 

nor a considerable shelter, 

will protect you then 

from the tempest, when it rages. 
The chair of a ruler be it ; 60 

Skilful (the bard) who shall hold it — 

It shall be kept in memory. 
A ballad shall be attempted 

to the perished warriors. 64 

59 



BOOK OF TAUESIN 

35 Tebygav SuH dig, 65 

diva pendevig 

16 o 6ull di-wynnig. 
O leon lurig 

17 dyrchavawd gwledig, 
terwynn, hynevig. 70 

18 Briwhawd bragad vrig, 

breinawl, eisorig. 
Orig ym-erwin 

19 am dervyn whevrin — 
ieith oe5 eSein. 75 

Aches ffysciolin 

20 mordwyeid merin — 
^-blant Saraphin. 

21 Dogn dwvn di-werin ; 

Dyllyngem Elphin. 80 



DtaDeir QteriBtaien. 

*/3EEN, rhymawyr ditheu i 

J—* gyreiveint o-m careSeu, 
23 Yn-eweint, ym-hylgeineu 

Ilewychawd vy Heuvereu. 4 

25 Mynnwn hoedl viniawg va/ ILeu, 

a weleis ynia gynheu : 

26 Diwe5 yn ILechweS vu i Leu : 

Bu wr5 i hwrS yng-hadeu. s 
36 Avag5u, vy mab inheu, 
dedwyS, DovyS rwygoreu. 
3 Yng-hyvamrysson gerSeu, u 

oe5 gwell i synhwyr noT veu. 

60 



THE CHAIR OF TEYRNON 

I deem it a savage custom 65 

to destroy a prince 
after a foul fashion. 
Out of the mailed legion es 

will arise a Gwledig, 
brilliant, elderly. 
He will smash the first of the clan, 
the prescriptive, chosen (heir). 72 

Shortly he will grow exasperated, 
because of the border harshness — 
the very language was passing away. 
Swift the approach 76 

of the sea-rovers — 
the fosterlings of Saraphim. 
Grievous is the solitary dungeon ; 
We must set Elffin free. 80 



%^t ttjjair of KetiDtocn. 

'T'i'ORD, be thou mindful of i 

X-^ forgiveness for my sins. 
At midnight, and at cock-crow 

My lights shall shine. 4 

I could wish for an adventurous life like 

ILeu's, whom I saw here erstwhile. 
He, in ELechweS, met his end — 

eager had been his attack in battle. 
AvagSu, my own son, g 

discreet the Lord created him : 
In the minstrel competitions 

his wit was superior to mine. u 

61 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

36 CelvySav gwr a gigleu — 13 

4 Gwydion ab Don, dygn vertlieu, 
a hudwys wraig o vlodeu, 

5 a 5y5ug voch o Deheu. 16 
Can bu iSaw 5ysc oreu, 

6 dyd i vryd i agor pletheu. 
Ev a rithwys orwySawd 

7 yar logawd Pryderi lys, 20 
ac en-weris gyvrwyeu. 

8 Pan varnher y cadeireu, 

ar-benhig u5un y veu ; 

9 Vyng-hadeir a beir SeSvon, 24 

a-m areith dry-n awdl gysson. 

10 Rhym-gelwir Cyvrwys yng-lwys lys Don — 

11 mi, ac Euronwy, a TMyrnon. 
Gweleis ymlaS taer, yng-Haer IFrancon, 28 

13 bryd pylgeint, rhwng Gwytheint a Gwydion. 
Dyvieu, yn geugant, y5 aethant Von, 

14 i geisaw n escud am hudolion. 

15 Aranrod drem-glod, tra gwawr hinon ; 32 

Mwyhav gwarth, i marth, o barth Brilhon. 

16 Dyvrys, am i Ilys, evnys avon ; 

Llynghes a-i hechrys ; gwrys wrth terra. 
18 Gwenwyn i chyn-wyd, cylch byd y5 4. 36 
Nid wy Syweid geu, Hyvreu Beda. 
Cadeir gedwidyS yssyS yma ; 

20 hyd vrawd parahawd yn Europa. 
A-n rothwy, Drindawd ! 40 

21 drugareS SySbrawd ; 

a chardawd gwyrda. 1=. 

62 



THE CHAIR OF KERIDWEN 

The most artful man, of whom I have heard, is 13 
Gwydion, the son of Don : endless his resources. 
He enchanted a maid out of flowers, 
and brought pigs from the South. 16 

In virtue of his thorough training 

he delights in straightening tangles. 
He enchanted a number of horses 
within the precincts of Pryderi'% Court ; 20 

he also imitated saddles. 
When the chairs are compared, 
mine will lead them all — 
my chair will set the laws, and 24 

my speech will ever turn to poetry. 
I am named Cunning in the fair court of D&n — 

I, and Euronwy, and Teyrnon. 27 

I witnessed a persistent fight at Caer IFrancon 
at cockcrow, twixt Gwytheint & Gwydion. 
One Thursday, in particular, they went towards Mon 

to seek diligently for charms. 31 

The glory of Aranrod's looks exceeds summer dawn : 
Most disgraceful the harrying of her by the Scotti : 
Enemies from the Menei rush round her court ; 34 
a fleet terrifies her ; it menaces close to land. 
The infection of her early passion will circle the globe : 
The writings of Bede do not bear false witness. 

The Guardian's chair is this here ; 38 

till doom, in Europe, it will endure. 
May the Trinity grant us 
mercy on the day of judgment ; 
also, the charity of the nobility. lb. 42 

63 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 



eRIV gyvarch gelvyS, pan rylead? 
Pwy cynt, a-i towyll, a'i goleuad ? 
1 Neu A5av, pan vu ? pa i Sygread ? 

3 neu ydan dydwed, pyr y seilad ? 

4 A voUei honnyn, nis myn pwyllad. 5 
YssyS bechadur am-nivereid, 

5 collawd wlad nevwy, plwyv offereid. 

Bore vebin, d61 ; s 

6 OT gwinont, ceir bel. 
Ar Eingl AllwySel 

gwnaont eu rhyvel. 

7 Pan Saw nos, a dyS ? 12 
Pan vy5 Ilwyd eryr? 

8 Pan yw towyll nos ? 
Pan yw gwyrS Hinos ? 

Mor, pan 5y verwid ? 16 

9 cw5 i nis gwelid. 
Yssid deir ffynnawn 

ymynyS s^Hawn. 

10 Yssid Gaer gorchawn 20 

a'dan donn eigawn. 

11 Go-ryth'gyvarchawr 

pwy enw y porthawr. 

12 Pwy vu beriglawr 24 

i vab Meir mwynvawr? 
Pa vesssur mwy^av 

13 a orug adav ? 

Pwy vessur ufifern ? 28 

Pwy tewhed i Ilenn ? 

14 Pwy lied i geneu? 
Pwy maint i en-ieineu? 

64 



TALIESIN'S BARDIC LORE 



^alieein'e 3SaiDit Hate. 



HE Seer's primal questioning, when was it answered ? 
Which came first, or darkness, or light ? = 

Or Adam, when was he ? of what was he created ? 
Or under the sward, what was the foundation laid ? 
He, who has accepted assertions, cares not for reasoning. 
He who sins times without number will forfeit 
the heavenly country, the home of devotion. 

The striplings's morning, may it dawn ; 8 

If they use the spear, there will be trouble. 
Upon the Anglo-Irish of Tegeingl 
may they make their war. 
Whence come night and day ? u 

Whence is brown the eagle ? 
Whence is dark the night ? 
Whence is green the linnet ? 
The sea, whence was it storm-tossed ? i6 

Whither it goes, no one has seen. 
There are three fountains 

on mount Serion. 
There is a towering fort ^o 

under the wave of the sea. 
Thou wilt be much questioned, 

as to the name of the door-keeper. 
Who was the shriving priest 34 

of Mary's gracious son ? 
What was the greatest measuring 

done by hand ? 
Who will measure Inferno? 38 

How thick is its covering ? 
How wide its entrance ? 
How great its degrees of cold ? 

E 65 



BOOJC OF TALIESIN 

I Neu vlaen gwyS ffaliwm, 32 
py estwng mor grwm ? 
neu py rinw^Son 

16 yssyS yn eu bon ? 

Nu, BLeu a Gwydion, 36 

17 buant gelvySion : 
neuT wSant lyvrion, 
pa« wnant ledrithion. 

18 Pan Saw nos liant, 40 

pan vy5 yn-i-vant ? 
Cw5 k nos rhag dy5 ? 

19 Pan Saw noswylyS ? 

Patria nostra ambulo, 44 

zo gentfs in adiuvando : 
Tonans, simili? signum, 

21 rogitans forta c«j/rum. 
Am-wibiwn ni am gymyS — 48 

22 Am-geisant wj/ 5eu gelvyS. 
Am Gaer, gerein a-dan 5y5 

23 rhydynn eirch pwythwr SovyS ; 
yn-wyviant ys 4n yn lluyi. 52 

24 CafFwynt, yn Sirdan, 

Gymry yn griSvan. 
as Provator eneid, 

rhag Ilwyth eisylleid. 56 

Kymry briv Sirieid — 

26 rhann rhygoll bwyeid. 
Gwae I hir ucheneid, 

a-s gwyar honneid. 60 

27 DySoent, gwarthvor, 

wySveirch Si-ar vor, 

28 ar Eingl yng-hyngor. 63 

66 



TALIESIN'S BARDIC LORE 

Or the leaders of the barberry bushes, 33 
why do they bend so archedly ? 
or what are the medicaments 
which are in their stems ? 
Now, ILeu & Gwydion 36 

have been wizards ; 
they know the (SibyiUne) books, 
hence they practise enchantments. 
Whence cometh the flood of darkness 
when it is in evanishment ? 41 

Whither doth night retire before day ? 
Whence cometh the eventide ? 
In our native land I wander, 44 

a-helping of the clans : 
Thundering, I simulate a portent, 

eagerly inquiring for the strong fort. 
(While) we wander about the coombs, 

they are seeking for two wizards. 49 

The hubbub, at dawn, draws around the 

fort the ships of the shoe-making chief; 
Wantonly they go, a great company. 52 
Far and wide, they find 

Wales in distress. 
The very soul has been tried 
by the wandering horde. 56 

Kymr/s chief misfortune is 
the lost blessing of the mass. 
O misery ! long the groaning, 

which bleeds persistently. fo 

There will come, athwart the sea, 
ships to the shore, 
unto the Angles in Council. 63 

E 2 67 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

I Gwelawr arwySion 64 

gwynieith ar Saeson. 

29 Claudus in Syon 

o rwyvanusson. 67 

30 ByShawt penn seiron 

rhag IFichti lewon — 

marini Brithion. 70 

31 RhySar-o-ganon 

am vedi heon, 
am Havren avon. 

32 O lad ffradyr cynna, 74 

masswy fissa mala — 
eu fTwyr iiiinied. Sela. 

33 Dir-drinei tra oedei ; 

Creawdwr or-iol«i ; 78 

34 ILu gentis dif&m, 
gO'S'pwyll^, go-5ygnei. 
CoSei ev oscorS mur, 

35 a gorvu a mein-5ur. Sa 

X^euT vum gan wyr celvySon — 

Math H6n, a Lieu, a Gwydion, 
3 pan rez'^wyd c«u elestron. 85 

B%i7n gan'hym5eith achwyson, 

3 vlwyddyn yng-Haer Ovanhon. 
Wyv h6n, wyv newyS wy5on : 

wyv swyv, wyv synhwyi" ccinon. 

4 Dygoviaz' Syhen Vrithion — 90 

GwySyl, kyl Sifferogion. 
s Ys meSud a wna meSwon. 

Wyv bar5 — ni ri«av i eillon : 
6 Wyv Hyw, wyv syw amrysson. 94 

68 



TALIESIN'S BARDIC LORE 

Signs of deliverance are seen 64 

on the part of the Saxons, 
who had been shut up in Seen, 
by the dominating peoples. 67 

The chief engineers shall act 
against the bold Picts, 
(and) the sea-roving Scotti. 70 

They prophesy about 
reaping what they sow 
beyond the river Severn. 
By the blessing of a very good frate 
calamities, disunited, will die down — 75 

their assault will be weakened. Alleluia. 
He was in constant conflict while he lived ; 
The Creator he fervently worshipped ; 
The host of the nation he defended, 

civilised it somewhat, and gently chided. So 
He harassed the guards of the wall, 
and conquered them with pointed steel. 

X. was with the wise men — 

Math the old, and Lieu, and Gwydion, 84 

when the hollow reeds were enchanted. 
I was the companion of courtiers, 

for a year, in Caer Ovanhon. 
I am the ancient, I am the modern lore ; 88 

I am the animation and the wit of feasts. 
I remember well the ancient Scotti, 

(and) the GwySyl, defenders of the furnace. 
// is drinking which makes the drunkard. 92 
I am a bard, I will not prophesy to strangers : 

I am the leader, and the life of competition. 

69 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

3 Ys hei ar a hei, 95 

ec a hei, nis medi. 

7 Di-r ffradyr yn i ffradri, 

posveirS bronrein a 5yvi : 

8 ASevhont, uch meS lestri, 

y gwnahont gam varSoni. joo 

9 A geisont ged^ nis deubi, 

lo heb gyvreith, heb raith rho5i ; 

a gwedy hynn, digoni 
.1 brithvyd, o vryd dyvysci, 104 

na da, ?iu heSwch, ni-w bi. 
Ervyn : ot erchych ni-th vi, 

12 Reen rymawyr we5i : 

13 Rhag ing, rhym-gwares moli 108 

Brenhin gogoniant, a-n Rhi. 
A-m go'gyvarch un celvyS : — 

14 "A weleist, gadarn arglwyS, m 

Sarogan BuSiant Uffern? — 

HiC NEMO PROGENIEM." 

16 Dillyngwyrf torv avlaiven, 

per Domin? virtutem : 
Eu caethnawd a gowyllis — 116 

17 Sic salvi i/si estis. 

A chyn bo un bai arnoch, 

18 ter-wyn boch i Duw diheu. 119 

19 A chyn y mynhwyv i-m dervyn cleu, 

cyn del ewynvriw ar vyng-eneu, 

20 cyn vyng-hyvalleu ar llatheu pren, 

21 boed i-m heneid y da gyve5eu. 123 
A-breiS a'm dyweid Ilythyr Ilyvreu 

22 vod cystuS gwedy gwely angheu. 
At sawl a gigleu vym-arS gyvreu, 

34 rhyphrynwynt wlad nev, aSev goreu. jb> 

70 



TALIESWS BARDIC LORE 

You can sow what you will, 95 

for all you sow, you will not reap. 
To the frate in the friary a troop 

of swollen-breasted bards do come. 
They admit, over the mead cups, that 

they cultivate the muse irregularly. 100 

They that seek a boon shall not have it, 

regardless of law, and the rule of giving ; 

and they that seek thereafter to create 

mischief, from sheer love of anarchy, 

shall have, nor presents, nor peace. 105 

Supplicate : if you ask for what you cannot 

have, the Lord will bear in mind your prayer. 
When hard pressed, I have found relief in 

worshipping the King of Glory, our Father. 
An ingenious man greets me thus : no 

" Hast thou seen, mighty master, the pro- 
phecy concerning the Gain of Hell ? — 
There, no one (bears an) offspring." 
A miserable crowd was set free 

by the merit of the Lord, 115 

who dowered their bonded state — 

thus are ye yourselves saved. 
And before ye have any failing, 

may ye be fervent to the true God. 
And before I wish for a speedy end ; no 

before I foam at the mouth ; and 

before my association with the boards, 

may my soul enjoy the good festivals. 
Scarcely do books tell me that there 

will be suffering after the bed of death. us 
And such as have heard my bardic lore, 

let them secure heaven, the happiest home. V> 

71 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 



HDWYN rin, penyd grin yn rhyred ; 
arall aS-wyn, pan vy5 dym-gwared. 

8 A5-wyn meS, nwy gomeS o gyffred ; 

23 arall a5-wyn, yam gym cyvyved. 4 
A5-wyn wartkegyZ, Nu5, ar breiS nav ; 
as arall aS-wyn, hael wyl o \ud hav. 
A5'wyn aeron amser cynhaeav ; 
arall a5-wyn, gwenith ar galav. 8 

27 AS-wyn heul yn uchel yn nwyvre ; 
arall a5-wyn, rhytha^hwyr, a-i 5e. 

9 AS'wyn amws myng-vras ymangre ; 

3 arall aS-wyn, march dilyw, hwe. 13 
A5-wyn cant ac ariant am-aerwy ; 

arall a5-wyn, i vorwyn, modrwy. 

4 AS'wyn cryr, ar Ian Ilyr, ban Ilanhwy ; 

arall a5-wyn, gvvylein yn gwarwy. 16 

5 AS'wyn marchawg- ac eurgalch gylchwy ; 

arall a5-wyn, a5-wyn yn adwy. 
A5-wyn Einawn, meSig i liaws ; 
1 arall a5'wyn, cellawr hael, hynaws. 20 
A5-wyn Mei i gogeu ac eaws ; 
arall aSwyn, pan vy5 hinon haws. 
9 A5-wyn rh/eiw, a pherffeith neithawr ; 
arall a5-wyn, cyvlwyn a garhawr. 34 
A5-wyn bryd wrlh benyd periglawr ; 

11 arall a5-wyn, dy 5wyn yn allawr. 
A5-wyn meS yng-hynte5 i gerSawr ; 

12 arall aS-wyn, am dervyn torv vawr. 28 
A5-wyn cleir catholig yn eglwys ; 

arall a5-wyn, hyneiv neuaSwys. 

72 



THE PLEASANT THINGS OF TAUESIN 

%^t pleasant t^^inos of ^aliesin. 

•j'^LEASANT the feeling that penance kills excess ; 
Jt, pleasant, too, will be the hour of deliverance. 
Pleasant is mead ; none will refuse it with reason : 

Pleasant too around the horns to drink together, t, 
Pleasant herdsman is Nu5 over the Lord's flock ; 

pleasant, too, a generous feast of the summer's 
Pleasant are fruits in harvest time ; [wealth. 

pleasant, too, is wheat on the stalk. s 

Pleasant is the sun on high in the sky ; p., too, 

is his looming large of an evening at his setting. 
Fine is the long-maned stallion in the stud, n 

and pleasant the horse that is quiet without a bit. 
Pleasant is a bracelet and necklace of silver : 

pleasant, too, to a maid is a wedding ring. 14 

Fair is the heron on the tidal reach at its 

flooding, & beautiful are the gulls at play. 
Comely is the knight with gold-enamelled shield ; 

and blest is the merciful in the breach. 18 

Pleasant is Einon, a physician to many ; pleasant, 

too, a generous, good-natured cellarer. 
Pleasant is May to cuckoos and nightingales ; 

pleasant, too, when summer is more advanced, u 
Pleasant is a bride and a perfect wedding feast ; 

pleasing, too, is a betrothal to one that is loved. 
Noble the resolution under the penance of the 

priest, and blest thine offering unto the altar. ii 
Pleasant is mead, within the court, to the minstrel ; 

p., too, to be beyond the edge of a great crowd. 
Delightful are the broad-minded clerics of a church, 

and pleasing the elders of an assembly. 30 

73 



BOOX: OF TALIESIN 

8 A5-wyn plwyv cynrrwyv, Dwyv a'i towys ; 

arall aS-wyn, amser paradwys. 32 

15 A5-wyn Iloer, Ilewychawd yn elvyS ; 

arall aS-wyn pan da 5ym-govy5. 
AS-wyn hav ac arav hwyr hirSyS ; 
17 arall aSwyn, a-threi5 a gery5. 36 

A5-wyn blodeu ar warthav perwyS ; 

arall a5-wyn, a-chre cerenhyS. 
ig A5'wyn di-dryv i ewig ac elein ; 

arall a5-wyn, cynawr a-m harwein. 40 

20 AS'wyn Huarth, pan llwyS i genhin ; 

arall a5-wyn, cadavarth yn egin. 

21 A5-wyn eSystr yng'hebystr Hedrin ; 

arall a5-wyn, cyweithas brenhin. 44 

23 AS'wyn glew, nwy go-leith go-gyweg ; 

arall aS-wyn, i ellein gallineb. 

24 A5-wyn grug pan vytho ehoeg ; 

arall a5-wyn, morva i wartheg. 48 

25 AS'wyn dymhor, pan dynn Hoi laeth ; 

arall aS'wyn, e«wyn maeronaeth. 

26 Ac ysj_)'S i mi aS-wyn nid gwaeth, 51 

a'thal llawn vual wrth dal meSweith. 

27 Ad-wyn i bysc y llyn y Ilywiawd ; 

10 arall a5-wyn, gor-alw gwaryhawd. 54 

2 A5-wyn gair a leveir y Drindawd ; 

arall a5'wyn, penyd i bechawd. 

3 Ys a5-wynhav o bob a5-wyndawd, 

caffel cerenhyS DovyS SySbrawd. js 

74 



THE PLEASANT THINGS OF TALIESIN 

Delightful are a united people, God leading it ; 

delightful too the age of innocence. 33 

Pleasant the moon that shines on earth ; 

pleasant, too, when the good you recall. 
Pleasant is summer, & the lingering dusk of a long 

day ; pleasant, too, the communion thou lovest. 36 
Beautiful are the flowers on the fruit-trees, 

and delightful the budding of friendship. 
Pleasant is solitude to the roe and fawn ; 

pleasant, too, a huntsman to guide me. 40 

Pleasant the garden when vegetables flourish ; 

and sweet the charlock in young corn. 
Pleasant the charger that is bridled ; 

pleasant, too, the fellowship of a King. 44 

Glorious the brave whom indecision will not destroy ; 

glorious, too, his splendid circumspection. 
Pleasant the heath when it is green ; 

pleasant, too, the meadow to the cows. 48 

Pleasant the season when calves draw milk ; 

pleasant, too, the butter-milk of the dairy. 

And what is to me no less pleasant, 51 

the guerdon of a full horn beside the mead-vat. 
Pleasant to the fish the water he steers in : 

pleasant, too, to call decisively for the play. 54 

Pleasant the message the Trinity delivers ; 

pleasant, too, (that there is) a penance for sin. 
The pleasantest of every pleasant thing — 

the assured friendship of the Lord at the last. 58 

75 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Kanu Owein GwyneS. 

aRIEN yr EchwyS, 
haelav 5yn bedy5 ! 
57 ILiaws a ro5y5, 
IS i Synion elvyS. 
Mai y cynuHyS, 
i6 y5 arf-wesceryS. 
ILawen, beir5 bedy5, 
tra vo dy vuchyS. 
17 Ys mavir HewenyS, 

gan glodvan, clod rhyS : 
la Ys mwy gogoniant — 

bo5 Urien, a-i blant. i 
Ev yn arbennig, 
gor-uchel wledig — 
dinas pellennig — 
ceimad cynteig. i 

ILoegrwys a-i gwySant, 
pan ym'adroSant. 
Angheu a gawsant, 
a mynych goSiant — 2 
llosci eu trevred, 
a dwyn eu tuSed. 
Gorvlwng o golled, 
a mawr ang-hyffred ; j 
heb gaffel gwared 
rhag Urien Rheged. 
Rheged 5iffreidad, 2 

clodvawr angor gwlad ! 
Bo5 yssy5 arnad, 
o bob erglywad. 3 

76 



THE PRAISE OF OWEIN GIVYNEDD 

The praise of Owein GwyneS. 

aRIEN, (lord) of the West, 
and most generous Christian ! 
Very many things thou givest 

to the men of the world. 4 

As soon as thou gatherest, 

thou scatterest again. 
Joyful, Christian bards will be, 

while thy life endures. s 

A great joy is liberal 

praise from the famed. 
But greater glory is the 

favour of Urien & his sons. ■> 

He is our leader, 

and sovereign ruler — the 

strong shield of the stranger, 

and foremost champion. 16 

The ILoegrians shall know it, 

when they come to negotiate. 
Slaughter they have suffered, 

and frequent tribulation : ao 

the burning of their homesteads, 

& the taking of their coat of mail. 
Very sullen (are they), 

from loss and great hardship, 24 

without finding deliverance 

from Urien of Rheged. 
Rheged's Protector, and 27 

glorious Anchor of the country ! 
Thou hast the good-will 

of every tongue that is heard. 30 

77 



BOOJC OF TALIESIN 

Dwys dy beleidrad, 
ban ergyryS gad. 3" 

58 Cad, ban SygyrchyS, 
gwynieith a wney5. 

2 Tenid tei cyn dy5, 

rhag u5 yr Echwy5 — 36 

3 yr Echwy5 teccav, 
a-i dynion haelav. 

