Aneurin, the author of this poem, was the son of Caw, lord of Cwm Cawlwyd, or Cowllwg, a region in the North, which, as we learn from a Life of Gildas in the monastery of Fleury published by Johannes a Bosco, comprehended Arecluta or Strath Clyde. [0a] Several of his brothers seem to have emigrated from Prydyn in company with their father before the battle of Cattraeth, and, under the royal protection of Maelgwn Gwynedd, to have settled in Wales, where they professed religious lives, and became founders of churches. He himself, however, remained behind, and having been initiated into the mysteries of Bardism, formed an intimate acquaintance with Owen, Cian, Llywarch Hen, and Taliesin, all likewise disciples of the Awen. By the rules of his order a Bard was not permitted ordinarily to bear arms, [0b] and though the exceptional case, in which he might act differently, may be said to have arisen from “the lawlessness and depredation” [0c] of the Saxons, Aneurin does not appear to have been present at Cattraeth in any other capacity than that of a herald Bard. Besides the absence of any intimation to the contrary, we think the passages where he compares Owen to himself, and where he makes proposals at the conference, and above all where he attributes his safety to his “gwenwawd,” conclusive on the subject. His heraldic character would be recognised by all nations, according to the universal law of warfare, whereas it is very improbable that any poetic effusion which he might have delivered, could have influence upon a people whose language differed so materially from his own.
The Gododin was evidently composed when the various occurrences that it records were as yet fresh in the author’s mind and recollection. It is divided into stanzas, which, though they now amount to only ninety-seven, are supposed to have originally corresponded in point of number with the chieftains that went to Cattraeth. This is strongly intimated in the declaration subjoined to Gorchan Cynvelyn, and cited in the notes at page 86, and thence would we infer that the Gorchanau themselves are portions of the Gododin, having for their object the commemoration of the persons whose names they bear. Of course all of them, with the exception of the short one of Adebon, contain passages that have been transposed from other stanzas, which may account for their disproportionate lengths. This is especially the case with Gorchan Maelderw, the latter, and by far the greater portion whereof, is in the Carnhuanawc MS. detached from the former, and separately entitled “Fragments of the Gododin and other pieces of the sixth century.” That they were “incantations,” cannot be admitted; and if the word “gorchan,” or “gwarchan” mean here anything except simply “a canon, or fundamental part of song,” we should be inclined to consider it as synonymous with “gwarthan,” and to suppose that the poems in question referred to the camps of Adebon, Maelderw, and Cynvelyn:— “Gwarchan Cynvelyn ar Ododin.” [0d] According to the tenor of the Cynvelyn statement, every stanza would bring before us a fresh hero. This principle we have not overlooked in the discrimination and arrangements of proper names, though owing to evident omissions and interpolations, an irregularity in this respect occasionally and of necessity occurs.
Aneurin, like a true poet of nature, abstains from all artful introduction or invocation, and launches at once into his subject. His eye follows the gorgeously and distinctively armed chiefs, as they move at the head of their respective companies, and perform deeds of valour on the bloody field. He delights to enhance by contrast their domestic and warlike habits, and frequently recurs to the pang of sorrow, which the absence of the warriors must have caused to their friends and relatives at home, and reflects with much genuine feeling upon the disastrous consequences, that the loss of the battle would entail upon these and their dear native land. And though he sets forth his subject in the ornamental language of poetry, yet he is careful not to transgress the bounds of truth. This is strikingly instanced in the manner in which he names no less than four witnesses as vouchers for the correctness of his description of Caradawg. Herein he produces one of the “three agreements that ought to be in a song,” viz. an agreement “between truth and the marvellous.” [0e]
He also gives “relish to his song,” [0f] by adopting “a diversity of structure in the metre;” for the lyric comes in occasionally to relieve the solemnity of the heroic, whilst at the same time the latter is frequently capable of being divided into a shorter verse, a plan which has been observed in one of the MSS. used on the present occasion; e. g. the twelfth stanza is thus arranged,—
Gwyr a aeth Gattraeth gan ddydd Neus goreu } gywilydd O gadeu } Wy gwnaethant } gelorwydd Yn geugant } A llafn aur llawn anawdd ym bedydd Goreu yw hyn cyn cystlwn carennydd Ennaint creu } oe henydd Ac angeu } Rhag byddin } pan fu ddydd Wawdodyn } Neus goreu dan bwylliad neirthiad gwychydd.
But though Aneurin survived the battle of Cattraeth to celebrate the memory of his less fortunate countrymen in this noble composition, he also ultimately met with a violent death. The Triads relate that he was killed by the blow of an axe, inflicted upon his head by Eiddin son of Einigan, which event was in consequence branded as one of “the three accursed deeds of the Isle of Britain.” [0g]
His memory, however, lived in the Gododin, and the estimation in which the poem was held by his successors has earned for him the title of “medeyrn beirdd,” the king of Bards. Davydd Benvras 1190–1240, prays for that genius which would enable him “To sing praises as Aneurin of yore, The day he sang the Gododin.” [0h] Risserdyn 1290–1340 in an Ode to Hywel ab Gruffydd speaks of “A tongue with the eloquence of Aneurin of splendid song.” [0i] And Sevnyn 1320–1378 asserts that “The praise of Aneurin is proclaimed by thousands.” [0j] Such is the language in which the mediæval Bards were accustomed to talk of the author of the Gododin.
The basis of the present translation is a MS. on vellum apparently of about the year 1200. In that MS. the lines are all written out to the margin, without any regard to the measure. Capital letters are never introduced but at the beginning of paragraphs, where they are ornamented and coloured alternately red and green. At page 20 Gwilym Tew and Rhys Nanmor [0k] are mentioned as the owners of the Book, but the names are written in a hand, and with letters more modern than the MS. It at one time belonged to Mr. Jones the Historian of Brecknockshire, and came latterly into the possession of the late Rev. T. Price, with whose Executrix, Mrs. E. Powell of Abergavenny, it now remains. The author of the Celtic Researches took a transcript of it, which he communicated to the Rev. W. J. Rees, of Cascob, who had previously copied the said transcript by the permission of the Rev. E. Davies. Mr. Rees’s copy was afterwards collated by Dr. Meyer with Mr. Davies’s transcript, and the only inaccuracy which had crept in was by him carefully corrected. Dr. Meyer again transcribed Mr. Rees’s copy for the use of the present work, and that version in its turn has been collated by Mr. Rees, during the progress of the work through the press, with the transcript in his possession. To these two gentlemen the translator is under deep obligations.
Also to Mr. Owen Williams of Waunfawr, for the loan of three other manuscript copies of the Gododin. Two of them occur in the same book, which purports to have been a transcript made by the Rev. David Ellis, the first part, A.D. 1775 of an old book, the second part, June 7, 1777, of a book supposed to have been written by Sion Brwynog about the year 1550. In these versions the stanzas are not divided. The third version appears in a book containing a variety of poems and articles in prose, of which, however, the writer or copyist is not known, though one “Davydd Thomas” is mentioned in a poor modern hand as being the owner. Our poem is therein headed “Y Gododin. Aneurin ae cant. Gydâ nodau y Parchedig Evan Evans.” These “nodau” are marginal notes, and evidently the different readings of another version.
The different copies or versions used are distinguished as follow;— Myvyrian 1 E. Evans 5 D. Ellis 2 P. Panton 6 Ditto 3 E. Davies 7 D. Thomas 4 Dr. Meyer 8
Nos 1 and 6 are those which are printed in the Archaiology of Wales, vol. i. All words that differ in form or meaning, though not in orthography, from those of No. 7, are duly arranged at the foot of the page [0l], from which it will be seen that 1, 2, 3, 5, generally agree one with the other, whilst 4 and 6 also for the most part go together.
It is to be observed, moreover, that though we have taken No. 7 as our text, we have not servilely confined ourself to it, but that wherever any of the other versions have been considered preferable, we have unhesitatingly adopted them. The different meanings, however, are generally inserted in the notes.
The country situate between the Humber and the Clyde in North Britain was, for the most part, originally occupied by the Cymry, who here, as well as in the west, displayed no mean valour in opposition to the Roman arms. The latter certainly prevailed; nevertheless it is to be noticed that they did not finally destroy, nor indeed to any material extent alter the national features of Prydyn. This is evident from the manner in which the conquerors thought fit to incorporate into their own geographical vocabulary many of the local names, which they found already in use; and above all from the purely ancestral character which the native chieftains exhibited on emerging from the Roman ruins in the fifth century. Indeed to permit the defeated princes, under certain restrictions, to enjoy their former rights and jurisdictions, was perfectly in accordance with the usual policy of the Romans, as we may learn from the testimony of Tacitus, who remarks, in reference to the British king Cogidunus, that they granted to him certain states according to ancient custom, and the reason assigned is that they might have even kings as instruments of slavery. [1a] The homage of the subjugated provinces seems to have consisted principally in the payment of a tribute of money, and the furnishing of soldiers for foreign service.
Such, no doubt, was the position of Cunedda Wledig, who “began to reign about A.D. 328, and died in 389”; [1b] and who, according to the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius, “venerat de parte sinistrali, id est, de regione quæ vocatur Manau Guotodin,” [1c] the heights of Gododin, and the same apparently with the territory of the Ottadeni.
In the Myvyrian Archaiology, v. 1, p. 71, is printed an Elegy on Cunedda, the work of one who had actually partaken of his royal munificence, who had received from him “milch cows, horses, wine, oil, and a host of slaves.” The writer with respect to the martial prowess of his patron, observes, “Trembling with fear of Cunedda, Will be Caer Weir and Caer Liwelydd.” And again, “A hundred times ere his shield was shattered in battle, Bryneich obeyed his commands in the conflict.” The modern names of the localities, mentioned in these extracts, are respectively Warwick, Carlisle [2a] and Bernicia. The two latter are in the immediate vicinity of the Ottadeni; the former, being further removed, would indicate the direction and extent of his arms.
From other sources we learn that Cunedda was the son of Edeyrn ab Padarn Peisrudd, by Gwawl, daughter of Coel Godebog, and that he was entitled, in right of his mother, to certain territories in Wales. When these were invaded by the Gwyddyl, his sons, twelve in number, left their northern home for the purpose of recovering the same, in which they were successful, though the enemy was not finally extirpated until the battle at Cerrig y Gwyddyl, in the succeeding generation. It is asserted by some that Cunedda accompanied his sons in this expedition, and that it was undertaken as much through inability to retain possession of their more immediate dominions, as from the desire of acquiring or regaining other lands. However, though the sons settled in Wales and on its borders, it is more accordant with the drift of the Poem, already cited, to suppose that Cunedda himself died in the North. Nevertheless, it is undoubted that the native chieftains began to suffer in that part of the island from barbarian incursions even before the departure of the Romans. Thus Ammianus Marcellinus, with reference to the year 364, bears testimony, that “the Picts and Saxons and Scots and Attacots harassed the Britons with continual oppressions.” [2b]
The final abandonment of the island by the Romans occurred, according to Zosimus, about A.D. 408 or 409, at which time the native princes arose to the full enjoyment of feudal dignity and power. In the North, among others, we find Pabo Post Prydain, a descendant of Coel Godebog in the 4th degree, and Cynvarch Oer, a member of another branch of the same family; both of whom, however, were compelled by the inroads of the predatory hordes, to leave their territories and seek refuge in Wales, though it would appear that Urien, son of the latter, succeeded subsequently in recovering his paternal dominion.
The struggle continued, and the enemies had gradually extended themselves along the coasts, when in 547 they received an important reinforcement by the arrival of Ida with forty ships. Gododin, Deivyr, and Bryneich, being situated on the eastern shore, would be especially exposed to the ravages of these marauders. Indeed it does not appear that Gododin ever recovered its pristine independence after the death of Cunedda, at least we do not hear that any of his sons subsequently asserted their claims to it, or had anything to do with the administration of its government: they all seem to have ended their days in their western dominions. Deivyr and Bryneich, however, were more fortunate, for we find that they were ruled as late as the 6th century by British monarchs, among whom are named Gall, Diffedell, and Disgyrnin, the sons of Disgyvyndawd; [3a] though there is reason to believe that at that time they were in treacherous alliance with the Saxons. A Triad positively affirms, that “there were none of the Lloegrwys who did not coalesce with the Saxons, save such as were found in Cornwall, and in the Commot of Carnoban in Deivyr and Bryneich.” [3b] And it is a remarkable fact, as corroborative of this statement, that the Cymry ever after, as may be seen in the works of the Bards, applied the term Bryneich to such of their kindred as joined with the enemies of their country.
Certain it is, that, at the period of our Poem, the people of the three provinces in question were open enemies of the Cymry, as appears from stanzas iii, v, and ix. When we see there how the Bard commends one hero for not yielding to the army of Gododin, and celebrates the praise of another who committed an immense slaughter amongst the men of Deivyr and Bryneich, and threatens, in the case of a third party, that if they were suspected of leaning to the Bernician interest, he would himself raise his hand against them, we can come to no other conclusion than that those countries were arrayed against the Cymry when the battle of Cattraeth took place.
Ida had to encounter a powerful opponent in the person of Urien, king of Rheged, a district in or near which Cattraeth lay, as we infer from two poems of Taliesin. Thus, one entitled “Gwaith Gwenystrad,” commences with the words, “Extol the men of Cattraeth, who, with the dawn, Went with their victorious leader Urien, a renowned elder.” [3c] In the other, called “Yspail Taliesin,” Urien is styled “Glyw Cattraeth,” the ruler of Cattraeth. [4a] At the same time he is generally spoken of under the title of Rheged’s chief.
The leader of the hostile forces in the battle of Gwenystrad is not named, but in the battle of Argoed Llwyvein we find him to be Flamddwyn or the Torch bearer, a name by which the Britons delighted to designate the formidable Ida. Flamddwyn’s army on this occasion consisted of four legions, which reached from Argoed to Arvynydd, and against them were arrayed the men of Goddeu and Rheged, under the command of Ceneu ab Coel, and Owain, and “Urien the prince.”
Argoed, bordering on Deivyr and Bryneich, was ruled by Llywarch Hen, who after his abdication and flight into Powys, pathetically records the loyal attachment of his former subjects,— “The men of Argoed have ever supported me.” [4b]
The Historia Britonum enumerates three other kings, who with Urien fought against the Saxons in the North, viz., Rhydderch, Gwallawg, and Morgant, though the latter, under the impulse of envy, procured the assassination of Urien, in the Isle of Lindisfarne.
After the Saxons had finally established themselves on the eastern coast, in the forementioned countries, an immense rampart, extending nearly from the Solway to the Frith of Forth, was erected, either with the view of checking their further progress westward, or else by mutual consent of the two nations, as a mere line of demarcation between their respective dominions. This wall cannot have an earlier date, for it runs through the middle of the country originally occupied by the Gadeni, and could not of course have been constructed as a boundary by them; nor can it be referred to a more recent period, as there could be no reason for forming such a fence after the Saxons had intruded upon the whole country which it divides. This was the famous Catrail, which we presume to be identical with Cattraeth, where the disastrous battle of that name, as sung by Aneurin, was fought.
Catrail means literally “the war fence” (cad-rhail), but on the supposition that it is synonymous with Cattraeth, the rhyme in the Gododin would determine the latter to be the correct term, or that by which Aneurin distinguished the line. The meaning of Cattraeth would be either “the war tract” (cad-traeth), or “the legal war fence” (cad-rhaith); the latter of which would give some countenance to the idea that it was formed by mutual agreement.
The whole course of the Catrail, which may be traced from the vicinity of Galashiels to Peel-fell, is upwards of forty five miles. The most entire parts of it show that it was originally a broad and deep fosse; having on each side a rampart, which was formed of the natural soil, that was thrown from the ditch, intermixed with some stones. Its dimensions vary in different places, which may be owing to its remains being more or less perfect. In those parts where it is pretty entire, the fosse is twenty seven, twenty six, and twenty five feet broad. But in those places where the rampart has been most demolished the fosse only measures twenty two and a half feet, twenty and eighteen, and in one place only sixteen feet wide. As the ramparts sloped on the inside, it is obvious that in proportion as they were demolished, the width of the fosse within would be diminished. In some of the most entire parts the ramparts are from six to seven, and even nine or ten feet high, and from eight to ten and twelve feet thick. They are, no doubt, less now than they were originally, owing to the effects of time and tillage. [5a]
Such is the Catrail, and were it identical with Cattraeth, we should naturally expect to meet with some allusions to a work of that description in the body of the Poem. Nor are we herein disappointed, for the expressions “ffosawd,” [5b] “clawdd,” [5c] “ffin,” [5d] “cladd clodvawr,” [5e] “goglawdd,” [5f] “clawdd gwernin,” [5g] and “gorffin Gododin,” [5h] are undoubtedly such allusions, though we readily admit that some of them may, and probably do, refer to the ordinary circular forts of the Britons, of whom there are several along the line. It may be added here that Taliesin in his description of the battle of Gwenystrad, where the men of Cattraeth fought under Urien, speaks of a “govwr” or an intrenchment, that was “assailed by the laborious toil of warriors.”
Having thus satisfied ourselves as to the nature and locality of Cattraeth; the general subject of the Poem becomes apparent. It was a battle fought at the barrier in question between the Cymry and the Saxons, the most extended in its design and operations on the part of the former, as it proved to them the most disastrous in its results, of all that had hitherto taken place between the two people in that part of the island.
The details of this bloody encounter, as we gather them from the Poem, were as follow: At the call of Mynyddawg, lord of Eiddin, whose dominions lay peculiarly exposed, both by sea and land, to the attack of the enemy, the native chieftains of Prydyn, aided by many of their relatives and friends from Gwynedd and Cernyw, entered into a mutual alliance in behalf of their common country. [6a] In one place the daughter of Eudav [6b] is joined with Mynyddawg, as one upon whose errand the expedition was undertaken, but whether she was his wife, or ruled over a territory adjacent to, or equally threatened with his own, does not appear. The troops under their respective leaders arrived at Eiddin, where they were sumptuously entertained by Mynyddawg, [6c] and where they established their head quarters. The generals named in the Poem amount in number to about ninety, but this was not the third part of the whole, which consisted of “three hundred and sixty three chieftains wearing the golden torques.” [6d] The aggregate number of men that followed these illustrious leaders is not told, but if an average may be formed from what we know respecting a few cases, it will appear to have been immense. Mynyddawg’s retinue consisted of “three hundred;” [6e] there were “five battalions of five hundred men each,” “three levies of three hundred each;” “three bold knights” had each “three hundred of equal quality;” [6f] thus averaging about four hundred for each commander, which, multiplied by three hundred and sixty three, would exhibit an overwhelming army of a hundred and forty five thousand, and two hundred men! Yet the Poet describes the numerical advantages possessed by the enemy as greatly superior.
These forces, being all placed on the western side of the dyke, would approach the land of their enemies as they marched to the field of battle, hence the reason why Aneurin uses the expressions “Gwyr a aeth Gattraeth,” and “Gwyr a aeth Gododin,” as synonymous.
The enemies, as before observed, were the Saxons, aided on this occasion by many of the Lloegrians, namely, such of the natives as had submitted to their sway in the provinces they had already conquered. They concentrated their forces in Gododin, and marched westward in the direction of the great fence, where the Britons were awaiting them. Aneurin has not thought fit to record the names of any of their generals, with the single exception of Dyvnwal Vrych, [7a] who, to entitle him to that distinction, must have figured prominently on the field of battle.
The engagement commenced on a Tuesday, and continued for a whole week, the last four days being the most bloody. [7b] For some time both parties fought gallantly, and with almost equal success; fortune perhaps upon the whole appearing to favour the Cymry, who not only slew a vast number of their adversaries, but partially succeeded in recovering their lost dominions. [7c] At this critical juncture a dwarfish herald arrived at the fence, proposing on the part of the Saxons a truce or compact, which, however, was indignantly rejected by the natives, and the action renewed. [7d] The scales now rapidly turned. In one part of the field such a terrible carnage ensued, that there was but one man left to scare away the birds of prey, which hovered over the carcases of the slain. [7e] In another, where our Bard was stationed, a portion of the allied army, owing to the absence of its general, became panic stricken. [7f] Aneurin was taken prisoner, hurried off to a cave or dungeon, and loaded with chains. [7g] At length a conference was submitted to, which was held at a place called Llanveithin, at which Aneurin, who had been forcibly liberated by one of the sons of Llywarch Hen, insisted upon the restoration of part of Gododin, or the alternative of continuing the fight. The Saxon herald met the proposal by killing the British Bard Owain, who was of course unarmed. [7h] Such a violation of privilege excited then the whole energies of the Cymry, who rose as one man, and gave the entire scene a more bloody character than it had yet presented.