Gnawd Eingl heb waesav 

4 am deyrn glewhav, 40 
Glewhav eisiHyS — 

5 ti oreu yssyS ; 

A vu, or a vy5 — 

6 ni'th oes gystedlyS. 44 
Ban dremher arllaw, 

ehelaeth dy braw : 
gnawd gwyleS a A4aw 
am deyrn gognaw. 48 

Am-danat gwyrA^eS, 
lliaws maranheS, 
Eurdeyrn GogleS — 
unben teyrneS. 52 

T T T 

Rhun ap Owein GwyneS. 

yN i enw Ev, wledig nev or-chorSion, 1 
rhychanav, rhychwynav yn dragon. 
64 Gwrthodes o-gyvres gwerySon ; ; 

ILiaws gryS Run ab nu5 o Iwyth Mon. 
2 Ni oruchav cerS beirS i o-verthon : 
Rhyve5 vael a ry5 hael lywySon. ( 

78 



THE PRAISE OF OWEIN GWYNEDD 

Serious are thy spear-thrusts, ji 

when instigating the fight : 

when thou enterest the list 

thou dost effect dehverance. 
Houses were set on fire, ere dawn, 35 

from dread of the Lord of the West. 

The West is most fair, 

and her men most generous. 38 

The Angles are habitually unreliable 

on behalf of a prince that is very brave. 
Very brave are thy sons, 

but thou art the best. 41 

Among those who were, or will be, 

thou hast not a peer. 
Upon close observation, 45 

wide is thy experience ; (though) 

modesty and silence are usual 

about the activity of a prince. 48 

Thou art clothed in virtues, 

like sand in number. 
Thou art the golden ruler of GogleS, 

and supreme head of princes. s» 

T T T 

Elegy to Rhun, son of 0. GwyneS. 

IN His name, the Lord of Heaven's glorious i 

company, I will extol, I will lament our leader. 
He rejected the order of celibates ; the people 

sigh for Rhun, son of the lord of Mona's race. 4 

The bards' art cannot over-exalt his fine gifts : 
Wondrous the bounty which generous leaders bestow. 

79 



BOOK OF TALIESm 

64 Un He — rhygethlyS leithig — rhySlyav ; 
4 rhychanav i wledig ; « 

i wlad, tudwed er-grynig, 
nim gwel ; nis gwnav ot newig. 
6 An-haw5 wng dyoHwng ad-lone5 : 
Ev dififyg yn gwledig — ni orweS : n 

Edrychwn ad-wyth trwm u5 Gwyne5 ; 
8 yn i vyw nis henyw bu5 or be5. 
Ni 5ygner a hoffer : wy buchynt 

galettach, aruthrach deith hael hynt. i6 
lo Twrv pressen tra Phryden ryphryder ; 
Go-hoew lurigawr a rylyccrer. 
A rytharvant lawr a ryvarnher : 
12 Rhyvarn pawb, yng-wrthawd, ban glywher 
am yn ceimat yn ing nad ad-alwer. 21 

Nid ingwr di'law roed yn-aered, 
14 namyn gwas graid i wrhyd a o'drawed. 
Ys eithawg o wallawd yn Ilywed, 34 

hwyr weSwid o belid ar'debed. 
16 Ni ovyn i nebun a wnelher ; 
Nid i mi nac i chwi y dar-wetter. 
Tew vydav 5iwe5 hav nis cynnyS, aS 

18 namyn awel yr oervel at diffyh. 
Os Owein ni wyrein or newyh, 

whegach vyfi \haiu genaw i henyS. 

19 HweSleuawg drwySedawg draethodyn — 32 

teyrneS yng-WyneS nwy ^erchyn. 

20 Me5 vig, tebig heul hiv huenyS, 

soneS gan mwyhav. Ys cenhedyS 

gin Soeth ygan Iwys veib eilassav. 36 

22 Bint bydevi derw itti bryd hiv. 

Pryd mab Heenawg am aeth buarth Ttarth : 
am wawl, gwyn wawl Run : mal gwyn gnes 

25 Tra gynnis, yS enghis heb warchawd : 40 

80 



ELEGY TO RHUN 

One place, the master-singer's seat, is my right ; ^ 

I will sing to the Gwledig ; 
His country, a state perturbed, 
will not see me ; I cannot revive it. 
It is a hard task to restore cheerfulness : 
Our Ruler is failing ; he cannot rest. 12 

Behold the heavy misfortune of GwyneS's lord, who, 

in his day, will derive no comfort from the grave. 
There is no tiring of the loved : we could wish for them 

the more arduous, more eventful journey of a long life. 
The present turmoil, beyond Prydein, causes anxiety ; 

shining coats of mail will be tarnished. 
They who disturb the country will be judged severely : 
These all will condemn, when they hear 20 

of our champion's abiding distress. 
It is no helpless stripling that was consigned to earth, 

but a youth, of ardent heroism, who had been smitten. 
Dolorous from loss is our leader, who 

has been lately bereft of a radiant countenance. 25 

He asks of no one what is being done ; 
Neither to me nor to you does he speak much. 
A crowded hive in autumn does not increase ; 

rather the blast of the cold destroys it. 
If Omein cannot renew his vigour, dearer 30 

to him the whelp of his old stock becomes. 
The gossipy, recitative verse of the roving bard 

the princes in GwyneS would not honour. 
As the sun promotes summer haze, so mead promotes 

chatter for the most part. Thou permittest 35 

a wise lay by the serious sons of harmony. 
Let them be as oak-swarms to thee in summer time. 
The literateur will sing of the camp's sorrow — of the 

radiance, the bright radiance of Rhun : like the mist's 

luminous mantle, while rising, he disappeared unnoticed ; 

r 81 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

64 A chleS cle5iva</ i glevychaa/i^. 
=6 Nid am-dyrr i gedwyr i ledrad, 

namyn yng'hyd ym-yscwyd y gywlad. 

65 Rhydyllyn, XxX-vriwyn yscwydawr — 

rhactaleu, bron-horeu y marchawr. 
3 O garnial drwst Morial dychwelud : 

Rhyth-gar /&, rhi-allu y Gwyadyd. 
3 Rhywystlan, gweinySaw yn Goludawg, 
o Glwyd ael hyd yng'ha.er veh Carawg. 
Ys dadl hir Pen prys dir : An-wallawg 
5 teyrneS dewr Wyneh dangweSawg. 



ArSwyre Rheged. 

HR-DWYRE Rheged, rhyseS rhieu, 
ev it rhygostis, cyn nis bwy teu. 
61 Gnissynt gad lavnawr, a chad vereu ; 
3 Gwysynt wyr ydan gylchwyawr ffleu, 

a chwySyn yn gelein r^ag yn martheu. 
5 Ni mad vrwydrwyd rhi, ac ni'd mad geu ; 
y5 armerth gwledig wrth gym-riweu ; 
Neu-s gyrr i'w neges i geisadon. i 

7 Goxhawn varthawd mwth — mollavvd wzrion : 

O dreig/ dylawr daw adwythaw/ donn. 
9 Ni Soeth Wlff yn-hrais a-r 'zeeis i alon, 

oni Soeth Urien 5y5 yn Aeron. i; 

10 Nu, bu gyvergyr ; ni chymriwys 

dalgynawd Urien yrag Powys : 

11 Ni bu hyvrwd bryd echen yrrvvys. 
HyveiS a or5in, a-r llu tovvys : n 



ELEGY TO RHUN 

With the sword was smitten his dolour. 41 

His warriors do not break loose into theft, 

but, unitedly, they give the March a shaking. 
They pierce, they shiver the edges of the shields ; the 

frontlets, & breast-plates of the horses. From the 45 

caracoUing of the tumult of Morial thou hast returned. 
The men of the Venedotian sovereign power love thee. 
They pledge themselves to serve our prince, 48 

from the Clwydian border to the grave-fort of Carawg. 
Long disputed is the land of Penprys. Faultless 

are the brave princes of peaceful Gwyne5. ji 



The Rising of Marchia. 

HE rising of Marchia, the excess of its chiefs, i 
cost thee dearly, before it was thine. 

They brandished the blades and spears of war : 

They summoned, under the spreading shields, men 4 
who fell dead before our blows. It was 
impolitic to fight the sovereign, & is to be false, 
(for) a ruler prepares retributive penalties : 
He will send on his business the tax gatherers. 8 

Quickly the blow will fall, even upon the innocent : 
From the piling of taxes comes destruction. 

J?anu\f did not molest his enemies, 
until Urien, one day, arrived in Aeron. la 

Then there was a conflict, (but) it did not bruise 
the uplifted front of Urien before Powys : 

Nor was there enthusiasm about the men (R.) sent. 

HyveiS presses forward, and leads the host : 16 

F, 83 



BOOA' OF TALIESIN 

61 Nil, dewr yw yn ym-5eith taith gwy5 rtvwys : 
Di'vevl y dySwyn a gynllwynwys : 

14 Y-gan waed, GwySen avon liv%vys. 

Gweles LwyvenyS ; i y4u5y5 gygiyn : 20 

15 yn Si'oed ciliwyd yn eil vehyn. 

C4d, yn Rhyd ar Glwyd, gad Syvynner : 
17 C4d, ger Ilawr Brehyr, gad hir eurer : 

C4d, ym-hi-ysc Aliin, gad oleuir : 24 

Cid, yn Abeii, oeS gyvranc Sir — 
briwed mawr gludweir ; j)/ng'weith Pen Coed, 
20 Ilwyr y Hithr cynran ar or-mant gwaed. 

Adveilaw yna wyn gor-uchyd : 28 

Cyd mynnan Degeingl, eSyl wrthryd, 
22 o ledruS gyvranc ac WlfF yn Rhyd. 

Gwell carher gwledig aned yn u5 : 

Prydein ben-berchen brwysclawn m bjS : 32 
24 neu'd ym-5ug SiHad, a glas aesuwT, 
a cha/ch ehoeg wyg mor, neu lawr. 
26 Ar-5odes vorSwyd dros veirch Maelawr, 

o geneSl Voelyrch, yni mor reidawl. 36 

62 Hav ydan aeav, arav yn Haw, 

3 o red a roSwyd i'w harwylaw ; 

a gwest ydan geirS i-w dz'-wj'raw ; 

ac hyd orffen byS edrywyS caw. 40 

4 BySin yscubaw/, dyhawl am weS, 

am 5elw di-lewr ; am leurf/reS. 

5 Myvi edrycheis ar weis rhag gwyS, 

peleidr ar yscwyS, yscwyd yn Haw — 44 

7 Godeu a Rheged yn cjyd-^u'ilia.w. 
Myvi a weleis wr — cei's ym-uarthawr — 

sarff virein vonheS, senghidyS lawr : 
9 Ev go-wyr ryvel y5 ar-goHawr, 48 

a'r maint a gollwyd yn argoedawr. 

84 



THE RISING OF MARCHIA 

Bravely he adventures the pass of the woody ravines : 

Without a hitch he carries out his ambuscades : 

With blood ike streamlet Gv/y^en j^ows. 

He came to ILwyvenyS ; /ter lords tremble, & 20 

straightway there was a retreat into another place. 

There was, at Rhu51an, a battle that will be cited : 

There was, near the Baron's land, a battle that will be glorified : 

There was, in the scrub oi Alun, a battle that will be trumpeted. 

There was, at the Abers, a calamitous event — a great 25 
flotilla was broken up : in the fight of Pen Coed 
a chief slips fatally on the profusion of blood. 

Thereupon the English lust of supremacy dies away ; 
while their opponents insist on having Tegeingl 29 

after the gory enterprise with RanuM at the Ford. 

More beloved is the ruler that was born a lord : 

Prydein's over-lord is never reckless : 32 

He always bears mail, and shield of blue, 
and armour coloured like sea-weed, or grass. 
He casts his thigh over the steeds of Maelor 
of the Moelyrch breed : though so mettlesome, 36 

summer and winter, they are quiet to handle, 
because of the race-course provided to train them, 
and the whip-cord, in disgrace, to correct them : 
to the end this discipline will be evident. 40 

The invading army clamours for a sight, 
for the presence of the destroyer, and for open lands. 

I watched these men before the brake, 
with lances on shoulder, and shield in hand — 44 

I watched Godeu and Rheged marshalling together. 

I saw the chief — ^observe him in the camps — 
a dragon of fine lineage, the trampler of the land. 

He knows, now, something of the war that is lost, 48 

and the extent of the loss in the woods. 

85 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

62 Minheu ym-or-wyth vwythus veSlyn, 
II gan Hyvei5 hywr — hywest Silyn. 

Ev ni-s cenhedis gyscawd gweithen, 5» 

13 5i threchu rhieu, rhadeu Ilawen. 

Ys gwasawf gwlad 5a wrthvrwyrfr Urien. 

14 Oni vallwyv, yn hen, 

i-m dygn angheu anghen, 56 

jj ni bySiv un 5irwen 

oni volwyv Urien. jl=> 

Cad, Trwyn Moelvre . 1157. 

yN enw Gwledig nev, Goludawg — ■ i 
hydrevnid vywyd cynheilwawg ; 

29 Eirig i rethren rieSawg ; 

23 RhiyS gar ryvel gor-herwawg. 4 

Ev differth aS-vwyn lann ILeinawg ; 

25 a thorhid un hwch ardwyawg. 

Hil dychyvervyS o vre«^in — a'i gym- 

16 horth o borth mawr Cerdin. s 

30 Ni chymeryn gyverbyn, 
Cyvoeih cyweithyS Clydwyn. 

2 Digonwyd, acies y Ilynghes, o beleidr 

o blygheid bren mes : 12 

Gwerinos a-u rhygyrches : 

3 Prenial i bawb eu trachwres. 
Ang-hyvnein o gadeu Sygnes Wallawg : 

Gwell gwySawf nog aches. 16 

5 Cadr a gyngres, o achles gwawd 
gognaw, a Sivrawd 5igones. 
Cad, ym-ro Trwyn Moehrc, drwy bres 

7 marwaw/, an'veidrawl y trancres. 20 

8 Cadr a-u cym'xiwhyiy, ganhawon ! 
Cahad cad ; cryned yn Aeron. 

86 



THE RISING OF MARCHIA 

Meanwhile / quaff freely the luxurious mead 

with HyveiS, the bold, who follows hospitality. 
(HyveiS) never allows the shadow of war 52 

to damp the high spirits of his chiefs. 
Subdued is the rich country that opposes Urien. 
Until I fall, in old age, 
into my dire, inevitable end, 56 

I shall have no pleasure 
but in the praise of Urien. fe> 

The Battle of Trwyn Moelvre. 

IN the name of Heaven's puissant Ruler, i 
(the Prince) orders an exemplary life ; 
Gleaming his commanding lance ; 
Our chief loves much-harrying war. 4 

He defended the bonnie bank of ILeinawg ; 
and a protecting ship was destroyed. 
He meets a king's descendant, with a host 

from the great port of Cerdin. s 

These could not sustain the attack of 
the power of the chieftain Clydwyn. 
Every man who left the fleet had his fill 

of darts, from the bent oak-bow — u 

TAe common people rushed upon them : 
A shrine to all is ambition. 
Loss of numbers by warfare afflicted Gwallawg. 
Better a bosky place than a roadstead. 16 
A strong combination, inspired by stirring 
ballads, destroys his plans. 
In the dale, near Moelvre point, they fought through 
the deadly scrub — very long the death roll. 
The brave crush them, the dogs ! n 

After the battle there was trembling in Aeron. 

87 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

30 Cad yn Ar5unwen ; ac Aeron 

10 eiSawed : Eured dy veibon ; 24 
Cad yng-hoed — beiSyS boe« rhon, 

11 5y5 ni ve5ylieist dy alon. 
C4d, yn rhag'wyS, awr a Mabon : 

12 Nid adrawS ad-vrawd achubion. 28 

13 Caer Wenvrewi ! ar-estwng lion 
Loegr saffwyawg i havnzVero«. 

14 C4d, yn Rhos terra gan wawr, oe5 

hwysc/aw« : gvvragawn yn wrawl. 

15 Yn-echreu yng-heniad garw awr, 33 
rh'ieu, o ryvel, rhySiffawr. 

16 Gwyr a o5ev warth ingawg — Haearn- 

17 eih a Hyvei5, a Gwallawg. 36 
i3 Owein, o Vaelgyning Sevawd, 

a wnaho beithwyr gorweiSawg. 

19 Ym-Hen Coed, cleSyvein ; 

afvyS calaneS gwain, 40 

20 a brain ar Sisperawd. 
Ym-Hrydein, yn Ei5in, yn aSevawg ; yng- 

21 Avran, yn advan Brecheinawg. 

22 Yn i erbyn, yn yscwn yn gaenawg, 

ni wyl was — ni welas Wallawg. 45 

JL X JL 

(Sloaiti) UltDHbein. 

VORE 5yw Sadwrn cad vawr a vu, i 
or pan Swyre haul hyd i gifz/nu. 
60 Dygryswys IFlamSwyn yn bedwar IIu : 
Godeu a Rheged yn fyrf-SuHu. 4 

11 Dyvvvy o Argoed hyd Arvyny5 : 

12 ni cheffid aros hyd yr un dy5. 

88 



THE BATTLE OF TKWYN MOELVKE 

(There was) a battle at ArSunwen, and Aaron was 
seized. Thy sons were covered with glory. 24 
In the woods, thou darest the lance's thrust : 
That day thou didst not mind thine enemies. 
In the first brake there was a conflict with Mabon : 
Censure doth not mention the successes. aS 

The fort of Gwenvrewi — ^this doth humble 
England's pike-armed legions. 
Then, at dawn, there was great havoc at Rhos 

y Cm : (the men) press forward bravely. 32 
At the first sound of the fierce warhoop. 
Chieftains, by combat, are snuffed out. 
(Aye), heroes undergo the deathly shame — 

HaearneiS, & HyveiS, & Gwallawg. 36 

Owein, from Maelconian habit, 
doth lay the intruders prostrate. 
At Pen Coed they fight with swords ; 
A time of lively carnage follows, 40 

with crows wheeling (overhead). 
In Prydein, in Ei5in he is acknowledged (chief) ; 
also at Gavran on the Brecon border. 
Against him he will see no youth rising in a 
state of incrustation — he never saw Gwallawg. 45 

T T T 
%i)t ISattle of ILlhigbein. 

ONE Saturday morning there was a big battle, i 
from the rising to the setting of the sun. 
FlamSwyn made haste with four companies — 
Shropshire & the March marshall together. 
He marches from Argoed to ArvynyS, s 

without a halt the whole day long. 
89 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

60 Gor-elwis IFlamSwyn, vawr drebystawd, 

13 a 5o5ynt yng'wystl — a ynt ivarawd ? 8 

14 Attebwys Owein, dir-vvein ffossawd, 

na 5o5ynt, na*d ynt, na bint warawd. 
16 A theirei i vab i%el, bei gymwyawg 

lew, cyn a-s talei, o wystl, nebawd. 12 
\^ Gorelwis Urien, u5 yr EchwyS : — 

" O byS gyvarvod am gerenhyS, 

18 " dyrchavwn eiSoed o5-uch mynyS — 

19 " Cym-horthwn wyneb o5-uch ymyl — 16 
" Dyrchavwn beleidr, uch-ben mal gwyr, 

ai "a chyrchwn IFlamSwyn yn i liiyB, 
" a llaSwn, ac ev a-i gyweithyS." 

22 A rhag gwaith ILwyvein 20 

bu Hawer celein ; 

23 a-r creu, rhuSei vrain, 
rhag rhyvel gwyr««. 

24 Gwerin a gryswys gan or'nenyS ; 24 

a rhinav, vlwySyn, na-d wy gynnyS. 

25 Oni vallwyv, yn hen, 

i-m dygn angheu anghen, 
36 ni byddiv un 5ir-wen 

oni volwyv Urien. 4= 29 

Srataseanu Qt^nan (SactoEit 
mab 33roci)t)ae[, 

aYNAN, cad Siffred, 
a-m ar-lloves ged : 
45 Cant gew i-m o-5yged, 

11 >'-wrth or-gun trevred : 4 

12 Cant gorwyS, cyvred, 

arian eu tu5ed : 

90 



BATTLE OF LLWYVEIN 

FlamSwyn, of mighty swagger, demanded aloud 

if they had come as hostages, & are submissive ? 
Owein, of cleaving stroke, answered that 
they had not — they neither do, nor will submit ; 
& his son, Hoel, vowed he would be shrived 
a hero, or ever he would give a single hostage. 
(Then) Urien, Lord of the West, proclaimed aloud :- 
"If there is to be an unfriendly meeting, 
" let us hoist our banner on the mountain top — 
"let us lift our eyes over the border — 
" let us, with spears overhead, like men 
" attack FlamSwyn among his host, 
" and kill, both him & his companions." 

And because of the Battle of ILwyvein 
there was many a corse ; 
and gore crimsoned the crows 
before the raising of the war. 
The people fled along the ravines, but I pro- 
phesy that, for a year, they will not prosper. 
Until I fall, in old age, 
into my dire, inevitable end, 
I shall take no pleasure, 
but in the praise of Urien. ]b» 

a "ftatirt" on ffiptan 
ap SDtDeitt ®tn;netiti> 

BYNAN, the bulwark of battle, i 
has bestowed benefits on me : 
A hundred gems have been brought 

from the overlord of the province ; 4 
A hundred horses, which run 
abreast, in silver trappings ; 

91 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

45 Cant llenn ehoeg, 

o un gaen gyffred : 8 

Cant armell arved 

14 a phym pwnt canted : 
CleSyv — gwain galched — • 

15 Dwrn moA, gwell honed. x2 
Cant cyz/ranc, cafifad ; 

16 pob cas an-elwad. 
CadelTing ystrad 

^n gad yscogad. 16 

17 Cad ar Wy, cyrched 

gwaewawr evrived. 
Gwenhwys a la5ed 

18 a Havn gwyarlled. ao 
Cad y-Mon vavvrdeg, 

erglyd, a vroled. 

19 Tra Menei myned, 

gwirwyd a orgred. 24 

30 Cad yng-Hrug Dyved — 
Aircol ar gerSed ; 

21 ac ni ryweled 

i viw, rhag fifriw neb. 28 
Mab Brochvael, broled 

22 Dyved, i eiSuned. 
Cernyw cyvarched ; 

23 ni mawl ieu dynghed. 32 
Dys-twg ang-hyffred, 

yn y5 a/2'ialed. 

24 Myg?- cynnelw Cynan, 

cadeu ergynran. 36 

25 A'i lew lavn Ilydan, 

cyvwyrein vawrdan. 

26 Cad yng'wlad Brachan, 

cadlan go-daran. 40 

92 



SATIRE ON KYNAN AP 0. G. 

A hundred green tents, with every 

covering complete in one piece. 8 

A hundred armlets, studded with 

five spikes in their rim-bands. 
A sword — its scabbard had been enamell- 
ed, the handle was deemed better plain. 
A hundred combats took place, & 13 

every enemy was confounded. 
The Cadellian Strath 

by war was stirred. 16 

Countless spearmen repaired 

to the battle on the Wye. 
The Gwentians were slain 

by blood-dripping weapons. 20 

A battle in Men, the very fair 

and cosy isle, was vaunted. 
While crossing the Menei, the rash 

were brought to their senses. 24 

At the battle of CrQg Dyved, 

when Aircol was on his travels, 

the cows were not seen 

being driven away. 28 

Let the son of Brochvael boast 

of Dyved (the object of) his desire. 
Let him greet Cornwall, who 

will not praise the yoke of fate. 33 

He undergoes hardship 

where (the land) has been laid waste. 
Glorious the example of Kynan, who 

participates actively in battles. 36 

And his brave, broad sword 

gives rise to a conflagration. 
At the battle in the land of Brachan, 

the battlefield reverberates. 40 

93 



BOOK OF TAUESIN 

TeyrneS truan ! 41 

46 crinynt rhag Cynan. 
ILywid yr ymwan, 

2 eisor Ilywethan 44 
gynghein gymangan : 

3 Nerthiad gwlad lydan. 
Cigleu ymSiSan — 

pawb yn eu cochvan, 48 

4 cylch byd go-chwiban — 
' Ceith ynt 5i Gynan.' 