Victory, however, at length proclaimed in favour of the usurpers, and so decisively, that out of the three hundred and sixty three chieftains that went to the field of Cattraeth, three only returned alive, Cynon, and Cadreith, and Cadlew of Cadnant, besides Aneurin himself. [7i] The number of common soldiers that fell must be conjectured.
We have said that the battle commenced on a Tuesday; it would appear from two passages, namely, where the meeting of reapers in the hall of Eiddin, [7j] and the employment of Gwynwydd in protecting the corn on the highlands, [8a] are spoken of, that the time of year in which it occurred was the harvest.
It is not, however, so easy to determine the exact year when all this happened. Neither Arthur nor Urien are mentioned as being present, and though the stanzas containing their names may have been lost, it must be admitted that in the case of such distinguished warriors reason will not warrant the supposition: the fair inference would be that they were dead at the time. This view is, moreover, supported by readings of the Gododin, where certain heroes are compared to the said chiefs respectively, “of Arthur,” “un Urien,” which would hardly have been done had these latter been alive. The death of Arthur is placed in the year 542; Owain, who died at Cattraeth, slew Ida, A.D. 560, and Urien is said to have been assassinated about 567; the battle under consideration must have happened subsequently, probably about the year usually assigned it, viz., 570. This was in the reign of Rhun, a descendant in the 4th degree of Cunedda Wledig, King of Gododin!
The vulgar opinion is that the Britons lost the battle in consequence of having marched to the field in a state of intoxication; and it must be admitted that there are many passages in the Poem, which, simply considered, would seem to favour that view. Nevertheless, granting that the 363 chieftains had indulged too freely in their favourite beverage, it is hardly credible that the bulk of the army, on which mainly depended the destiny of the battle, had the same opportunity of rendering themselves equally incapacitated, or, if we suppose that all had become so, that they did not recover their sobriety in seven days! The fact appears to be, that Aneurin in the instances alluded to, intends merely to contrast the social and festive habits of his countrymen at home with their lives of toil and privation in war, after a practise common to the Bards, not only of that age, but subsequently. Or it may be that the banquet, at which the British leaders were undoubtedly entertained in the hall of Eiddin, was looked upon as the sure prelude to war, and that in that sense the mead and wine were to them as poison.
Gredyf gwr oed gwas
Gwrhyt am dias
Meirch mwth myngvras
A dan vordwyt megyrwas
Ysgwyt ysgauyn lledan
Ar bedrein mein vuan
Kledyuawr glas glan
Ethy eur aphan
Ny bi ef a vi
Cas e rof a thi
Gwell gwneif a thi
Ar wawt dy uoli
Kynt y waet elawr
Nogyt y neithyawr
Kynt y vwyt y vrein
Noc y argyurein
Ku kyueillt ewein
Kwl y uot a dan vrein
Marth ym pa vro
Llad un mab marro
Kayawc kynhorawc men y delhei
Diffun ymlaen bun med a dalhei
Twll tal y rodawr ene klywei
Awr ny rodei nawd meint dilynei
Ni chilyei o gamhawn eny verei
Waet mal brwyn gomynei gwyr nyt echei
Nys adrawd gododin ar llawr mordei
Rac pebyll madawc pan atcoryei
Namen un gwr o gant eny delhei
Kaeawc kynnivyat kywlat erwyt
Ruthyr eryr en ebyr pan llithywyt
E arnot a vu not a gatwyt
Grwell a wnaeth e aruaeth ny gilywyt
Rac bedin ododin odechwyt
Hyder gymhell ar vreithel vanawyt
Ny nodi nac ysgeth w nac ysgwyt
Ny ellir anet ry vaethpwyt
Rac ergyt catvannan catwyt
Kaeawc kynhorawc bleid e maran
Gwevrawr godrwawr torchawr am rann
Bu gwevrawr gwerthvawr gwerth gwin vann
Ef gwrthodes gwrys gwyar disgrein
Ket dyffei wyned a gogled e rann
O gussyl mab ysgyrran
Kaeawc kynhorawc aruawc eg gawr
Kyn no diw e gwr gwrd eg gwyawr
Kynran en racwan rac bydinawr
Kwydei pym pymwnt rac y lafnawr
O wyr deivyr a brennych dychiawr
Ugein cant eu diuant en un awr
Kynt y gic e vleid nogyt e neithyawr
Kynt e vud e vran nogyt e allawr
Kyn noe argyurein e waet e lawr
Gwerth med eg kynted gan lliwedawr
Hyueid hir ermygir tra vo kerdawr
Gwyr a aeth Ododin chwerthin ognaw
Chwerw en trin a llain en emdullyaw
Byrr vlyned en hed yd ynt endaw
Mab botgat gwnaeth gwynnyeith gwreith e law
Ket elwynt e lanneu e benydyaw
A hen a yeueing a hydyr a llaw
Dadyl diheu angheu y eu treidaw
Gwyr a aeth Ododin chwerthin wanar
Disgynnyeis em bedin trin diachar
Wy lledi a llavnawr heb vawr drydar
Colovyn glyw reithuyw rodi arwar
Gwyr a aeth gatraeth oed fraeth eu llu
Glasved eu hancwyn a gwenwyn vu
Trychant trwy beiryant en cattau
A gwedy elwch tawelwch vu
Ket elwynt e lanneu e benydu
Dadyl dieu angheu y eu treidu
Gwyr a aeth gatraeth veduaeth uedwn
Fyryf frwythlawn oed cam nas kymhwyllwn
E am lavnawr coch gorvawr gwrmwn
Dwys dengyn ed emledyn aergwn
Ar deulu brenneych beych barnasswn
Dilyw dyn en vyw nys adawsswn
Kyueillt a golleis diffleis vedwn
Rugyl en emwrthryn rynn riadwn
Ny mennws gwrawl gwadawl chwegrwn
Maban y gian o vaen gwynngwn
Gwyr a aeth gatraeth gan wawr
Trauodynt en hed eu hovnawr
Milcant a thrychant a emdaflawr
Gwyarllyt gwynnodynt waewawr
Ef gorsaf yng gwryaf eg gwryawr
Rac gosgord mynydawc mwynvawr
Gwyr a aeth gatraeth gan wawr
Dygymyrrws eu hoet eu hanyanawr
Med evynt melyn melys maglawr
Blwydyn bu llewyn llawer kerdawr
Coch eu cledyuawr na phurawr
Eu llain gwyngalch a phedryollt bennawr
Rac gosgord mynydawc mwynvawr
Gwyr a aeth gatraeth gan dyd
Neus goreu o gadeu gewilid
Wy gwnaethant en geugant gelorwyd
A llavnawr llawn annawd em bedyd
Goreu yw hwn kyn kystlwn kerennyd
Enneint creu ac angeu oe hennyd
Rac bedin Ododin pan vudyd
Neus goreu deu bwyllyat neirthyat gwychyd
Gwr a aeth gatraeth gan dyd
Ne llewes ef vedgwyn veinoethyd
Bu truan gyuatcan gyvluyd
E neges ef or drachwres drenghidyd
Ny chryssiws gatraeth
Mawr mor ehelaeth
E aruaeth uch arwyt
Ny bu mor gyffor
O eidyn ysgor
A esgarei oswyd
Tutuwlch hir ech e dir ae dreuyd
Ef lladei Saesson seithuet dyd
Perheit y wrhyt en wrvyd
Ae govein gan e gein gyweithyd
Pan dyvu dutvwch dut nerthyd
Oed gwaetlan gwyaluan vab Kilyd
Gwr a aeth gatraeth gan wawr
Wyneb udyn ysgorva ysgwydawr
Crei kyrchynt kynnullynt reiawr
En gynnan mal taran twryf aessawr
Gwr gorvynt gwr etvynt gwr llawr
Ef rwygei a chethrei a chethrawr
Od uch lled lladei a llavnawr
En gystud heyrn dur arbennawr
E mordei ystyngei a dyledawr
Rac erthgi erthychei vydinawr
O vreithyell gatraeth pan adrodir
Maon dychiorant eu hoet bu hir
Edyrn diedyrn amygyn dir
A meibyon godebawc gwerin enwir
Dyforthynt lynwyssawr gelorawr hir
Bu tru a dynghetven anghen gywir
A dyngwt y dutvwlch a chyvwlch hir
Ket yvein ved gloyw wrth leu babir
Ket vei da e vlas y gas bu hir
Blaen echeching gaer glaer ewgei
Gwyr gweiryd gwanar ae dilynei
Blaen ar e bludue dygollouit vual
Ene vwynvawr vordei
Blaen gwirawt vragawt ef dybydei
Blaen eur a phorphor kein as mygei
Blaen edystrawr pasc ae gwaredei
Gwrthlef, ac euo bryt ae derllydei
Blaen erwyre gawr buduawr drei
Arth en llwrw byth hwyr e techei
Grwledic gwd gyffgein
Nef enys brydein
Garw ryt rac rynn
Aes elwrw budyn
Bual oed arwynn
Eg kynted eidyn
E ved medwawt
Yuei win gwirawt
Oed eruit uedel
Yuei win gouel
Aerueid en arued
Aer gennin vedel
Aer adan glaer
Kenyn keuit aer
Nyt oed diryf y ysgwyt
Gan waywawr plymnwyt
Eg cat blymnwyt
Diessic e dias
Divevyl as talas
Hudid e wyllyas
Kyn bu clawr glas
Bed gwruelling vreisc
Tri llwry novant
Pymwnt a phymcant
Trychwn a thrychant
Tri si chatvarchawc
Tri llu llurugawc
Tri eur deyrn dorchawc
Tri marchawc dywal
Tri chat gyhaual
Tri chysneit kysnar
Chwerw vysgynt esgar
Tri en drin en drwm
Llew lledynt blwm
Eur e gat gyngrwn
Tri theyrn maon
A dyvu o vrython
Kynri a Chenon
Kynrein o aeron
Gogyuerchi yn hon
A dyvu o vrython
Wr well no Chynon
Sarph seri alon
Eveis y win a med e mordei
Mawr meint e vehyr
Yg kyuaruot gwyr
Bwyt e eryr erysmygei
Pan gryssyei gydywal kyfdwyreei
Awr gan wyrd wawr kyui dodei
Aessawr dellt ambellt a adawei
Pareu rynn rwygyat dygymmynei
E gat blaen bragat briwei
Mab syvno sywedyd ae gwydyei
A werthws e eneit
Er wyneb grybwyllyeit
A llavyn lliveit lladei
Lledessit ac a thrwys ac affrei
Er amot aruot arauethei
O wyr gwychyr gwned
Em blaen gwyned gwanei
Eveis y win a med e mordei
Can yueis disgynneis rann fin fawd ut
Nyt didrachywed colwed drut
Pan disgynnei bawb ti disgynnot
Ys deupo gwaeanat gwerth na phechut
Pressent i drawd oed vreichyawr drut
Gwyr a aeth gatraeth buant enwawc
Gwin a med o eur vu eu gwirawt
Blwydyn en erbyn urdyn deuawt
Trywyr a thri ugeiut a thrychant eurdorchawc
Or sawl yt gryssyassant uch gormant wirawt
Ny diengis namyn tri o wrhydri fossawt
Deu gatki aeron a chenon dayrawt
A minheu om gwaetfreu gwerth vy gwennwawt
Uyg car yng wirwar nyn gogyffrawt
O neb o ny bei o gwyn dragon ducawt
Ni didolit yng kynted o ved gwirawt
Ef gwnaei ar beithing perthyng aruodyawc
Ef disgrein eg cat disgrein en aelawt
Neus adrawd gododin gwedy fossawt
Pan vei no llwyeu llymach nebawt
Aryf angkynnull agkyman dull agkysgoget
Tra chywed vawr treiglessyd llawr lloegrwys giwet
Heessit eis ygkynnor eis yg cat uereu
Goruc wyr lludw
A gwraged gwydw
Greit vab hoewgir
Y beri creu
Arwr y dwy ysgwyt adan
E dalvrith ac eil tith orwydan
Bu trydar en aerure bu tan
Bu ehut e waewawr bu huan
Bu bwyt brein bu bud e vran
A chyn edewit en rydon
Gran wlith eryr tith tiryon
Ac o du gwasgar gwanec tu bronn
Beird byt barnant wyr o gallon
Diebyrth e gerth e gynghyr
Diua oed e gynrein gan wyr
A chynn e olo a dan eleirch
Vre ytoed wryt ene arch
Gorgolches e greu y seirch
Budvan vab bleidvan dihavarch
Cam e adaw heb gof camb ehelaeth
Nyt adawei adwy yr adwriaeth
Nyt edewes e lys les kerdoryon prydein
Diw calan yonawr ene aruaeth
Nyt erdit e dir kevei diffeith
Drachas anias dreic ehelaeth
Dragon yg gwyar gwedy gwinvaeth
Gwenabwy vab gwenn gynhen gatraeth
Bu gwir mal y meud e gatlew
Ny deliis meirch neb marchlew
Heessit waywawr y glyw
Y ar llemenic llwybyr dew
Keny vaket am vyrn am borth
Dywal y gledyual emborth
Heessyt onn o bedryollt y law
Y ar veinnyell vygedorth
Yt rannei rygu e rywin
Yt ladei a llauyn vreith o eithin
Val pan vel medel ar vreithin
E gwnaei varchlew waetlin
Issac anuonawc o barth deheu
Tebic mor lliant y deuodeu
O wyled a llaryed
A chein yuet med
Men yth glawd e offer e bwyth madeu
Ny bu hyll dihyll na heu diheu
Seinnyessyt e gledyf ym penn mameu
Murgreit oed moleit ef mab gwydneu
Keredic caradwy e glot
Achubei gwarchatwei not
Lletvegin is tawel kyn dyuot
E dyd gowychyd y wybot
Ys deupo car kyrd kyvnot
Y wlat nef adef atnabot
Keredic karadwy gynran
Keimyat yg cat gouaran
Ysgwyt eur crwydyr cadlan
Gwaewawr uswyd agkyuan
Kledyual dywal diwan
Mal gwr catwei wyaluan
Kynn kysdud daear hynn affan
O daffar diffynnei e vann
Ys deupo kynnwys yg kyman
Can drindawt en undawt gyuan
Pan gryssyei garadawc y gat
Mal baed coet trychwn trychyat
Tarw bedin en trin gormynyat
Ef llithyei wydgwn oe anghat
Ys vyn tyst ewein vab eulat
A gwryen a gwynn a gwryat
O gatraeth o gymynat
O vrynn hydwn kynn caffat
Gwedy med gloew ar anghat
Ny weles vrun e dat
Gwyr a gryssyasant buant gytneit
Hoedyl vyrryon medwon uch med hidleit
Gosgord mynydawc enwawc en reit
Gwerth eu gwled e ved vu eu heneit
Caradawc a madawc pyll ac yeuan
Gwgawn a gwiawn gwynn a chynvan
Peredur arveu dur gwawr-dur ac aedan
Achubyat eng gawr ysgwydawr angkyman
A chet lledessynt wy lladassan
Neb y eu tymhyr nyt atcorsan
Gwyr a gryssyassant buant gytvaeth
Blwydyn od uch med mawr eu haruaeth
Mor dru eu hadrawd wy angawr hiraeth
Gwenwyn eu hadlam nyt mab mam ae maeth
Mor hir eu hetlit ac eu hetgyllaeth
En ol gwyr pebyr temyr gwinvaeth
Gwlyget gododin en erbyn fraeth
Ancwyn mynydawc enwawc e gwnaeth
A phrit er prynu breithyell gatraeth
Gwyr a aeth gatraeth yg cat yg gawr
Nerth meirch a gwrymseirch ac ysgwydawr
Peleidyr ar gychwyn a llym waewawr
A llurugeu claer a chledyuawr
Ragorei tyllei trwy vydinawr
Kwydei bym pymwnt rac y lavnawr
Ruuawn hir ef rodei eur e allawr
A chet a choelvein kein y gerdawr
Ny wnaethpwyt neuad mor orchynnan
Mor vawr mor oruawr gyvlavan
Dyrllydut medut moryen tan
Ny thraethei na wnelei kenon kelein
Un seirchyawc saphwyawc son edlydan
Seinnyessit e gledyf empenn garthan
Noc ac esgyc canec vurvawr y chyhadvan
Ny mwy gysgogit wit uab peithan
Ny wnaethpwyt neuad mor anvonawc
Ony bei voryen eil caradawc
Ny diengis en trwm elwrw mynawc
Dywal dywalach no mab ferawc
Fer y law faglei fowys varchawc
Glew dias dinas e lu ovnawc
Rac bedin ododin bu gwasgarawc
Y gylchwy dan y gymwy bu adenawc
Yn dyd gwyth bu ystwyth neu bwyth atveillyawc
Dyrllydei vedgyrn eillt mynydawc
Ny wnaethpwyt neuad mor diessic
No Chynon lary vronn geinnyon Wledic
Nyt ef eistedei en tal lleithic
E neb a wanei nyt adwenit
Raclym e waewawr
Calch drei tyllei vydinawr
Rac vuan y veirch rac rygiawr
En dyd gwyth atwyth oed e lavnawr
Pan gryssyei gynon gan wyrd wawr
Disgynsit en trwm yg kessevin
Ef diodes gormes ef dodes fin
Ergyr gwayw rieu ryvel chwerthin
Hut effyt y wrhyt elwry elfin
Eithinyn uoleit mur greit tarw trin
Disgynsit en trwm yg kesseuin
Gwerth med yg kynted a gwirawt win
Heyessyt y lavnawr rwg dwy vydin
Arderchawc varchawc rac gododin
Eithinyn uoleit mur greit tarw trin
Disgynsit en trwm rac alauoed wyrein
Wyre llu llaes ysgwydawr
Ysgwyt vriw rac biw beli bloedvawr
Nar od uch gwyar fin festinyawr
An deliit kynllwyt y ar gynghorawr
Gorwyd gwareurffrith rin ych eurdorchawr
Twrch goruc amot emlaen ystre ystrywawr
Teilingdeith gwrthyat gawr
An gelwit e nef bit athledhawr
Emyt ef krennit e gat waewawr
Catvannan er aclut clotvawr
No chynhennit na bei llu idaw llawr
Am drynni drylaw drylenn
Am lwys am difíwys dywarchen
Am gwydaw gwallt e ar benn
Y am wyr eryr gwydyen
Gwyduc neus amuc ac wayw
Ardullyat diwyllyat e berchen
Amuc moryen gwenwawt
Murdyn a chyvrannv penn
Prif eg weryt ac an nerth ac am hen
Trywyr yr bod bun bratwen
Deudec gwenabwy vab gwen
Am drynni drylaw drylenn
Gweinydyawr ysgwydawr yg gweithyen
En aryal cledyual am benn
En lloegyr drychyon rac trychant unben
A dalwy mwng bleid heb prenn
En e law gnawt gwychnawt eny lenn
O gyurang gwyth ac asgen
Trenghis ny diengis bratwen
Eurar vur caer krysgrwydyat
Aer cret ty na thaer aer vlodyat
Un ara ae leissyar argatwyt
Syll o virein neus adrawd a vo mwy
O damweinnyeit llwy
Od amluch lliuanat
Neus adrawd a vo mwy
Na bei kynhawel kynheilweing
Pan vuost di kynnivyn clot
En amwyn tywyssen gordirot
O haedot en gelwit redyrch gwyr not
Oed dor diachor diachor din drei
Oed mynut wrth olut ae kyrchei
Oed dinas e vedin ae cretei