DaDoIbicI; Qiien. 

VfLYWYD echassav; i 
,1 «1 Mi ni-w dirmygav : 
65 Urien a gyrchav, 

7 i5aw yd ganav. 4 
Pan 5el vyng-waesav, 

8 cynnwys a gaffav ; 
a-r parth goreuhav, 
ydan eilassav. 8 

9 Nu5 mawr ym dawr byth- 

i helyth a volav ; 
10 neu-di av attaSunt, 

ganthunt y bySav. 12 

N«/ chyrchav OgleS, 
n a-r mei deyrneS. 

Cyn bei i-m lawreS, 
12 gwnelwn gyng-wystleS. 16 
N««-d rhaid i-m hoffeS — 
Urien na-m gomeS. 

94 



SATIRE ON KYNAN AP O. G. 

The wretched princes 41 

withered before Kynan. 

He controls the fighting, 
as a piece of gut 44 

harmonizes the orchestra. 

He is the stay oi England. 

I heard the talk of all 
in their gory beds : 48 

Round the world it goes whispering : 
The Captives are Cynan's. 



%^t Eetonttliation tnit^ iSrien. 

C^HE Chief I do not dislike, i 
Vl/ nor do I disregard him. 
To Urien I will go — 

to him will I sing. 4 

When my warrant comes, 

I shall have abundance ; 

and that the best, under 

the influence of harmony. 8 

For the great lord I ever care — 

his people I will praise : 
1 will go to them ; 

with them I will stay. u 

I will set out to GogleS, 

and its territorial lords. 
Before I go to my grave 15 

I would have an understanding : 
I cannot live without friendship — 

Urien do not repel me. 

95 



HOOK OF TALIESm 

13 ILwyveny5 direS — 

ys meu eu rheuveS — 20 

ys meu eu gwyl//e5 — 

14 ys meu eu HareS — 
ys meu 'r delideu 

a-u gor-evrasseu. 24 

15 Cav ve5 o vual, 

a tha/ di-eiseu, 
gan deyrn goreu — 

16 haelav rhygigleu. 28 
Teyrned pob iaith 

it oil y5 ynt geith. 

17 Rhagor, yd gwynir, 

ys hit dy o-leith. 32 

18 Cyd ev mynasswn, 

gweu dyliv henrfrwm. 
Nid oe5 gwell gerwn, 

19 cyn ni'S gwybySwn : 36 
Weithon y gwelav 

y maint a garav. 

20 Namyn er Duw uchav, 

ni's di-ovrj/^av. 40 

21 Dy deyrn veibon — 

haelav dyn/adon, 
canant y hyscyrron, 

22 yn-hire5 eu galon. 44 
Oni vallwyv, yn hen, 

23 yn-ygn angheu anghen. 
ni bySiv un Sir-wen 

oni volwyv Urien. 48 



96 



THE RECONCILIATION 

The districts of ILwyvenyS — ig 
mine their store — 
mine their wild places — 
mine their cultivated parts — 
mine their metals, 
and their produce rich. 24 

I shall get mead in my horn, 
and gifts in abundance, 
from the best of princes — 
the most generous known. 28 

The chiefs of every race 

to thee are all subjects. 

Still, there is grief, because 

thy death is long deferred ; 32 
though I could wish to weave 
(for thee) the weft of extreme age. 

There was none I loved better, 
though I knew it not ; 36 

It is but now I find 
how great is my love. 

Except for God, Most High, 
I will not renounce my love. 40 

Thy princely sons are 
the most generous of men : 
their darts go whizzing 
into the lands of the enemy. 44 
Until I fall, in old age, 
into my dire, inevitable end, 
I shall take no pleasure, 
but in the praise of Urien. 48 



97 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

(SlaiBtDatoIi ®alteiei0in, 

aENNADEU SoSynt, 
mor-hynt anvonawg : 

30 Dygawn i-n letcynt, 

mei/ynt yn ceudawd. 4 

96 Gnawd rhwyv yn heli, 
beli a-i gwirawd. 

31 Gnawd yscwyd yscawn 

yng-hamawn yscawd. 8 

J Gnawd gwyth ac adwyth o yspySawd 

gaer : anav gant, maer mawrhawd : 
Ar Venei ev crai gyvlogawd ; 
4 Mwy, ar Conwy, gwynieith gwnahawd. 12 

Ar oed, llwyth dyreith anav baraw4 ; 
6 o heyrn er-chwyrn e5yrn Syrnawd. 

Trydyllyn draxhor, dorch dron, liiawg : 

8 E-ynghes yn aches, armes cyn brawd. 16 

Tri diweS yd gad am dri phriawd gwlad ; 

9 Gwnahad brad i veSrawd : 
Trin, o bop tu, rhyphorthawd, 

10 ac Eryri vre varnhawd. 20 

ILu o Seis ac Ynt 5ygn-awd yng-Hymry : 
12 y5 erhy a weSwawd. 

Rliag I/ywel, bcrwtd Hid brawd; 
o varan ta.n-re tarSawd. 

13 Cadwaladr a-i cwyn ; 25 

briwhawd bro« o vrwyn. 

14 Gwellt Hawr an-rheithaivd ; 

a the tei, tandawd. 

15 At'vyS rhyveSawd — 

gwr gan verch i vrawd. 30 

98 



THE LAMENT OF TALIESIN 

%\)t (Lament of ^alieein. 

'he envoys, sent on a , 

sea expedition, have come : 
We shall obtain news, 

which will sustain our hearts. 4 

Oars are used to the sea — 

war will prove it true. 
The shield is wont to be slight 
in the scathe of combat. 8 

A thorn stockade commonly causes anger & hurt — 
a hundred inflictions its steward shall vaunt : 
On the Menei he makes a fresh concord ; n 

What is more, on the Conwy, he effects deliverance. 

In time, the clan will right the injury inflicted — 

with swift blades it will hail strokes : [cordon : 

They broke through the outer circle, a vast, strong 
The fleet in the roadstead is an omen of doom. 

Three princes of the land met their ends — 

their betrayal led to the grave : 18 

(Rhodri) supports the war on every side, 
and Eryri's height decides. 

He afflicts the host of Saxons and Northmen 

in Wales ; their widows only are left. aa 

Against Hywel a brother's hatred seethes : 
Because of greed a conflagration springs up. 

Cadwaladr weeps for (Hywel), 
and breaks his heart from grief 

He lays waste the cornfields, 27 

and fires the thatch of dwellings. 

There will appear a portent — 
an uncle will lie with his niece. 30 

G 2 99 



BOOK OF TALIESm 

31 Dyvynhyn diriawg, 31 

o lin Anarawd : 
O honaw, tyvhawd 

17 coch gid rybruSawd : 
nid arbed nebawd — 

18 na chevnder na brawd. 36 
Wrth lev corn cadwr 

naw cant, yn avrSwl, 
o bedr-or Sygnawd. 
Dy g6v eilw i loesion o laswawd ; 
ev r^d wrth a gaw5 dy geudawd. 41 

JL JL Jl 

Canu E iiSletili. 

@OLYCHAV Wledig pendevigva : 
Gwr a gynheil nev, ArglwyS pob tra : 
40 Gwr a wnaeth Siawd i bawb yn 5a ; 

6 Gwr a wnaeth bob Had, ac a-i IlwySa. 4 

7 MeShed Maelgwn Von, ac a-n llonna. 

O'i veSgorn ewyn, gwerlyn gwymha : 
9 a-s cynnull gwenyn, ac ni-s mwynha. 
Me5 hidleid ! malid volud pob tra. 8 

IL'iaws creadur, a vig terra, 
II a wnaeth Duw i 5yn — wy rySonha : 
Rhai drud, a rhai mud, ev a-u mwynha. n 
Rhai gwyllt, a rhai dov — DovyS a-u gwna 

13 yn vwyd_>'8 di-rf/awd, hyd vrawd barha : 
Vu Siwig u5un, yn Sillad y5 i. 

14 Golychav Wledig, Pendevig he5, 

i Sillwng Elffin o alltudeS : 16 

100 



THE LAMENT OF TALIESIN 

They will call to account this terri- 31 

torial lord, of the line of Anarawd. 
In consequence of this (sin) will follow 

the massacre that will make sad — 

which will spare no one, 

not even a cousin, or brother. 36 

At the blare of the warrior's horn 

nine hundred, on all sides, 

will be sadly afflicted. 
(My) dirge calls to mind thy sufferings, 
by going over what grieves thy heart. 41 

T T T 

%%t iWeali=0ono. 

I ADORE the King of the sovereign land ; i 

Him, who supports heaven, the Lord of everything. 
He made drink a blessing to all : 
He made every good thing, & prospers it. 4 

May Maelgwn be lord of Mon, & of what will cheer us 

out of his foaming mead-horn, the finest social drink. 
The bees store, but they do not enjoy it : 
Strained mead inspires the praise of everything. 8 

The host of creatures, which the earth fosters, 

God made for man, for his welfare : 
Some bold, & some timid, man enjoys them. 
Some wild & some tame, God provides them 12 

for plenteous foods : this goes on for ever. 
What was their covering will go into clothing. 
I entreat the King, the prince of peace, 

to liberate Elffin from his exile : 16 

lOI 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Gwr a roSes i-m win, cwrw, a meS, 17 

a nieirch mawr modur, mirein eu gweS. 

A'm rhothwy etwa, mal cedhmfih — 
•wrih vo5 Duw, yn rhwyS, trwy enrhydeS, 
bym penhwn calan yng-hyman heS. 

Elffin, varchawg me5, hwyr dy ogleS ! 22 



Canu e CtottD. 

/TVENHYD TRAGYWYD ! 
fiAJ, Ys Tydi a we^yS 

40 5yliv nos a dyS — 
34 Dy5 i-m amodaw ; 

Nos i-m gorffwysaw : 

25 Male5 ar-vollawr 

ywrth Wledig mawr. 
Mawr Duw, digones 

26 heul hav, a'i rywres : 
ac Ev Sigones 

41 vu5 coed a maes. 

Galwer, yn aches, i 

ar i eilig gynies. 
3 Gwpl, er pob neges. 
Dews dym-gwares. 

3 A chyn dybyS byd, n 

a-i hnytheu yn unvryd, 
ni wellynt ronyn 

4 heb vaeth mechteym. 

Ev a-i jawS yn llyn, 2c 

5 oni vo egin : 



THE MEAD-SONG 

Him, who gave me wine, beer, and mead, 17 

and big spirited horses in fine condition. 
May he grant me further, as a final favour, 
by the grace of God, freely, & for honour's sake, 
five times five new years of unbroken amity. 21 
Elffin, Knight of the mead, late be 
thy Northerning. 



/^TERNAL MIND ! i 

V>^ 't is Thou that weavest 

the warp of night & day : 
The day for my activities— 4 

the night for my rest. 
Renewed life, too, comes 

from the Sovereign Ruler, 
Who created the summer sun, 8 

with its great heat ; 
And ordained the 

produce of field & forest. 
Call, in the haven, 12 

upon His flowing justice. 
See ! despite every transaction, 

God hath delivered me. 
Though the nations of the earth 16 

were on one purpose bent, 

they could not convert one grain 

to malt, without the Lord's fosterage. 
The Lord submerges it under 

water, until it be all sprouted : 21 

103 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

41 A saw5 waith arall, n 

oni vo yn vall. 

6 Drewdawd dy5ervy5 — 

ys gor-wag 'r elvyS. 25 

7 Golcher y llestri — 

byS groew y brecci. 

8 Pan vo arianell, 28 

dySyccer o gell — 
dyccer rhag rhieu 

9 i gain gyveSeu ; 

Nis gwrthryn neb deu ; 32 

y grawn a-i goreu. 
10 Duw envyn i no5 ; 
yd vy5 wrth i vo5 : 

16 / deithi edmygant ; 36 

yn dry/yvn carant. 

17 Gallawr, goUyngaw^ — 

%a-dorrant an-chwant. 
Sy bwl symudant, 40 

18 ban or'5iwel tant. 

26 Pwy a dal y ceinon ? — 
aeth Maelgwn o Von. 

42 Ev cyrch, cerSorion, 44 
3 se5 syberw Seon. 

10 Cant calan fonnwys : 
Cant car a'i hyvwys. 

41 Gor-wyth me5w, meSwhawd, 

11 o vynud pyscawd. 49 
10 E^ariav yw Trindawd : 

14 Hi i hun a-m gwarawd. 

15 Ni Sigonir nebawd, 

heb gyfoeth y Drindawd. 53 

104 



THE BEER-SONG 

He submerges it again j2 

until it be all sodden. 
The offensive smell will cease — 

He will expel that element. 
Let the vessels be cleansed, 36 

and the wort will be clear. 
When the (beer) sparkles brightly, 

let it be brought from the cellar, 29 

& its fine entertaining qualities 

be placed before princes. 
No couple will refuse it ; 32 

it is derived from grain. 
God gave grain its sap, 

which pleases Him well ; 
.^«<fw2«M hke its properties, 36 

which are loved extra mild : 
They bring relaxation of the ener- 
gies, and satisfy strong desire : 

they banish dullness, ^o 

when the strings pour forth. 
Who will draw the first drinks, 

(now that) Maelgwn has left Mona ? 
Minstrels will repair to the 44 

Court of the lord of Seiont. 
Beer has cheered 100 new year (feasts) ; 

a hundred friends have toasted it. 

It is drinking like a fish 48 

that makes the drunkard. 
Most gracious is the Trinity, 

which will deliver me : 
None will be satisfied 

without its bounty. 53 

los 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Canu Urien. 

yNGOR Bowys, 
c4n rhychedwys. 
58 Parch, a chynnwys, 
a meS veSwys. 

15 MeueSwys ve5, 

er ^or-vole5 ; 
a chain direS 
i mi yn rhe«ve5 ; 

16 a rhyweS mawr 
o eur ogawr ; 

Mzla.wi a ched 

17 a gyv-rived ; 1 
aT cyvriviant 

a dorr^i whant : 
17 A-m whant ro5i 

er vy Hochi — i 

yd lad, yd grug ; 

19 yd v4g, yd vug ; 
yd vug, yd vag, 

yd lad yn rhag. 2 

20 RhagweS rothid 

i veirS y byd. 
Bez>5, yn geugant, 

21 it yd weSant. 

Wrth i ewyllis, 2 

Duw rhyth-beris 

22 yn rihyS gwys, 
rhag ovn dybrys — 
annogiad cad — 

23 dilfreidiad gwlad ; 3, 

106 



IN PRAISE OF URIEN 



In praise of Urien. 

IN the border of Powys, i 
the muse he maintained. 
Respect and plenty, 

and mead were his. 4 

He stored mead 

for great rejoicings ; 
And held fair lands 

for my welfare, 8 

with great abundance 

of golden crops. 
Beasts, and gifts 

were counted out ; n 

and the counting 

satisfied desire. 
My wants thou suppliest, 

in order to cherish me : 16 
TAy bounty blesses & increases : 

It breeds and lows, 

and lows and breeds, 

and blesses for ever. m 

Thou didst countenance 

the bards of the world : 
The bards, assuredly, 

will do thee homage. 24 

Agreeably to his will 

hath God raised thee, 

to be a ruler of a people 

against sudden panic — aS 

to be the stimulator of battle, 

and the country's defence. 

107 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

58 Gwlad Siflfreidad ; 31 
24 Cad annodad. 

Gnawd am danad, 
twrw pystylad : 
25 pystylad dwrw, 

ac yved cwrw. 36 

Cwrw i'w yved, 
26 a chain drevred, 
a niiiva duSed 
rhym-an-IIoved. 40 

59 ILwyvenyS vann, 

ac €\xc\\eid lann, 
yn un, trigan. 

2 Atn vawr a bychan, 44 

;«?', Taliessin gan. 
Ys ti av« diSan, 

3 a thi, y goreu, 

OT a gigleu, 48 

y«^wrhydreu. 
Molav inheu 

4 dy weithredeu. 

Oni vallwyf, yn hen, 52 

3 i-m dygn angheu anghen, 

ni bySiv un Sirwen, 
6 oni volwyv Urien. 55 

II. 

He yr un vlyneS, i 

y bu i-n 5ar-w/e5. 
59 Gwin am-hall a meS — 
8 gwerhid 5i'^ase5. 4 

108 



m PRAISE OF URIEN 

The country has been defend- 
ed, and the war ended. 31 

Usually, there is around thee 
the noise of prancing : 
the noise of dancing, 
and of drinking beer. 36 

Beer for drinking, 
a beautiful homestead, 
and fine clothing — 
these were bestowed on me. 40 

ILwyveny5's height, 
& the suppliants' court 
are situated together. 

Of great and small, 44 

/, Taliesin sing. 

Thou dost spoil me : 
and, of all 1 have heard, 
thou art the best 48 

in deeds of valour. 

Then will I praise 
thine actions. 

Until I fall, in old age, 5a 

into my dire, inevitable end, 
I shall take no pleasure, 
but in the praise of Urien. 55 

II. 

HND the same year i 

we had a great feast. 
Plenteous wine and mead 
do allay animosity. 4 

109 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

59 Ac aerviyr Godeu 
9 a heidant vereu, 
a-u penffejtineu, 
yn-\~itg wySvaeu : 

10 Mai eXhont ae/wyd, 

Syffynt ytn-hlymnwyd : 

11 Pawb, a-i varch danaw, 

yn mynaw Godeu. 
n Achwaneg, anaw 
vu5 am li, am law. 
Wyth ugein, un Iliw, 

13 o loi a biw : 

Biw blith ac ychen 
a phob cain amgen. 

14 Ni bySwn lawen, 

bei lleas Urien. 
Ys cu, cyn eithid 

15 eis etymon o gryd. 
Briger wen loched ; 

16 Elor rySyged ; 

a gran gwyarlled, 

17 a-m g^yr, go-no5ed. 
Ang-wr byrr-bwyllig 

vei, a we5w« i wraig. 

18 A-m yv gwin ffeleig ; 

a-m ys myn gyllw]^ — 
wy a-m porth, a-m iprain. 

19 A-m syrth cyv-wyrein, 

cyn na phar gym««. 
Tawav. Was Wrwst / 
21 gwarandaw py drwst — 
a-i daear a gryn, 
a-i mor a Sir-dyn ? 



IN PRAISE OF URIEN 

Hence the warriors of Godeu 5 

pile up their spears, 

and their helmets, 

in the fair watch-towers : 8 

So that those, who had come 

into the conflict, may go home. 
Every one, with his horse 

under him, reaches Godeu. n 

Moreover, the minstrel gains 

by reason of rain & flood. 
Eight score, all of a colour, 

of calves and cows — 16 

milch cows and oxen, 

and every fair thing besides. 
(Still) I could not rejoice, 

were Urien slain. 20 

He was beloved, before the round 

darts were sped from a quiver. 
His white hair was spared : 

the litter was brought ; 34 

and his gory cheek, 

I trow, was protected. 
He would be a witless recreant, 

should he put away his wife. aS 

I drink the wine of a shrewd leader ; 

I eat the kid of the stag — 
these feed and feast me. 
Elation befalls me, y 

though it will not last long. 
I will say no more. Servant of 

Gwrwst, listen ! what is the noise ? 

Is it the earth trembhng ? 

or, is the sea convulsed ? 37 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

59 Dywyn 'yng-hyn-gar, js 

wrth i heleiiral. 
33 Ossid uch ym-ryn, 

neu-d Urien a-i grym. 
Ossid uch ym-hant, 

24 neu'd Urien a-i gwant. 43 
Ossid uch ymynyS, 

25 neu-d Urien a orvyS. 
Ossid uch yn rhiw, 

26 neu-d Urien a vriw. 

Ossid uch yng-Hlaw5, 4B 

neu-d Uripn a blaw5. 

60 Ar hynt, air yng-hlz.s, 

ym-hob cam uchas. 

2 Nac un Xxavi, na dau, 52 

ni nawd i-r angheu. 

3 Ni byS ar newyn, 

a phraiS o-i gylchyn. 
F«g-oror G^riawg, 56 

4 gor-l£zsawg lavar, 
Eil Angheu y p&r — 

yd la5« i escar. 
Oni vallwyv, yn hen, 60 

i-m dygn angheu anghen, 
ni bySiv un Sirwen, 
oni volwyv Urien. J=» 63 

f'0peil ^alieesin. Canu Strien. 

VYNG-WRHYD, go-gyvid yn-hrafferth : i 
O gwaedwyv, a wellwyv yn gyd-ntxlh ? 
62 Gwir, gweleis rhag neb drais — ni-m gwa^es. 
19 Pob annwys, ev Simwys vyneges. 4 



IN PRAISE OF VRIEN 

It is my old friend who shines forth 

by the light of his spear-thrusts. 39 
If there be groaning on the hill, 

it is Urien who gives it volume. 
If there be groaning in the dale, 43 

it is Urien who has thrusted. 
If there be groaning on the mountain, 

it is Urien who is overcoming. 45 
If there be groaning in a steep place, 

it is Urien who is wounding. 
If there be groaning in the Dyke, 48 

it is Urien who is smiting. 
On the march and in camp, 

at every step he prevailed. 
An expedition, or two 51 

are not usually fatal : 
And he will not starve 

with a flock around him. 
In the vale of CV/Viog, 56 

that so loudly speaks, 
" Fosterling of Death " was the 
lance, which slew his foes. 
Until I fall, in old age, 60 

into my dire, inevitable end, 
I shall take no pleasure, 
but in the praise of Urien. \> 

Wl)t Spoil of ^alie0tn $ IPiaiee of SCrien. 

/T\Y bravery emerges in time of stress : i 

y''. If wounded, shall I recover strength altogether ? 

Verily, I saw, before any, the oppression, which I did not escape. 

Every feather-brain made my message of no account. 4 

H 113 



BOO/C OF TALIESIN 

62 Gweleis beu, pasc am leu ac am lys. 5 
Gweleis edn — dail o 5yfn a dowys. 

21 Gweleis gaing, haval drain i blodeu. 

Neu-r weleis u5 hydreis i SeSveu. 8 

Gweleis aeth IFyw gan draeth tra maeu. 

53 Bid wanar, nwy hachar gymyreu. 
GwjTth vy n?/5, mawr yn vu5 i radeu. 

25 Pen maon milwyr Mon a.m-dereu. 12 
Preiff IwyyyS, rhe/n onwyS yw i arveu ; 

26 Gwen i yscwyd, i rac-glya?, glas z //enn ; 

63 Gloiw Hawd C/yr, glassav 8ur, vu i Urien : 

2 JVed ni orseiv i wyrth glaiv. Gor-5yar 16 
gor Geriawg — yn IliVawg, gor'lavar. 

3 Gorian-r^ a or-5wyre, a phob rhai 

sang Silyv du very5 ymordrei. 

4 U5, tra blaw5, yn y glaw o-th w/S el, 20 

val yd melynawr yn neua5 ma^r. 
AnheSawg, dififreidawg yn Aeron . 
7 Mawr i wyn yn amwyn ac eillon ; 

Mawr Syval, rohi lil am i alon. 24 

Gor-nerthed ysclyvied gan Vrython : 
3 Mai rhod tan wy dreiglan dros elvyS ; 
Mai tonn anl, a-theithant LwyvenyS ; 
Mai cyrchen cyvliw Gwen a gweitlien ; 28 
10 Val moryawr ys mwynvawr yw Urien. 
Un i egin ac edbh g<7'</riccawr. 
Un rh'ieu a rhwyveu 5i-ra5iawr. 
12 Un yw meirch maon a mwth vilawr. 32 

Dechreu Mei, towysj^z vySinawr : 

14 Ev 5enwy, ban ovwy, y werin. 
Eryr tir ! ys dyhir, yth dremyn. 

15 A5un>'S, yar orwy5 ffysciolin, 36 

dySyn ieil, werth yspeil, Daliessin. 

114 



THE SPOIL OF TALIESIN, &'c. 

I saw a land, with pastures round the clearing & the 5 

Court. I saw a bird, which brings leaves from the deep. 
I saw a branch, like thorns its blossoms. 
I saw a lord whose laws were oppressive : 
I saw his distress along the shore beyond the plains. 9 
Let him be a leader who will avoid the ravines. 
A marvel is my lord ; great to us the benefit of his gifts. 
The head of the chiefs of Mona's men smites right & left. 
Strong elm-iows, & ashen spears are his weapons ; his 13 

bhie-coveretl shield, Gwen, was ever a shelter before him. 
And flashing Haute clere, of bluest steel, had Urien. 
None can withstand this wondrous glaive. The i6 

Ceiriog valley roars — in flood it thunders. 
Great shouting rises, and everybody treads 

the honeycombed black swamps, in the great retreat. 
The King, while fighting, disappears in the rain, 20 

like golden-yellow grain, into the steward's hall. 

He sojourns, and shelters in Aeron : 

Great his rage while defending with his aliens. 

Strenuously he schemes to place Yale beyond his foes. 

The ravaging by the Brythons was intensified : as 

Like a wheel of fire they revolve over the land ; 

Like a wave they advance & traverse ILwyvenyS. 

As they press on the sight of Gwen means battle. 

As a great prince greatly courteous is Urien. 39 

His heir is the equal of the sojourner's etheling. 

Chiefs are the same as rulers of low degree. 

Great men's horses are as swift as beasts of chase. 

Early in May he led armies : 33 

He charms, when he visits, the people. 

Eagle of the land ! far-reaching is thy glance. 

Thou vowest, on thy lively steed, a culti- 36 

vated farm, a valuable spoil, to Taliesin. 

H 1 "5 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

63 Un yw gwrys %ox Hawr prys a gor gwyS. 38 
17 Un brehyr a fRgur pen arglwyS. 
Un yw hyS, a-r h^/y5 yn-i'vant. 
Un yw blaiS banadl ivraiS, ac an'whant. 

19 Un yw rhad a gwlad vad 'n egin ir. 42 
Un we5 son ca.dva.on, a chedwyr. 

Un y drwg, ie«anf flwf, a chenaw — 

21 Nu5 hael z/ra;^, a herw wlad ydanaw. 45 
Ac OS y dygwyS i ynni r^ag" Gwen, 

22 ev gwneid beirS yn byd yn Ha wen. 

Cyn elhwyv, meirw vynhwyv veib GwySen. 48 
24 Gwaladr mad ! gwaeS gwen wlad vo i Urien. 

T T T 

ASvwyn GeyryS. 

HD'VWYN Gaer yssyS ar glawr gweilgi : 
Bid lawen Galan — eirian i rhi. 

42 Ac yn amserawr mawr wrhydri, 

20 ys gnawd gorun beirS uch meS lestri. 4 
Dy5yvy5 Magnus ar vrys iSi — 

22 dyvrys vr werlas, clas y IFichti. 
Ac a-m hych. Dews ! dros vyng-weSi, 
pan gattwyf amod cymod a Thi. g 

24 A5-vwyn Gaer yssyS ar lydan lyn — 
dinas di-achor, mor o-i chylchyn : 

26 Go-gyv£zrch Brydein, cw5 gyngein hynn : 
Blaen Hin ap Erbin, boed teu Von rynn. 12 

43 Bu goscorS — bu cerS yn eil mehyn ; 

ac eryr, uch wybr, a Iwybr ranwyn. 
3 Y-rag u5 ffesig escar gychwyn : 

Clod wanar a wascar dy ym-SuHyn. 16 

]i6 



THE SPOIL OF TALIESIN, &'c. 

Violence is the same in scrub and in forest. 38 

A baron figures as a King. 

The stag and the huntsman are alike in death. 

The appearance of broom-root is a sign of great want. 

Prosperity is the same as good land lush of growth. 42 

The sound of battlefields and of warriors is alike. 

The youth & the puppy are alike in mischief : the youth 

betrays a generous lord, & harasses his country. 45 

And if his activity fail before ' Gwen ', 

our country's bards would be made to rejoice. 
Before I go, I wish dead the race of Beauclerc. 48 

Beneficent Lord, the acclaim of a happy land be Urien's. 

¥ V > 

The Pleasant Strongholds. 

eLEASANT the Kaer that looks down on the sea : i 
Her year begins with feasting ; her chief is full of 
cheer. And at times of valourous deeds, there is 
the usual to-do of the bards, over cups of mead. 4 

Magnus suddenly descends upon her ; then hurries 

(back) to the green-blue (sea), the domain of the Picts. 
Be Thou, O Lord, on the side of my prayer, when 
I am keeping the law of reconciliation to Thee. 8 

Pleasant the Kaer on the broad water — an 

unapproachable stronghold, girt of the sea. 
It faces Prydein, where it gives delight : 

Head of the line of Urien, thine be Mona's Rhynn. 12 
There was a retinue & feast at another place, whose 

eagle, now above the sky, is traversing the milky way. 
Against an adroit lord, put off an expedition : 

the repute of such a leader will scatter thy lines. 16 

117 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

43 A5-vwyn Gaer yssyS ar donn nawved : 17 
5 A5-vwyn i gwerin, rhvi i'n ym-wared : 

Ni wnant eu ^wynvyd trwy vevlhaed : 

7 Nid ev eu devod bod yn galed. 20 
Gau ni lavarav ar vyn-hrwy5ed : — 

8 Noc eillon Deudraeth gwell caeth Dyved. 
CyweithyS, o rhyS wle5 waredred, 

10 gynnwys rhwng pob deu, wr o-i giwed. 24 

A5-vwyn ! Kaer yssy5 : a-i gwna-n gyman 
meSud, a molud, ac avarn bann. 

12 ILyvn i cherSeu gwych, yn i chalan, 

am arglwyS hywyS, hewr eiran. 28 

14 Cyn aeth yn aSwyd, yn'erwin Ilann, 

a-m rhoes ve5 a gwin o wydrin bann. 

15 AS-vwyn Gaer yssy5 yn yr eglan : 

A5-vwyn y rhoSir i bawb i ran. 32 

17 Yn-Imbych adwen orwen wylan — 

cyweithyS ^^we5 ve5ez'-r Ilyssan. 

18 Oe5 ev vyn arver gael nos Galan, 

leSvdawd ygan ri, rhyvel eiran, 30 

20 a Hen ehoeg, a me5 hweg prain, 
onirf rhviyh tavawd ar wawd Prydein. 

21 AS'vwyn Gaer yssyS, a-i cyvrwySw« ; 

oe5 meu y cerSeu a Sewiswn — 40 

13 ni lavarav Saith, rhaith rhys-catwn. 
Ni 5'ly gelenig ni wyppo hwn : — 

34 Yscriven Brydein bryder brisiwn : 

Yn yd wna tonneu eu hamgyffrwn, 44 

36 perheid hyS-bell y gell dreiSwn. 

A5-vwyn Gaer yssy5 yn Ar5««wein : 

44 Go-chanwn i-m tud volud cowrein. 

a AS'vwyn ar i /hor, escor cyn-vrein : 48 

118 



THE PLEASANT STRONGHOLDS 

Pleasant the Kaer above the ninth wave : 17 

Pleasant her people who bring us deliverance. 

They do not find their happiness in making mis- 
chief, nor is it their custom to be hard-hearted. 20 

I will not bear false witness on my tour — ■ 
than Deudraeth's aliens, better the serfs of Dyved. 

Her prince, an he give a feast of deliverance, will 
place, between every couple, one of his own people. 24 

Pleasant the Kaer is : what make it perfect are 

mead-drinking, praising, & a high fee. 
Harmonious, at her festival, the exquisite minstrelsy 

around her discerning lord, the cheerful dispenser. 28 
Before he went to his destiny, in the oaken chest, 

he gave me mead & wine, from a high beaker. 

Pleasant the Kaer in the haven : 
pleasant that all will receive their portion. 32 

I know at Tenby a snow-white gull — the 
gentle lady of the soil, who ruled the little court. 

It had been my lot to receive, on New Year's eve, 
a douceur from the lord of gleaming war ; and a 36 
green cloak ; & the luscious mead of the feast, 
till the tongue becomes fluent in Prydein's praise. 

Pleasant the Kaer that 1 was wont to entertain : 
Mine were the poems, which I selected — 40 

I do not say it for effect I kept within my right. 

He will deserve no New Year's gift, who knows not 
that Prydein's script will take care of what I prize : 

As long as the waves maintain their motion, 44 

the parchment of the cell I occupied will endure. 

Pleasant the Kaer in ArSunwent : 
I would sing to my country a skilful psan, for 'tis 
pleasant on its Tor to renew old privilege. 48 

119 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

44 Go5eg vrych dyrvir — ys hir i hadein, 
Sychyrch var carreg — crec mor ednein. 
4 ILid ymywn tynghed, treiS (?ed tra maint : 

A BleiS, u5 gor-Hwyd, goreu affeint : 53 

6 Dim flfynnei uch Had, pwyllad coveint. 
Bendith CulwyS nev, a chydlev sein 
a-n gwnel yn vrowyr, gor-wyr Owein. 

8 A5-vwyn Gaer yssyS ar Ian Iliant : 56 

A5'vwyn yd roSir i bawb i whant. 

10 Go'gyvarch WyneS : boed teu vwyant : 
Gwaewawr cynrein, Clar, a Sarvuant. 

11 Verchyr gweleis wyr yng-hyvnovant ; 60 
Dyvieu bu er gwarth y5 ad'gorsant. 

13 Od oe5 vriger coch, ac och ar dant, 

y HuSedig wyr— Gwyne5 aethant. 

14 Am gevn llech Vaelwy cylchwy vriwant : 64 
CwySyn yng-Ha/m Cerwyn IIu o garant. 



Marwnai Owein GwyneS , 1170. 

/T\YD- WYV deryS gwawd, a iawd vedyS ; 
^1^ dyd xwyheu : rhiv edeu eiSolyS. s 

69 Cyvrwng alli, ac w-allt, ac echwyS, 
er-gryna CuneSa greiseryS. 

13 Yng-Haer Veir a-cherz> lyw elz/y5 : 5 
Er rhynawd cyvadawd gyvergyr ■ 

an-whaneg — dyattreg din tra myr. 

14 Ton bron Hew — IluSiaw glew i gilyS, s 

can cavas ym-hwel gas uch elvyS. 

15 Darvu i kynt, val uch gwynt wrth onwy5 : 

Cyd-erchyn yng-hwm//z« i gyvlj/S ; 
a-chedwyn, axhwelyn gerenhyS. 12 

120 



THE PLEASANT STRONGHOLDS 

The speckled, long-winged curlew, the sea-crake, 49 

chatters when disturbed, & flies to the top of a rock. 

The malice in fate persists through endless time. 

Lupus, the hoary bishop, effected deliverance : nothing 
prospers like the blessing & guiding of a monastery. 53 

May the blessing of the dear God, & the united voice 
of the saints, make us countrymen of Owein's worthies. 

Pleasant the Kaer on the tidal bank ; 58 

pleasantly is given to all their want. 
Welcome Venedotia'j aid : be thine the aggrandizement. 

The spearmen of the chieftain, Clare, have perished. 
On Wednesday, I saw men on the march : 60 

On Thursday, to their shame, they had returned. 
If the hair was gory, and sorrowful the harp, and 

men were aweary — to GwyneS they went. Beyond 
Maelwys rocky ridge they ravage the surroundings : 

There fell in Cwm Cerwyn a host of friends. 65 



The Elegy of Owein GwyneS. 

I AM the lyrist of eulogy, who praises baptism, i 

which confers graces : a host forsake their idols. 
Twixt a high slope & a low, and the west, 

CuneSa's crosier-bearer is trembling. 
In the citadel of Mary, the ruler of the land is loved. 5 

A little while since, he quitted for ever the field : 

Moreover, he is checking the rebellion over-seas. 
The lion's heart is sick at the brave thwarting his 

fellow, for he met with a spiteful turn in his life. 9 

His course ended, like the wind's moan in the ash trees : 

His clerics united at compline to pray for (his soul) ; 

(for) they treasured, they reciprocated his friendship, u 

121 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

69 Ys cwynein, veirS cywrein %ar onwy5 : 

marw vy «av a gwynav mor avar : 
19 Cwynitor — bu dewSor di-archar. 15 

Haval beis a dyvn-gleis, dychyffryn, 

am ym-adaw, tuSedaw ad-hrychyn. 
SI Ev noSet, meithrinei galetlwm : 

oeh Iwttach wrth gonach nac ascwrn. 

22 Ys cyrria^, rhynoSa;/, cyn cuS\ed 20 

a thydwed : i wyneb a gadwed. 

23 Bit gan-waith, cyn bu laith, yn-orglwyd : 
Dychludent i Arbujtwent ym-h/ym«wyd. 

25 Go"ganz«yd, rhag arswyd, i oer-gerSed, 

26 cyn bu daer 5ogn amser i duSed. 25 
Haid, haval am wySwal cwn heh rwyd, 

70 geinan vei — gwaeth IlyvreS nz chavwyd. 

2 ASoed hun ni Simivw. Achwynav, 28 

ac am lys, ac am grys Cune5av. 

3 Am rylaw hallt wylaiu, hydreu/az/ : 

am vleiS trwn a gaxwn aballav. 

4 Gwe5w veirS Mon — a ogon, a ogav ; 32 

5 aT (Aon amrywon a rivav. 
Rhyvez'SawS yn er-vlawS, ac anav 

6 can gorvy«, cyn cymun, CuneSav. 
Rhyn-ransei viw blithzo« yr hav : 35 
Rhyn-ransei eSystrawr, aeav : 

8 Rhyn-ransei win gloew, ac olew : 

Rhyn-ransei dorv ceith rhag un crew, 
m Ev dyval ^^ogrell o gyff ^lew : 40 

gwelad wr — pennadur bryd Hew. 
n ILuSzVi ve6ei gywlad rhag^«<— 
Mab Edern, teyrn anaeleu ! 

122 



THE ELEGY OF OWEIN GWYNEDD 

The skilled bards bewailed the warrior, (but it is) 13 
the death of my lord that I lament so grievously. 
He will be lamented — our stout, irresistible defence. 
The shallow & deep pools are agitated alike, by the 16 
dying & covering of one their waters reflected. 
He sheltered & fed the hard-faring folk ; 
but was more bare than a bone to the wastrel. 
He was forgiven, and given sanctuary ere he was so 

covered by the sod : his face was saved. 
He was, ere his death, a hundred times in a litter : 
They bore him to Ariunweni into the conflict. 23 

It was portended, from dread, that his ghost would walk 
abroad, ere the earth had, for any time, been his cover. 
A crowd, like dogs around a lair un-netted, keeps watch 
on the grave : worse cowardice there never was. 
The sleep of destiny cannot be annulled. gs 

I sigh for both the court and the cloak of CuneSa. 
By reason of the flow of salt tears I am wasting away : 
I pine for the brave countenance I loved. Like 
orphans are Mona's bards : whom they glorify I will ; 
and the harmonies they vary I shall esteem. 33 

CuneSa ventured into dire conflict — into the scathe 
of a hundred combats, before his shriving. Among us 
He would freely distribute milch cows in summer : 36 
He would freely distribute war horses in winter : 
He would freely distribute sparkling wine & oil : 
He would freely distribute slaves against any stress : 
He was a strenuous youth of a brave stock : 40 

A man did he appear — a lord of lion aspect. 
He would not allow a border prince to play false — 
the son of Edern was a tremendous ruler. 

123 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

70 Dywal, di'archar, di-eding, 44 

amTyffreu angheu dychyving. 
Ev go-borth i aes y« ambiffyn : 

14 Rhagorawl wyr gwrawl i unbyn. 
Dym-hun ! Cysc, vad gun tal being ! 

15 Cam dra, diva hun o goeling. 49 

JL X X 

JSlatbinati Dtoein. 

eNEID Owein, rhywyssid, i 
go-bwyllid y ner o-i raid. 

67 Rheged u5, a-i cu5 torn clas ; 

Nid oeS vas i gywySeid. 4 

21 Iscell cerS ai chlyd clodvawr ; 

Estin gawr, a gwaew Hiveid. 

22 Can ni cheffir cystedlyS, 

i-n vy5 HewenyS Iladreid. s 

23 Medei alon Geveilawg ; 

Eisorawd i dad a-i daid. 

24 Pan laSawS Owein IFlamSwyn, 

nid oe5 vwy nog oe5 gyvreid. 12 
as Cyscid ILoegr lydan niver 
a lleuver yn eu Ilygeid. 
At rhai ni ffoynt haeach, 

68 oe5 [hydra]ch, ynvyttach haid: 16 
I Owein a'i cospes yn Srud, 

mal cnud yn dylud deveid. 

3 Gwr gwiw, uch i amliw seirch, 

a ro5ei veirch i eirclieid. 20 

Cyd a-s cronnei vaH caled 

4 i'n rhanned : xhagor i Eneid. 

124 



THE ELEGY OF OWEIN GWYNEDD 

Bold, irresistible, irrepressible, ^^ 

he escapes from the jaws of death. 
He supports his shield on the defensive : 
Excellent men & brave were his chieftains. 47 

Compose thyself ! Sleep, dear lord of the high bench ! 
It is wrong to disturb rest from a superstitious (dread). 

T T T 

®!)e ffitecE of aDtoein. 

HE Soul of Owein has been summoned, i 
& his (spiritual) lord has come to his rescue. 
A sanctuary's tomb now screens the lord 

of Rheged. He was not low of ability, but 4 

the life-blood of poesy, & its illustrious shield : 
Champion, too, of the javelin & flashing spear. 
That his equal is not to be found 

to us will be a secret joy. s 

He mowed down the enemies of Kyveilog : 

He was a fellow to his father & grandsire. 
When Owein pressed the Flame-bearer hard, 

it was no more than was necessary. u 

A number of broad England's host sleep 

with the light still in their eyes : 
But those who did not flee instantly 

were a rasher, foolisher crowd. 16 

And Owein did punish them severely, 

as wolves punish sheep they pursue. 
(Our) worthy hero, seated on gay trappings, 

presented horses to the begging fraternity. m 
Though he amassed riches, among us it 

was distributed ; his soul goes marching on. 

I2S 



BOOK OF TALIESm 

Caer Sidi, a Chaer Ochren. 

/^OLYCHAF Wledig, pendefig ri, 
V-/ ledas i bennaeth dros draeth mundi. 

54 Bu gyweir gyvrang yng'Haer Sidi, 

19 drwy (>r-chestol bwyll a phryderi. 4 

Nu, neb cyn noc ev nid aeth iSi — 
21 i'r g^rwyn, dwvn ^las cyvrgas gewri. 
Rhag preiSei Annwvn tost/y;« gyni ; 
^yd vrawd parahawd ingawg weSi. 8 

23 Tri Iloneid Prydwen y5 aeth i5i ; 

nany« saith ni Syrreith o Gaer Sidi. 

25 NySwyv glod geinmyn : cwyn o-chlywid, 
yng-haer bedryvan paw 5ym-chwelid. 12 

55 Yng'hyweir oeS pair pan ryverwid : 

O anadl naw morwyn go-chyneuid. 
2 Neu, Pair Pen Annwvn, pwy i^nud? 
Gwrm^aw/ am i oror, a mererid : j6 

4 Ni veirw vwyd i Iwvr — x\eu-s rhydynghid : 
DeSv Hw^th He^wawg 8i-6aw 5yrchid : 

5 Yn Haw llemenzg y5 edewid : 

a rhag porth ufifern llugyrn loscid. 20 

7 A phan aeth Arthur drafferth lechlyd, 
namyn saith ni Syrreith o gaer veSid. 

9 Nj/Swyv glod geinmyn : cwyn glywator 
yng-haer bedryvan — ynys bybr-Sor. 24 

10 Uch^r am i huch^i?r gymyscetor ; 
Gwin gloew y gwirawd rhag i gorSgor : 

11 Tri Iloneid Prydwen y5 aeth ar vor ; 

namyn saith ni Syrreith o gaer rigol. 28 

126 



KING RICHARD AT JOPPA ^ ACRE 

King Richard at Joppa & Acre. 1197. 

I WILL praise the King, the noble chief, who i 

spread his supremacy over the world's strand. 
Complete was his victory at Whirlpools Fort, 

by reason of extraordinary thought & care. 4 

Now, no one before him entered this vortex, 

this deep close of fearsome giants. 
Poignant the affliction caused by the herds of the 

Abyss : till doom will last the cry of distress. s 

Thrice filled Prydwen sailed thereto : 

Only seven returned from Whirlpools Fort. 

May I spin fine praise : moaning was heard 
in the quadrangular fort, when it was overthrown. « 

Attuned was the cauldron after much boiling ; 
By the breath of the Nine Muses the fire was kindled. 

This Cauldron of the Head of the Abyss, what is it like ? 
It has a dusky band around the edge, set with pearl : 16 
It will not cook a coward's food — him it has forsworn : 
The Code of the literary tribe out of it arose — 

In the keeping of the minstrels it was left. 
Before Inferno's portal (its) lamps were burning. »o 

And when Arthur went into the rocky toils, 
only seven returned from the fortress taken. 

May I spin fine praise : moaning was heard in the 
quadrangular fort — the tor with the boisterous gate. 

Its top with the twilight was confused : 
Sparkling wine was the liquor set before its council : 

Thrice full did Prydwen sail the sea : 
only seven returned from the citadel of the frith. 38 

127 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

55 Ni o-bryn ev flfavr Viwvr lywiadur : jg 

Tra Chaer Wydr gwelsid wrhyd Arthur. 
15 Tri ugein canhwr a seiv yar mur — 

an-haw5 ym-a5raw5 a-i gwyliadur. 32 

17 Tri Iloneid Prydwen aeth gan Arthur ; 

namyn saith ni Syreith o gaer o-vur. 

19 Ni obryn ew ffavr '^wvr yng-hylchwy : 

Ni wSant py bryd perhid 5ypwy — 36 

ao Py awr ynvhylgein y ganed twy — 

Pwy rywnaeth arnynt aeth dol GanA-wy. 

12 Ni weSant vras ych brych y pen rwy(f) — 
saith ugein cygwng yn i aerwy. 40 

14 A phan aeth Arthur avrSwl ovwy ; 

namyn saith ni 5yrreith o gaer Gaxidviy. 

35 Ni O'bryn ev ffavr \iwvr eu gohen : 

Ni w5ant py bryd perid dyben — 44 

56 Py awr yisvhylgein ganed perchen — 
3 Pwy w^l a gadwant ariant ym-hen. 

A phan aeth Arthur avrSwI gynhen, 
3 namyn saith ni Syrreith o gaer Ochren. 48 

Myneich Sychwynyn val un yng-hor, 
5 o gyvranc u5y5 a-r GwiSanhor. 
A'i un hynt pob gwynt ? un dwr pob mor ? 

7 A'i un Ilev torv a thwrv di-achor ? 52 

Myneich fiychmyayxA am hynt veiSawl, 

8 o gyvranc u5y5 a-r GwiSanhawr. 

Ni w5ant yscein deweint a gwawr ; 55 

JO neu wynt, pwy i hynt — pwy i rynnawr ? 

Py va rySiva, py dir aplawr. 
II Boed s«'nt yn-i-vant weinant allawr. 

Golychav Wledig, pendevig mawr. 59 

15 Bid i-m na bwyv drist : Crist a-m gwa6awl. 

128 



KING RICHARD AT JOPPA fif ACRE 

He will not curry favour of the cowardly governor : 39 
Beyond Glass-town was seen Arthur's heroism. 
Three score centuries stand upon the wall — 
It is not easy to converse with the sentinel. 31 

Thrice full Prydwen went with Arthur : 
only seven returned from the walled town. 

He will not curry favour of the slack on their round : 
They know not when will happen what is coming — 

at what hour of morning the check began ; nor 37 

who wrought their sorrow on the plain of Candevia. 
They will not yoke Saladiiis brindled, giant ox 

which has seven score knots in its tie. 40 

And when Arthur went on his sad expedition, 

only seven returned from Candevia. 

He will not curry favour of the slack in command : 
They do not know when happened the end — 44 

at what hour of morning the victory was won. 

Who will detect secreters of treasure in the mouth ? 

And when Arthur went into the sad struggle, 
only seven returned from " Ochren " fort. 48 

The monks wailed like one man in unison, because 
of the adventure of the king with the Viedenese. 
Holds every wind to one course ? Is every sea one water ? 
Is the shout of a crowd the same as irrepressible thunder? 
The monks wailed because of the daring journey — 53 

the adventure of the King with the Viedenese. 
They do not know that night-watch extends to dawn, 

nor the course of the wind, nor what its impulses — 56 

what spot it devastates, what land is buffeted. 
May the servers of the altar be saints after death. 