Ny elwit gwinwit men na bei
Ket bei cann wr en vn ty
Atwen ovalon keny
Pen gwyr tal being a dely
Nyt wyf vynawc blin
Ny dialaf vy ordin
Ny chwardaf y chwerthin
A dan droet ronin
Ystynnawc vyg glin
A bundat y
En ty deyeryn
Am ben vyn deulin
O ved o vuelin
O gatraeth werin
Mi na vi aneurin
Ys gwyr talyessin
Neu cheing e ododin
Kynn gwawr dyd dilin
Goroled gogled gwr ae goruc
Llary vronn haeladon ny essyllut
Nyt emda daear nyt emduc
Mam mor eiryan gadarn haearn gaduc
O nerth e cledyf claer e hamuc
O garchar amwar daear em duc
O gyvle angheu o anghar dut
Keneu vab llywarch dihauareh drut
Nyt ef borthi gwarth gorsed
Senyllt ae lestri llawn med
Godolei gledyf e gared
Godolei lemein e ryuel
Dyfforthsei lynwyssawr oe vreych
Rac bedin ododin a brennych
Gnawt ene neuad vyth meirch
Gwyar a gwrymseirch
Keingyell hiryell oe law
Ac en elyd bryssyaw
Gwen ac ymhyrdwen hyrdbleit
Disserch a serch ar tro
Gwyr nyt oedyn drych draet fo
Heilyn achubyat pob bro
Llech leutu tut leu leudvre
Ystre ragno ar y anghat
Angat gynghor e leuuer cat
Tymor dymhestyl tymhestyl dymor
E beri restyr rac riallu
O dindywyt yn dyvu
Wyt yn dy wovu
Dwys yd wodyn
Llym yt wenyn
Llwyr genyn llu
Rac tarw trin
Y dal vriw vu
Erkryn e alon ar af (ar)
Er y brwydrin trin trachuar
Kwr e vankeirw
Am gwr e vanncarw
Byssed brych briwant barr
Am bwyll am disteir am distar
Am bwyll am rodic am rychward
Ys bro ys brys treullyawt rys en riwdrec
Ny hu wy ny gaffo e neges
Nyt anghwy a wanwy odiwes
Ny mat wanpwyt ysgwyt
Ar gynwal carnwyt
Ny mat dodes y vordwyt
Ar vreichir mein-llwyt
Gell e baladyr gell
Gellach e obell
Y mae dy wr ene gell
Yn cnoi anghell
Bwch bud oe law idaw
Poet ymbell angell
Da y doeth adonwy at wen
Ym adawssut wenn heli bratwen
Gwnelut lladut llosgut
No moryen ny waeth wnelut
Ny delyeist nac eithaf na chynhor
Ysgwn drem dibennor
Ny weleist e morchwyd mawr marchogyon
Wynedin my rodin nawd y Saesson
Gododin gomynaf dy blegyt
Tynoeu dra thrumein drum essyth
Gwas chwant y aryant heb emwyt
O gussyl mab dwywei dy wrhyt
Nyt oed gynghorwann
Wael y rac tan veithin
O lychwr y lychwr lluch bin
Lluchdor y borfor beryerin
Llad gwaws gwan maws mur trin
Anysgarat ac vu y nat ac aneurin
Kywyrein ketwyr kywrennin
E gatraeth gwerin fraeth fysgyolin
Gwerth med yg kynted a gwirawt win
Heyessit e lavnawr rwng dwy vedin
Arderchauc varchawc rac gododin
Eithinyn voleit murgreit tarw trin
Kywyrein ketwyr kywrenhin
Gwlat atvel gochlywer a eu dilin
Dygoglawd ton bevyr beryerin
Men yd ynt eilyassaf elein
O brei vrych ny welych weyelin
Ny chemyd haed ud a gordin
Ny phyrth mevyl moryal eu dilin
Llavyn durawt barawt e waetlin
Kywyrein ketwyr kywrenhin
Gwlat atvel gochlywer eu dilin
Ef lladawd a chymawn a llain
A charnedawr tra gogyhwc gwyr trin
Kywyrein ketwyr hyuaruuant
Y gyt en un vryt yt gyrchassant
Byrr eu hoedyl hir eu hoet ar eu carant
Seith gymeint o loegrwys a ladassant
O gyvryssed gwraged gwyth a wnaethant
Llawer mam ae deigyr ar y hamrant
Ny wnaethpwyt neuad mor dianaf
Lew mor hael baran llew llwybyr vwyhaf
A chynon laryvronn adon deccaf
Dinas y dias ar llet eithaf
Dor angor bedin bud eilyassaf
Or sawl a weleis ac a welav
Ymyt en emdwyn aryf gryt gwryt gwryaf
Ef lladei oswyd a llavyn llymaf
Mal brwyn yt gwydynt rac y adaf
Mab klytno clot hir canaf
Yty or clot heb or heb eithaf
O winveith a medweith
Ermygei rac vre
Rac bronn budugre
Kynrein en kwydaw
Val glas heit arnaw
Heb giliaw gyhaual
Synnwyr ystwyr ystemel
Y ar weillyon gwebyl
Ac ardemyl gledyual
Blaen ancwyn anhun
Hediw an dihun
Mam reidun rwyf trydar
O winveith a medweith yd aethant
E genhyn llurugogyon
Nys gwn lleith lletkynt
Cyn llwyded eu lleas dydaruu
Rac catraeth oed fraeth eu llu
O osgord vynydawc wawr dru
O drychant namen un gwr ny dyvu
O winveith a medveith yt gryssyassant
Gwyr en reit moleit eneit dichwant
Gloew dull y am drull yt gytvaethant
Gwin a med amall a amucsant
O osgord vynydawc am dwyf atveillyawc
A rwyf a golleis om gwir garant
O drychan riallu yt gryssyassant
Gatraeth tru namen vn gwr nyt atcorsant
Hv bydei yg kywyrein pressent mal pel
Ar y e hu bydei ene uei atre
Hut amuc ododin
O win a med en dieding
Yng ystryng ystre
Ac adan gatvannan cochre,
Veirch marchawc godrud e more
Angor dewr daen
Sarph seri raen
Arth i arwynawl drussyawr dreissyawr
En dyd cadyawr
Yg clawd gwernin
Eil nedic nar
Neus duc drwy var
Gwled y adar
O drydar drin
Kywir yth elwir oth enwir weithret
Ractaf ruyuyadur mur catuilet
Merin a madyein mat yth, anet
Ardyledawc canu kyman caffat
Ketwyr am gatraeth a wnaeth brithret
Brithwy a wyar sathar sanget
Sengi wit gwned bual am dal med
A chalaned kyuurynged
Nyt adrawd kibno wede kyffro
Ket bei kymun keui dayret
Ardyledawc canu kyman ovri
Twrf tan a tharan a ryuerthi
Gwrhyt arderchawc varchawc mysgi
Ruduedel ryuel a eiduni
Gwr gwned divudyawc dimyngyei
Y gat or meint gwlat yd y klywi
Ae ysgwyt ar y ysgwyd hut arolli
Wayw mal gwin gloew o wydyr lestri
Aryant am yued eur dylyi
Gwinvaeth oed waetnerth vab llywri
Ardyledawc canu claer orchyrdon
A gwedy dyrreith dyleinw aeron
Dimcones lovlen benn eryron
Llwyt ef gorevvwyt y ysgylvyon
Or a aeth gatraeth o eur dorchogyon
Ar neges mynydawc mynawc maon
Ny doeth en diwarth o barth vrython
Ododin wr bell well no Chynon
Ardyledawc canu kenian kywreint
Llawen llogell byt bu didichwant
Hu mynnei engkylch byt eidol anant
Yr eur a meirch mawr a med medweint
Namen ene delei o vyt hoffeint
Kyndilic aeron wyr enouant
Ardyledawc canu claer orchyrdon
Ar neges mynydawc mynawc maon
A merch eudaf hir dreis gwananhon
Oed porfor gwisgyadur dir amdrychyon
Dyfforthes meiwyr molut nyuet
Baran tan teryd ban gynneuet
Duw mawrth gwisgyssant eu gwrym dudet
Diw merchyr peri deint eu calch doet
Divyeu bu diheu eu diuoet
Diw gwener calaned amdyget
Diw sadwrn bu divwrn eu kytweithret
Diw sul eu llavneu rud amdyget
Diw llun hyt benn clun gwaetlun gwelet
Neus adrawd gododin gwedy lludet
Rac pebyll madawc pan atcoryet
Namen un gwr o gant ene delhet
Mochdwyreawc y more
Kynnif aber rac ystre
Bu bwlch bu twlch tande
Mal twrch y tywysseist vre
Bu golut mynut bu lle
Bu gwyar gweilch gwrymde
Moch dwyreawc y meitin
O gynnu aber rac fin
O dywys yn tywys yn dylin
Rac cant ef gwant gesseuin
Oed garw y gwnaewch chwi waetlin
Mal yuet med drwy chwerthin
Oed llew y lladewch chwi dynin
Cledyual dywal fysgyolin
Oed mor diachor yt ladei
Esgar gwr haual en y a bei
Disgynnwys en affwys dra phenn
Ny deliit kywyt kywrennin benn
Disgiawr breint vu e lad ar gangen
Kynnedyf y ewein esgynnv ar ystre
Ystwng kyn gorot goreu gangen
Dilud dyleyn cathleu dilen
Llywy llyvroded rwych ac asgen
Anglas asswydeu lovlen
Dyphorthes ae law luric wehyn
Dymgwallaw gwledic dal
Oe brid brennyal
Eidol adoer crei grannawr gwynn
Dysgiawr pan vei bun barn benn
Perchen meirch a gwrymseirch
Ac ysgwydawr yaen
Gyuoet a gyuergyr esgyn disgyn
Aer dywys ry dywys ryvel
Gwlat gord garei gwrd uedel
Gwrdweryt gwaet am iroed
Seirchyawr am y rud yt ued
Seingyat am seirch seirch seingyat
Ar delw lleith dygiawr lludet
Peleidyr en eis en dechreu cat
Hynt am oleu bu godeu beleidryal
Keint amnat am dina dy gell
Ac ystauell yt uydei dyrllydei
Med melys maglawr
Gwrys aergynlys gan wawr
Ket lwys lloegrwys lliwedawr
Ry benyt ar hyt yd allawr
Eillt wyned klywere arderched
Gwananhon byt ved
Savwy cadavwy gwyned
Tarw bedin treis trin teyrned
Kyn kywesc daear kyn gorwed
But orfun gododin bed
Bedin ordyvnat en agerw
Mynawc lluydawc llaw chwerw
Bu doeth a choeth a syberw
Nyt oed ef wrth gyued gochwerw
Mudyn geinnyon ar y helw
Nyt oed ar lles bro pob delw
An gelwir mor a chynnwr ym plymnwyt
Yn tryvrwyt peleidyr peleidyr gogymwyt
Goglyssur heyrn lliveit llawr en assed
Sychyn yg gorun en trydar
Gwr frwythlawn flamdur rac esgar
Dyfforthes cat veirch a chatseirch
Greulet ar gatraeth cochre
Mae blaenwyd bedin dinus
Aergi gwyth gwarth vre
An gelwir ny faw glaer fwyre
Echadaf heidyn haearnde
Mynawc gododin traeth e annor
Mynawc am rann kwynhyator
Rac eidyn aryal flam nyt atcor
Ef dodes e dilis yg kynhor
Ef dodes rac trin tewdor
En aryal ar dywal disgynnwys
Can llewes porthes mawrbwys
O osgord vynydawc ny diangwys
Namen vn aryf amdiffryf amdiffwys
O gollet moryet ny bu aessawr
Dyfforthyn traeth y ennyn llawr
Ry duc oe lovlen glas lavnawr
Peleidyr pwys preiglyn benn periglawr
Y ar orwyd erchlas penn wedawr
Trindygwyd trwch trach y lavnawr
Pan orvyd oe gat ny bu foawr
An dyrllys molet med melys maglawr
Gweleis y dull o benn tir adoun
Aberth am goelkerth a disgynnyn
Gweleis oed kenevin ar dref redegein
A gwyr nwythyon ry gollessyn
Gweleis gwyr dullyawr gan awr adevyn
A phenn dyvynwal a breych brein ae cnoyn
Mat vydic ysgavynwyn asgwrn aduaon
Aelussawc tebedawc tra mordwy alon
Gwrawl amdyvrwys goruawr y lu
Gwryt vronn gwrvan gwanan arnaw
Y gynnedyf disgynnu rac naw riallu
Yg gwyd gwaed a gwlat a gordiynaw
Caraf vy vudic lleithic a vu anaw
Kyndilic aeron kenhan lew
Carasswn disgynnu yg catraeth gessevin
Gwert med yg kynted a gwirawt win
Carasswn neu chablwys ar llain
Kyn bu e leas oe las uffin
Carasswn eil clot dyfforthes gwaetlin
Ef dodes e gledyf yg goethin
Neus adrawd gwrhyt rac gododyn
Na bei mab keidyaw clot un gwr trin
Truan yw gennyf vy gwedy lludet
Grodef gloes angheu trwy angkyffret
Ac eil trwm truan gennyf vy gwelet
Dygwydaw an gwyr ny penn o draet
Ac ucheneit hir ac eilywet
En ol gwyr pebyr temyr tudwet
Ruvawn a gwgawn gwiawn a gwlyget
Gwyr gorsaf gwryaf gwrd yg calet
Ys deupo eu heneit wy wedy trinet
Kynnwys yg wlat nef adef avneuet
Ef gwrthodes tres tra gwyar llyn
Ef lladei val dewrdull nyt echyn
Tavloyw ac ysgeth tavlet wydrin
A med rac teyrned tavlei vedin
Menit y gynghor men na lleveri
Lliaws ac vei anwaws nyt odewyt
Rac ruthyr bwyllyadeu a chledyvawr
Lliveit handit gwelir llavar lleir
A llu racwed
En dyd gwned
A med yuet
Ny bu waret
Pan adroder torret ergyr
O veirch a gwyr tyngir tynget
Pan ym dyvyd lliaws pryder
Fun en ardec
Ar hynt wylaw
Ef dadodes arlluyd pwys ar lles rieu
Ar dilyvyn goet
Ar diliw hoet
Kyvedwogant ef an dyduc ar dan adloyw
Ac ar groen gwynn goscroyw
Gereint rac deheu gawr a dodet
Lluch gwynn gwynn dwll ar ysgwyt
Yor yspar llary yor
Molut mynut mor
Gogwneif heissyllut gwgynei gereint
Hael mynawc oedut
Diannot e glot e glutvan
Diachor angor ygkyman
Diechyr eryr gwyr govaran
Trin odef eidef oed eiryan
Ragorei veirch racvuan
En trin lletvegin gwin o bann
Kyn glasved a glassu eu rann
Bu gwr gwled od uch med mygyr o bann
Dienhyt y bob llawr llanwet
E hual amhaual afneuet
Twll tall e rodawr
Cas o hir gwythawc
Eil gweith gelwideint a mallet
Yg catveirch a seirch greulet
Bedin agkysgoget yt vyd cat voryon
Cochro llann bann ry godhet
Trwm en trin a llavyn yt lladei
Garw rybud o gat dydygei
Cann calan a darmeithei
Ef gwenit adan vab ervei
Ef gwenit adan dwrch trahawc
Un riein a morwyn a mynawc
A phan oed mab teyrn teithyawc
Yng gwyndyt gwaed glyt gwaredawc
Kyn golo gweryt ar rud
Llary hael etvynt digythrud
O glot a chet echyawc
Neut bed garthwys hir o dir rywonyawc
Peis dinogat e vreith vreith
O grwyn balaot ban wreith
Chwit chwit chwidogeith
Gochanwn gochenyn wyth geith
Pan elei dy dat ty e helya
Llath ar y ysgwyd llory eny llaw
Ef gelwi gwn gogyhwch
Giff gaff dhaly dhaly dhwc dhwc
Ef lledi bysc yng corwc
Mal ban llad llew llywywc
Pan elei dy dat ty e vynyd
Dydygei ef penn ywrch pen gwythwch penn hyd
Penn grugyar vreith o venyd
Penn pysc o rayadyr derwennyd
Or sawl yt gyrhaedei dy dat ty ae gicwein
O wythwch a llewyn a llwyuein
Nyt anghei oll ny uei oradein
Peum dodyw angkyvrwng o angkyuarc
Nym daw nym dyvyd a uo trymach
Ny magwyt yn neuad a vei lewach
Noc ef nac yng cat a vei wastadach
Ac ar ryt benclwyt pennawt oed e veirch
Pellynic e glot pellws e galch
A chyn golo gweir hir a dan dywarch
Dyrllydei vedgyrn un mab feruarch
Gueleys y dull o bentir a doyn
Aberthach coelcerth a emdygyn
Gueleys y deu oc eu tre re ry gwydyn
O eir nwython ry godessyn
Gueleys y wyr tylluawr gan waur a doyn
A phen dyuynwal vrych brein ae knoyn
Gododin gomynnaf oth blegyt
Yg gwyd cant en aryal en emwyt
A guarchan mab dwywei da wrhyt
Poet yno en vn tyno treissyt
Er pan want maws mor trin
Er pan aeth daear ar aneirin
Mi neut ysgaras nat a gododin
Llech llefdir aryf gardith tith ragon
Tec ware rac gododin ystre anhon
Ry duc diwyll o win bebyll ar lles tymyr
Tymor tymestyl tra merin llestyr
Tra merin llu llu meithlyon
Kein gadrawt rwyd rac riallu
O dindywyt en dyuuwyt yn dyvuu
Ysgwyt rugyn rac doleu trin tal vriw vu
Dihenyd y bop llaur llanwet
Y haual amhal afneuet
Twll tal y rodauc
Cas o hir gwychauc
Eil with gwelydeint amallet
Y gat veirch ae seirch greulet
Bit en anysgoget bit get
Uoron gwychyrolyon pan ry godet
Trwm en trin a llain yt ladei
Gwaro rybud o gat dydygei
Gant can yg calan darmerthei
Ef gwenit a dan vab uruei
Ef gwenit a dan dwrch trahauc
Un riein a morwyn a menauc
A chan oed mab brenhin teithiaug
Ud gwyndyt gwaet kilyd gwaredawc
Kyn golo gweryt ar grud hael etvynt
Doeth dygyrchet y get ae glot ae echiauc
Uot bed gorthyn hir o orthir rywynauc
Am drynnv drylav drylen
Am lwys am diffwys dywarchen
Trihuc baruaut dreis dili plec hen
Atguuc emorem ae guiau hem
Hancai ureuer uragdenn
At gwyr a gwydyl a phrydein
At gu kelein rein rud guen
Deheuec gwenauwy mab gwen
Am giniav drylav drylen
Trym dwys tra diffwys dywarchen
Kemp e lumen arwr baruawt asgell
Vreith edrych eidyn a breithell
Goruchyd y lav loften
Ar gynt a gwydyl a phryden
A chynhyo mwng bleid heb pren
Eny law gnavt gwychlaut ene lenn
Prytwyf ny bei marw morem
Deheuec gwenabwy mab gwen
He was a man in mind, in years a youth, [79a]
And gallant in the din of war;
Fleet, thick-maned chargers [79b]
Were ridden [79c] by the illustrious hero;
A shield, light and broad,
Hung on the flank of his swift and slender steed;
His sword was blue and gleaming,
His spurs were of gold, [80a] his raiment was woollen. [80b]
It will not be my part
To speak of thee reproachfully,
A more choice act of mine will be
To celebrate thy praise in song;
Thou hast gone to a bloody bier,
Sooner than to a nuptial feast; [80c]
Thou hast become a meal for ravens,
Ere thou didst reach the front of conflict. [80d]
Alas, Owain! my beloved friend;
It is not meet that he should be devoured by ravens! [81a]
There is swelling sorrow [82a] in the plain,
Where fell in death the only son of Marro.
Adorned with his wreath, leader of rustic warriors, [82b] whenever he came
By his troop unattended, [83a] before maidens would he serve the mead;
But the front of his shield would be pierced, [83b] if ever he heard
The shout of war; no quarter would he give to those whom he pursued;
Nor would he retreat from the combat until blood flowed;
And he cut down like rushes [83c] the men who would not yield.