I will praise the King, the great nobleman. 

May I not be sad : Christ be my heritage. &> 

I 129 



BOOK OF TALIESm 
Marwnad Richard . 1199. 



51 Amser croes grwydriad, ban yiysiad byd, i 
bu deu Atg ar wlad wledychyssid : 
a Un haelhav, berthav ot ryaned — 

Un terwyn wenwyn, gwae y giwed : 4 

4 Ev dorres ardal deir gwaith yng-had, 

ac ni vy5 cor-wy5 i wyr i dad. 

5 Y Hall, mal puvawr a-theghwys wlad. 
Syrth, yng'0-5iwaw Alexander, e 

7 yn hual eurin : Gwae ! carcharer : 
Ni phell garcharwyd — i angheu 5yvu 

8 ar le y cavas ergyr o lu. 

Neb, er oed, gwell ni roed ywntra^tiA : 12 

Meue5 be5, berthrwyS ot aSwyndawd. 
[Haer Alexander gymerth yna : — 
Ynys Sur — dinas yng-wlad Syria — 

11 At wlad 5inistrad Ira din Urea. — i6 
13 Ciwdawd Babilon, a llys Susa — 

12 Gwlad Persia, Media, Ykbataxina. — 

13 Yniale5 Parthia a, parth India, 

Mawr Wlad Galdaria, bychan i da, ao 

IS hyd yr ymSug tir — tywarch yna. 

Yd wnahont eu bryd wrth eu herwa : 

CyweSant wystlon i Europa : 
17 AnTheithant wladoeS, wysioe5 terra : 94 

Gwychr gwerynt wrageS, gor-'z/ynt yna — 

19 Bron-loscent ygan wyleS gwastad, 

a godei avar ban adro5ad. 27 

20 A 5ygo//ynt vraint gwneint ben brithred : 

21 Mil wyr vagent 5a wn ban attoded. 

130 



THE ELEGY OF KING RICHARD 
The Elegy of King Richard. 



At the time of the Crusade when the world was i 
summoned, two fair ones ruled our land : 

The one most generous, & sweetest of those born. 

The other irascible ; woe to the state : 4 

He burst our border three times in war, but 
he never will be a covert to his fathers men. 

The former like an apple-tree beautified the land : 

While overcoming Alexander, he falls into 8 

the golden fetter. Alas, he was imprisoned, but 
not for long. His death came on the spot 
where he received the arrow from the host. 

None better was ever interred : the \i 

passport of the grave is the beauty of holiness. 
[Irresistible Alexander had taken 

the island citadel of Tyre in Syria, which he 
over-ran beyond the earthen ramparts (of Gaza) — 
the state of Babilon, & the palace of Susa — 17 
the countries of Persia, Media, Ecbatana — 
the Parthian desert and, towards India, 
the Great Hot Country (of little good), ao 

as far as the land went — morass beyond. 

They do as they please on their wanderings : 

They despatch hostages to Europe : They 23 

plunder the countries of the nations of the earth ; 

They ruthlessly tamed, then violated the women, 
whose breasts burnt with constant humiliation, 
which gave rise to fresh sorrow when it was told. 36 

Those who lost their freedom raised the whirlwind : 

The soldiers received a boon by marrying. 

I2 13« 



BOO/C OF TALIESIN 

51 Rhiallu a vu varw yrac syched — 30 

eu gau gowilleu, ac eu railed : 
23 A's gwenwynwys gwres cyn no-u trevred.] 
34 Nev wlad i'tli weison pan SififoSed : 

Ni byS i-th escar escor IluSed, 34 

25 rhag goval yr hual a-i agaled. 

Cyn no hyn hanii€\ gwell Sigoned 

52 i-m harglwyS Had IlwyS gwlad gogoned — 

un oror oreu Jor ystlyned. 38 

2 Diwyccwyv 1 Wnelhwyv, genhyv gyvred — 

At sawl a-m clywho boed meu y huned. 
4 Digonwynt vo5 Duvv cyn gwasc tydwed. 41 



Echrys Ynys. 

/2!rCHRYS ynys, 
V>4. gwawd huSianus- 
68 gwrys go-betror. 

Mon vad, gogei ; 

7 gwrhyd ervei, 

yMenei 5or. 

Lleweis wirawd — 

8 gwin a bragawd, 

gan vrawd escor. 

Teyrn orwyv : 

9 diweS pob rhwyv, 

rhewinetor. 

Tristlawn deon 
10 yr archadon, 

can rhychitor : 

132 



THE ELEGY OF KING RICHARD 

A liimdred thousand died from thirst, 
with their false brides, & their beasts : the 31 

heat destroyed them before their return home.] 

The heavenly kingdom be thy men's heritage at death ; 

Thine enemies will never shake off their weariness, 
because of the care of the fetter, & the hardship (thereof). 

Or ever this happened better was prepared 36 

for my lord, the blessings of the Land of Glory — 
the unparalleled clime associated with God. 

May I amend ! what I do keeps step with me. 

Mine be the prayer of all who hear me : Let them 40 
do the will of God ere the pressure of the sod. 



The Island Dread, 1197. 

HE island dread 
has muffled the muse — 
upheaval everywhere. 

It shook bonnie Mon ; 
Bravery triumphed, 
at Menei's door. 

I drank liquor — 
wine and bragget, 

with an uterine brother. 

The prince I will vanquish : 
The end of every ruler 
is to be ruined. 

Very sad the chieftains 
of the over-lord, 

because he is buried. 

133 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

68 Nid vu, nid vi, 

11 yng-hymelri, 

i gyveisor. 

Pan Soeth adon, 

12 o wlad Wydion — 

Seon dewSor, 

Gwenwyn pyr 5oeth ; 

13 peSei beunoeth, 

meinyoeth dymhor. 

CwySynt gyvoed, 

14 ni bu glyd coed — 

gwynt yng-oror. 

Math yr eu^yryS, 

15 hudwyth gelvyS, 

rhySelw^i vor. 

Ynryw Gwydion, 

16 ae z/amaeth, Don, 

y5 oe5 gynghor. 
TwyII-d41 roSawd 

17 ffyrv ffodiawg — 

ffyrv 5i-achor. 

18 Cadarn gyngres 

i varanres, 

ni bu warth-vor. 

19 ILawen gyveS, 

ym-hob gorseS, 
wnelid i bor. 

20 Cun Tynaethwy, 

hyd tra vwyv vyw, 
Crybwylletor. 

134 



THE ISLAND DREAD 

There never was, nor will i6 
be, in time of trial, 
his equal. 

When the chief came ig 

from Gwydion's country — 
the stout defence of Seon, 

The Plague also came — 22 
it stalked nightly, through 
a lovely summer : 

Contemporaries fell ; 25 

The woods were no shelter 
from the tempest in the land. 

Math, the golden cordwainer — 
the expeditious craftsman, 
bephantomed the sea. 30 

In the time of Gwydion, 
& of his foster-mother, Don, 
there was a modus operandi. 

He gives to illusive payment 
a fortunate appearance — 35 
an irresistible semblance. 

The mighty muster, 37 

of his battle array, 

had never been to sea. 

Joyous feasts were made, 40 

at every station, 
for the chief. 

The lord of Dinoethwy 
while I live, shall 44 

be commemorated. 

13s 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

68 Am bwy gan Grist, 46 

hyd na bwyv drist, 
ran ebostol. 

32 Hael archadon, 49 

gan engylion, 
cynwysetor. 

II. 

i^jfCHRYS Ynys 5^ 

vA gwawd huSianis — 
gwrys goxhyva : 

34 Rhag bug£z7-was, 55 

Cymry Sivas, 
aros ara. 

25 Uragonawl ben — 58 

(Priodawl berchen 
ym-Retonia), 

26 5iva r Gwledig, 61 

or-bendevig, 
a-i 5a derra. 

69 Y teir morwyn, 64 

wedy dixviyn, 
5ygnant eu tra : 

2 Er-5ygnant wir, 67 

ar vor a thir— 
hir eu trestra. 
Wy wir honyn, 70 

3 na 5igonyn 

5im go-Srutta. 
CerySus wyv, 73 

4 na chrybwyllwyv, 

a-m rhywnel 5a. 

136 



THE ISLAND DREAD 

May I have with Christ, 4s 
that I may not be sad, 
The portion of an apostle. 

The bounteous over-lord, 
by the angels, has been 

encompassed. 51 

II. 

J?^HE island dread 52 

\1/ has muffled the muse — 
Upheaval is general 

Against the regent, who 55 

has devastated Kymry, 
enduring patiently. 

The military head — 58 

(the rightful owner 

being in Bretonia), 
is eating up the King — 61 
an august nobleman, 
and his good land. 

The three maidens, 64 

after the winding, 
toil at their task. 

They do truly, toil hard 67 

on sea & land : long 
their arduous labour. 
They truly asserted, 70 

that they did 

nothing at all rash. 
I am to blame 73 

for not mentioning 
one who benefits me : 

137 



BOOK OF TALIESm 

69 I lary lywy, 76 

pwy gwaharSwy? — 

5 pwy attrevna ? 

Y nary adon 79 

a gynheil Mon, 

6 mywn go-wala. 

A'm bwy gan Grist, 82 

(hyd na bwyv drist 

7 o 5rwg, o dra), 

ran trugare5, 85 

i wlad RhieS— 

8 bucheS gyva. jb. 

Crogiad Madawg vab Maelgwn. 

QADAWG mur menwyd i 
<^ grogid cyn beS : 
66 Bu was en-rhyve5 

o gamp a chyveS — 4 

ji Ma</-wychr cyn Ileas ; 
i-w lawr dym-wystlas. 

12 Bu Erov greulawn : 

lleweny5 nz" chawn : s 

13 Tristid anwogawn, 

a oxeu 'r Creulawn. 
Am vradu Jessu, 

14 ac ev yn credu, u 
mae Cred yn givgii — 
daear yn crynu — 

elvyS yn garmu — 

15 cysteg, ac arjwyd, 16 
am vedy5 ar gxwydr. 

138 



THE ISLAND DREAD 

His liberal provision — 76 

who shall check? — 
who control ? 

(He is) the liberal lord, 79 

who maintains Mon, 
in abundance. 

May I have with Christ — 72 
(that I may not be sad, 

because of evil & excess), 

the portion of mercy 85 

for the Lord's country — 

a perfect life. ]U 

King John hangs Madawg . 1212. 

/T\ADAWG the bulwark of genius i 
\l A ivas hanged, or (he came to) the 
grave. He was a wonderful youth 

in feats of skill & entertainment : 4 
Good & brave, or he was slain, he gave 
himself a hostage for his country. 
But " Herod" was blood-thirsty ; 

& we shall, no more, have joy : 8 

Overwhelming sorrow 

the Cruel One wrought. 
For betraying Jesus, 
and he a believer, u 

Christendom is wrath- — 
the earth is quaking, & 
the elements are howling : 
(There is) affliction & horror 16 
because baptism is missing. 

139 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

66 DrygXaxa anwogawn 
i6 a oryw 'r Creulawn, 

yn myned, yn y drevn, 
17 ym-hlith oer gethern, 
yng-waelawd uffern. jb> 

iffilattliatDli Dp[an , . 1212. 

aN Duw uchav, i 

Dewin doethav, 
67 mwyhav amner. 

10 Vwyn dylivas ; 4 
Pwy a-« swynas, 

a gras trahael. 

11 Neu, gynt nog Ev, 

pwy vu dangnev 8 

ar reSv go-vel ? 

12 Gwrthriv ga« dra«M, 
Gwenwyn a wnaeth — 12 

13 gwaith gwythloneS. 
Gwanaj Dylan — 
adwythig z/an, 

14 dreis yn hydr-weS. 16 
Ton IwerSon, 

a then Vanaw, 

15 a thon OgleS : 

a thon Prydein — 20 

torv oe5 virein 
ym'heira;««e5. 

16 Golychav Dad, 

Duw, dovySad 24 

gwlad, heb omeS : 

17 Creawdr celi 

a-n cynnwys ni, 
yn-hrugareS. 28 

140 



KING JOHN HANGS MAD A WG 

Overwhelming the fate that will 
overtake the cruel one, when 
he goes, in the order of things, 20 
among the heartless fiends 

into deepest hell. 1= 

%\i Ijartgino of DpCan (point), 

HE One God supreme, i 
the wisest prophet, (&) 

the greatest almoner : 
Who threaded our warp ; 4 

Who blessed us with 

grace abounding. 
Now, who, before His time, 
acted as harmony 8 

on the spirit of war ? 
The hostile force along the 
coast raised discontent — 12 

it rouses evil passions. 
The Point of Dylan — 

a miserable place, the 

force pillages ruthlessly, i.e. 
the crew from Ireland, 
and the crew from Man, 

& the crew from GogleS, 19 

and the crew from the 'South' — 
a company which excelled 

in feats of engineering. 
I worship the Father, 
God, the indisputable 24 

Ruler of the land. 
The Creator of heaven 
will encompass us about 

with mercy. 28 

141 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

(«tot)!)aii ffitob . 1213. 

yM-CHWELES elvyS, 
val troi nos yn 5y5. 

65 Go-5yvod clodry5 — 

Erov beir vedyS. 4 

Ev a 5ywedei, 

66 angheu na-s rhivei. 
Y-mordei, i yscwyd 

arnaw a dornV/. 8 

2 Erov, sywessid, 
"ermi^ Loegr i gyd." 

3 Pedeir llorv cyhyd, 

rhuSeur ar eu hyd — 12 

Colovneu Ercwl 

4 ni-s ar-vei/ bygwl. 
Bygwl, ni-s beiSei ; 

5 gwres heul, ni-s gadei. i6 
Nid aeth neb vr nev, 

hyd i •warog2t.t.'Ca. ev. 

6 Erov, vail ffossawd, 

ban am'duS tywawd, 20 

7 A-s rho5wy Trindawd 

drugareS SySbrawd — 
s wyndawd heb eiseu. W 

iffilar(tl))atoli ffiortoi mab Dajtj, 

Y^YFFYNHAWN lydan Syleinw aches : 
^J i Saw a-i hepcyr — di-bris i bres. 2 
66 Mar(th)awd Corroi a-m cyffroes. 

20 Over dovi gwr garw i an-wydeu, 

a oeS vawr i 5rwg — mwy ni-s cigleu. s 

22 Mab Dayry 5alei arwr Deheu ; 

dathlawg oe5 i glod cyn no-i adneu. 

142 



JOHN SUBMITS TO THE {POPE) 

3Iol)n Bubmita (to tlje Pope). 

l-vIS reversal of polity is i 

JLc like fuming night into day. 
It is a glorious event — 

Herod brings about baptism. 4 

He was wont to boast 

that he would not heed death. 
On the coast his shield 

was shivered upon his arm. 8 

Herod, it was prophesied, would be 

in conflict with all England. 
Four pillars of equal length, 

all covered with ruddy gold — n 

the pillars of Hercules, 

no rebellion will bring down. 
He did not dare the interdict : he 15 

would not quit the sun's warmth. 
No one went to heaven 

until his submission. 
Herod, of conflicts innumerable, 19 

when the sand shall cover. 
May the Trinity grant him 

mercy, on the day of doom, 

& complete felicity, jb. 13 

'^^e ftma0|)ino of Kino 3fo|)n , 1215. 

HE spreading flood fills the road-stead ; His i 
son-in-law thrusts him aside & recks not his 
adversity. The smashing of Corroi has moved me. 

Vain is the appeasing of a man of harsh passions, 
who did much evil — I never heard of greater. 5 

This son of Dairi detained the hero of the South, 
who was renowned before his imprisonment. 

J43 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

66 DyfFynhawn lydan 5y-leinw nanneu : 8 

i Saw a-i hepcyr — dyvrys Deheu. 
25 Mar^hawd Corroi genhiv inheu. 
Over dovi &c. 

aS Dyfifynhawn lydan Syleinw y Ilyr : 12 

67 Rhysaeth Sychyrch draeth di-wng ebyr. 
Gwr a werescyn gylchyn Deheu ; 

2 M[a]wr i varanres iorres gaereu. 

Ac wedi mynaw, myned trevyS : 16 

3 a[eth]ant wy vrodyr vre WynionyS. 

Tra mi 'm'USugre, vore, dugawr 
chwe51eu am gwySao/ awyr hyd lawr. 

s Cyvwzng Corroi a Chocholyn — ■ 20 

niaws eu tervysc am eu tervyn. 

6 Tar5ei-« pen i amwyn gwerin aSvwyn. 

Caer yssy i Gulwy5, ni gwy5, ni gryn : 
8 Gwyn vyd yr eneid a-i harobryn. 24 



JKattonan ut{)et 33en. 

/T\YVI vuwz T'oII/'awd yn-hrydar ; 
> i -^ ni pheidwn, rhag IIu heb wyar. 

71 Myvi a elwit Gor-lassar : 
9 'ng-wr«^s, bu envys i-m hescar. 

Myvi, tywyssawg yn-hywell : 
am rhithwyj a-m dug yng-haweTT. 

11 Myvi, eil 5awyl yn ArSu, 

ni pheidwn heb wyar rhag lIu. 
Myvi a amug, wrth vessur, 
13 yn-i-vant, axharant Gasnur. 

NeuT or-5yvneis waed am Wythur— 
15 cleSyval hydr rhag meib Cawrnur. 

144 



TBE SMASHING OF KING JOHN 

The spreading flood fills the channels : his son- 8 
in-law thrusts him aside and hastens South. 
Of the smashing of Corroi will I sing. 
Vain is the appeasing, &c. 

The spreading flood fills the tidal reaches : an 12 
expedition seeks the strand of spacious Abers. 

Our hero over-runs the ambit of the South 
with a great host : he broke its Castles. 

After penetrating (everywhere) all turn homeward : 
The brothers went to the height of GwynionyS. 17 

While I was at Bu5ugre, one morning, news 
was brought of the skies falling down. 

"John" struggles with " E^ewelyn" — 20 

many their quarrels over their frontier. 

Our prince arose to defend the honest poor. 

The loving God's citadel will neither fall, 
nor totter. Blessed the soul that shall win it. a4 



%\)Z tljtenolie of uti)gt 58en. 

IW.VS a bolt in the tumult : i 

I would shed blood to stop a host. 

I was called Blue Enamel's Glory ; my 
girdle was as a rainbow to my enemy. 4 

I was a prince in disguise : He, who 
enchanted me, placed me in the creel. 

I was the fosterling of ^awyl in ArSu : 
I would shed blood to stop a host. 8 

I defended, in reason, the friends of 
Casnur on (his) evanishment. 

I drew blood to avenge Gwythur— n 

Daring the fight against the sons of Cawrnur. 

K 145 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

71 Myvi a.gevets, wrth vessur, 13 

nawved rhan yng-wrhyd Arthur. 

16 Myvi a dorreis gant caer : 

Myvi a leSeis gant maer. 16 

18 Myvi a roSeis gant lien : 
Myvi a leSeis gant pen. 

19 Myvi a roSeis, i Henben, 

gleSyvawd gor-vawr gynghaHen. 30 

30 Myvi a rfereu daran hyS, 

h«/yator i deith pen mynyS. 

31 GweSw, i'm cov, HySwn o gilyS : 

Nid oeS vyd, ni bei eisiny5. 34 

33 Mi-d-wyv varS moladwy, cywreint, 

a gin am vraenad eryr gwytheint : 
35 AvagSu a-i deubu yng'Him «eint, 37 

ban ymjyrth bydrwyd rhwng dwy gainc. 
Dringaw i nev (oeS ev vy chwant), 

72 a-r eryr, rhag ovn am-heirant. 

3 Wyv barS a thelynawr — 

wyv pibyS a chrythawr 32 

3 i seith ugein cerSawr 
5yor-vawr gynghallen — 

4 Bu g^thlyS ryvreinad ; 

hu, escad, Sa/ceinad. 36 

I vab Syveirw nad — 

5 5yveirw Sewindab, 
ar vlaen vyn-havawd, 

i draethu mar//4awd. 40 

Handid, o-m main ganizA, 

7 gwrthgloSiad wyd Prydein, 
hiiyscein ym'hwyllad. 

8 Wledig Nev ! Clyw 'ng-hennad, 

na-m gomeh dy doad. 45 

146 



THE THRENODY OF UTHR BEN 

I obtained, by measure, 13 

the ninth part of Arthur's prowess. 

I destroyed a hundred forts : 

I killed a hundred castellans : 16 

I bestowed a hundred tents : 

I cut off" a hundred heads : 

I administered, to Henben, 

the stroke of the great enchanter. ao 

I enchanted a fair-sized stag, 

that was driven to the mountain top. 
Desolate, I remember, was HySwn without a 34 

partner : it was not life without an offspring. 
I am a skilled bard, worthy of praise, who 

sings of the putrefying of the chafing Eagle. 
Avag5u came to him in the dales of Cim, when 27 

his putrid flesh was falling between the branches. 
To climb with the Eagle to heaven, for fear 

of dissolution — that was my desire. 

I am bard and harpist — 

I am piper and crowder ; 32 

to seven score minstrels 
of the very great enchanter, 
who had been a highly gifted singer, 
and a spirited, fluent, reciter. 36 

His son will inspire the dirge, 

and prepare the witchery, 

on the tip of my tongue, 

to tell of the death. 40 

Mayhap, by my trifling song, the 

wrath of Prydein has been soothed, 

dispersing itself into wisdom. 
Ruler of Heaven, give ear to my embassy : 

Do not deny me thy roof-tree. 4s 

K2 147 



BOOK OF TALJESIN 

aAIN gyveSwch 
yam dawelwch — 
72 elwch 2sahad. 
ro PeryS ang-hawr, 
roed yn elawr, 
rhyyscri«ad. 
II Milein fifo Caw — 
Llyng^« rhagSaw — 
mwyedig vrad. 
Draig ym-t/ryssiei, 
\i o5uch Hyreu, 

yn Hestreu Had. i 

ILad yr twx-daw, 

13 meb-^oxn yn Haw, 

Ilawr ysc'iad. 

14 Y-modrydav, 1 

ev ryth-iolav, 
yn rh'iyh mad. 
BuSugaa// Veil I 
am-Hanogan ri ; a 

15 rhygeidw yn teithi. 
Ynys ve?' Veli — 

teithawg z/y5 iSi : 

16 Pym pennaeth 5ybi, i 

o Wy5yl IFichti — 

17 o berth gadeithi — 
o gene51 ysci. 

Pymp ereill 5ybi, -. 

iB o Ffreinc Normandi. 

Wheched, rhyve5 ri, 
19 o hau hyd vedi. 

Seithved, o heni, 3 

dym-werid dros li. 
!io Wythved, Linx a vi — 
ni'd IlwyS i escori. ; 

148 



TO LLEWELYN WHEN JOHN DIED 

I^LEASANT the festivity— 
Jt, a thank offering for peace — 
the rejoicing of many races. 
The unprincely sovereign, 4 

who was placed in a Utter, 
has been entombed. 
Sullen the flight of "John," 
fronting him a fleet, and 8 

ever-growing treason. 
The " Dauphin " hastened, 
up the tidal reaches, 

in goodly vessels. 12 

The glorious son-in-law, 
mead-horn in hand, blesses 
the country's deliverance. 
At the mother-court 16 

I will greatly praise thee, 
our beneficent prince. 
Victorious " Llywelyn ", 
son of the chief Manogan, 10 

will maintain our privileges. 
The island that was Beli's, 

will know wandering (spirits) : 
Five chiefs will come 34 

of the Irish Picts — 
of fine fighting mettle — 
of a ravaging race. 
Five others will come— 28 

the Franks of Normandy. 
A sixth, a wonderful King 

from seeding time to harvest. 
A seventh, outside the island, 32 

will be delivered over-sea. 
An eighth, a Lynx will be — 
his birth will bring no blessing. 

149 



Daroganeu. 



Y^YS-GO-GAN Awen Ffreinc Syvryssyn- 
^J maranheS a ineue5 hSd genhyn : 
70 A phennaeth ehalaeth IFraw unbyn, 
wedy he5, SyanheS bob mehyn. 4 
32 Gwlad veirw — Aychyrchir Mon — 
tyrvhit hyd Valaon. 
a3 YmSeithig i haelon — 

ILuSedig niarchogion — 8 
34 Gwlat, gwehyn bargodion. 