The Gododin relates, that on the coast of Mordei, [84a]
Before the tents of Madog, when he returned,
But one man in a hundred with him came. [84b]
Adorned with his wreath, the chief of toil, his country’s rod [84c] of power,
Darted like an eagle [84d] to our harbours, [84e] when allured
To the compact [85a] that had been formed; his ensign was beloved, [85b]
More nobly was his emblazoned resolution [85c] performed, for he retreated not,
With a shrinking mind, [85d] before the host of Gododin.
Manawyd, [85e] with confidence and strength thou pressest upon the tumultuous fight,
Nor dost thou regard [86a] either spear or shield;
No habitation rich in dainties can be found,
That has been kept out of the reach of thy warriors’ charge. [86b]
Adorned with a wreath was the leader, [87a] the wolf [87b] of the holme,
Amber beads [87c] in ringlets encircled his temples; [87d]
Precious was the amber, worth a banquet of wine. [87e]
He repelled the violence of men, as they glided along;
For Venedotia and the North would have come to his share,
By the advice of the son of Ysgyran, [88a]
The hero of the broken shield. [88b]
Adorned with his wreath was the leader, and armed in the noisy conflict;
Chief object of observation [88c] was the hero, and powerful in the gory field,
Chief fighter [88d] in the advanced division, in front of the hosts;
Five battalions [89a] fell before his blades;
Even of the men of Deivyr and Bryneich, [89b] uttering groans,
Twenty hundred perished in one short hour;
Sooner did he feed the wolf [90a] with his carcase, than go to the nuptial feast; [90b]
He sooner became the raven’s prey, than approached the altar; [90c]
He had not raised the spear ere his blood streamed to the ground; [90d]
This was the price of mead in the hall, amidst the throng;
Hyveidd Hir [90e] shall be celebrated whilst there remains a minstrel.
The heroes marched to Gododin, and Gognaw laughed, [91a]
But bitter were they in the battle, [91b] when they stood arranged according to their several banners;
Few were the years of peace which they had enjoyed;
The son of Botgad caused a throbbing by the energy of his hand;
They should have gone to churches to do penance,
The old and the young, the bold and the mighty; [91c]
The inevitable strife of death was about to pierce them.
The heroes marched to Gododin, Gwanar [92a] laughed,
As his jewelled army [92b] went down [92c] to the terrific toil.
Thou slayest them with blades, when there is not much chattering;
Thou, powerful supporter of the living law, producest the silence of death. [92d]
The heroes marched to Cattraeth, loquacious was the host;
Blue [93a] mead was their liquor, and it proved their poison; [93b]
In marshalled array they cut through the engines of war; [93c]
And after the joyful cry, silence [93d] ensued!
They should have gone to churches to perform penance;
The inevitable strife of death was about to pierce them.
The heroes marched to Cattraeth, filled with mead and drunk,
Compact and vigorous; [94a] I should wrong them were I to neglect their fame;
Around the mighty, red, and murky blades,
Obstinately and fiercely the dogs of war [94b] would fight;
If I had judged you to be of the tribe of Bryneich, [94c]
Not the phantom of a man would I have left alive. [94d]
I lost a friend, myself being unhurt,
As he openly withstood the terror of the parental chief;
Magnanimously did he refuse the dowry of his father-in-law; [94e]
Such was the son of Cian [95a] from the stone of Gwyngwn.
The heroes marched to Cattraeth with the dawn;
Their peace was disturbed by those who feared them;
A hundred thousand with three hundred [95b] engaged in mutual overthrow;
Drenched in gore, they marked the fall of the lances; [96a]
The post of war [96b] was most manfully and with gallantry maintained,
Before the retinue of Mynyddawg the Courteous. [96c]
The heroes marched to Cattraeth with the dawn;
Feelingly did their relatives [96d] regret their absence;
Mead they drank, yellow, sweet, ensnaring;
That year is the point to which many [96e] a minstrel turns;
Redder were their swords than their plumes, [97a]
Their blades were white as lime, [97b] and into four parts were their helmets cloven, [97c]
Even those of [97d] the retinue of Mynyddawg the Courteous.
The heroes marched to Cattraeth with the day;
Was not the most celebrated of battles disgraced? [97e]
They put to death [98a] Gelorwydd
With blades. The gem of Baptism [98b]was thus widely taunted;—
“Better that you should, ere you join your kindred,
Have a gory unction [98c] and death far from your native homes,
At the hand of the host of Gododin, when the day arrives.”
Is not a hero’s power best when tempered with discretion?
The hero [98d] marched to Cattraeth with the day;
Truly [99a] he quaffed the white mead on serene nights; [99b]
Miserable, though success had been predicted, [99c]
Proved his mission, which he undertook through soaring ambition; [99d]
There hastened not to Cattraeth
A chief, with such a magnificent design of enterprize
Blazoned on his standard;
Never was there such a host
From the fort of Eiddin, [99e]
That would scatter abroad the mounted ravagers.
Tudvwlch Hir, [100a] deprived of [100b] his land and towns,
Slaughtered the Saxons for seven days; [100c]
His valour should have protected him in freedom; [100d]
His memory is cherished by his fair [100e] associates;
When Tudvwlch arrived, the supporter of the land, [100f]
The post of the son of Kilydd [100g] became a plain of blood.
The heroes [100h] marched to Cattraeth with the dawn,
But none of them received protection from their shields,
To blood they resorted, being assembled in gleaming armour; [101a]
In the van was, loud as thunder, the din of targets. [101b]
The envious, the fickle, and the base,
Would he tear and pierce with halberts;
From an elevated position [101c] he slew, with a blade,
In iron affliction, [101d] their steel-clad commander; [101e]
He subdued the Mordei that owed him homage; [101f]
Before Erthai [102a] even an army groaned. [102b]
When the tale shall be told of the battle of Cattraeth,
The people will utter sighs; [102c] long has been their grief on account of the warriors’ absence;
There will be a dominion without a sovereign, [102d] and a smoking land.
The sons of Godebog, an upright clan,
Bore the furrower [102e] on a long bier.
Miserable [103a] was the fate, though just the necessity,
Decreed for Tudvwlch and Cyvwlch the Tall; [103b]
Together they drank the bright mead by the light [103c] of torches, [103d]
Though pleasant to the taste, it proved a lasting foe. [103e]
Before, above the splendid fort of Eching [103f] he shewed a frowning aspect; [103g]
Whilst young and forward men composed his retinue;
Before, on the Bludwe, [104a] would the horn cheer his heart, [104b]
Making all the Mordei full of joy; [104c]
Before, his beverage would be braggett;
Before, he displayed the grandeur of gold and rich purple;
Before, pampered steeds would bear him safe away,
Even Gwarthlev, who deserved a comely name; [104d]
Before, the victorious chief would turn aside the ebbing tide;
His command was ever to go forward, [105a] loth was he to skulk.
And now the early leader,
The sun, is about to ascend,
Sovereign of the revolving [105b] lights, [105c]
In the heaven of Britain’s isle. [105d]
Direful was the flight before the shaking
Of the shield of the pursuing victor; [105e]
Bright [105f] was the horn
In the hall of Eiddin; [105g]
With pomp was he bidden [105h]
To the feast of intoxicating mead;
He drank the beverage of wine,
At the meeting of reapers; [106a]
He drank transparent wine,
With a battle-daring purpose. [106b]
The reapers sang of war,
War with the shining wing; [106c]
The minstrels sang of war,
Of harnessed [106d] war,
Of winged war.
No shield was unexpanded [107a]
In the conflict of spears;
Of equal age they fell [107b]
In the struggle of battle.
Unshaken in the tumult,
Without dishonour [107c] did he retaliate on the foe;
Buried [107d] was whoever he willed,
Ere the grave of the gigantic [107e] Gwrveling
Itself became a green sward.
The complement [107f] of the surrounding country [107g]
Were, three forward chiefs of the Novantæ; [107h]
Five battalions of five hundred men each; [108a]
Three levies [108b] of three hundred each;
Three hundred knights of battle [108c]
From Eiddin, arrayed in golden armour;
Three loricated hosts,
With three kings wearing the golden torques; [108d]
Three bold knights,
With three hundred of equal quality;
Three of the same order, mutually jealous,
Bitterly would they chase the foe,
Three dreadful in the toil;
They would kill a lion flat as lead. [108e]
There was in the war a collection of gold. [108f]
Three sovereigns of the people
Came from amongst the Brython, [109a]
Cynrig and Cynon [109b]
And Cynrain [109c] from Aeron, [109d]
To greet [110a] the ashen lances [110b]
Of the men who dropped from Deivyr. [110c]
Came there from the Brython,
A better man than Cynon,
Who proved a serpent to his sullen foes?
I drank of the wine and the mead of the Mordei;
Great was the quantity of spears,
In the assembly of the warriors;
He [110d] was solemnising a banquet for the eagle.
When Cydywal [110e] hurried forth to battle, he raised
The shout with the green dawn, and dealt out tribulation, [110f]
And splintered shields about the ground he left,
And darts of awful tearing did he hew down;
In the battle, the foremost in the van he wounded.
The son of Syvno, [111a] the astronomer, knew,
That he who sold his life,
In the face of warning,
With sharpened blades would slaughter,
But would himself be slain by spears and crosses. [111b]
According to the compact, [111c] he meditated a convenient attack,
And would boast [111d] of a pile of carcases
Of gallant men of toil,
Whom in the upper part of Gwynedd [111e] he pierced.
I drank of the wine and the mead of the Mordei,
And because I drank, I fell by the edge of a gleaming sword, [112a]
Not without desiring a hero’s prowess; [112b]
And when all fell, thou didst also fall. [112c]
Thus when the issue comes, it were well not to have sinned.
Present, in his thrusting course, showed a bold and mighty arm. [112d]
The heroes who marched to Cattraeth were renowned,
Wine and mead out of golden goblets was their beverage,
That year was to them one of exalted solemnity,
Three hundred and sixty-three chieftains, wearing the golden torques; [113a]
Of those who hurried forth after the excess of revelling,
But three escaped by valour from the funeral fosse, [113b]
The two war-dogs [114a] of Aeron, and Cynon the dauntless, [114b]
And myself, from the spilling of blood, the reward of my candid song. [114c]
My friend in real distress, we should have been by none disturbed,
Had not the white-bannered commander [115a] led forth his army;
We should not [115b] have been separated in the hall from the banquet of mead,
Had he not laid waste our convenient groves; [115c]
He crept into the martial field, he crept into our families. [115d]
The Gododin relates how that, after the fight in the fosse,
When we had no dwellings, [116a] none were more destitute. [116b]
Scattered, broken, motionless is the weapon, [116c]
That used to penetrate through the great horde, [116d] the numerous [117a] horde of the Lloegrians. [117b]
Shields were strewn on the sea coast, [117c] shields in the battle of lances;
Men were reduced to ashes, [117d]
And women rendered widows,
Before his death. [117e]
O Graid, son of Hoewgi, [117f]
With thy spears
Didst thou cause an effusion of blood.
There was the hero, with both his shoulders covered, [118a]
By a variegated shield, and possessing the swiftness of a warlike steed;
There was a noise in the mount of slaughter, [118b] there was fire, [118c]
Impetuous were the lances, there was a sunny gleam, [118d]
There was food for ravens, the raven there did triumph, [118e]
And before he would let them go free,
With the morning dew, like the eagle in his glad course,
He scattered them on either side, and like a billow overwhelmed them in front.
The Bards of the world judge those to be men of valour,
Whose counsels are not divulged to slaves. [119a]
The spears in the hands of the warriors were causing devastation;
And ere was interred under [119b] the swan-white steed, [119c]
One who had been energetic in his commands,
His gore had thoroughly washed his armour: [119d]
Such was Buddvan, [119e] the son of Bleiddvan the Bold.
It were wrong not to record his magnificent feat;
He would not leave an open gap, through cowardice; [120a]
The benefit of Britain’s minstrels never quitted his court
Upon the calends of January; [120b] according to his design, [120c]
His land should not be ploughed, though it might become wild;
He was a mighty dragon of indignant disposition;
A commander in the bloody field, [120d] after the feast of wine,
Was Gwenabwy [121a] the son of Gwên, [121b] in the strife of Cattraeth.
True it was, as the songs relate, [121c]
No one’s steeds [121d] overtook Marchleu;
The lances [121e] hurled by the commanding earl,
In his prancing career, [121f] strewed a thick path;
As he had been reared for slaughter by the aid of my mother, [121g]
Furious was the stroke of his sword whilst lending support to others; [121h]
Ashen shafts were scattered from the grasp of his hand, [122a]
Above the narrow summit [122b] of the solemn pile, [122c]
The place where one caused the smoke to ascend; [122d]
He would slaughter with the blade, whilst his arms were full of furze; [122e]
As when a reaping comes in the interval of fine weather, [122f]
Would Marchleu [123a] make the blood to flow.
Lower down [123b] was sent from the southern region, [123c]
One whose conduct [123d] resembled the flowing sea; [123e]
He was full of modesty and gentleness,
When allowed to quaff the mead:
But along the rampart to Offer, [123f] even to the point of Maddeu, [123g]
Enraged, he was glutted with carnage, and scattering, with desolation; [124a]
His sword resounded on the heads of mothers;
He was an ardent spirit, [124b] praise be to him, the son of Gwyddneu. [124c]
Caredig, [124d] lovely is his fame;
He would protect and guard his ensign,
Gentle, [125a] lowly, calm, before the day arrived
When he the pomp of war should learn;
When comes the appointed time of the friend of song, [125b]
May he recognise his home in the heavenly region.
Ceredig, [125c] amiable leader,
A wrestler [126a] in the impetuous [126b] fight;
His golden shield dazzled [126c] the field of battle,
His lances, when darted, were shivered into splinters,
And the stroke of his sword was fierce and penetrating;
Like a hero would he maintain his post.
Before he received the affliction of earth, [126d] before the fatal blow,
He had fulfilled his duty in guarding his station.
May he find a complete reception
With the Trinity in perfect Unity.
When Caradawg [126e] rushed into battle,
It was like the tearing onset of the woodland boar; [127a]
Bull of the army in the mangling fight,
He allured the wild dogs by the action of his hand; [127b]
My witnesses [127c] are Owain the son of Eulat,
And Gwrien, and Gwynn, and Gwriad; [127d]
But from Cattraeth, and its work of carnage, [127e]
From the hill of Hydwn, ere it was gained, [127f]
After the clear mead was put into his hand,
He saw no more the hill [128a] of his father.
The warriors marched with speed, together they bounded onward;
Short lived were they,—they had become drunk over the distilled mead.
The retinue of Mynyddawg, renowned [128b] in the hour of need;
Their life was the price of their banquet of mead.
Caradawg, [128c] and Madawg, [128d] Pyll, and Ieuan,
Gwgawn, [129a] and Gwiawn, Gwynn [129b] and Cynvan,
Peredur [129c] with steel arms, Gwawrddur, [129d] and Aeddan; [129e]
A defence were they in the tumult, though with shattered shields; [130a]
When they were slain, they also slaughtered;
Not one to his native home returned.
The heroes marched with speed, together were they regaled
That year over mead, and mighty was their design;
How sad to mention them, [130b] how doleful their commemoration! [130c]
Poison is the home to which they have returned, they are not as sons by mothers nursed; [130d]
How long our vexation, how long our regret,
For the brave warriors, whose native place was the feast of wine! [130e]
Gwlyget [131a] of Gododin, having partaken of the speech inspiring
Banquet of Mynyddawg, performed illustrious deeds, [131b]
And paid a price [131c] for the purchase of the battle of Cattraeth.
The heroes went to Cattraeth in marshalled array, and with shout of war, [131d]
With powerful steeds, [131e] and dark brown harness, and with shields,
With uplifted [131f] javelins, and piercing lances,
With glittering mail, and with swords.
He excelled, and penetrated through the host,
Five battalions fell before his blade;
Rhuvawn Hir, [132a]—he gave gold [132b] to the altar,
And gifts and precious stones [132c] to the minstrel.
No hall [132d] was ever made so eminently perfect,
So great, so magnificent for the slaughter; [133a]
Morien [133b] procured [133c] and spread the fire,
And would not say but that Cynon [133d] should see [133e] the corpse
Of one harnessed, armed with a pike, and of a wide spread fame; [133f]
His sword resounded on the summit occupied by the camp, [133g]
Nor was he moved [134a] aside in his course by a ponderous stone from the wall of the fort, [134b]
And never again will the son of Peithan [134c] be moved.
No hall was ever made so impregnable; [134d]
Had not Morien been like Caradawg, [134e]
The forward Mynawg, [134f] with his heavy armour, [134g] would not have escaped;
Enraged, he was fiercer than the son of Pherawg, [135a]
Stout his hand, and, mounted on his steed, [135b] he dealt out flames upon the retreating foe.
Terrible in the city was the cry of the timid multitude,
The van of the army of Gododin was scattered;
His buckler [135c] was winged with fire for the slaughter;
In the day of his wrath [135d] he was nimble—a destructive retaliator;
The dependants of Mynyddawg deserved their horns of mead.
No hall was ever made so immoveable
As that of Cynon with the gentle breast, sovereign of the saints; [135e]
He sat no longer on his elevated throne, [136a]
Whom he pierced were not pierced again, [136b]
Keen was the point of his lance,
It perforated the enamelled armour, it penetrated through the troops;
Swift in the van were his horses, in front they tore along;
In the day of his anger [136c] blasting was his blade,
When Cynon rushed into battle with the green dawn.
A grievous descent was made upon his native territory;
He [136d] suffered an encroachment—he fixed a limit;
His spear forcibly pushed the laughing chiefs of war;
Even as far as Ephyd [137a] reached the valour of the forward Elphin:
The furze was kindled by the ardent spirit, the bull of conflict.
A grievous descent was made upon his native territory,
The price of mead in the hall, and the feast of wine;
His blades were scattered about between the two hosts;
Illustrious was the knight in front of Gododin;
The furze was kindled by the ardent spirit, the bull of conflict. [138a]
A grievous descent was made in front of the extended riches, [138b]
But the army turned aside, with trailing [138c] shields,
And those shields were shivered before the herd of the roaring Beli. [138d]
A dwarf from the bloody field hastened to the fence; [139a]
And on our side there came a hoary headed man, our chief counsellor, [139b]
Mounted on a prancing iebald psteed, and wearing the golden chain.
The Boar [139c] proposed a compact in front of the course—the great plotter;
Right worthy [139d] was the shout of our refusal,
And we cried “Let heaven be our protection,
Let his compact be that he should be prostrated by the spear in battle, [139e]
Our warriors, in respect of their far famed fosse, [139f]
Would not quarrel if a host were there to press the ground.”
For the piercing [140a] of the skilful and most learned man, [140b]
For the fair corpse which fell prostrate on the ground,
For the cutting [140c] of his hair from his head,
For Gwydien, the eagle of the air, [140d]
Did Gwyddwg [141a] bring protection to the field, [141b]
Resembling and honouring his master.
Morien of the blessed song, brought protection
To the ruined hall, [141c] and cleft the heads
Of the first in youth, in strength, and in old age.
Equal to three men, though a maid, was Bradwen; [141d]
Equal to twelve was Gwenabwy, the son of Gwen. [141e]
For the piercing of the skilful and most learned woman,
Her servant bore a shield in the action,
And with energy his sword fell upon the heads of the foe;
In Lloegyr the churls cut their way before the chieftain. [142a]
He who grasps the mane of a wolf, without a club [142b]
In his hand, will have it gorgeously emblazoned on his robe. [142c]
In the engagement of wrath and carnage,
Bradwen perished,—she did not escape.
Carcases [142d] of gold mailed warriors lay upon the city walls;
None of the houses or cities of Christians [142e] was any longer actively engaged in war; [142f]
But one feeble man, with his shouts, kept aloof
The roving birds; [143a]
Truly Syll of Virein [143b] reports that there were more
That had chanced to come from Llwy, [143c]
From around the inlet of the flood;
He reports that there were more,
At the hour of mattins, [143d]
Than the morning breeze could well support.
When thou, famous conqueror!