CoHawd gymyrreS 
25 yn rhygystlyneS 

o bennaeth weison. 12 

36 Rhy5yby5 ILeinawg, 

a vy5 gwr hwannawg 
71 i werescyn Mon. 

A rhewin WyneS — 16 

2 i heithav, a-i pherveS, 

a chymmer wystlon. 

4 DySaw gwr o gu5, 

a wna gyvamru5 20 

a chad yng-hyn-don. 

3 Ys dig i wyneb ; 

ni-d estwng i neb, 23 

na Ffreinc na Saeson. 

5 Aran a 5yvy5 — 

pellenawg lywyS, 
IlewenyS Brython. 27 

ISO 



Prognostications. 



HE Muse prophesies that the French will hie away- 
that their people & possessions will fly with them — 
that the wide supremacy of the AberSxo princes, 
when peace is made, will settle everywhere. 4 

The land will seethe — Mon will be attacked — 
upheaval will extend as far as Balaon. 
Our princes will be wanderers — 
Our knights will be worn out : & men 8 

of the border will exhaust our land. 

Kymry will lose its status 
from too much intercourse 
on the part of her princes. n 

There will come to ILeinog 
a man who will be eager 
to conquer Mon : 

He will ruin GwyneS — j6 

its extremity, & centre, 
& will take hostages. 

A hero will come out of the void, 
who will execute bloody work, ao 

& give battle in the breakers. 

Fierce of aspect 
he will cringe to no one — 
nor French, nor Saxon. h 

Another will come — 
a wandering chieftain, 
the joy of the Brython. 37 

«5i 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Canu Owein ap Kadwgan. 

"^OHY-Syrchavwy Duw, ar blvvyv Brython, 
rL.1 arwy5 llewenyS — IliiyS o Von. 

72 Cyvrysse5 GwyneS, brys or-chor5ion. 

25 IFaw claer o bob aer caffael gwystlon : 4 
Dyby5ant ffdwys yn-wys ffyllon : 

73 Gwyr gor-wyn, g6rynt ar eu deSvon. 

Deu £-un luy5ant, bySant gysson, 

3 yn un re5v, un eir, gyweir, gymon : 8 
cyvranant yn iawn, cyvia.v/n vaon. 

4 Ban welych wrMryn am Lyn Aeron — 

Ban vo trwm Towi, a Theivi'n Hon, 

wy wnant aer, ar vrys, am lys Lonion. 12 

6 Y gau ni-s dewis, yn os-corZion, 

ni nothwy Sinas rhag tras wythlon. 

7 Dyn clud, dyn maerud, dyn dar-ymson — 

neu'd oeS Iwyr Sengyn — dyn rhieSon. i6 

9 Ban 5yvu Gadwgawn 

dros eigawn IwerSon 
y5 atrevnwys neS yr arS Verion : 
JVi bu Mr yno heb ovalon : 20 

11 Ys moch y clywis am geisadon — 

am varchawg mor daer am gaer Lo«ion — 

12 am Slal Ithel ar an-wynion — 

am ware pellew a phen Saeson. 24 

13 Ys tra-blu5 Cath Vraith ang-hyvreithlon : 

O Ryd ar Daradr hyd Wygyr Von, 
15 Jeuanc Si-vwynas 5inas maon. 

0-r pan amlygir mel ymeiHon 28 

17 gadent y hamrydar, a'u hamrysson : 
ni'd di-wystl godi dig wrth alon. 

152 



TO OWEIN AP CADWGAN 

To Owein ap Cadwgan. 

QAY God hoist on high, over the Brython race, the i 
flag of rejoicing : the armed host is leaving Mon : 
The strife in GwyneS speeds away the great retinues. 
Great the glory of receiving hostages, after every fight : 4 
Those that fled into the dense thicket are returning ; 
and the hoary elders are brooding over the laws. 
Tvio princes are marshalling — they will act harmonious- 
ly, with one impulse, in accord, equipped, & orderly : 8 
they will divide fairly and equitably their territories. 
When you see trouble beyond the Vale of Aeron — 
when the Towy is sad, and the Teivi is feasting, 
they will hurriedly lay siege round Lonion's Court. n 

The traitor will not choose for his champions, those who 
will not hold the fort against the outraged kindred. 

The abductor, a steward's kin, a notorious fellow, 
was a thorough villain of patrician descent. 16 

When Cadwgan returned 
over the Irish sea. 
He set in order a nook in hilly Merion : 
He was not long there free front cares : so 

He soon heard about men seeking him — 
about the Knight so ardent around Lonion fort — 
about the vengeance of Ithel on the recreants — 
about the rolling in play of Saxon heads. 24 

Troubled is the striped Cat of the foreigners : from 
Taradr Ford (on the Wye) to Kemeis bay in Mon, 
Owein afflicted the strongholds of the territorial lords. 

From the time honey is produced in clover, 28 

they quitted their tumult and their conflict : 
To stir a foe's ire is to give hostage (to fortune). 

153 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Canu Cadwgan ap BleSyn . 1107. 

aY-CHWEDYL a-m doSyw o Galch-vynyS : 
Gwarth yn-Eheubarth— an-rheith glodry5. 

38 Da 5ylez' Syvale? w/e5 vedyS, 

a Ilawn vybei i Ystrad o lad gynnyS. 4 

14 Ys llary Uywyhei bawb vei yno, 

oni haeth penblet^ wnaeth arallvro. 

15 Am Nest cad gormes tra trach-wres bro ; 

odid o Gymry a-i llavaro. 8 

16 Dyved Sygyrchei vei va. WySno, 

ac ni lyvessid Nej^ niivetdo : 
Er talu can mu iu erot lo : 

18 Go-leith d-yscarant amgant dy vro, u 

mal y twym A«an darth yn yd vo. 

19 Ban gyrchad daertd ar dir GwySno, 

oe5 celein vein wen rhwng graean Gro. 
31 Ban hwyles echwyS o glyd /wys vro, i& 

nid evrevwys hxxwch wrthol y llo. 

Cadeu Mabon, a Brad Owein . 1116. 

33 Cyvarchav Vabon o arall vro ! is 
Ca^d, ban amug Owein i vro, 

34 cad yn Rliydj' Gors ; cad ar Gov/yn : 

cad yng'o-ffyllwyS — a^n u5un ; 21 

as cad rhag rhodaw/ wys — Fflemys erwin, 
i gwaewawr derexx a lieu lain : 

39 cad rhwyvan syberw der-lyw der'lin, 24 
a-i yscwyd yn Haw yng-arthan gryn 

2 A welei Vabon ar vron Rheidawl, 

rhag-Sara/, ar redeg, dygymyscawr. 

3 Oni bei ac adane5 y5 ehettyn, au 

rhag Mabon, heb galaneS, wy ni-d iiyn 
5 O arvod discyn a thervyn cad, 

gwehenid Raso an'O'leithad. 31 

154 



TO CADIVGAN AP BLEDDYN 

To Cadwgan ap BleSyn. 

HTALE has come to me from Calch-vyny5 i 

of shame in the South, & of glorious spoil. 
He should fare well who conceived a feast of baptism : 

Full should his valley be of increasing blessings. 4 

Kindly he governed all who dwelt therein, 

until the entanglement arose — an outsider's work. 
ne Nest affair brought hardship, over and above local 

explosion : scarcely out of Wales may one speak of it. 1 
Dyved would have attacked the land of GwySno, 

but it had not dared lest Nest should suffer. 
Though fined a hundred cows you had the calf. 
Your adversaries are dissolving around your n 

valley like a mist warmed by the sun. 
When the mortuarium was sought on GwySno land, 

the corse of the fair lady was under the sands of Gro. 
When Owein sailed west from a cosy pleasant 16 

home, the cow did not low after the calf 

Griffith ap Rhys, & Owein ap Kadwgan. 

I greet Mabon from another valley ! When Owein 
ap Cradog was defending his land, we had 
a battle at Rhyd j/ Gors ; a battle on the Cowyn ; m 

a battle in the darksome thicket — a curse upon it ; 
a battle against the roving horde — the uncouth Flemish, 
whose spearmen Mabon smote with gleaming lances ; 
a battle with the high-lineaged lord's proud steward, 14 
who, shield in hand, was quaking in the camp. 

Those who espied Mabon, on the hillside above 
Rheidol, ran before him pell-mell. 

Were it not with wings that they flew, jS 

from Mabon, without slaughter, they would not escape 

Between the descent and the end of the war, 
Razo was delivered from destruction. ^\ 

155 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

39 Ban_^wys heryw rhag Hyw y «//ad, 32 

tavled calch achlwyr o grys-^rwydrad. 

8 Nu, nid ev yscavael 

i neb Sy-Swyn biw moel. 
Cygesclwch, Gynreinon! 36 

9 rhag gwyr Ilem rhuSion — 
rhag pedrydan dan-5e — 

10 rhag cadarn gyvwyre — 

rhag gwyar er-Sygnawd — 40 

rhag avar ystaenawd. jl=> 

u CychweSyl a-m do5yw o dcaion Deheu — 
traeth rhieu glew, haelon : 

13 ni-th o'gyveirch echwynogion, 

am rygur gwern yng-hadvaon. 45 

14 Ban berid rhyvel gan Ri Dragon, 

bollt na o-wyllte^ ?ieb rhag Mabon. 

15 O arvod gwxthun ! cun bygwybws 

_)'»^-halane5 brad Ystrad Rwnwj : 

a bu lewenyS 15 a-i cyrchws. 50 

17 Bann ymadraw5 gwyr gwedy nuchein 

cad : ni-s dienghis yscwyd Owein — 

18 yscwyd volch wrthiad, yng-had tra-blu5. 
Ni rywei wartheg heb wyneb rhu5 ; 54 

20 a rhu5 eu beudy •wedyx mawr vrid — • 
gor-loched gwyar ar warthav iid. 

21 Ac ar wyneb ll-wyd yd rhygafifad 

eur-obell greuled, gain i duHiad. 58 

23 Prai5 Bov/ys idles Saresteinad 

rhag taer vrwydr y trz cyvestrawn Md. 

25 IVy, ban gyvylchyn gainc rhyscwydad, 

Sis'creinynt j/w vawr lavnawr am iad. 62 

26 Torrad Owein /awr o vawr irad : 

40 VeinSyS, ev cwyScz' vei'n amwyn gwlad. 
Ban 5iscynn Owein j/^zg^wenlad yr 

3 EchwyS, ervyn vu5 o'i Dad. 66 

156 



GRIFFITH AP RHYS &' OWEIN KADWGAN 

When Mabon's men fled, from the ruler of the place, 31 
their entire armour was discarded in hasty flight. 
Now, it is no credit to anybody 

to carry away defenceless cattle. 
Band together, ye chieftains, 36 

againt the men with ruddy lances — 
against general conflagration — 
against a mighty rising — 
against the gore of the conflict — 40 

against the spread of sorrow. \^ 
A story has come to me from the lands of the South — 
from the shore of brave, generous princes. 
The aggrieved will not welcome thee, 

because of the hardship of alder battle-grounds. 45 
When the Dragon's King caused war to be made, 
(it was) a shock that none felt wild against Mabon. 
By a tragic chance the Dragon fell, in the 
treacherous butchery of Ystrad Rwnws, 
and it was a joy to his attackers. 50 

Loud the talk of men after the stress of battle : 
the shield of Owein did not escape — the shield 
that was notched, by resisting, in grievous fight. 
Nor, were the cattle without gory faces, 54 

and gory their byre, after the great treachery — 
gore was lodged on the top of their heads. 
And over a pallid face was found a finely 

wrought saddle of gold, stained with gore. 58 

The Powysian herd sought ways of dispersion from 
the persistent attacks of the three alien stocks, who, 
when they forced a breach in a section that swayed, 
brandished wildly their blades about their heads. 6a 
Owen was cut down from intense hatred : 

At dawn, he was felling defenders of their country. 
When Owein is descending into the blessed land of the 
West, he craves for a blessing from his Father. 66 

157 



BOOK OF TAUESIN 
The Battle of Llech Wen. 

HM ^yrae/A gwyr cadr aeth, ygan 5y5, i 
am Wledig, gweithvuSig warthegyS. 

56 Urien^wd, hwn an-wawd ot newyS ; 

cyvliieS teyrneS a-i gorvyS. » 

17 RhyvSlzV rhwysc en'wir rhwyv bedyS : 
Gwyr Prydein a dwythein yn HiiyS. 

19 Vn Ystrad ys dadl cad, cyn y 5yei ; 

ni noSes ymaes na choedyS. 8 

20 Tud achles Syormes, pan 5yvy5, 

mal tonnawr, tost eu gawr, dros elvyS. 

32 Gweleis wyr, gwych gedwyx, yn ItiiyS ; 

gwedy brad bore cid briwgigyS. 12 

23 Gweleis drin — torv teir ffin^«-hranc dig ; 

gwaeS goda«, a-r baran goxhlywid. 
25 Yn amwyn Ystrad Cwj/n y gwelid 

govud mawr ang-wyr llawr, HuSedig. 16 

16 YnTws tyr, gweleis wyr HedruSion, 

57 eirv Sillwng yrag blivng gj/voedion. 
Unyn jfn-hanc, gan aethant goluSion : 

3 IlawS yng-hroes, eu gryd ro^j ranwynion. 20 
Cyvedwein i gynrein gywym don ; 

4 gwanecawr, Hychant rawr eu callon, 

Gweleis vzg- goscorthig bystylad : 
Gweleis waed a vagle^ ar SiHad. 24 

5 A SuIIyn Si'avlym, 5wys wrthgad, 

gint ortho. Ni bu ffo : ban bwylTad, 

7 glyw rhygas, rhyve5as pan veiSad. 

8 Gweleis vig rhyo-5ig am Urien, 28 

yn ymrysson a-i alon yn ILech Wen. 

9 Yng-henveint galwytheint oe5 lawew : 

Aerawrf wyrf, go-borthid wrth anghen'. 
II Awy5 cad SiffoSad yn Urien. 32 

158 



OWEIN AP CADWGAN 

Owein ap Cadwgan, slain 1116. 

•i^ECAUSE of perfidy, brave men went, at dawn, i 

AJ against the Gwledig, the victorious cattle-hfter. 
Owein's /aie will be a fresh cause of shame : 

The joint action of the princes will overthrow him. 4 

The baptized ruler's evil career shall be utterly crushed. 
The men of Prydein will leap into action. 

At Ystrad the strife began before daybreak : 
(Owein) gave quarters neither afield, nor in the woods. 8 

He devours the fat of the land as he goes : like 
baleful-sounding billows (he sweeps) over the country. 

I saw men, fine warriors, in battle array : after the 
morning's treachery, their mangled bodies were found. 12 

I saw a battle : the host of three confines, in the hateful 
grip of death, raise a shout, & the rage (of war) is heard. 

In defence of Ystrad Gwyn had been seen the great 
tribulation of the poor sons of the soil, exhausted. i« 

At the portal of the towers, I had seen blood-stained 
men who drop their arms before their angry fellows. 

They made peace, for they went into the interiors ; 
Solaced in misfortune their shout causes blanched cheeks. 

(Owein's) chieftains know the triumphant note ; as 21 

it is poured forth, they hide the tumult in their hearts. 

I witnessed the spite of the wrathful retinue's activity, 
and the blood that was sprinkled on their mail. 34 

They planned a sharp, severe attack, and take 
cover. There was no flight : upon reflection 
the behated prince wondered that he was challenged. 

I saw the animus of the spite around Owein, 98 

contending with his enemies at ILech Wen. 

(Still) in the thick of the wrath of war he was cheerful. 
The lust of slaughter was satisfied as fate decreed : 
Eagerness for battle was quenched in Owein. 32 

159 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

9rme» IPtgBein. 

Y^YS-CO-GAN Awen Ffreinc Syvryssyn— i 
^J marhaneS a meueS h^d genhyn. 
13 A phennaeth ehalaeth IFraa/ unbyn, 
4 wedy heS, SyanheS bob mehyn. 4 

Gwyr gwychr yn trydar gasnar drmyn : 
6 Escud yng-ovud, rhyhyd Siifyn. 
Gwaethl Mivng wyr GweryS ; gwascar i Allmyn 

8 wnahawnt or-vole5 ; gwedy, gwehjii. 8 
A chymod Cymry a gwyr Dulyn — 

9 GwySyl rhyhoethon Von, a Phrydyn. 
Cornyw achlud^w gynn-wys genhyn : 

II Ad'borion vy5 Brython ban 5yorvyn. 12 

Bell amser, dyo-ganher, dybySyn 

13 teyrne5 o vonheS, a orescyn 

wyr GogleS yng-hynteS eu cylchyn — - 

14 ym-herve5 eu tac^weS y discynnyn. 16 

lOys-go-gan MyrSin cyvervyShyn, 

16 Yn Aber ySon, meiron teyrn. 

A chyn ni bei raith, Ilaith a gwynyn : 

17 O ewyllis vryd yd wrthvynnyn. so 
Meiron eu tretheu Bychynnullyn ; 

19 yng-hedoeS Kymry nz'-d vi delhyn. 
Yssy5 Syledawg a Sywawd i-n 
na Syflfei a dalei, yng-heith, him. 24 

V^ab Mair ! mawr o air, pryd na tharSed 
22 rhag'bennasth Saeson, weison hoffeS. 
Pell bwy y cylchyn ywrth deyrn Gwyne5 — 
Ev gyrhawd Allmyn i alltude5 ; 28 

24 neb ni's arhaeSwy 5yffwy yn-aer. 

Ni wys pyr dreiglynt ym-hob aber. 
a6 Ban brynwyd Daned, drwy ffed calleS, 

gan Hors a Hengys — ing eu rhysse5. 32 

1 60 



THE PROPHECY OF PRYDEIN 

®J>e ©topljetE of PrjBcin. 

5?5?HE Muse prophesies that the French will hie away — 
V2/ that their folk with their property will fly with them — 
that the widespread supremacy of the Aderffro Princes 3 
will extend everywhere, when peace has come. 

The stalwarts will loudly hate the marauders : 
He, who rushes into trouble, will have a long defence. 6 

Magnus will attack the men of Dee ; Ats Northmen will 
scatter them at their triumphal feast ; he will, then, depart. 

And the Kymry will make peace with the men of Dublin — 
the GwySyl who had come to Mon and Prydyn. 10 

The Cornovi will carry natives away with them ; 
Remnants will the Brythons be when they triumph. 

At a distant time, it is prophesied, there will come 13 

high-born princes, who will overcome 
the men of GogleS at the centre of their circuit — 
in the middle of their retreat they will fall. 16 

{I)yr5in prophesies that the stewards of the King 
will meet at Aber Y5on ; and before there 
could be any right (the Kymry) will complain of a levy, 
against which they will, heart and soul, protest m 

that the stewards will gather their crops, since 
in Kymr^s treasuries there will be no reserve. 

A great authority has told us that no one would 
ever come, who should pay anything in bondage. 34 

Son of Mary, of puissant power, may the time never 
arise for the supremacy of the Saxons, sons of greed. 

Far be their border from the Prince of GwyneS, 
who will drive the Northmen into exile : 28 

May none he fails to seize escape the grave. 

It is not known why they wander in every bay : 

When Thanet was secured, through manifest wisdom, 
by Hors and Hengist — straightened were their means. 32 

L 161 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

14 Eu cynnyS ywrthym : ys an-vonheS, 33 

2 wedy rhyn, dilein ceith ymynwer. 

3 Dychyvyd anghen angheu Hawer : 

2 Dychyvyd meSdawd mawr wirawd meS : 36 

4 Dychyvyd aereu 5agreu gwrage5 : 

5 Cyffry etgyllaeth bennaeth Hed-ffer : 
Dychyvyd tristid byd o ryher 

7 ban vy5 Normanieid an teyrne5. v 
Gwrthottid Trindawd Syrnawd bwyller — 

8 dilein o Saeson Vrython anheS. 
Boed gynt a-\x rheges yn alltudeS, 

10 no myned Kymry yn Si-vroeS. 44 

Yab Mair, mawr o ras, pryd na-s terSyn 

11 Gymry, rhag goeir brehyr unbyn ? 
Cynrycheid eilweith an-rheith gwynyn — 

J3 un gor, un gynghor, un eisor ynt. 48 

Ni vy^, er mawreS, na-s Ileverynt ; 

15 nag er hepcor cas na-s cymodynt. 
I Duw a Dewi dym'orchmynnynl : 

16 Talent ged, pallent ffled i Allmyn : 51 
Gwnaent an-eireu eiseu trevSyn. 

Saeson a Chymry gyvervy5yn ; 
yam Ian Dwy, treulyw drwy ym-wrthryn. 

19 O Sirvawr vySin y5 ym-brovyn : 55 

ac y'am allt Havnawr ang-awr a gryn : 

20 A amwyn Q,€\xiog ergyr verw Ilyn ; 

a Hym a>Nr a Saw, a garw Siscyn ; 

22 ac mal balaon Saeson syrthyn. 60 
Cynyrcheid Kymry, cyvun 5ullyn ; 

23 blaen wrth v6n granwynnion, cyvyngyn. 
Yng'warth gevyneu meirion greinhyn, 

25 a-u bySin yng-waedlin yn eu cylchyn. 
Erein, ar eu traed, trwy goed cilhyn . 65 

162 



THE PROPHECY OF PRYDEIN 

Their prosperity comes from us : it is, therefore, 33 

churlish to destroy so soon serfs under the yoke. 
Want will cause the death of many : 
Much mead-liquor will give rise to drunkenness : 
Battles will give rise to women's tears : 37 

Wailing will affect the feeble chieftain : 
A world-sadness will arise, from insubordination, 

when the Normans shall be our lords. 40 

The Trinity will avert the blow that is meditated— 

the destruction of the Brython home by the Saxons. 
Sooner be he, who has cursed them, in exile 

than that the Kymry should lose their land. 44 

VE)racious son of Mary, when would not the Kymry 
rise against the abuse of the baron-chiefs ? 

Our representatives, a united band, of one mind 
and lot, will complain a second time of plunder. 48 

There is nothing, by way of magniloquence, they will 
not say ; nor, to avoid ill-feeling, they will not agree to. 

To God and Dewi they commit themselves : they 51 
will pay tribute, but refuse a domicile to the Allmyn, 
who will create disturbances from want of a home. 

The Saxons & the Kymry will meet beyond the banks 
of the Dee : they will wear out by contention. 55 

With a great army they will prove each other ; & be- 
yond Berwyn the spearmen will tremble miserably. 

He, who will defend the C€\xiog, will contend with a 
boiling flood : a shrill war-cry will come, & a fear- 
some descent : like blossoms will the Saxons fall. 60 

Kymry's men will form as one body ; close to the 
rear of the pale-faced foes their van will hem them in. 

In the disgrace of gyves the stewards will cringe — 
& their army in a pool of blood will surround them. 

Others, on foot, through the woods will retreat ; 65 

L2 163 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

15 Drwy Vwlch y Dinas Voras fifohyn. 66 

Rhyvel ni Sym-chwel i dir Prydyn : 
2 Attor glaw gynghor — mal mor Ilithryn. 

{I)eirion Caer Geri di-vri gwynant ; 69 

4 rhai-r dyffryn, rhai'r bryn ni-s dir-wadant. 
Yn Aber Y5on ni vad Soethant ; 

5 anaeleu dretheu, dychynuHant : 72 
Naw ugein canhwr y dis-cynnant — 

7 Mawr watwar ! namyn pedwar ni-d atcorant. 
DyheS i-w gwrage5 a Sywedant — 

8 eu crysseu yn Ilawn creu aor-olchant. 76 
g Gwyneh gynyrcheid, eneid 5i"chwant, 

wyr Deheu rhag tretheu a amygant. 
II ILym-liveid lavnawr, Ilwyr y IlaSant : 

Ni vyd meSig mwyn o-r a wnaant. 80 

la BySinoeS gwaladr cadr y deuant ; 

dyrchavwynt eu gwlad, bob cad a wnant. 

14 Ar hynt an-o-leith yh ym-beiihaxit ; 

yn gorffen tretheu angheu w5ant. 84 

15 Ereill, ar ostri, a ryblanhant, 

ac yn oes oeseu ni-s escorant. 
Yng-hoed, ymaes, ym-ro, ym-ryn, 
17 ev gerS yn-howyll ganhwyll genhyn. ss 

Cynan a rag-wan ym-hob discyn : 
Saeson rhag Brython gwae a genyn. 
19 Kadwaladr yn baladr gan i unbyn ; gi 

drwy synhwyr, yn Hwyr, ev a-u dichlyn. 
31 Ban syrthwynt yng-hlas dros eu herchwyn, 

dagreu custu5 r^d ar ru5 Allmyn : 94 

x-j yng-orffen ang-reith an'rheith dengyn. 

Sais k i hynt Gaer Wynt, pwy gynt trechynt : 

24 Gwyn eu byd, Gymry, ban adroSynt. 97 

Rhyn-gwarawd Trindawd o-r traHawd gynt. 

164 



THE PROPHECY OP PRYDEIN 

Through the Pass of Dinas to Boras they will flee. 66 
War will not return to the land of Prydyn : Rain will 
upset all plans : like the flood, the foes will glide away. 

\Qi\\^ stewards of Caer Geri will lament ingloriousness : 
Some the dale, some the hill will not disdain. 70 

Unto Aber Y5on they will not come for their good : 
Terrible tribute they will collect — 
Nine score centuries they will be descending — 73 

O the mockery ! there will return but four. These 
will report great tranquillity to their wives, while 
their garments, soaked in gore, they will be washing. 

The uncovetous soul of the Gwyneh representatives 77 
will defend the men of the South from paying tribute. 

Sharply-ground blades do kill outright, and 
no compassionate healer can make alive again. 80 

The armies of our Prince will bravely advance : 
May they glorify their country in every fight. 

On a very destructive expedition they will go : 
in putting an end to tributes they will taste death. 84 

Fresh levies they will impose in the form of hospitality, 
which never, never will be set aside. 

In forest and field, in dale, and on hill, this 
(hospitality) will attend them as a lamp in darkness. 88 

Kynan will lead the attack in every descent : 
Brythons will cause the Saxons to sing songs of woe. 

Kadwaladr will be a pillar with his chieftains, gi 

whom, for their ability alone, he will select. 

When the AHmyn fall into a district beyond their bor- 
der, in custody their cheeks will run with tears. 94 
After a successful onslaught the villeins will pillage. 

The Saxon will go to Winchester after vanquishment. 
Blessed the Kymry, when they shall tell these things. 
The Trinity will deliver us from our former trouble. 98 

165 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Na chryned Dyved na Glywyssing : < 

16 Ni's gwnahon volawd meirion teyrn, 
I na chynghor Saeson, ceffyn obryn. 

Ni's gwna go-ve5ud veSdawd genhyn. 
3 Heb 5al, yd xoheint vaint a geffyn 

i ymSiveid, ^weSwon, a thlodion ryn. ic 
s Drwy eiriawl Dewi a sein Prydyn, 
hyd IFrwd ar Lazrgo ffohawd Allmyn. 

Dys'gO'gan Awen dySaw y dyS, 
7 ban 5yffo Iwys, yng-wys rk'iyS, lo 

yn gor un gynghor — ILoegr liiosyS, 
er gobeith ann-eir ar-n prydawl liiyS : 
9 A cherS arallvro, a ffo beunyS : 

Ni wyr rhu5 ym/a5 cw5 &., cw5 vy5. n 

11 Dychyrchwynt gyvarth, mal arth o wy5, 

i dalu gwyneith, gwaed eu heny5. 

12 Ad-vi beleitral — gwyar SiHyS ; 

ni'd arbettwy car gorff i gilyS. n 

Ad'vi ben gwallawg heb e«ez'ny5 : 
14 Advi wrageS gweSvv a meirch gweilyS : 

Ad'vi ubein uthr rhag rhuthr rheinyh : 
i6 ILiaws IIav« a phar wascar luyS ; 12 

cennadeu angheu, dychyvervyS. 
Can saffwynt yng-had wrth eu henyS, 
18 ev dialawr ar'werth y dretli bcunyS ; 
a-r anil gennadeu, a-r geu liiyS. 12 

°° X)y^rvir Kymry — cyvtx^iant 
yn gyt'ffy5, gyd-eir, gyvveir j/S aiit. 

31 Dydyrvir Kymry i beri gwysi&nt ; 

a Ilwyth, Iliaws gwlad, a gynuHant. i: 

33 ILuman glan Dewi a Syrchavant, 

i rysiaw GwySyl : drwy li eingant 

34 a.-r Gynhon Dulyn : Genhym savant, 
ban Syffont it gad, ni-d ym-wadant. 13 

166 



THE PROPHECY OF PRYDEIN 

Dyved and Glywyssing need have no fear : 99 

Those who will not praise the King's stewards, nor 
do the bidding of the Saxon, shall have their reward. 

Mead-drinking leads not to drunkenness with them. 

Without reservation they will distribute all they get 
among orphans, widows, and the poor not a few. 104 

By the intercession of Dewi and the saints of Prydyn, 
as far as Portlaw on the Suir the Northmen will flee. 

^he Muse prophesies that a day will come, when 
the Gewissi will answer the summons of the King, 108 
a unanimous company — England's forces— in the 
hope of bringing disgrace on our timely hosting. 

It will traverse strange districts & daily flee : active m 
warfare knows not its course, nor what will happen. 

They will make for the barking, like a bear from the 
wood, to avenge the blood of their ancestors. 114 

There will be spear-thrusts, and flow of blood ; even 
a friend will not spare the body of his fellow : 

There will be a chief lost without an anointer : 

There will be widows, and riderless horses : uS 

There will be a fearful outcry at the onset of the 
lancers : the countless blades & javelins will scatter 
the host, whom the angels of death will intercept. 121 

Since they will stand in war by their kin, 
the farming of the tribute will be avenged daily, 
upon the many collectors and the traitorous host. 124 

^he Kymry will be roused — they will strike together : 
confident, unanimous, prepared they will go. 

The Kymry will be roused to mobilize ; & the nation, 
in the plenitude of its numbers, will assemble. 128 

They will raise the banner of holy Dewi to con- 
found the GwySyl, who will escape by water to the 
Northmen of Dublin. Those who stay behind, 
when they come to battle, will not hold back. 132 

167 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Govynnan i-r Saeson py geisant : 133 

17 Pwy vaint yn-yled o-r wlad Saliant ? 
Cw mae eu helyM — pan seilassant ? 
a Cw mae eu ceneSl — pan y doethant ? 136 

3 Er oed Gwrtheyrn arnom sathrant : 

ni cheffir gwir randir a-n carant. 

4 Neu, breinheu a-n Sant rhysanghassant — 

rheitheu TJ'-Dewi rhydorassant. 140 

6 Ym-gedwynt Gymry. Ban ym-welant, 
ni-d ahont Allmyn ot van savant, 

8 nes cafFont seith-weith werth Sigonsant ; 
neu angheu dieu yng'wrth eu c^want. 144 

9 Ev talhawr an-war Armawn garant 

am drais a gormes escorassant 

10 ym-hedeir blyneS ar bedwar cant. 

Gwyr gwychrion, wallt hir, vc-^ycch do««y5 — 

11 i Sihol Saeson o Kon SyvyS. 149 
Dybi o Lairges lynghes rewy5 — 

13 rhewiniavi'd yn gwlad — rhwygawd lliiyS. 
Dybi o Alclud wyr drud, gweiryS, 152 

14 Sihol o Brydein virein liiyS. 
Dybi oludawg braw gyweithyS — 

16 cedwyr yar gadveirch — ni pheirch i henyS. 
Saeson o bopparth yng-warth SeubyS : 156 

17 rhydrenghi/ eu hoes, ni'S di-oes rkyZ. 
DySeubi a'ngheuT Du GyweithyS : 

clevyd a weryS a-u rhySiffyS. 
19 Gwedy cur, gorian, a chanhwynyS, 160 

boed berth a-n diiferth yng-wrth dryg-ffyS : 
31 Boed vur am-gor a'n cyffyllwy5 ; 

Boed greu, boed angheu eu cyweithyS. 164 

23 Sv a Chadwaladr, cadr yn IluyS, 

edmyccawr hyd vrawd, ffawd a SeubyS. 

168 



THE PROPHECY OF PRYDEIN 

They will demand of the Saxons what they are seeking : 

How much of the land they hold in fee ? ,34 

Where is their stock — when was it founded? 

Where are their people — whence did they come ? 

Since the time of Gwrtheyrn they trample upon us : 137 

We cannot enjoy the rightful share of our heritage. 

And now, they have trampled on the prerogatives of our 

Saint, and disregarded the rights of St. David's. 140 

Let the Kymry be on guard. When they visit us, the 

AHmyn will not quit the place in which they settle, 

until they get seven times the value of their work ; 

or meet with certain death in return for their greed. 144 
The barbarous Northern race will be paid 

for the oppression and plunder it carried on 

during four years and four hundred. 
Brave, long-haired, men will rush the waves, 148 

and will come to expel the Saxons out of Mon. 
From Portlaw will come a wanton fleet, 

which will ruin our country, and rend our host. 
There will come from Alclyde bold rustics 132 

who will expel from Prydein a magnificent host. 
There will come a prince who will prove the allies — 

warriors, on their steeds, whose race he will not respect. 
The Saxons, on every side, will fall into disgrace — 156 

their time will come to an end, but freedom will endure. 
The Dark allies will surely come to their death — - 

the plague that will spring up will extinguish them. 
After anxiety, the war-cry & the conflict, let him 160 

be prosperous, who defended us against bad faith : 

Let him be the fence-wall around us & our comfort : 

Let him shed blood & bring death to the allies. 
He & Cadwaladr, valiant in warfare, will be 164 

admired till doom ; fortune will favour them. 

169 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

35 Deu unben dengyn, dwys gynf^awsyS, i66 
Saeson or'sengyn, pleidyn Dovy5. 
Deu hael, deu gezdwarf gwlad warthegy5, 
18 di-archar, parawd, unffawd, unffyS. 

Deu erchwyn Prydein virein liiyS ; 170 

2 deu a-r ni-s g wna gwarth, /archaz/ beunyS. 

;J)ys-go'gan derwyS vaint a ServyS : 172 

4 O Vanaw hyd Lydaw i'w Haw vy5— 
O Dyved hyd Daned wy bieuvyS — 
6 O Wawr hyd WeryS, a-i habeyS, 

Ilettawd eu pennaeth dros yr Echwj/S. 176 
Attoraw Gynhon ; Saeson ni vy5 : 
8 At'chwelwynt Wy5yl a-r eu heny5 : 

rhySyrchwynt Gymry gadr gyweithyS. 
10 By5inoe5 am'gor athor liiyh, iSo 

a theyrneS dwys gedwys eu ffyS. 
Di wys pob llynghes a thres 5ervy5 ; 
12 a chymod cynran gan i gilyS. 

Ni alwawr Gynhon yn gynivyS 184 

14 namyn cyrch Cadwaladr gynniweii^S. 
Eil Gymro, llawen a llavar vy5 ; 
am ynys bwyeid haid a 5ervy5. 
16 Ban wnant galaneS ar eu henyS, 188 

hyd yng-HaL&c Santwig twynedig vy5. 

18 AHmyn a-i-gychwyn yn alltudyS, 

ol wrth ol atcor ar eu henyS. 

19 Saeson wrth angor, ar vor beunyS ; 192 

Kymry wenerawl, wrawl orvyS. 

21 Na cheiswc^ lyvrawr angawr brydyS — 

Armes yr Ynys namyn hyn ni byS. 

22 Jolwn Ri grewys nev ac elvyS : 196 

Boed tywys Dewi i-r cynivyS. 

24 Yn yr ing gwell no dim dwyvawl ffyS : 

ni threinc, ni Sieinc, ni-d ar-5ispy5— 

25 ni wyw, ni wellyg, ni phiyg, ni chryS. 200 

170 



TUB PROrHECY OF PRYDEIN 

These two leaders of the people, deep of counsel i66 
will trample on the Saxons, and support the Lord. 

Two generous ones — protectors of the land of cattle ; 
irrepressible, equipped, of one faith, and fortune. 

Two bulwarks of Prydein's magnificent army^ — two 170 
who do no ignoble thing, I shall ever respect them. 

^he sage prophesies what great things will happen : 
From Man to Brittany they will hold : from 173 

Dyved to (the forest of) Dean they will possess : 

From Woore to the Dee, and thence to its mouths 
their sovereignty will spread over the West. 176 

The Northmen will be thrust back ; Saxons will flee : 
The Gwy5yl will return to their own people : 
The Kymry will extol them, their brave allies. 

The armies of the border, our host will break up, 180 
and our sage princes will keep their faith. 

Against our people every fleet & trouble will disap- 
pear : our chieftain will make peace with his fellow. 

The Northmen will not be called combatants, 184 

but the gathering of Cadwaladr's tourists. 

The other Kymro, {O.G.) merry and jubilant will be : 
Around the battered island a horde will perish. 187 

When they make a murderous attack upon their kin, 
there will be sorrowing as far as Kaer (Gybi)'s 
Holy Bay. The Northmen will fly as exiles, 
and retrace their course to their own people. 191 

The Saxons will remain at sea, riding at anchor ; 
and the venerable brave Kymry will conquer. 

Search not the books of a miserable bard — 194 

there will be no other Prophecy about the Island. 

Let us worship the Father who created Heaven & earth : 

Let (St.) David be a guide to the combatants. 

In distress there is nothing like holy faith : 198 

it dies not, deserts not, is not exhausted ; it does 
not faint, nor fail, nor turn aside, nor waste away. 

171 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Datonhi?. 
t/^UW nev Sifferwy, 
\j rhag Hanw lied orSwy. 

28 Cyntav y tarrwy, 

33 a dreis dros Dovrdwy. 
Py rfren a vo vwy 

24 nog >■« Daronwy ? 
Ni-d vi a-n noSwy, 

25 ^an gyrch Balch nevwy. 
Ys rhin y su5wy— 

26 gwanawr gwyr Cornwy. 
Odid a-i gwypwy — 

hudlath Vathonwy. i 

29 Yng-hoed pan tyfTwy — 

ffrwytheu nwy cymrwy. 
1 At Ian Gwyllionwy, 

Kynan a-i cafifwy, 1 

pryd pan wledychwy. 

3 DySeuant etwaeth, 

dros drei a thros draeth, 

4 bedeir priv bennaeth : 2 
At bymhed, ni-d gwaeth — 

5 gwyr gwrS ehalaeth, 
aT Brydein arvaeth. 

6 Gwrage5 a vi ffraeth : 2 

Eillon a vi caeth : 
Rhyverthwy hir aeth, 

7 a ve5 warogaeth. 
DySaw^ dwy riein — 2 

8 Gwe5w a gwriawg vain ; 
ILedyn eu hadein 

ar wyr yn goriein. 3 

9 Dy5euant, gynrein, 

o am dir Prydein ; 

172 



DARONWY 

DaiontoE* 

QAY God of heaven defend (us) 
against the rising tide of violence. 
First may He strike him, 

who will pillage beyond the Dee. 
What insolence can be greater, 

than that at Daronwy ? There 

will be none to protect us when 

the Proud one enters the sanctuary. 
'Tis a secret that Hugh will sink — 

that the Cornovi will be dispatched. 
Scarcely may any know 

the magic wand of Mathonwy. i 

In the wood where it is growing, 

its fruits none may take. 
On the banks of Gwyllionwy 

may Kjnian find it, n 

at the time when he rules. 
Over ebb and strand four 

sovereign powers will yet ii 

again come upon the fifth, 

which is not inferior — 

upon brave, generous men, 

who rule over Prydein's lot. 
The women will be violated : ^^ 

Strangers will be made captive : 
Prolonged pressure of adversity 

will secure submission. 
Two queens will come — ii 

a widow and a married fair one : 
They will extend their protection 

over men in dire stress. 
Leaders will come, from 32 

beyond the land of Prydein ; 

"73 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

29 Eu z^xfted gyngein ; 33 

10 Eu gwawd a yscein. 
Anan 5erw a drain : 

a-r gorS yd gyngein. 37 

11 Gnawd c\ i rynnu ; march i ryniaw; 

Eidon i wan ; hwch i Ayriaw : 

12 Pymhed, Hwdn gwyn — aierth Jesu, 

a wise A5av, o'i ymatru. 41 

4 B-wystviledi coed cain eu sylTu, 
hyd yd vuant, a hir yd vu. 

15 Ban wnel Kymry y cam-hiialu, 

ceir arall vro pwy carho nu. 45 

16 ILesteireis gam, gor-gam eglwg : 

E.e cewsit da ni-r gaho drwg. 
Mygedorth Rhun ys ev amlwg, 48 

18 rhwng Caer Riein a Chaer Rynwg — 
rhwng Din Ei5in a Din EiSwg : 

19 eglur dremyn a wyl gohvg. 50 
Rhag tan rhynawd dychyffrwy mwg. 

20 A-n Rheen, Duw, a-n rhy amwg. 1=. 

(StoatoD HuEliI) mator. 

aATHLEU rfarogant i 
J«th nieu nodant : — 
74 Dyw ELun dybySant ; 

i beithaw y5 ant. 4 

14 Dyw Mawrth, yd rannant 
wyth i-w hyscarant. 
Dyw Merchyr, medrant 
ryodres rychwant. 8 

16 Dyw leu, escorant 

eiSolyS an-chwant. 

17 Dyw Gwener, gormant 

yng'waed go'noviant. m 

«74 



£>j4J!0JVtVy 

Their advance will be in unison ; 34 

Their fame will spread. 
They will attack oak and thorn 
(fences) : The nation will rejoice. 37 

The dog is wont to shiver ; the horse to shy ; 

the bull to gore ; the sow to upturn the soil : 
The fifth, the sacrifice of Christ, a white 

beast will clothe Adam, by fleecing it. 41 

Beasts of the forests, lovely the sight of them, 

while they flourished, and long that was. 
When the Kymry will wrongly fetter them, 

a stranger will be found who loves them still. 
I checked wrong, manifest great wrong : 46 

Where you find good you will not find evil. 
The funeral pile of Rhun is conspicuous, 

twixt Maiden and Beeston castles — 

twixt Din EiSin and Din EiSwg : 50 

a clear vision will catch a glimpse of it. 
Shortly before there is fire a smoke rises. 

May our sovereign God protect us. t, 

%^t iSteat I^O0tini!, 

HE prophetic songs i 

specify seven days : — 
Monday, they will come ; 

to scout they will go. 4 

Tuesday, they will impart 

discontent to their foes. 
Wednesday, they will display 

the pomp of excess. 8 

Thursday they will indulge 

their idols of lust. 
Friday, in abundance 

of blood they will wade. u 

'75 



BOOK OF TALIESm 

74 Dyw Sadwrn, swynant ; 13 

a-u meirwon glahant. 
18 Dyw Sul, yn geugant 

dieu Aym-chwelzxA. i6 
30 Pym Hong a phym cant, 
o nika.A. noviant. 
O brithi Tithes, 
21 nrd oes ni vedri. w 

O rith Brithoni, 
ysedig e/5i — 
93 eil coed c/ograyni : 

AntareS 5ybi. 34 

Pawb 5i adon 'ae'i ; 
ar WeryS cwj/mp^i. 

23 Tirywon Sarogawn 27 

wae hir rhag Garmawn. 

24 Hir, cylch oeS gynghan 

i-n gwaladr, ach Cynan. 
»5 Pyd, o by5 bychan, 

Siva wrSs hiian. 32 

36 Dysxo-gan derwyS : — 

" A vu a 5yvy5." 
Wybr eir ger5 DovyS — 

75 cerS/awn ynghenyS. 36 
Wylhawd eil echwyS 

a yn-horroe5 mynyS. 
Ban vyb beu Ilawn hyS, 
Brithion a"r gynhyS. 40 

3 1 Vrithion dybi 

waeS WyneS o-vri. 

4 Gwedy aur r^nni 

diffeithan Moni, 44 

Ll^n, ac Eryri — 

5 anheSaw/ ynSi. 

176 



THE GREAT HOSTING 

Saturday, they will consult the 13 

oracles, and bury their dead. 
Sunday, inevitably, 

they will verily return. 16 

Five ships and five hundred, 

by enchantment float. 
If you colour what he enchanted 19 

there is nothing you cannot attain. 
By the enchantment of the Scotti, 

consumed is the ivy — 11 

the fosterling wood of the cliffs : 

Mad fury will follow. 
Every one against his lord would go : 

on the Dee, he would fall. 
The druids predict a long 17 

misery on account of Wexford. 
This haunt had long been friendly 

to our leader, of the line of Kynan. 
Ill-feeling, though it be little, 31 

destroys the warmth of the sun. 
The druid prophesies that, 

what has been, will be. 34 

The sky pours forth the Lord's song — 

full of music, its undertones. 
The Fosterling of the West will weep 

in the recesses of the mountain. 38 
When the country is full of deer, 

the Scotti will increase. 
To the Scotti will come the 

appeal of renowned GwyneS. 42 

After you distribute gold, 

they will lay waste Mon, 
IL^n, & Snowdonia, 

and will dwell therein. 46 

M 177 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

75 Dys'co-gan perfifeith — 47 
anheSyn 5iffeith. 

6 Cymry, bedeir iaith, 

symudant i hareith. 50 

7 I't dyvi vuwch vraith 

a wnaho gwyneith : 

8 VeinSyS a vrevawd, 53 

veinoeth y berwhawd : 
Ac ar dir verwhawr, 

9 yn HongoeS yssawr. 56 
Cathl gwae cenhitor, 

10 cylch Prydein amgor. 
Ant, o un gynghor, 

11 yng'wrthol warth mor. 60 
Boed gwir eu myned — 

TragwySawl, byS^d ! 
II Dorwys 5-olIynghid 

o Sovaeth eith/yd. 64 

Cyvran Ilawn iristid, 

13 yd gyvarch gywid. 
Heb ebawl aeav — 

Heb hen von hiv — 6b 

14 Heb o"v\xr gobeith, 

byd a vy5 diffeith. 
Direid tynghettor ; 
y grog a-u hescor. 72 

15 Hoiw gweS trwy grevyS : 
Gwyrein bron drwy ffy5 : 

16 Terwynn tuth i joly5, 

i hewyd ar vedyS. 76 

17 Ni w4n cyllellawr 

veiwyr cleSyvawr. 

18 Ni'd oe5 u5u y puchyssyn — 

anaw angerSawl trevSyn. 80 

178 



THE GREAT HOSTING 

Most true the prophecy — 4, 

they will dwell in the wilderness. 
They will change the speech 

of Kymry, with its four languages. 
To thee will come the brindled cow, 

which will work deliverance. 51 

At dawn it will low ; 

at eve it will seethe : 
What will be boiled on land 

will be eaten aboard ships. 56 

The song of woe shall be chanted 

around Prydein's border. 
They will, of one accord, 

return athwart the sea. 60 

True be it that they are going ; 

Forever let it be ! 
He entreated that he be set free 

from a painful durance. 64 

A lot full of sadness 

eagerly seeks friendship : 
Without a horse in winter ; 
Without a cow in summer : 68 

Without the buffer of hope 

the world becomes a wilderness. 
The wicked will be exorcised ; 

the Cross will deliver them. 72 

Bright the countenance of the pious : 

Exalted the breast through faith : 
The fervent speeds to the act of 

worship, intent on baptism. 76 

Those armed with a dagger cannot 

pierce warriors armed with swords. 
They had not what they desired — 

the intense inspiration of a home. 80 

M a 179 



BOOK OF TALIESm 

75 A rywyr gare5 CreuSyn — y GwySyl, 8i 
a-r Eingl, a gwyr Prydyn : 
so Saeson gyvred ar Siscyn, 

21 o WynvynyS — o Hirmyn 84 
Dygedawr gwySveirch hyd ar lyn GogleS ; 

i ^^llechweS y cyrchyn : 

22 Y cas wyr o glas Dulyn — 

o echen acAas henyn. as 

Dygedawr drwy li 5ygy>-chyn vranhes, 
a or-goSes wyr einym : 

24 Y-meryS miled seithyn, 

a-r mor agor am gryssyn, 92 

26 heb er-glywaw arawd nebawd vehyn 
ygan vynawg, neu vrawd. 