Wast protecting the ear of corn in the uplands,
Deservedly were we said to run [144a] like marked men; [144b]
The entrance to Din Drei [144c] was not guarded,
There was a mountain with riches [144d] for those who should approach it,
And there was a city [144e] for the army that should venture to enter;
But Gwynwydd’s name was not heard where his person was not seen. [144f]
Though there be a hundred men in one house,
I know the cares of war, [145a]
The chief of the men must pay the contribution. [145b]
I am not headstrong and petulant,
I will not avenge myself on him who drives me on, [145c]
I will not laugh in derision;
This particle [145d] shall go under foot. [145e]
My limbs [145f] are racked,
And I am loaded, [146a]
In the subterraneous house;
An iron chain
Passes over my two knees;
Yet of the mead and of the horn, [146b]
And of the host of Cattraeth,
I Aneurin will sing [146c]
What is known to Taliesin,
Who communicates to me his thoughts, [146d]
Or a strain of Gododin,
Before the dawn of the bright day. [146e]
The chief exploit of the North [146f] did the hero accomplish,
Of a gentle breast, a more liberal lord could not be seen,
Earth does not support, [147a] nor has mother borne
Such an illustrious, powerful, steel clad warrior;
By the force of his gleaming sword he protected me,
From the cruel subterraneous prison he brought me out,
From the chamber of death, from a hostile region;
Such was Ceneu, son of Llywarch, energetic and bold. [147b]
He would not bear the reproach of a congress, [147c]
Senyllt, [147d] with his vessels full of mead;—
His sword rang [148a] for deeds of violence,
He shouted and bounded with aid for the war,
And with his arm proved a comprehensive [148b] support, [148c]
Against the armies of Gododin and Bryneich.
Booths for the horses were prepared in the hall, [148d]
There was streaming gore, and dark brown harness,
And from his hand issued a thread [148e] of gleam; [148f]
Like a hunter shooting with the bow
Was Gwen; [148g] and the attacking parties mutually pushed each other,
Friend and foe by turns;
The warriors did not cut their way to flee, [148h]
But were the generous defenders of every region.
To Llech Leucu, [149a] the land of Lleu, [149b] and Lleudvre, [149c]
To the course of Gododin,
And to the course of Ragno, close at hand,
Even that hand which directed the splendour of battle,
With the branch of Caerwys, [149d]
Before it was shattered
By the season of the storm,—by the storm of the season, [149e]
To form a rank against a hundred thousand men, [149f]
Coming from Dindovydd,
In the region of Dyvneint, [150a]
Deeply did they design, [150b]
Sharply did they pierce,
Wholly did they chant,
Even the army with the battered shields;
And before the bull of conflict,
The hostile van was broken.
The foes have in sorrow greatly trembled,
Since the battle of most active tumult,
At the border of Ban Carw; [150c]
Round the border of Ban Carw
The fingers of Brych [150d] were hurt by the shaft of a spear. [150e]
In defence of Pwyll, [150f] of Disteir and Distar,
In defence of Pwyll, of Rodri, and of Rhychwardd,
A stout [151a] bow was spent by Rhys [151b] in Rhiwdrech;
They that were not bold would not attain their purpose;
None escaped that was once overtaken and pierced. [151c]
Not meetly was his buckler pierced
Upon the flank of his steed; [151d]
Not meetly did he mount [152a]
His long legged, slender, grey charger;
Dark was his shaft, dark,
Darker was his saddle; [152b]
Thy hero [152c] is in a cell, [152d]
Gnawing the shoulder of a buck, [152e]
May his hand triumph,
But far be the shoulder of venison. [152f]
It is well that Adonwy came to the support of Gwen; [153a]
Bradwen [153b] abandoned the foaming brine,
And fought, slaughtered, and burned, though Morien
She did not surpass in martial deeds.
Thou didst not regard the rear or the van
Of the towering, unhelmetted [153c] presence;
Thou didst not observe the great swelling sea of knights,
That would mangle, and grant no shelter to the Saxons. [153d]
Gododin! in respect of thee will I demand [154a]
The dales beyond the ridge of Drum Essyd; [154b]
The slave, [154c] greedy of wealth, cannot control himself;
By the counsel of thy son, [154d] let thy valour shine forth.
The place appointed for the conference
Was not mean, [154e] in front of Llanveithin; [154f]
From twilight to twilight he revelled; [154g]
Splendid and full was the purple of the pilgrim; [154h]
He killed the defenceless, [154i] the delight of the bulwark of toil, [154j]
His inseparable companion, whose voice was like that of Aneurin. [155a]
Together arise the foremost fighting warriors, [155b]
And in a body march to Cattraeth, with noise and eager speed;
The effects [155c] of the mead in the hall, and of the beverage of wine.
Blades were scattered between the two armies
By an illustrious knight, in front of Gododin.
Furze was set on fire by the ardent spirit, the bull of battle. [155d]
Together arise the expert warriors,
And the stranger, [155e] the man with the crimson robe, pursue;
The encampment is broken down by the gorgeous pilgrim, [156a]
Where the young deer were in full melody. [156b]
Amongst the spears of Brych [156c] thou couldst see no rods; [156d]
With the base the worthy can have no concord; [156e]
Morial [156f] in pursuit will not countenance their dishonourable deeds,
With his steel blade ready for the effusion of blood.
Together arise the associated [156g] warriors,
Strangers to the country, their deeds shall be proclaimed;
There was slaughtering with axes and blades, [157a]
And there was raising large cairns over the heroes of toil.
The experienced [157b] warriors met together,
And all with one accord sallied forth; [157c]
Short were their lives, long is the grief of those who loved them;
Seven times their number of Lloegrians had they slain;
After the conflict their wives [157d] raised a scream; [157e]
And many a mother has the tear on her eyelash.
No hall was ever made so faultless;
Nor was there a lion so generous, a majestic lion on the path, so kind [158a]
As Cynon of the gentle breast, the most comely lord.
The fame [158b] of the city extends to the remotest parts;
It was the staying [158c] shelter of the army, the benefit of flowing melody. [158d]
Of those whom I have seen, or shall hereafter see
On earth, engaged in arms, the battle cry, and war, [159a] the most heroic was he,
Who slew the mounted ravagers with the keenest blade;
Like rushes did they fall before his hand.
O son of Clydno, [159b] of lasting [159c] fame! I will sing to thee
A song of praise, without beginning, [159d] without end.
After the feast of wine and the banquet of mead,
Enriched with the first fruits of slaughter,
The mother of Spoliation, [159e]
Was the energetic Eidol; [159f]
He honoured the mount of the van, [160a]
In the presence of Victory.
The hovering ravens,
Ascend in the sky; [160b]
The foremost spearmen around him thicken, [160c]
Like a crop of green barley, [160d]
Without the semblance of a retreat.
Warriors in wonder shake their javelins,
With pouting and pallid lips,
Caused by the keenness of the destructive sword;
From the front of the banquet, deprived of sleep
They vigorously spring forth, [161a] upon the awaking
Of the mother [161b] of the Lance, the leader of the din.
From the feast of wine and the banquet of mead, they marched
To the strife of mail-clad warriors; [161c]
I know no tale of slaughter which records
So complete a destruction.
Before Cattraeth loquacious was the host;
But of the retinue of Mynyddawg, greatly to be deplored, [162a]
Out of three hundred [162b] men, only one returned.
From the feast of wine and the banquet of mead, with speed they marched,
Men renowned in difficulty, prodigal of their lives;
In fairest order [162c] round the viands they together feasted;
Wine and mead and tribute [162d] they enjoyed.
From the retinue of Mynyddawg ruin has come to me; [163a]
And I have lost my general [163b] and [163c] my true friends.
Of the regal army of three hundred men that hastened to Cattraeth,
Alas! none have returned, save one alone.
Impetuous as a ball, [163d] in the combat of spears, was Present,
And on his horse would he be found, when not at home;
Yet illusive [163e] was the aid which he brought against Gododin;
For though apart from the wine and mead he was unrestrained,
He perished [164a] on the course;
And red stained warriors ride [164b]
The steeds of the knight, who had been in the morning bold.
Angor, [164c] thou who scatterest the brave,
And piercest [164d] the sullen like a serpent;
Thou tramplest upon those who in strong mail are clad,
In front of the army; [164e]
Like an enraged bear, guarding and assaulting, [164f]
Thou tramplest upon the furious, [165a]
In the day of capture,
In the dank entrenchment; [165b]
Like the mangling dwarf, [165c]
Who in his fury prepared
A banquet for the birds,
In the tumultuous fight.
Cywir [165d] art thou named from thy righteous (enwir) deed;
Leader, director, and bulwark (mur) of the course of battle [165e]
Is Merin; [165f] and fortunately (mad) wert thou, Madien, born.
It is incumbent to sing of the complete acquisition
Of the warriors, who at Cattraeth made a tumultuous rout,
With confusion and blood, and treading and trampling;
Men of toil [166a] were trampled because of the contribution of mead in the horn; [166b]
But the carnage of the combatants [166c]
Cannot be described even by the cup of bounty, [166d]
After the excitement of the battle is over,
Notwithstanding so much splendid eloquence.
It is incumbent to sing of so much renown,
The tumult of fire, of thunder, and tempest,
The glorious gallantry of the knight of conflict. [167a]
The ruddy reapers of war are thy desire, [167b]
Thou man of toil, [167c] but the worthless thou beheadest; [167d]
The whole length of the land shall hear of thee in battle;
With thy shield upon thy shoulder, thou dost incessantly cleave
With thy blade, [167e] until blood flows [167f] like bright wine out of glass vessels; [167g]
As the contribution [168a] for mead thou claimest gold;
Wine nourished was Gwaednerth, [168b] the son of Llywri.
It is incumbent to sing of the gay and illustrious tribes, [168c]
That, after the fatal fight, [168d] filled the river Aeron; [168e]
Their grasp satisfied the hunger [168f] of the eagles of Clwyd, [168g]
And prepared food for the birds of prey.
Of those who went to Cattraeth, wearers of the golden chain,
Upon the message of Mynyddawg, sovereign of the people,
There came not honourably [169a] in behalf [169b] of the Brython,
To Gododin, a hero from afar who was better than Cynon.
It is incumbent to sing of so many men of skill, [169c]
Who in their halls [169d] once led a merry life: [169e]
Ambitious [169f] and bold, all round the world would Eidol [169g] seek for melody;
But notwithstanding gold, and fine steeds, and intoxicating mead,
Only one man of these, who loved the world, returned,
Cynddilig of Aeron, one of the Novantian heroes. [169h]
It is incumbent to sing of the gay and illustrious tribes,
That went upon the message of Mynyddawg, sovereign of the people,
And the daughter [170a] of Eudav the Tall, of a faultless gait, [170b]
Apparelled in her purple robes, thoroughly and truly splendid.
The soldiers [171a] celebrated the praise of the Holy One,
And in their [171b] presence was kindled a fire that raged on high.
On Tuesday they put on their dark-brown garments; [171c]
On Wednesday they purified their enamelled armour;
On Thursday their destruction was certain;
On Friday was brought carnage all around;
On Saturday their joint labour was useless;
On Sunday their blades assumed a ruddy hue;
On Monday was seen a pool knee deep of blood. [171d]
The Gododin relates that after the toil,
Before the tents of Madog, when he returned,
Only one man in a hundred with him came. [172a]
At the early dawn of morn, [172b]
There was a battle at the fall of the river, [172c] in front of the course; [172d]
The pass and the knoll were pervaded with fire; [172e]
Like a boar didst thou [172f] lead to the mount;
The wealth [172g] of the hill, and the place,
And the dark brown hawks [173a] were stained with gore. [173b]
Quickly rising, in a moment of time, [173c]
After kindling a fire at the confluence, [173d] in front of the fence, [173e]
After leading his men in close array,
In front of a hundred he pierces the foremost. [173f]
Sad it was that you should have made a pool of blood,
As if you but drank mead in the midst of laughter; [174a]
But it was brave of you to slay the little man, [174b]
With the fierce and impetuous stroke of the sword;
For like the unrestrained ocean [174c] had the foe [174d] put to death
A man, who would otherwise have been in rank his equal.
He fell headlong down the precipice, [174e]
And the bushes [174f] supported not his noble [174g] head;
It was a violation of privilege to kill him on the breach, [175a]
It was a primary law that Owain should ascend upon the course, [175b]
And extend before the onset the branch of peace, [175c]
And that he should pursue the study of meet [175d] and learned strains.
Excellent man, the assuager of tumult and battle,
Whose very grasp dreaded a sword, [175e]
And who bore in his hand an empty corslet. [175f]
O sovereign, dispense rewards
Out of his earthly shrine. [176a]
Eidol, with frigid blood and pale complexion,
Spreading carnage, when the maid was supreme in judgment; [176b]
Owner of horses and strong trappings,
And transparent [176c] shields,
Instantaneously makes an onset,—ascending and descending.
The leader of war with eagerness [177a] conducts the battle,
Mallet of the land, [177b] he loved the mighty reapers; [177c]
Stout youth, the freshness of his form was stained with blood,
His accoutrements resounded, his chargers made a clang; [177d]
His cheeks [177e] are covered with armour,
And thus, image of death, he scatters desolation in the toil;
In the first onset his lances penetrate the targets, [177f]
And a track of surrounding light is made by the aim of the darting of his spears.
The saints [178a] exert their courage, [178b] for the destruction of thy retreat, [178c]
And the cellar, [178d] which contained, and where was brewed [178e]
The mead, that sweet ensnarer.
With the dawn does Gwrys [178f] make the battle clash;
Fair gift, [178g]—marshal of the Lloegrian tribes; [178h]
Penance he inflicts until repentance ensues; [178i]
May the dependants of Gwynedd hear of his renown;
With his ashen shaft he pierces to the grave;
Pike of the conflict of Gwynedd,
Bull of the host, oppressor of the battle of princes; [179a]
Though thou hast kindled the land [179b] before thy fall,
At the extreme boundary [179c] of Gododin will be thy grave.
Involved in vapours was the man [179d] accustomed to armies,
High minded, bitter handed leader of the forces; [179e]
He was expert, and ardent, and stately,
Though at the social banquet he was not harsh. [180a]
They [180b] removed and possessed his valuable treasures,
And not the image of a thing for the benefit of the region was left.
We are called! The sea and the borders are in conflict; [180c]
Spears are mutually darting, spears all equally destructive;
Impelled are sharp weapons of iron, [180d] gashing is the blade, [180e]
And with a clang the sock [180f] descends upon the pate;
A successful warrior was Fflamddwr [180g] against the enemy.
He supported martial steeds and harness of war;
Drenched with gore, on the red-stained field of Cattraeth,
The foremost shaft in the host is held by the consumer of forts, [181a]
The brave [181b] dog of battle, upon the towering hill.
We are called to the gleaming [181c] post of assault,
By the beckoning hand [181d] of Heiddyn, [181e] the ironclad chief.
The sovereign, who is celebrated in the Gododin, [181f]
The sovereign, for whom our eye-lids [182a] weep,
From the raging flame of Eiddyn [182b] turned not aside; [182c]
He stationed men of firmness in command, [182d]
And the thick covering guard [182e] he placed in the van,
And vigorously he descended upon the scattered foe;
In that he had revelled, he likewise sustained the main weight;
Of the retinue of Mynyddawg, none escaped,
Save one man by slow steps, thoroughly weakened, and tottering every way. [182f]
Having sustained a loss, [182g] Moried bore no shield,
But traversed the strand [183a] to set the ground on fire;
Firmly he grasped in his hand a blue blade,
And a shaft ponderous as the chief priest’s [183b] crozier;
He rode a grey stately [183c] headed charger,
And beneath his blade there was a dreadful fall of slaughter;
When overpowered [183d] he fled not from the battle,—
Even he who poured out to us the famous mead, that sweet ensnarer.
I beheld the array from the highland of Adowyn, [183e]
And the sacrifice brought down to the omen fire; [183f]
I saw what was usual, a continual running towards the town, [184a]
And the men of Nwython inflicting sharp wounds;
I saw warriors in complete order approaching with a shout,
And the head of Dyvnwal Vrych [184b] by ravens [184c] devoured.
Blessed Conqueror, of temper mild, the strength [184d] of his people,
With his blue streamers displayed towards the sea-roving foes. [185a]
Brave is he on the waters, most numerous his host;
Manly his bosom, loud his shout in the charge of arms.
Usual was it for him [185b] to make a descent before nine armaments, [185c]
With propulsive strokes, [185d] in the face of blood and of the country.
I love thy victorious throne, which teemed with harmonious strains.
O Cynddilig of Aeron, [185e] thou lion’s whelp.
I could wish to have been the first to shed my blood in Cattraeth,
As the price [186a] of the mead and beverage of wine in the hall;
I could wish to have been hurt by the blade of the sword,
Ere he was slain on the green plain of Uphin. [186b]
I loved the son of renown, who sustained the bloody fight, [186c]
And made his sword descend upon the violent.
Can a tale of valour be related before Gododin,
In which the son of Ceidiaw [186d] has not his fame as a man of war?
Sad it is for me, after all our toil,
To suffer the pang of death through indiscretion;
And doubly grievous and sad for me to see
Our men falling headlong to the ground, [187a]
Breathing the lengthened sigh, and covered with reproaches.
After the strenuous warriors have extended their country’s bounds,
Rhuvawn [187b] and Gwgawn, [187c] Gwiawn and Gwlyged, [187d]
Men at their post most gallant, valiant in difficulties,
May their souls, now that their conflict is ended, [187e]
Be received into the heavenly region, the abode of tranquillity.
Tres repelled the foe through [188a] a pool of gore,
And slaughtered like a hero such as asked no quarter, [188b]
With a sling and a spear; [188c]—he flung off his glass goblet
Containing the mead, [188d] and in defence of his sovereignty overthrew an army;
His counsel always prevailed, and the multitude would not speak before him, [188e]
Whilst those that were cowards were not left alive,
Before the onset of his battle-axes, [188f] and his sharpened sword, [188g]
And where his blue banner was seen to wave. [188h]
There was a reinforcement of [189a] troops,
A supply of penetrating weapons,
And a host of men in the vanguard,
Presenting a menacing front;
In the days of strenuous exertion,
In the eager conflict,
They displayed their valour.
After the intoxication,
When they drank the mead,
Not one was spared.
Was awhile successful,
When the retort was made, it broke the charge
Of the horses and men, by fate decreed.
When the host of Pryder [189b] arrives,
I anxiously count [190a] the bands,
Eleven complete battalions;
There is now a precipitate flight [190b]
Along the road of lamentation.
Affectionately have I deplored, [190c]
Dearly have I loved,
The illustrious dweller of the wood, [190d]
And the men of Argoed, [190e]
Accustomed, in the open plain, [191a]
To marshal their troops.
For the benefit of the chiefs, the lord of the war [191b]
Laid upon rough [191c] boards,
Midst a deluge of grief,
The viands for the banquet,
Where they caroused together;—he conducted us to a bright [191d] fire,
And to a carpet of white and fresh [191e] hide.
Geraint, [191f] from the South, did raise a shout,
And on the white water [192a] was his buckler pierced. [192b]
Lord of the spear, a gentle lord!
The praise of mountain and sea
Will he render our youth, even thou, Geraint, wilt render them,
Who hast been a generous commander.
Instantaneously is his fame wafted on high;
His anchors [192c] from the scene of action [192d] cannot be restrained.
Unflinching eagle [192e] of the forward heroes,
He bore the toil, and brilliant was his zeal;
The fleetest coursers he outstripped in war,
But was quite a lamb [193a] when the wine from the goblet flowed.
Ere he reached the grassy tomb, and his cheeks became pale in death, [193b]
He presided over the banquet of mead, and honoured it with the generous horn. [193c]
Ruin [193d] he brought upon every fair region, [193e]
And a fettering valour he displayed; [193f]
The front of his shield was pierced.
Caso Hir, [194a] when roused to anger,
Defended Rhuvoniawg. [194b]
A second time they [194c] challenged, [194d] and were crushed
By the warlike steeds with gory trappings.
His martial nobles [194e] formed a firm array,
And the field was reddened, when he was greatly affronted;
Severe in the conflict, with blades he slaughtered,
And sad news [194f] from the war he brought,
Which he wove [195a] into a song for the calends of January. [195b]
Adan, [195c] the son of Ervai, there did pierce,
Adan pierced the haughty boar;
Even he, who was like a dame, a virgin, and a hero. [195d]
And when the youth thus possessed the properties of a king, [195e]
He, stained with blood, brought deliverance to Gwynedd,
Ere the turf was laid upon the gentle face
Of the generous dead; but now undisturbed
In regard to fame and gain, he reposes in the grave,
Namely, Garthwys Hir, [196a] from the land of Rhuvoniawg.
The garment of Tinogad, [196b] which was of divers colours,
Made of the speckled skins of young wolves,
His jerks and starts and juggling motion,
I fain would lampoon, they were lampooned by his eight slaves. [196c]
When thy father went out to hunt,
With his pole upon his shoulder, and his provisions in his hand,
He would call to his dogs that were of equal size,
Catch it, catch it—seize it, seize it—bring it, bring it;
He would kill a fish in his coracle,
Even as a princely lion in his fury [197a] kills his prey;
When thy father climbed up the mountain,
He brought back the head [197b] of a roebuck, [197c] the head of a wild boar, the head of a stag,
The head of a grey moor hen from the hill,
The head of a fish from the falls of the Derwent; [197d]
As many as thy father could reach with his flesh piercer,
Of wild boars, lions, and foxes, [197e]
It was certain death to them all, [197f] unless they proved too nimble.
Were he to narrow [198a] my dominions through extortion, [198b]
The arrival of no enemy would prove to me more formidable. [198c]
The man has not been nursed who could be more festive in the hall
Than he, or steadier in the field of battle.
On the ford of Penclwyd [198d] Pennant were his steeds;
Far spread was his fame, compact was his armour;
And ere the long grass covered him beneath the sod,
He, the only son of Morarch, [198e] poured out the horns of mead.
I saw the array from the highland of Adoen,
Carrying the sacrifice to the omen fire; [199a]
I saw the two, [199b] who from their station quickly and heavily fell;
By the commands of Nwython, greatly were they afflicted.
I saw the warriors, who had made the great breach, approaching with the dawn, [199c]
And the head of Dyvnwal Vrych by ravens devoured.
Gododin, in respect of thee will I demand, [199d]
In the presence [199e] of a hundred that are named [199f] with deeds of valour,
And of Gwarthan the son of Dwywau, [200a] of gallant bravery,
Let Tre Essyd be ours in one entire dale. [200b]
Since the stabbing of the delight of the bulwark of battle,
Since Aneurin was under ground, [200c]
My voice has not been divorced from Gododin.
Echo speaks of the formidable [200d] and dragon-like [200e] weapons,
And of the fair game, [200f] which was played in front of the unclaimed course of Gododin.
Profusely did he bring a supply [200g] of wine into the tents, for the benefit of the natives, [200h]
In the season of the storm, as long as it trickled from the vessels,
And the army, a well nourished host, continued to drop in.
A splendid troop of warriors, successful against a hundred men,
Is led from Dindovydd in Dyvneint. [201a]
Before Doleu [201b] in battle, worn out were the shields, and battered the helmets.
He brought ruin upon every fair region, [201c]
And a fettering valour he displayed;
The front of his shield was pierced;
Caso Hir, arrayed in pomp, [201d]
A second time were they wounded, [201e] and crushed
By his warlike steeds, and gore-stained were their coffins. [201f]
Always immoveable, always liberal of aid,
Would be his gallant nobles, when roused to anger.
Severe in the conflict, with blades he slaughtered;
And agonising news from the war he brought,
Which he wove into a hundred songs for the calends of January.
Adan [202a] the son of Urvei there did pierce,
Adan pierced the haughty boar,
Even he who was like Urien, [202b] a maid, and a hero.
And as the youth was thus endowed with the properties of a king,
Lord of Gwynedd, and of the blood of Cilydd, [202c] he proved our deliverer;
Ere the turf was laid upon the face of the generous dead,
Wisely did he seek the field, with praise and high sounding fame:
The grave of Gorthyn Hir [202d] is seen [202e] from the highlands of Rhuvoniawg.
On account of the piercing of the skilful and most learned man, [203a]
On account of the fair corpse, which fell prostrate upon the ground,
Thrice six officers judged the atrocious deed [203b] at the hour of mattins,
And Morien lifted up again his ancient lance,
And, roaring, stretched out [203c] death
Towards the warriors, the Gwyddyl, [203d] and the Prydyn; [203e]
Whilst towards the lovely, slender, blood-stained body of Gwen,
Sighed Gwenabwy, the only son of Gwen.
On account of the afflicting [203f] of the skilful and most learned man
Grievously and deeply, when he fell prostrate upon the ground,
The banner was pompously [204a] unfurled, and borne by a man in the flank; [204b]
A tumultuous scene was beheld [204c] in Eiddin, and on the battle field.
The grasp of his hand performed deeds of valour
Upon the Cynt, [204d] the Gwyddyl, and the Prydyn.
He who meddles with the mane of a wolf, without a club
In his hand, will have it gorgeously emblazoned on his robe.
Fain would I sing,—“would that Morien had not died.”
I sigh for Gwenabwy, the son of Gwen. [204e]
[0a] Perhaps Cawlwyd is a compound of Caw Clwyd, that is, the Clyde of Caw.
[0b] Institutional Triads.
[0d] Myvyrian Archaiology, vol. i. page 60.
[0e] Bardic Triads.
[0f] Bardic Triads.
[0g] Triad 48, third series.
[0h] Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 308.
[0i] Ib. p. 403.
[0j] Ib. p. 504.
[0k] Gwilym Tew flourished A.D. 1340–1470, and Rhys Nanmor, A.D. 1440–1480.
[0l] In this eText the extensive alternate readings, mentioned in this passage, are not given. There are so many that it becomes impossible to read the Welsh text because of the continual footnotes.
[1a] Tacit. Julii Agric. vita, cap. xiv.
[1b] Cambrian Biography, sub voce.
[1c] Stevenson’s Nennius, p. 52.
[2a] It is stated in the Iolo MSS. that Cunedda Wledig held his court in Carlisle.
[2b] Am. Marcel. 1. 20.
[3a] Triad 39, third series.
[3b] Triad 7.
[3c] Myv. Arch. v. i. p. 52.
[4a] Myv. Arch. v. i. p 57.
[4b] Elegy on Old Age.
[5a] Chalmers’s Caledonia, v. i. pp. 239, &c.
[5b] 1. 231.
[5c] 1. 289.
[5d] 1. 386.
[5e] 1. 393.
[5f] 1. 534.
[5g] 1. 607.
[5h] 1. 713.
[6a] 1. 32
[6b] 1. 648.
[6c] Stanzas xvii. xxxii lxxxvi.
[6d] 1. 229.
[6e] 1. 86, 584.
[6f] Stanza xviii.
[7a] 1. 753, 884.
[7b] Stanza lxviii.
[7c] Stanza xiv.
[7d] Stanza xxxix.
[7e] Stanza xlii.
[7f] Stanza xliii.
[7g] Stanza lxv.
[7h] Stanza lii.
[7i] Stanza xxi.
[7j] Stanza xvii.
[8a] Stanza xliii.
[79a] Or, “The youth was endowed with a manly disposition,” the word oed being taken as a verb (oedd) rather than as a substantive; though it ought to be remarked, as indicative of the sense in which it was regarded by the copyist, that MS. No. 3, which has generally supplied the dd where it was considered necessary, has it not in the present instance.
[79b] Al. charger, in the singular number. The favourite steed of our hero, supposing him to be the son of Urien Rheged, is, in the Triads, called “Carnavlawg” (cloven-hoofed) and is said to have been “one of the three horses of depredation of the Isle of Britain,” (Myv. Arch. vol. ii. page 20.) Taliesin in his Elegy on Owain son of Urien, describes him as
“Gwr gwiw uch ei amliw seirch
A roddei feirch
A worthy hero seated on variegated trappings,
Who would give steeds to those that asked him.—Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 59.
Thick mane was regarded as one of the good points of a horse; thus Taliesin,—
“Atuyn march myngvras mangre.”
Beautiful in a tangle is a thick-maned horse.—Ib. p, 28.
[79c] Lit. “Were under the thigh of;” an expression frequently employed by the early bards to denote the act of riding. See “Elegy upon Geraint ab Erbin,” by Llywarch Hen.
[80a] One of the sons of Llywarch Hen is similarly represented as a youth,—
“That wore the golden spurs,”—Owen’s Ll. Hen, p. 131.
In the days of chivalry, of which the era of the Gododin may fairly be considered as the commencement, the privilege of decorating arms, and the accoutrements of horses with gold, was exclusively confined to knights, and their families; squires being only permitted the use of silver for the purpose. (St. Palaye, 1. 247, 284.)
[80b] “Pan,” pannus—down, fur, ermine, or fulled cloth.
[80c] This is not literally true of Owain ab Urien, for he was married to a daughter of Culvynawyd Prydain.
[80d] “Argyvrein,” might perhaps come from argyvrau, paraphernalia; a portion or dowry.
“Ymogel ddwyn gwraig atat yn enw ei hargyvrau.”
Beware of taking to thyself a wife for the sake of her portion. (Cato Gymraeg.)
In that case, the passage should be rendered,—
Ere thou didst obtain thy nuptial dowry;
which reading would be supported by the allusion to the nuptial feast in the preceding passage. Nevertheless the term “argynrein,” occurring in three other copies, would certainly point to the signification given in the text; “argyvrein” being capable of the same meaning, whilst “argynrein” has no reference whatever to the nuptial dowry.
[81a] The manner in which the person here commemorated is associated with the ravens, leads us to suspect that he was none other than Owain ab Urien, who is traditionally reported to have had an army of ravens in his service, by which, however, we are probably to understand an army of men with those birds emblazoned on their standard, even as his descendants still bear them in their coats of arms. Not only do the Welsh Romances and Bards of the middle ages allude to these ravens, but even Taliesin and Llywarch Hen, seem pointedly to connect them with Urien or his son. Thus the former in an Ode on the battle of Argoed Llwyvaen, (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 53) in which Owain commanded the Cumbrian forces, under his father against Ida, says,—
“A rhag gwaith Argoed Llwyfain
Bu llawer celain
Rhuddei frain rhag rhyfel gwyr.”
Because of the battle of Argoed Llwyvain,
There happened many a dead carcase,
And the ravens were coloured with the war of men.
And Llywarch Hen in his “Elegy on Urien Rheged” has the following expressions;—
“Pen a borthav ar vy nhu; Pen Urien,
Llary, llyw ei lu;
Ac ar ei vron wen vran ddu.
Pen a borthav mywn vy nghrys; pen Urien,
Llary llywiai lys:
Ac ar ei vron wen vran ai hys.”
I bear by my side a head; the head of Urien,
The mild leader of his army;
And on his white bosom the sable raven is perched.
I bear in my shirt a head; the head of Urien,
That governed a court with mildness;
And on his white bosom the sable raven doth glut. (Owen’s Ll. Hen. p. 24.)
This supposition would considerably enhance the point and beauty of the passage in the text; for a sad or unbecoming thing, indeed, (“cwl,” a fault) would it be that one who fought by the aid of ravens should himself be eventually devoured by them.
Moreover, a tradition prevails, that Owain the son of Urien was actually engaged in the battle of Cattraeth. Thus Lewis Glyn Cothi, a poet of the fifteenth century, observes;—
“Bwriodd Owain ab Urien
Y tri thwr yn Nghattraeth hen.
Ovnodd Arthur val goddaith
Owain, ei vrain a’i fon vraith.” (I. 140.)
Owain son of Urien overthrew
The three towers of Cattraeth of old;
Arthur dreaded, as the flames,
Owain, his ravens, and his parti-coloured staff.
But to the view which would identify our hero with the son of Urien there is this objection, that the poem describes the former as the son of Marro or Marco; nor can the difficulty be got over, without supposing that this was another name of Urien. Or if that be inadmissible, the line, in which Owain’s name occurs, may be translated,—
Alas, the beloved friend of Owain;
an alteration, which will do no great violence to the allusion about the ravens.
[82a] Al. “March,” as if addressing the horse of the slain;—
O steed, in what spot
Was slaughtered, &c.
[82b] “Cynhaiawc,” (cyn-taiawg.) Adopting this version for the sake of variety, and under the impression that all the different readings of this poem are not the mere result of orthographical accident, but that the forms of obscure or illegible words were sometimes determined by tradition, we must believe that the taiogion, who composed the army of Madog, were simply his own tenants or dependants.
[83a] “Diffun,” (di-ffun.) Ffun is any thing united together, and is used at line 803 for a band of men. Some read “diffyn,” (protection or defence) and in that case the sense of the passage would seem to be,
He brought protection to women, and mead he distributed.
The former reading is preferred, inasmuch as it exhibits in a more natural and consistent manner the twofold character of Madog, as a soldier and a courtier, which appears to be the object of the Bard to delineate. Our inference on this point is moreover supported by more obvious passages of that description, which occur again in the Poem, such as,—
“Ragorei veirch racvuan
En trin lletvegin gwin o bann.”
He surpassed the fleetest steeds
In war, but was a tame animal when he poured the wine from the goblet.
The epithet “cynhaiawc,” assuming it to be the proper term, would also, by reason of its contrasting effect, considerably enhance the value of our hero’s domestic and social courtesy.
[83b] “Twll tal y rodawr.” Dr. Owen Pughe translates this “the front opening of his chariot;” “twll ar ysgwyd,” however, in the lxxxvii stanza, evidently refers to a shield, and this sense is, moreover, supported by “tyllant tal ysgwydawr,” in Taliesin’s Ode on Gwallawg, as well as “rac twll y gylchwy,” used by Cynddelw. The meaning therefore appears to be that wherever the battle raged, there would the chief be found, so boldly and directly fighting as to have the very boss of his shield perforated by the spears of his enemy.
[83c] “Brwyn.” From the practice which the Welsh Bards commonly had of adapting their descriptive similes to the names, armorial bearings, or some other peculiarities of their heroes, we may infer that the chieftain, who is celebrated in this stanza, is none other than Madog ab Brwyn. Indeed one copy reads “mab brwyn,” the son of Brwyn, rather than mal brwyn, as above. He is distinguished in the Triads with Ceugant Beilliog and Rhuvon, under the appellation of the “three golden corpses,” because their weight in gold was given by their families to have their bodies delivered up by the enemy. (Myv. Arch. vol. ii. p. 69.) Madog ab Brwyn was the grandson of Cunedda Wledig, lord of Gododin.
[84a] A maritime region in the north, as we infer, not only from the works of Aneurin, but also from those of Taliesin and Merddin.
[84b] The rest having been slain.
[84c] “Erwyt” (erwyd) a pole, or a staff to mete with, and, like the gwialen, an emblem of authority. “I will—mete out the valley of Succoth.” (Psalm lx. 6.) A similar expression occurs in Llywarch Hen’s Poems with reference to Urien Rheged, viz.
“Oedd cledyr cywlad rhwydd.”
which W. Owen has translated,—
“That was the prompt defender of his neighbourhood.”
[84d] Llywarch Hen says in like manner of his own son Gwen,—
“Rhythr eryr yn ebyr oeddyd.”
In the assault like the eagle at the fall of rivers thou wert.
The eagle was probably the armorial badge of the hero of this stanza.
[84e] Al. “y lyr,” to our shore. We have here an instance of the kindred signification of some of the different readings found in the Poem. Both words are used in juxtaposition in the following extracts;—
“Gwelais ar vorwyn—
Lliw golau tonau taenverw gwenyg
Llanw ebyr ar llyr, lle ni mawr-drig.” (Cynddelw.)
I beheld on a maiden
The bright hue of the spreading ebullition of the breakers of the waves,
Of the flood of the effluxes of rivers, on the strand, where it tarries not long.
“Oedd ei var—
Megys twrv ebyr yn llyr llawn.” (Cynddelw.)
Was like the tumult of the mouths of rivers with a full margin.
“Calan hyddvrev, tymp dydd yn edwi,
Cynhwrv yn ebyr, llyr yn llenwi.” (Ll P. Moch.)
The beginning of October, the period of the falling off of day,
There is tumult in the mouths of rivers, filling up the shore.
[85a] “I ammod.” This was probably a confederation entered into by the different princes, for the purpose of uniting their forces against the common enemy; a supposition corroborated by the word “cywlad,” just used. The poet might, however, have intended a play upon the word “ammod,” because of its great resemblance in sound to “ammwyd,” a bait, to which the eagle was allured, “llithywyt” (llithiwyd) a strictly sporting term.
[85b] “A garwyd,” al. “a gatwyt” “was preserved, or protected.”
[85c] The connection between “arvaeth,” and the bannerial device is very obvious at lines 110, 111.
E aruaeth uch arwyt.”
With such a magnificent
Design of enterprize blazoned on his standard.
[85d] “O dechwyt,” i.e. tech wyd.
[85e] We have adopted “Manawyd” as a proper name, under the impression that the different stanzas of the Gododin, albeit regular links of the same general subject, are nevertheless in a manner each complete in itself, and therefore that it would be more natural, where the drift of the paragraph allowed, or seemed to have that tendency, to look out for the names of the chiefs, who may be thus distinctly introduced; according to the tenor of the following declaration which is appended to “Gorchan Cynvelyn.” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. page 61.)
“Canu un Canuauc a dal pob Awdyl o’r Gododin heruyd breint yngcerd amrysson. Tri chanu a thriugeint a thrychant a dal pob un or Gorchaneu . . . Achaws yu am goffau yn y Gorchaneu rivedi Guyr a aethant y Gatraeth nog y dyle gur vyned i ymlad heb arveu; Ny dyle Bard myned i amrysson heb y gerd honno.”
Every Ode of the Gododin is equivalent to a single song, according to the privilege of poetical competition. Each of the incantations is equal to three hundred and sixty-three songs, because the number of the men who went to Cattraeth is commemorated in the Incantations, and as no man should go to battle without arms, so no Bard ought to contend without that Poem.
It is true that in the Vellum MS. as transcribed by Davies, this does not form a distinct stanza, but is a continuation of the preceding one. Nevertheless in other copies a detached position is given to it, which seems required also by the opening sentence, and particularly by the rhyme.
We find, moreover, that Manawyd was anciently used as a proper name, for not to mention Manawydan and Culvynawyd, we have Manawyd in one of Taliesin’s Poems as undoubtedly the name of a person.
“Ys gwyr Manawyd a Phryderi.” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 67.)
The name of Pryderi occurs further on in our Poem.
Manawyd is mentioned likewise in the Dialogue between Arthur, Cai, and Glewlwyd,—
“Neus duc Manavid eis tull o Trywrid” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 167.)
Dr. O. Pughe translates the line in the Gododin thus—
“There was a confident impelling forward of the shaft of the variegated standard.”
[86a] “Ny nodi,” (ni nodi) thou dost not mark, thou art blind to the arms of the enemy both defensive and offensive. “Nodi,” may also have reference to “nod” in the third line of the stanza.
[86b] Al. “Protected against the assault of the battle of Manau;” i.e. Mannau Gododin, or according to others, Mannau in which A.D. 582 Aidan mac Gavran was victorious. (See Ritson’s Annals of Caledonia, Vol. ii. p. 35.)
[87a] One reason for not regarding “Caeawc” as a proper name, may be discovered in the manner in which the expression “cawawc cynhorawc” is used in an anonymous poem of an early date, apud Myv. Arch. vol. i. page 180. The author, though he evidently borrowed it from the Gododin, as indeed his allusion to Cattraeth a few lines before would likewise imply, employs it merely as an epithet.
[87b] An allusion probably to his armorial bearings. Another reading gives “bled e maran,” on the open strand.
[87c] “This singular fact of the ancient Britons wearing amber beads, is confirmed by many beads of amber having been found in the barrows on Salisbury plain, which have been recently dug. I understand that in several of these graves, pieces of amber like beads have been met with; and in one as many beads were found as would have made a wreath.” (S. Turner’s Vind. 208, 209.)