25 Uch o vor, uch o voryn, 

uch o orr ynial ebyrn — 96 

coed, maes, tyno, a bryn. 
76 Yd Syv'i brithred 
Iliaws gynired : 
1 Govud am wehyn 100 

Sial Duw ernyn ! 
Drwy hoiw gar^odeu 

3 yn i breswylz/a«<, 
Creawdr cyvoethawg 104 

a vahewth bechawd. 

4 Pell, cyn no dySbrawd, 

y daw diwarnawd 
a Si- wyr 5aer ffawd — 108 

a dervyn dr^bon 
o dir IwerSon. 
6 Yna, ym'Hrydein m 

y daw dadwyrein — 
Brython o vonheS 
a rwj'v yng- Wyneh. 114 

180 



THE GREAT HOSTING 

The Gwy5yl, the Angle, & the men of Prydyn 
will know well the crime of CreuSyn : 82 
Saxons flock together into the attack, 
from GwynvynyS and Long Mynd. 84 

Ships will be brought as far as GogleS water — 
to ArllechweS they will repair : 
Hateful the men from the clan of Dublin — 
from a hated origin they descend. 88 

By sea will be brought those who will attack the 
forces, which have so harassed our men : 
In the plashes they will shoot the horses : 
The sea will open about those who rush in 
without their hearing prayers at any place 93 

from monk or brother. 
Their cry will rise from sea and breaker, 
and the recess of a wood-bank wild — 96 

aye, from wood and field, and dale and hill. 
There will come the turmoil 
of numerous expeditions : 
But the chagrin of evacuating 100 

God will visit on them. 
By cheerful offerings, 
in His tabernacles, 

the puissant Creator 104 

will remit thy sins. 
Long ere doomsday 
will come a time, which 
will un-crook earth's lot ; 108 

and end incursions 
from the land of Erin. 
Then, in Prydein, m 

will become ascendant 
a Brython by descent, 
who will rule in GwyneS : 114 

181 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

76 A bi barn o 5y5 115 

ang-hyngres lluyh. 
Go'gan sywySon 
ing coHedigion : 118 

9 Go-gan derwySon, 

" Tra mor tra Brython.'' 
Hav ni byS hinon : 

10 Byrhawr breyron : 122 

a-u deuby5 gwangred : 

11 Tra merin csA c6d. 

Mil ymbrawv Brydein urSin : 
Ac ry-am-gyffrwn gyffin 126 

ni chwynav : ym-ogled wern — 

13 Gwerni we5 waelod ufFern. 
Ergryni^ cyllestrig gaen 129 

14 gan wledig gwlad an-orffen. 

\- \- ¥ 

Am a hylyvi. 

yN wir dySyvi rhwyv a vi gar ; 1 

odid o vab dyn welyn i bir. 
76 Rhyglywhawr rhagSaw maw gyvagar ; 
By5in a gwaedlin a ryescar. 4 

18 Ot rhyganer kyrn gwerin dringar, 
rhythrych rhygyrchynt yng-hleSyval. 
Brein ac eryron olych wyar, 7 

20 ac, ar Iwybr %vir\digoch, wrys di-archar. 
Ar-5yrch ev, waladr, lu cadr, Hachar, 

22 ac wyneb vySin br6y5 ynial. 

VN wir dySyvi ymrysoneu : n 

23 Govuned dyngant yng-hyn'echreu 

blwySyn, yd vuSid rhi hyd draetheu. 



THE GREAT HOSTING 

And he will be a law-giver from 115 

the day the host become disunited. 

The prophets will chant 
the " miserere " of the lost : 

The druids will chant, 119 

" Brython & sea co-eval will be." 

The summer will not be sunshiny. 

The barons will be overthrown — • ii-, 

faint-heartedness will assail them. 
Beyond the border there had been spoil. 

A thousand will test Prydein's line ; 125 

and him, who will greatly disturb the border 
I will not bewail : Let him avoid alders — 
alder copses befit the bottom of hell. 

The adamantine firmament will be shaken 
by the Lord of the land everlasting. 130 

\=^ ¥ ¥ 

Prophecies. 

V /ERILY there will come a friendly ruler ; i 
If scarcely among men will they see his like. 
In front of him will be widespread shouting. 

The army from bloodshed he will deliver. 4 

If the trumpets of a warlike people be sounded 

he will cut down such as rush into the conflict. 
Crows and chieftains delight in gore, 7 

and, on the scarlet path, unrestrained violence. 
The leader will exalt his brave, brilliant host, 

and will face the army of the wild regions. 10 

V ERILY ruptures will come : A vow they 
will make at the very beginning of the year, 
which will profit the King along the coasts. 13 

183 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Gaeav, gyrr wynt llym — Ilywid longeu — 14 
as certh iawn ciliassj/« mynud rhyffreu : 
Pryd myr ryverthwy, ar warr tonneu, 
77 gwylein Sygyrch dam o glawr brocheu. 
Arth a Hew 5er-IIyv oleu bylleu : 18 

3 Dibyn y tervyn ar ru5 vereu. 

Rhwygeiszy cystuS — rhybuS rhag geu, 
rhag y varanres vawr gre5eu. 21 

CwySir tyrch torvoeS, dyrvynt daleu, 

5 yng-hynniv gwaladr, o glod lathr gleu, 

6 DySyrchavwyd torc^ o barth Deheu, 24 

ygan was rySadlas am i veu. 

VN wir dySyvi hael hy-wre5, 

8 a dyrvawd volud mawr edrysseS. 

ILyw byrr, tew, liiyS, Hydan i we5, 28 

9 hyd ban vwynt seith 7neib i ri Gwyne5 — 
hyd ban dranghwy llyw Axwy JJk\iA ryv(?5. 

II Rhi eiSun 5yhun 'n Reding dudweS : 

Treisant Eingl ar hynt o alltudeS : 32 
la Trwy vor yd lithrant a-u heisilleS. 

VN wir dySyvi teithiawg Von — 

13 Draij- a diffreidiad o bobl Vrython : 

Pen nUyS perchid lurigogion. 36 

14 Dwvn y darogan dewin dry won 

pebylliawnt a-r Dren a Tharanhon — 
iS gorlethant 5yvynt i geisaw Mon. 

//off 5ebed dyhynt o IwerSon : 40 

17 Teg ffaw 5i^giaw Cesarogion. 

Go'gan ang-harad o Selwad heS : 
19 Go-gan y perir cad arw yn ne5 — 43 

Arth o Deheubarth gyvarth WyneS 
ao yn amwyn rhiyS, — rhyveS rosseS — 

Yd heiSir all-tir a-i SarmertheS — 46 

184 



PROPHECIES 

Winter will send bitter winds that will control ships 14 

which would certainly withdraw at times of storm : 
When the seas rush upon the crest of the waves 

gulls will snatch a morsel from the spume's surface. 
Bear and lion will lap the shallow pools : is 

The boundary will depend on ruddy spears. 
Hostages will be sought — a caution against treachery, 

against the marching army of mighty projects. 21 

Standards of forces, which disturb the land, will be 

thrown down in fighting a leader of brilliant fame. 
A standard was raised, on behalf of the South, 14 

by a youth who fought stoutly for his inheritance. 

V ERILY there will come a very brave prince, 
who will stir up eulogy by liberal largess. 27 

A short, stout, broad-faced Ruler will wage war, until 
there will be seven sons to the prince of GwyneS — - 
until the Ruler shall die by a strange fate. 30 

The King will crave for his long rest in Reading soil : 
The Angles will pillage on their homeward journey : 
By sea, they and theirs will glide away. 33 

VERILY there will come a true prince to Mon — 
a dragon and defender to the Brython people : 
The invading chief will respect his mailed warriors. 36 

Confidently the diviner of the druids prophesies that 
they will pitch their tents on the Tern & Tarannon ; 
and will overwhelm those who will come to seize Mon. 

Happy the departure of an expedition from Ireland : 40 
Fair the report of the failure of the King's warriors. 

(The diviner) prophesies enmity in the guise of peace : 

That a fierce war will be waged in the dingle : 43 

That the Bear from the South will harass GwyneS, 
in defence of the King, a strange excess (of zeal) : 

That the strange land and its crops will be attained ; 46 

18S 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

77 Gaeav goIeSir yn lleudireS — 47 
Rhylenwynt aesawr, yng'awr o gle5, 

32 yng-hynniv gwaladr ar ior GwyneS. 

VN wir dySaw awr dySerbi hyn : 
24 toegrayj ym-ollyn oH vei genhyn. 51 

Gweler arSebed y gwyr brychwyn, 
26 rhof saetheu, beieu, a haearn gwyn. 

Gelwhitor yar vor, a-u gwaewawr gryn : 

78 Nychawnt yn eigawn tra IluySyn : 
Halltawg ymyleS vy5 eu bwSyn. 56 

VN wir dySyvi 5i dra Havren 
3 wrthredid Brydein, vrenhin gorSen. 
ILwrw lywyS Iliaws, JliiyS i echen — 

Teyrnas cyn adas caz/as w/aen. 60 

5 Gwerin byd, yn wir, bySawnt lawen ; 

meShawnt ar beiron, berthwyr echen. 
^ IFlemychawd hirell 6i uch Havren : 
Llwyth Kymry gynnull yn Siscowen 64 
9 yng-hynniv gwaladr ; bythidlawen — 

pen rhi cerSorion, clod a weithen. 

VN wir dy5aw cawr ; 67 

10 a-i lu, a-i longawr ; 

a thorv yscwydawr ; 

a newyS waewawr. 70 

13 A gwedy gwychr awr, 

i vo5 ev gwnahawr. 
Cyrchz'^ ev Benvro ; 73 

13 fflemychid yng-wo : 
Draig ni-d ym-gelho, 

er maint hel i5o. 

14 Nid yscawn ioled, 77 

orescyn Dyved. 

15 DySyccawd niwed, 

tra merin Rheged. 80 

186 



PROPHECIES 

That the winter will be spent in the cultivated parts : 
That their swords will load their shields in war, 
in the attack of our leader on the lord of GwyneS. 49 

V ERILY the hour will come when we shall see 
the English collect all they have with them, 
and the departure of the fair, freckled men 52 

before arrows, spears, and flashing steel. 

They will be challenged from the sea & their spearmen 
will shudder ; they will perish in the water while 
marshalling : the salt sea-edges will be their tomb. 56 

"V^ERILY the King of destiny will come, from 
beyond Severn, and invade Prydein. This 
impetuous leader of the host will marshall his people — - 
before he quitted his kingdom he received the crown. 
Verily the populace will rejoice that the 61 

rich men of the nation will possess cauldrons. 
A light will flash forth from upper Severn : 
The Kymric race will assemble cheerfully 64 

in its leader's struggle, who will be merry — 
the chief patron of minstrels, the fanners of fame. 

VERILY a hero will come 67 

with his host and his ships : 

with a pile of shields, 

and brand new spears. 70 

And after a victorious shout, 

his will will be done. 
He will proceed to Pembroke, 

and blaze in his progress. 74 

A dragon may not hide himself, 

however many may oppose him. 
It is no slight praise, 77 

the vanquishing of Dyved. 
He will carry destruction, 

beyond the border of the March. 80 

187 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

i6 Peryv, perchen ced, 8i 

wledych yn Elved. 
Hael, hydr y dyliv ; 

17 gor'vawr i gynniv. 84 
Wrth a wyr i o5iv, 

18 caffad gweith heiniv. 86 

3?atacan 6ali aiaHalant. 

©archawg march mwth, mysterin, 
a'r 5eu wyneb, beir vrwydrin — 
80 Rhodiawg brad — Had i drenghi, 

ac yn Eryri i oloi. 4 

20 Ban 5el cad waladr go-wna, 

yn-&l, ym-Hrydein, ben ma ; 
31 a'i anting oes moes nywia ; 
a'i ffinieu, vy5 i-n vad-va. 3 

33 Ys deubi, yna, 

Sais i erchi bwyta : 
23 Dogn wyr : o dra 

rhyvyg, /roseSa. 13 

Jeuhaw gwraig gan was 

34 hen gas a nywia. 
Dogn wyr : o ryvyg 

tremyg — brad a wna. 16 

35 A weleist vyng-har 

yn gware a'm prz'awd ? 
Gweleis gelein vain, 
a brain a-r Sygnawd. 30 

26 Ac OT rhySawiwein, 

gwall grain cleSyvawd. 
Ac am Ian 

188 



PROPHECIES 

The lord, owner of tribute, Si 

will rule in Elved. 
The prince boldly over-runs (the 

country) very great his struggle. 84 
With such as turn aside his stroke 

a brisk encounter followed. 86 

Uletoel^ anil 339. tie 3Scaoee. 

HE Knight of the swift, bay horse, i 
with the double face, creates turmoil: 
With treachery afoot, a blessing his 

death and burial in Snowdonia. 1 

When our war-lord comes he will make, 

in a mead in Prydein, a chief place. 
His manifest life will invigorate morals : 
and hisconfines will be to us a an Eden. 
There will come, thither, 
a Saxon seeking hospitality. 
Grief he will know ; from excess 
of presumption, he will sin. i 

The yoking of a wife by a vassal 
will renew old hatred : he will 
know grief: from presumption 
comes contempt ; he commits treason. i 
Did you see my friend 
playing with my spouse ? 
I saw a slim corse, 

and crows full of activity. 2 

But the catastrophe lacks the pros- 
trate form of the sword-stroke. 
And beyond the bank of . . . 

189 



Appendix. 



QAWR Duvv Sigones i 

heul hav, a-i rywres : 
40'36 Ac Ev Sigones 

vu5 coed, a maes. 4 

23 Ys Ev a wehy5 

Syliv nos a dy5 : 

24 Dy5 i-n annogaw ; 

nos i-n gor-fTwysaw. 8 

41.18 Nu, nos cw5 5yvy5 ? 
19 cw Sir-gSl rhag dyS ? 
10 Py 5ug wyll gaeav ? 

21 Py gyrf^ Sechreu hav ? 12 

19 A ■Ayr ce'rS gelvyS 

py g^l caHoryS ? 

20 Amdyrr ot anwe, 

OT parth pan 5wyre. 16 

42-3 Ev cyrch cerSorion 

se5 Syberw Seen. 
4I-ai Yn-ewis aethawg, 

fifysc ffo, ys ffodiawg. 30 

22 Ev di'hun hunawg ; 
Ev go'bryn Carawg — 

23 Cymry gaer-veSrawd, 

i dad Garadawg. 24 

24 Dial Meneivron — 
dial Mynawg Mon 

vawr, erch anudon. 27 

*This Appendix contains several sections of poems 
that seemed out of harmony with their surroundings. 

190 



Appendix. 



HE great God ordained the i 
summer sun, & its great heat : 
He also ordained the 
produce of wood and plain. 4 

'T is He who weaves 

the warp of night and day : 
The day for our activity ; 
the night for our rest. 8 

Now, the night, whence comes it ? 
Where hides it from day ? 
What took away winter's gloom ? 
What fetches early summer ? 12 

Knows the artificer of song 

what the cauldrons conceal ? 
The song issues from the vapour — 

from that source it rises. 16 

The artists resort to 

the seat of Seiont's Superbus. 
In a painful dilemma, 

swift flight brings good luck. 10 
He will rouse up the dead. 
He will win Carog — 

Kymr^s tumulus fort 

to the father of Caradog. 24 

He will avenge Meneivron — 
He, the prince of Mon, will avenge 

the great and terrible perjury. 27 

The text of pages igo — 198 should have appeared before the 
Daroganeu, but was omitted by an oversight. 

191 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

35 Gwenhwys vyllt hirion 28 

ant Gaer Wyrangon. 
42-1 Ev dyvyS Aeron 
y coel ganawon — 
1 y gor-weSw veibon. 31 

Ni-d anxhwarS i alon 
roi i Ynyr wystlon. 

4 NeuT di-ervis Rynn, 

ym-Horth GodoSin — 36 

ymoryd Uffin, 

5 esceirvrith vrenhin : 
riv vraw, bor edewim. 

6 Wyv cerSenhin hen : 40 
Wyv cyvreu Ha wen — 

7 Athraw yn-Ygen : 
Meu, molawd Urien : 
Eirian i eiroes ; 44 

8 ILyminawg, Hwm i oes. 
RhuSvedel, a anwys 

Ru5-din, ellyngwys. 
Caer — yr harS Wenn wys — 
Ynyr a-i briwys. 49 

n Gweleis wyr gor-vawr 
a Sygyrchynt awr : 

12 Gweleis waed ar Ilawr 52 

rhac rhuthr cleSyvawr. 

13 Glesynt escyll gwawr — 
Escorynt gwaewawr. 55 

Trychant golan 
cyman clodvawr — 
i vur a-i dir, 
15 yn wir, cochawr. 59 

192 



APPENDIX 

The long-armed Gwentians ss 

will go to Worcester. 
There will come to Aeron 

the petted whelps — 

the be-orphaned sons. 31 

'T is no laughing matter to John's 

enemies to give him hostages. 
He disarmed the promontory 

at the Gate of GodoSin ; 36 

and, at the great Ubban-ford, 

the shank-plaided King : 

To his fears I will leave the Scot. 
I am an old wayfarer : 40 

I am full of rejoicings : 
I am a preceptor in Dygen : 
Mine the praise of Owein : 
Shining the purity of his life : 44 
Austere and bare his living. 
The gory reapers set free those 

whom Castell Coch contained. 
The citadel, Gwenn's fair castle, 48 

King John destroyed it. 
I saw the mighty men, who 

were rushing to the war-shout : 
I saw blood on the ground spilt 52 

by the onslaught of the swordsmen. 
As the wings of dawn grow grey 

the spearmen pour forth — 
They cut down a fellow- soldier 56 

of outstanding eminence — 

His stronghold and land 

will, verily, be reddened. 59 

N 193 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Codiad yr Haul. 
Cj^ORRID mynudawl, 
ty duthiawl, din ysawl. 

47 Ev iolew?, uch llawr, 

dann tanllwythin gwawr — 

21 uch awel — uchel ! 
Uch no phob nyvel, 

mawr i a-nyvel. 

22 Ni thrig yng-o-vyr, 

noc yn-heithawr Ilyr : 

23 ZJy-lwybr yr ebyr — 

dyval yng-hynvyr. 

24 Gwawr wenn wrth uchyr ; 

gwen wrth wir, wrth wrys- 
wrth bob hevelis — 

25 wrth bilis Nwython — 
wrth bevr Avaon. 

26 ArSwyreav a varn 

wryse5 y cadarn. 

48 IryAax galanas — 

kir a dwvn i gas. 
X Ni'd mi gwr llwvr Ilwyd 
Sygrwydr wrth hel bwyd. 

2 Hud vyng'hleu garant — 

cleu, di'var, di-chwant. 

3 Ac o-m Haw i-th law 

ni 5yd dwy// Sim maw. 

4 Tri-thri march noded — 

y cor a-r enwed — 
A-r ?iaw, meirch meiawg, 

5 oeSynt go-wythawg : 
Oeb march Caradawg 

gyvrwy teithiawg : 

194 



SUNRISE 

Sunrise. 
«/^UNCTUAL the orb of 

r^ consuming fire bursts forth. 

We should give thanks for the spread 
of the blaze of dawn above the 
earth — above the breeze, high I 

Above every cloud, 
great the brilliance 1 

The sun abides not in the bays, 
nor in the reaches of the tides. 

It traverses the estuaries, & 
is unceasing on the high seas. 

Pearly dawn repels the powers of 
darkness : it smiles upon every- 
thing alike, both tame and wild : 
upon the skin-dad Nwython — 
upon the spruce .\vaon. 

I extol Him, who condemns 
the violence of the strong. 

The din of carnage — 
long and deep the horror of it. 

I am not a shy, pale fellow, 
who wanders as he begs his fare. 

Enchantment is my trusty friend — 
faithful, spleenless, without gi'eed. 

And from me to you counterfeit will 
pass on nothing tangible. 

Thrice three horses were noted — 

the team was named — 

and the nine war-steeds 

were somewhat mettlesome. 
The steed of Caradawg 

was a perfect saddle-horse : 

195 



BOOK OF TALIESm 

48 6 Velbj march Gwythur ; 33 

Hevyd vadixc\\ GwarSur. 

7 Pedweryh vu i Arthur — 

ehovn rho5«' gur. 36 

8 A march Taliessin ; 
A phevr, Hedvegin 

g varch ILeu, ILwydin : 
A Grei varch Cunin. 40 

10 Wythved, AwySawg, 

march cynhei/ vo8awg. 
Du — mor oeS enwawg — 

11 march Brwyn, vron vradawg. 44 

A'r tri charnavlawg — 

12 ni-d ant hynt halawg : 
Kethin varch Keidaw — 

13 cam ^vr oe5 arnaw. 48 
YscwyS-vrith, GoSig, 

14 gorwyS ILemenig. 
March RhySerch — RhySig 

15 Ilwyd, niw elleig, 

Ilamei-n llawn elwig. 52 

16 IFroenvoH, gwyrenhig 

oe6 march Sadyrnin, 

a march Custenhin ; 56 

17 Ac ereiH yn trin, 

rhag tir allwmn. 

18 Henwyn mad 5y5ug, 

chwe51 o HiraSug, & 

19 Bum hwch, a bum bwch ; 
Bum syw, a bum swch : 
Bum banw ; bum banhwch : 

20 Bum gawr ym-rythwch : 64 

196 



SUNRISE 

So, the horse of Gwythur ; 33 

and, also, that of GwarSur. 
The Fourth was Arthur's, 

who fearlessly inflicted pain. 36 

And the horse of Taliesin ; 
And ILwydin, the fine, 

half-trained horse of ILeu. 
Also Grei the horse of Cunin. 40 

The eighth, AwySawg was 

a pleasing horse to carry one. 
And Ebony, that was so famous, 

the steed of traitorous Brwyn. 44 

There are three cloven-footed : these 

will not go on a knavish expedition :— 
Kethin, the steed of Keidaw, 

had the hooves of a goat : 48 

GoSig, the steed of ELemenig, 

was pied-shouldered ; 
RhySig, the steed of RhySerch — 

a pear-coloured grey, 52 

would leap full of spirit. 
Wide-nostrilled, and active 

was the horse of Sadyrnin, 

and the horse of Custenhin, 56 

as well as others in battle 

against the land of the strangers. 
Henwyn, the gentle, brought 

the story from HiraSug. 60 

I was a sow ; I was a buck : 

I was a wizard ; I was a share : 

I was a store pig ; I was a store sow : 

I was a hero in trouble : 64 

197 



BOOK OF TALIESIN 

Bum orHiv yn eirth : 
21 Bum ton yn eng-eirth : 67 
Bum cayn yn-isiryw 
ysceinad Dilyw. 
21 Bum caeth ar dri phren : 
Bum pell, a bum pen. 
Bum gynran gwala, 71 

welei olwg dra. 

24 Gres mire morva, 

cadwent geneSl 5a. 

25 Ot vy5 is awyr, 75 

gwedy cafifer gwir, 

26 Ni-d byw neb yn llwyr 

vixth vo5 maint a-i gwyr. 78 



I was a great current on the slopes : 
I was a wave in the plains : 
I was a (ferry)-boat in the destruc- 
tive spread of the flood : 68 
I was a captive on the cross : 
I went afar, and I was chief : 
I was a leader, with abundance, 
who saw beyond the present. 72 
Welcome the aspect of the salt marsh, 
which protected the good people. 

Of those that be beneaththe sky, 75 
when all the truth is bare, 
none lives entirely to the mind 
of such as know him there. 78 



1 98 



Postscript. 



IQeSIDES the poems given on pages 2-198 there 
are certain other poems of a theological nature. These 
appear to belong to the second or third quarter of the 
xiiith century, and cannot, therefore, be the work of 
Taliesin. However, they have heen edited and trans- 
lated, and will, I trust, appear in a supplementary book- 
let, or find a hospitable corner in some publication. 
The following is a list of the omitted matter. 

Marwnat y vil veib . . . . . . 3-7 

Dews Duw delwat 



ILoer yn anHes, 1. 20 
Plaeu yr Eifft 
ILath Moesen . . 
Ar clawr elvyS 
RyveSav nachiawr 
Ad Duw meiSat 
Trindawd tragywyS 
Gwawr IluyS mawr 
Ymarwar IluyS bychan 
Kanu y byt mawr 



10-12 
37-38 
44-45 
46-47 

52 

52 
53-54 
73-74 
74-76 

78 
79-80 



FINIS. 



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1992