[87d] “Am ran.” “Tri argau gwaed: gwaed hyd ran, a gwaed hyd gwll, a gwaed hyd lawr; sev yw hynny, gwaed hyd wyneb, gwaed hyd ddillad, a gwaed a reto hyd lawr.” (Law Triads, Myv. Arch, vol. iii. p. 342.) Hence “amrant,” the eyelid.
[87e] Lit. “the place of wine,” otherwise “a horn of wine,”
“Ef a’m rhoddes medd a gwin o wydrin ban.
He gave me mead and wine from the transparent horn. (Taliesin.)
Al. “gwrnvann,” the place of the urn. In that case the line might be thus translated,—
Precious was the amber, but its price was the grave.
[88a] The hero of this stanza we take to be the “son of Ysgyran” himself. He disdained the eager advance of the enemy; for such was his will, that he had only to declare it, to make Venedotia and the North acknowledge his power, and submit to his jurisdiction; or, it may be, to march unanimously to his side. Supposing “gwyar,” however, to be the correct reading, we might render the line thus,—
He repelled violence, and gore trickled to the ground.
Perhaps the identity of the person commemorated with the son of Ysgyran would become more evident by the addition of a comma after “gyssul,” thus,—
“Ket dyffei wyned a gogled e rann
O gussyl,—mah Ysgyrran.”
Who Ysgyran, or Cyran (the ys being a mere prefix) was, we have no means of knowing, as the name does not occur any where in history.
[88b] Al. “The maimed shield-bearer,” (ysgwydwr.)
[88c] “Cyn-nod,” the principal mark or butt; the most conspicuous, owing to his being in advance of his men, and perhaps on account of his stature also, if “eg gawr,” or “yggawr” mean giantlike.
[88d] “Cyn-ran;” the foremost share, or participation of an action.
[89a] “Pymwnt,” (i.e. pum mwnt; “deg myrdd yn y mwnt,”) five hundred thousand, which, multiplied by five, would give us 2,500,000 as the number of men who composed the above battalions.
[89b] Deivyr and Bryneich, (Deira and Bernicia) are situated on the eastern coast of the island, the river Humber, as we learn from the Triads, (Myv. Arch. vol. ii. p. 68) flowing through a portion thereof. In a document which has been published in the Iolo MSS. Argoed Derwennydd, (Derwent wood probably) and the river Trenn or Trent, are mentioned as the extreme boundaries of the region. The triads moreover speak of the three sons of Dysgyvedawg, (or Dysgyvyndawd) viz. Gall, Difedel, and Ysgavnell, under the appellation of the “three monarchs of Deivyr and Bryneich,” (Ibid. p. 64) about the period, as it would appear, of our Poem.
It is clear from the above passage in the Gododin, as well as from those lines, (78, 79.)
“Ar deulu brenneych beych barnasswn
Dilyw dyn en vyw nys adawsswn.”
If I had judged you to be of the tribe of Bryneich,
Not the phantom of a man would I have left alive;
that the people of those countries were not at the time in question on friendly terms with the neighbouring Britons; which circumstance is further apparent from the contemporary testimony of Llywarch Hen, who speaks of Urien as having conquered the land of Bryneich;
“Neus gorug o dir Brynaich.”
This, it is true, might have a reference to the Saxon tribes, who had succeeded at an early period, in establishing themselves along the coast in that part of the island, yet the disparaging manner in which the grave of Disgyrnin Disgyfedawt, evidently the father of the “three monarchs,” is spoken of in the Englynion y Beddau, inclines us strongly to the belief that it was the Aborigines themselves who were thus guilty of treason to the common weal.
“Cigleu don drom dra thywawd,
Am vedd Dysgyrnyn Dysgyveddawd,
Aches trwm angwres pechawd.”
Hear the sullen wave beyond the strand,
Round the grave of Dysgyrnyn Dysgyveddawd,
Heavy the burning impulse raised by sin.
(Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 78.)
[90a] An allusion to the name of our hero’s father, (Bleiddan) and probably to his own standard.
[90b] “Neithyawr.” Al. “than go to the altar.”
[90c] Al. “elawr” a bier, “than obtained a bier.” He was devoured by the birds of prey ere he could be removed for interment.
[90d] Or, “Ere he received his nuptial dowry, his blood streamed down.”
[90e] Hyveidd Hir was the son of Bleiddan Sant, of Glamorgan, (the celebrated Lupus.) According to the Triads he was one of the three alien kings, upon whom dominion was conferred for their mighty deeds, and for their praiseworthy and gracious qualities.
“Tri eilldeyrn ynys Prydain: Gwrgai vab Gwrien yn y Gogledd, a Chadavael vab Cynvedw yng Ngwynedd, a Hyveidd Hir vab Bleiddan Sant ym Morganwg: sev y rhodded Teyrnedd iddynt am eu campau a’u cynneddvau clodvorion a rhadvorion.” (Triad, 26, third series.)
Taliesin, in his Ode to Urien, speaks of Hyveidd in conjunction with Gododin;—
“Hyveidd a Gododin a lleu towys.” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 57.)
His name also occurs in another poem, by the same Bard, “to Gwallawg ap Lleenawg;”—
“Haearnddur a Hyfeidd a Gwallawg
Ac Owein Mon Maelgynig ddefawd
A wnaw peithwyr gorweiddiawg.”
Haearnddur and Hyveidd and Gwallawg,
And Owain of Mon, of Maelgynian manner,
Would prostrate the ravagers. (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 64.)
The epithet “Hir,” (long or tall) applied to Hyveidd, countenances the view of his being conspicuous on account of his size.
[91a] Gognaw must have been the son of Botgad. The name, as well as that of the preceding hero, occurs in an Ode which Taliesin addressed to Gwallawg ab Lleenawg.
“Gognaw ei brawd digones.”
If, however, it be not a proper name in this stanza, it may be rendered either “with laughter and sprightliness,” or “they were a laughing energy.”
[91b] Al. “As with blades they dealt mutual blows.”
[91c] “A llaw,” a hand; metaphorically power. Al. “a allaw,” who is able.
[92a] The same consideration which induced us to regard “Manawyd” as a proper name in a former stanza, has caused us to leave “Gwanar” untranslated in this place. It is not improbable, however, from the shortness of this sonnet, that the line containing the name of its hero may have been lost. In that case we should translate “chwerthin wanar,” “their leader laughed.” That Gwanar was occasionally used as a proper name by the ancient Britons, appears from Triad xl. (first series) where we find one of the sons of Lliaws ab Nwyvre so called. He flourished however before the date of the Gododin, and cannot on that account be identified with the Gwanar of the text. Taliesin uses the word in his “Mic Dinbych,” apparently as a proper name;—
“Clod wasgar a Gwanar ydd ymddullyn.”
[92b] Or “gem of a regiment;” his choice regiment.
[92c] Al. “digynny,” went up.
[92d] The Bard in the two last lines seems to be addressing Death, or Fate, which he designates as “the strong pillar of the living law,” or the law of nature, just as the Latins called it “dura necessitas,” “mortis dura lex,” “fatalis Parcarum lex,” &c. The expressions “heb vawr drydar,” and “arwar,” indicative of the effects of death, are introduced by way of contrast to the noisy mirth which characterised the warriors’ march to the field of battle. “Arwar” signifies literally a quiescent state, or state of general rest; pacification; and as such is a very proper term to denote the character of death.
“O arwar daiar down i gyd dyddbrawd.” (Ll. P. Moch.)
From the silent state of earth we shall all come at the judgment day.
[93a] As the word “glas,” though primarily signifying blue, has also a very general sense, and may mean merely pale or fresh, yet as we find decided colours attributed to mead elsewhere in the poem, such as “melyn,” (yellow) and “gwyn” (white) we have thought proper to retain the literal acceptation in this place, as a poetical variety, however inapplicable to the beverage in question it may seem.
[93b] “Impia sub dulci melle venena latent.”
[93c] The name of the chieftain, who commanded this particular troop, is not mentioned, unless (which is not very probable) we take “Trychant” in the third line as a proper name, and translate thus,—
“Trychant marshals his men, armed with the weapons of war.”
Or, are we to understand by “trwy beiryant,” that he marshalled his men by means of some instrument or machinery?
[93d] I.e. the silence of death.
[94a] “Fyryf frwythlawn,” i.e. “fyrv frwythlawn;” the sense of “furv frwythlawn” would seem to be “in vigorous order.”
[94b] The followers of the son of Cian (a little dog) are evidently called “aergwn,” (dogs of war) in allusion to his patronymic, as well as to the name of his residence, “maen gwyngwn,” (the stone of the white dogs.) Probably also the figure of a dog was charged on their banner.
[94c] The Bernicians, as we have already noticed, were at this time opposed to the British patriots. The Cymry carried a traditional hatred of that people with them into Wales, and applied the term Bryneich to such of their kindred as allied themselves to the enemies of their country, as is abundantly manifest in the works of the mediæval Bards.—See Stephen’s Literature of the Kymry, p. 265.)
[94d] Or, “Like a deluge, I would not have left a man alive.”
[94e] It is very probable that the son of Cian had married a daughter of one of the chiefs of Bryneich, which would thus account for the Bard’s lurking apprehension at first, that he might be induced to barter his allegiance for the dowry to be expected with his wife. His fears however were groundless; for such were the purity and patriotism of our youthful hero, that he even refused the dowry when it was offered to him, and braved his father-in-law’s anger withal.
[95a] In Gorchan Maelderw we read of—
“The only son of Cian from Trabannawg.”
Cian was a Bard, and is mentioned as such by Nennius in the following passage,—
“Item Talhaern Talanguen in Poemate claruit, et Nuevin et Taliessin, et Bluchbar, et Cian qui vocatur Gueinchguant (Cian who is called Gwyngwn) simul uno tempore in poemate Britannico claruerunt.”
Taliesin likewise represents him in that character in a Poem entitled, “Angar Cyvyndawd.” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 34.)
“Cian pan ddarvu
When Cian sang the praise of many.
The circumstance of his being thus a poet, and classed with Aneurin (Nuevin) would account for the intimacy which subsisted between the latter and his son.
Cian is said to have been the servant of Peris, and to them conjointly is Llangian in Caernarvonshire dedicated. Cian is commemorated on the 11th of December.—See Rees’s Welsh Saints, p. 302.
[95b] It is probable that three hundred was the number which composed the retinue of Mynyddawg, and that a hundred thousand, a large round figure, is chosen to denote the preponderance of the enemy’s forces that were arrayed in opposition. This view seems more in unison with reason, as well as with the grammatical construction of the passage, (“emdaflawr” being a middle verb) than the supposition that the “milcant a thrychant” formed the total of the army of the Cymry.
[96a] Or, “They served as butts for the falling lances.”
[96b] “Gorsaf;” “Gorsav arv,” a magazine of arms. “Brwydr orsavawl,” a pitched battle.
[96c] “Mynyddawg Mwynvawr.” The Triads call him “Mynyddawg Eiddin,” Edin, hence Edinburgh, which probably corresponds with his original place of residence, or at any rate may be considered as being situate within the limits of his ancient dominions. “The retinue of Mynyddawg Eiddin at Cattraeth” is represented as one of “the three honourable retinues of the Isle of Britain,” because the men who composed it had joined their chieftain’s standard of their own accord, and marched at their own expense, claiming neither pay nor reward for their service, from king or country.
“Tair gosgordd addwyn Ynys Prydain; Gosgordd Belyn vab Cynvelyn yng nghadvel Caradawg ab Bran; a gosgordd Mynyddawg Eiddin yng Nghattraeth; a Gosgordd Drywon ab Nudd Hael yn Rhodwydd Arderydd yn y Gogledd; sev ydd elai bawb yn y rhai hynny ar eu traul eu hunain heb aros govyn, ac heb erchi na thal nag anrheg y gan wlad na chan Deyrn; ac achaws hynny au gelwid hwy y tair gosgordd addwyn.” (Triad 79, third series.)
[96d] “Hanyanawr,” their natural relatives; “hangenawr,” those who stood in need of them, their families and friends. The line may likewise be rendered,—
“Esteemed for their age and disposition.”
[96e] Al. “llawen,” merry; “the merry minstrel.”
[97a] These plumes must accordingly have been themselves red. That military men at this period did wear feathers of particular colours as distinctive badges, is further evident from the testimony of Llywarch Hen, who describes himself as having worn “yellow plumes.”
“Gwedy meirch hywedd, a chochwedd ddillad,
A phluawr melyn,
Main vy nghoes, nid oes ym dremyn!” (Elegy on Cynddylan.)
After the sleek tractable steeds, and garments of ruddy hue,
And the waving yellow plumes,
Slender is my leg, my piercing look is gone.”
In some copies we read “phurawr” (purawr) what purifies.
[97b] Their weapons were red and white from the effects of blood and gore.
[97c] Mr. Davies and Dr. Pughe seem to have preferred the expression “pedryolet bennawr,” which they construed into four pointed helmets: “pedryollt,” split into four parts, would appear, however, to be much more accordant with the descriptive tenor of the passage.
[97d] As in the two preceding lines is contained a compliment to military valour, the evident drift of the poem requires that it should be applied to the British party; hence “rac” in this place must be understood to mean that the toiling warriors were from or of the retinue of Mynyddawg rather than from those who confronted him.
[97e] Disgraced by the blasphemous taunts and treachery of the enemy.
[98a] “Ceugant yw angeu,” (adage.) The line might be rendered,—
“Without end they multiplied the wooden biers;”
An expression similar to that made use of by Llywarch Hen, in reference to the battle of Llongborth:—
“Ac elorawr mwy no maint.
And biers innumerable. (Elegy upon Geraint ab Erbin.)
“Ceugant,” translated without end, is properly a Druidic term, signifying the circle of eternity.
“Cylch y ceugant, ac nis gall namyn Duw eu dreiglaw.”
The circle of infinitude, none but God can pervade it. (Barddas.)
“Tri phren rhydd yn forest y brenhin; pren crib eglwys; a phren peleidyr a elont yn rhaid y brenhin; a phren elawr.” (Welsh Laws.)
[98b] He is described as of “Baptism” in contradistinction to the infidel Saxons.
[98c] A reference to the last unction. See St. James, v. 14.
[98d] I.e. Tudvwlch Hir, the hero of this particular stanza.
[99a] “Ne.” The statement at line 138 would determine the affirmative character of this word.
[99b] “Veinoethyd,” (meinoethydd;) not “in the celebration of May Eve,” which is Davies’s rendering, as we clearly infer from the conjunction of the word with “meinddydd,” (confessedly a serene day) in Kadeir Taliesin and Gwawd y Lludd Mawr. (See Myv. Arch. v. i. pp. 37, 74.)
[99c] “Gynatcan.” Al. “gyvatcan,” (cyvadgan) a proverb. “Though his success was proverbial.”
[99d] Or, “Through ambition he was a soarer.” The person here commemorated was of an ambitious turn of mind, and bore armorial ensigns of a corresponding character, which were looked upon, in a manner, as prophetic of his successful career as a warrior, but the result of this battle miserably belied such a promise.
“Prenial yw i bawb ei drachwres.”
The path of glory leads but to the grave.—(Taliesin.)
[99e] Where Edinburgh now stands; and which was probably the head quarters of Mynyddawg, (see line 89 note.) In a poem printed in Davies’s Mythology of the Druids, p. 574, and supposed to have been written by Aneurin, Tudvwlch and Cyvwlch are represented as feasting with Mynyddawg.
Destructive were their wassails with Mynyddawg.
[100a] In the Poem alluded to, Tudvwlch Hir is described as a man of dignity, “breein,” and as having in conjunction with Cyvwlch made breaches in the bastions of forts,—
“A oreu vwlch ar vann caerau.”
The Gorchan Maelderw in like manner speaks of him as,—
“Tudvwlch the oppressor of war, the destroyer of forts.”
[100b] “Ech,” εχ.
[100c] Lit. “until the seventh day;”—an expression intended probably to denote the space of a week. The operations of each day are specified further on in the Poem. In like manner we are presented in “Gwawd Lludd y Mawr,” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 74) with an enumeration of certain martial deeds that were performed on each day during an entire week.
[100d] Lit. “Should have made him a free man,” or “should have continued him,” &c.
[100e] Al. “ugain,” a score,
[100f] Al. the powerful supporter—“drut nerthyd.”
[100g] Kilydd is mentioned in the Mabinogi of “Kilhwch and Olwen,” where he is represented as the son of Prince Kelyddon.
[100h] “Gwyr;” al. the hero, “gwr.”
[101a] Lit. “the gleamers assembled.” The 1, 2, 3, and 6, versions, “cyn hynt treiawr,” might be translated “ere the return of the ebbing tide,” and the meaning of the whole would seem to be, that the men, having marched to the field of battle at dawn, experienced a bloody engagement before the evening; the space of time between tide and tide being equal to the length of a day.
[101b] “Like the thunder of heaven was the clashing of the shields.”—(Gorch. Mael.)
[101c] “Od uch lle.” Al. “Od uch lled,” above the plain.
[101d] Mark the antithesis “gwr llawr”—“arbennawr,” and “cethrawr”—“llavnawr.”
[101e] “En gystud heyrn;” an allusion to the instrument which caused his death. “Ferreus somnus.”
[101f] It is clear from this statement that Erthai was the lawful lord of the Mordei. He had been deprived of his dominions for a time, probably through the usurpation of the “steel-clad commander,” but at length succeeded in recovering them. Who Erthai was we know not; Llywarch Hen had a son, whose name bore some resemblance to the word: he is mentioned in the following triplet;—
“The best three men in their country,
For protecting their habitation,
Eithyr and Erthyr and Argad.” (Elegy on Old Age.)
[102a] Al. “Erthgi,” which is obviously the same as “Arthgi,” a bear-dog. The rhythmical run of the line seems, however, to point to the other as the proper word.
[102b] “Erthychei;” there is here evidently an allusion to the name of the hero, (that is, supposing the name adopted in the translation to be the right one) which consideration induces us to prefer it to the other reading, viz. “erthrychei.” “With the latter word, however, we should translate the passage as follows;—
“In the front Erthai would mangle an army.”
[102c] Al. “dychurant,” will be afflicted.
[102d] Probably Edeyrn may have been the hero of this stanza, and that a play upon the word is intended in the expression “edyrn diedyrn.” Edyrn the kingdom will remain, but Edyrn the king is gone.
[102e] “Gowyssawr,” the furrower of battle: the designation of a warrior.
“Wyr i Vleddyn arv leiddiad
A oedd draw yn cwysaw cad.” (Hywel Cilan.)
A grandson of Bleddyn with the weapon of slaughter,
Was yonder furrowing the battle.
Al. “lynwyssawr,” “the plague;” or “the pool maker,” in reference to the effusion of blood which he caused on the field of battle.
As just observed, this individual may have been Edeyrn, the son of Nudd ab Beli ab Rhun ab Maelgwn ab Caswallon Lawhir ab Einiawn Yrth ab Cunedda ab Edeyrn ab Padarn Beisrudd by Gwawl daughter of Coel Godebog, who would be removed from the field of battle by his own clan.
[103a] “Bu truan,” just as in line 107.
[103b] The names of both these persons, as we have already seen, occur together in a Poem attributed to Aneurin, and printed in Davies’s Mythology of the Druids. The latter, moreover, appears in the Tale of “Kilhwch and Olwen,” where a daughter of his is likewise mentioned by the name of Eheubryd. Cyvwlch is there stated to have been one of the three grandsons of Cleddyv Divwlch, the other two being Bwlch and Sevwich. “Their three shields are three gleaming glitterers. Their three spears are three pointed piercers. Their three swords are three griding gashers, Glas, Glesig, and Clersag.” (page 291.)
[103c] “Leu,” the root of “goleu,” “lleuad,” &c. The other reading “liw,” is equally proper, even as we still say “liw dydd,” “liw nos,” &c.
[103d] Lit. “rush-light.”
[103e] Lit. “its enmity lasted long.” The latter portion of this stanza, which refers to Tudvwlch and Cyvwlch, seems to have been misplaced.
[103f] Qu. “Icenorum arx?”
[103g] “Ewgei,” e wgei from “gwg,” a frown. Al. “negei,” he shewed resistance, from “nag,” a denial. So in “Englynion y Beddau;”—
“Y Beddau hir yn Ngwanas
Ni chavas ae dioes
Pwy vynt hwy, pwy eu neges.”
i.e. “who will own, or who will deny them.”
[104a] Can this mean blood or bloody field? It is certain that Meigant (600–630) uses the word in that sense;—
“Plwde y danav hyd ymhen vy nghlun.” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 160)
Under me was blood to the top of my knee.
[104b] “Digalonnit,” the other reading “dygollovit,” (dygoll ovid) would signify that the horn banished his sorrow.
[104c] Al. “Even on the foam-bordered Mordei.”
[104d] Which “Gwarthlev,” ( the voice of reproach) was not. Davies makes “eno bryt,” into a proper name, and construes the sentence thus;—
“Whilst Gwarthlev and Enovryd were pouring forth the liquor.”
[105a] “Arch.” Al. “arth en llwrw.” “He was an impetuous bear.” There may be here a faint allusion to the name Gwarthlev, nor is it unlikely that his ensign bore the figure of a bear.
[105b] “Gwd,” (gwdd) that turns round.
[105c] “Gyfgein,” (cyvgein) co-light.
[105d] A peculiarity observable in Welsh documents is, that they frequently consign general circumstances to the island of Britain in particular. This may be exemplified by the account which is given of the deluge in Triad 13. (Third Series;)—
“The three awful events of the Isle of Britain; first, the bursting of the lake of waters, and the overwhelming of the face of all lands; so that all mankind were drowned, excepting Dwyvan and Dwyvach, who escaped in a naked vessel, and of them the Isle of Britain was repeopled,” &c.
[105f] Al. “ungentle.”
[105g] Vide supra, lines 89, 113.
[105h] As there is nothing to rhyme with “ryodres,” probably there is a line left out here.
[106a] It would appear from this that the feast was given in celebration of the time of harvest. That the Britons, like the Jews, exhibited signs of great joy at that season, may be inferred from the following Triads of Dyvnwal Moelmud. (Myv. Arch. vol. iii. p. 283.)
“Tair clud udcorn sydd; dygynnull gwlad gan riaint a phencenedloedd, corn cynhauav, a chorn cad a rhyvel rhag gormes gorwlad ac estron.”
There are three trumpet progressions; the assembly of a country according to heads of families and chiefs of tribes, the horn of harvest, and the horn of war and of battle against the oppression of neighbours and aliens.
“Tair clud addwyn y sydd; beirdd yn darogan heddwch, cyrch cynhauav, a phriodas.”
There are three happy progressions; bards announcing peace, a meeting in harvest time, and a marriage.
“Tri corn cynghlud y sydd; corn cynhauav, corn dadlau, a chorn goly-chwyd.”
There are three horns for mutual progression; the horn of harvest, the horn of contention, and the horn for religious adoration.
[106b] “Arvel,” which is required on account of the rhyme.
[106c] Bright shields, which are here likened to wings.
“Y gylchwy dan y gymwy bu adenawc.” Line 361
His round shield was with fire winged for slaughter.
[106d] An allusion to the trappings of the horses.
[107a] “Diryf.” “Rhyv;” that enlarges or swells out; “diryv,” without enlargement. A descriptive reference to the expanding or bulging effects of spears when hurled against a shield.
[107b] Al. “with equal step they thickly assembled,” “cnydyn” from cnydiaw, to yield a crop. And “cynfedion” from cyd together, and pedion, feet.
[107c] Al. “unprofitably.”
[107d] “Hudid” (huddid) covered over.
[107e] Query, “vras” to rhyme with “glas”?
[107f] “Teithi;” the character, i.e. of the military preparations.
[107g] “Amgant;” al. “etmygant;” in which case the passage might be rendered,—
“Famous were the characteristics
[107h] The Novantæ comprised the present districts of Galloway, Carrick, Kyle, and Cunningham.
[108a] If we have interpreted “pumcant” aright, as giving the number of men in each battalion, it would appear that “mwnt,” though primarily standing for one hundred thousand, has also a general sense. This view of it might in like manner apply to the statement made at line 49.
[108b] “Trychwn,” i.e. tri cwn (a head) a regiment commanded by one head.
[108c] Al. “Thrice six,” &c. Al. “Three noisy,” &c. That as many as 300 commanders should issue from Eiddin, can only be explained on the supposition that, because of its proximity to Cattraeth, it formed the principal station of the allied forces.
[108d] Lit. “golden kings wearing chains.” The manner in which the greater and lesser numbers are placed in juxtaposition (lines 184–187) makes it very probable that the latter designate the commanders of the troops there mentioned. And we may well suppose that the statement from line 188 to line 191 is a mere continuation of the character of the “three bold knights.”
[108e] Lead, being heavy, answers to “trwm” in the preceding line.
[108f] A reference to the armour of the soldiers.
[109a] Or “who were Brython.” The Brython were the third “social tribe of the Isle of Britain,” who “came from the land of Llydaw, and were descended from the primitive tribe of the Cymry,” (Triad 5, third series.) Being the third principal tribe that settled in Britain, it is probable that their original inheritance was Alban, one of the “three principal provinces of the Isle of Britain,” (See Triad 2) which they must have occupied prior to the time of Prydain the son of Aedd Mawr. Dunbarton is Dun Bretton, i.e. Dinas y Brython.
[109b] Cynon was the son of Clydno Eiddin, and one of the three counselling warriors of Arthur.
“Tri chyngoriad varchawg llys Arthur; Cynon ab Clydno Eiddin, Arawn ab Cynvarch, a Llywarch Hen ab Elidyr Lydanwyn.” (Triad 86, first series.)
He was also one of the “three ardent lovers,” on account of his passion for Morvydd, daughter of Urien Rheged.
“Tri serchawg Ynys Prydain; Caswallawn mab Beli am Flur merch Fugnach Gorr, a Thrystan mab Tallwch am Essyllt gwreig March Meirchiawn ei ewythr, a Chynon ab Clydno Eiddun am Forwydd verch Urien.” (Tr. 53.)
Cynon ab Clydno Eiddin was educated at the college of Llancarvan, and is said to have answered one of the seven questions proposed by Cattwg Ddoeth, the President, as follows,—
“Pa gamp decav ar ddyn?
Atteb. Cyweirdeb.” (Cynan ab Clydno Eiddin ai dywawd.)
What is man’s fairest quality?
His grave is recorded in the Englynion y Beddau. (Myv. Arch. vol i. p. 79.)
[109c] We adopt this as a proper name, because it makes up the number three. A person of that name is mentioned in the following stanza;—
“A glywaist ti chwedl Cynrain,
Pen cyngor Ynys Prydain,
Gwell ydyw cadw nag olrhain.”
Hast thou heard the saying of Cynrain,
The chief counsellor of the Island of Britain?
Better to keep than to pursue. (Iolo MSS. pp. 251, 651.)
The word has however been construed “chief spearmen,” and “of the stock of.”
[109d] There is a place so called in Cardiganshire.
[110a] Al. “gogyverth,” to oppose.
[110b] “Yn hon,” from on an ash, and by metonymy, a spear. Or, as “hon” means what is present to the sight, we may construe the passage thus,—
“To greet openly,” &c.
[110c] “Deivyr diverogion,” the droppers of Deivyr; not “the men who dropped into Deira,” as Davies has it. Deivyr and Bryneich were now opposed to the British patriots. See lines 50, 78.
[110d] Namely Cydywal, a chieftain of Gwynedd, now stationed in the region of Mordei; considering the disaster that ensued, it appeared whilst he presided over the banquet in his own camp, as if he were merely preparing a feast for the birds of prey.
[110e] His history is unknown.
[110f] “Cyn y,” i.e. cyni.
[111a] Nothing is known of this diviner.
[111b] The “croes” was probably a kind of cross bow. Taliesin in “Gwaith Gwenystrad” says of the slain warriors,—
Which has been translated by Ieuan Vardd,
“Their hands were on the crucifix [cross.]” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 52.)
Al. “Athrwys,” (ath-rhwys) “very vigorously.”
[111c] This appears to have been the compact entered into by the different tribes of the Britons, for the purpose of withstanding the usurpation of the common foe. See line 32.
[111d] “Ermygei,” which might also, and perhaps more literally, be rendered he paid respect to. The other reading “dirmygei,” would mean he spurned, or dishonoured.
[111e] “Blaen Gwynedd,” the borders of North Wales, whither the Saxon encroachment had already extended.
[112a] “Fawd ut,” i.e. ffawddyd, from ffawdd, radiation, splendour. We may also render the sentence as follows,—
“I fell by the radiant rampart, (ffin)”
the epithet radiant having a reference to the arms of the soldiers.
[112b] Or, as a moral reflection,—
“A hero’s prowess is not without ambition.”
There are various readings of the word which is here translated prowess, e.g. cobnet, colwed, eofned, but all of them are capable of that construction, thus “cobnet” comes from cobiaw, to thump, “colwed,” from col a sting, or a prop, whilst “eofned” literally means fearlessness.
[112c] In Maelderw’s stanzas thus,—
“When all went up, thou didst go down.”
In another place,—
“When all were extended, thou didst also fall.”
[112d] The line in Gorchan Maelderw, Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 62, has been translated by Dr. W. O. Pughe,
“Present, ere he spoke, was carried with the arms.” (Dict. Voce Breichiawl.)
That in the other Gorchan of Maelderw, page 85, may be rendered,
Present narrates that he was carried with the arms.
[113a] Lit. “Three heroes and three score and three hundred, wearing the golden torques.”
[113b] If “ffosawd” ever bears the meaning assigned to it by Dr. Pughe, it must have derived it from the practise of fighting in the fosse of a camp, (which would be peculiarly gashing) for on his own showing the word has no other etymon than that of “ffos,” a ditch, a trench. From the same root Merddin gives it the sense of burial—defossio.
“A hyt vraut yth goffaaf
Dy ffossaut trallaut trymmaf.” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 149.)
Until doom will I remember
Thy interment, which was a most heavy affliction.
“Hyd ydd aeth ef
Ercwlf mur ffosawd
As arnut tywawd.” (Myv. Arch. i. p. 69.)
Until he, Ercwlf,
Descended into the fosse of the rampart,
And was covered with sand.
[114a] Their names are given in “Gwarchan Cynvelyn.” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. page 60. Davies’s Mythology, page 622.)
Three warriors and three score and three hundred,
To the conflict of Cattraeth went forth;
Of those who hastened from the mead of the cup-bearers,
Three only returned,
Cynon and Cadreith, and Cadlew of Cadnant,
And I myself from the shedding of blood.—
[114b] The grave of Cynon is thus recorded;—
“Bet gur gwaud urtin
In uchel titin in isel gwelitin
Bet Cynon mab Clytno Idin.”
The grave of a warrior of high renown
Is in a lofty region—but a lowly bed;
The grave of Cynon the son of Clydno Eiddin.
And in another stanza;
“Piau y bet y dann y brin
Bet gur gwrt yng Kiuiscin
Bet Kinon mab Clytno Idin.”
Whose is the grave beneath the hill?
It is the grave of a warrior valiant in the conflict,—
The grave of Cynon the son of Clydno Eiddin. (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 79.)
A saying of Cadreith has been preserved in the Englynion y Clywed.
“A glyweisti a gant Cadreith
Fab Porthawr filwr areith
Ni char Dofydd diobeith.” (Myv. Arch. i. 175.)
Hast thou heard what Cadreith sang,
The son of Porthawr, with the warlike speech?
God loves not the despairer.
[114c] “Gwenwawd.” It might be translated “flattering song,” but candid or sacred seems more consonant with the character of a Bard, whose motto was “Y gwir yn erbyn y byd.” We may presume that Aneurin on this occasion displayed his heraldic badge, which, according to the law of nations, would immediately cause a cessation of hostilities.
“Tair braint Beirdd ynys Prydain; Trwyddedogaeth lle’r elont; nas dycer arv noeth yn eu herbyn: a gair eu gair hwy ar bawb.”
The three primary privileges of the Bards of the Isle of Britain; maintenance wherever they go; that no naked weapon be borne in their presence; and their word be preferred to that of all others. (Institutional Triads. See also Myv. Arch. vol. iii. Laws of Dyvnwal Moelmud.)
“Sed me per hostes Mercurius celer
Denso paventem sustulit aere. (Horace Carm. lib. ii. Ode 7.)
[115a] “Gwyn dragon;” probably Hengist, who bore, as his arms, a white prancing horse upon a red field. There is here accordingly an allusion to the first arrival of the Saxons, which was the cause to the Britons of all their national calamities for many a long year after.
Al. “Had it not been for the two hundred (al. ten hundred) men of the white-bannered commander.”
[115b] Or, “we were not—until.” &c.
[115c] Lit. “thorn bushes.” For an illustration of the advantage which the natives would derive from their woods and thickets in times of war, the reader is referred to a story told of Caradoc in the Iolo MSS. pp. 185, 597. which on account of its length we cannot transfer into our pages.
[115d] Or more sententiously, as Davies has it,
“Base is he in the field, who is base to his own relatives.”
The construction adopted in the text, might allude to the marriage of Rowena with Vortigern.
[116a] “Llwyeu,” from “llwyv,” a frame, a platform, a loft. Or it may be “llwyv,” an elm tree, in reference to the devastation of the groves just mentioned. The elm was very common in the island at the period under consideration. Taliesin celebrates a battle entitled “Gwaith Argoed Llwyvein,” which means “the battle of the forest of elms.”
“A rhag gwaith Argoed Llwyvain
Bu llawer celain.” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 53.)
Al. “When we were deprived of our sharpened weapons.”
[116b] Thus in Gorchan Maelderw,—
“There trod not, in Gododin, on the surface of the fosse,
When deprived of his sharpened weapon, none more destitute.”
[116c] One reading has “the weapon of death,” another, “the death-formed weapon, is broken and motionless.”
[116d] If we give an affirmative meaning to the words “angkynnull agkymandull agkysgoget,” the couplet might be thus rendered,—
“They assembled in arms, and in complete array they moved along,
And rolled through the mighty horde.”
It is observable that Carnhuanawc adopted this affirmative form in a similar passage with which “Gorchan Tudvwlch” opens, thus:
Twrv yn agwedd;
Y rhag meiwedd,
Y rhag mawredd,
Y rhag madiedd.”
They assemble in arms,
The forces are marshalled,
In the van are the warlike,
In the van are the noble,
In the van are the good.
And he moreover traces a similarity between this style and that of Tacitus, wherein the latter describes the effects of Galgacus’s address upon his British followers;—
“Jamque agmina, et armorum fulgores, audentissimi, cujusque procursu, simul instruebantur acies.” (See Hanes Cymru, p. 96.)
[117a] Al. “llawr,” “and prostrate the horde of the Lloegrians.”
[117b] The Lloegrians were the second “social tribe” that settled in Britain. Their province was that of Lloegyr, by which the Welsh still designate England, (Triads v. ii. first series) though there is reason to believe that it was originally of much smaller extent. The Lloegrians for the most part coalesced with the Saxons, (Triad vii. third series) and grievously harassed the Cymry in the sixth century.
“Cynddylan, cae di y rhiw,
Er yddaw Lloegyrwys heddiw;
Amgeledd am un nid gwiw!” (Llywarch Hen.)
Cynddylan, guard thou the cliff,
Against any Lloegrians that may come this day;
Concern for one should not avail.
[117c] “Ygcynuor,” i.e. “yn cynvor.” Al. “cynnor,” the entrance. Al. “ynghynwr,” in the turmoil.
[117d] This probably refers to the enemy, who, being pagans, burnt their dead. The fact might have been suggested to the poet’s mind, by the name of his hero “Graid,” which signifies heat.
[117e] Viz. that of Graid.
[117f] The rhyme determines this form, which occurs in 1. In Gorchan Maelderw, we have, instead of Graid the son of Hoewgi, “Braint the son of Bleiddgi.”
[118a] “Orwydan,” from Gorwydd. Another way of translating these lines would be—
“There was the hero of the two shielded wings,
The one with the variegated front; the other of like quality with Prydwen;
which was the name of Arthur’s shield;—
“Tarian a gymmerai Arthur ar ei Ysgwydd, yr hon a elwid Prydwen.”
A shield did Arthur take upon his shoulder, which was called Prydwen. (Gr. ab Arthur.)
The supposition that Arthur’s shield had already acquired a notable renown is indirectly corroborated by an alleged contemporary poem, “Preiddiau Annwn.” (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 45) in which his ship of the same name is clearly invested with a similarly extravagant character,—
“Tri lloneid Prydwen ydd aetham ni ar for.”
[118b] Al. “in the midst of arms.”
[118c] Perhaps scintillations from the clash of arms.
[118d] Occasioned by the brightness of the arms. Al. “Clouded was the dawn, and the sun,” Al. “there was misery.”
[118e] “Bud e vran,” an allusion to the name of Budvan.
[119a] An old Adage says,—
“Nac addev dy rin i was.”
Reveal not thy secrets to a servant.
[119b] Perhaps buried on the field of battle, where the horses would trample on his grave; or the expression might allude to the mode of his being conveyed by horses to his last resting place.
[119c] “Eleirch,” lit. swans, but the expression “meirch eilw eleirch,” (horses of the colour of swans) in the Maelderw version, seems to favour the translation we have given above.
[119d] Or, “the trappings” of his charger.
[119e] His history is not known.
[120a] That is, he would not cowardly desert his post, and thus leave an opening in the rank.
[120b] During the Christmas festivities, which lasted for twelve days:
“Llon ceiliog a thwylluan
Au deuddeng-nydd yn hoean”—Engl. y Misoedd.
On those occasions Bards and minstrels were frequent guests at the halls of the nobility, and their company contributed not a little to the general entertainment. The air “Nos Galan,” we may fairly presume, was a favourite at those festivities.
[120c] The word “arvaeth” in this poem seems to have a reference throughout to “arwydd,” or ensign. Thus we may suppose that Gwenabwy bore the Dragon for his arms, which device conveyed the idea of devastation, rather than that of cultivation.
[120d] The Bard, according to his general custom, is here contrasting the two aspects of his hero’s character, the domestic and the martial.
[121a] A person of the name of Gwenabwy is mentioned in the Hoiannau of Merddin.—Myv. Arch. v. i. p. 137.
[121b] Llywarch Hen had a son of the name of Gwên: see his Elegy on Old Age, where he speaks in rapturous terms of the youth’s valour.
“Pedwar meib ar ugaint a’m bu,
Eurdorchawg, tywysawg llu;
Oedd Gwên goreu o naddu,” &c.
Four and twenty sons I have had,
Wearing the golden chain, leaders of armies;
Gwên was the best of them.
[121c] “Mai y mead y gathleu.” There seems to be a playful allusion in these words to mewian and cath, the mewing of a cat.
[121d] “Meirch,” suggested by the name “Marchleu.”
[121e] Al. “Maenor,” stones.
[121f] Or “by the commander on his prancing charger.” “Llemenig,” might be a proper name, for we find that one of “the three free guests of the court of Arthur,” was so called. Nevertheless, as it would in that character appear somewhat out of place here, we have chosen the etymological sense in preference.
[121g] “Vym am,” i.e. vy mam, as it occurs, though with the addition of am vyrn, in 6.
[121h] The Bard would here pay an indirect compliment to his own gallantry.
[122a] “Bedryolet.” Al. “Spears of quartered ash were scattered from his hand.”
[122b] “Veinnyell.” Al. “veingel,” qu. narrow shelter?
[122c] Mygedorth is mentioned by Llywarch Hen,—
“Yn Llongborth gwelais i vygedorth
A gwyr yn godde ammorth
A gorvod gwedi gorborth.”
In Llongborth I beheld a solemn pile,
And men suffering privation,
And in a state of subjection after excess of fruition
It is likewise alluded to in the Triads,—
“Cornan, march meibion Elifer Gosgorddfawr, a ddwg arnaw Gwrgi, Peredur, Dunawd Fyr, a Chynfelyn Drwsgl, i edrych ar fygedorth Gwenddoleu yn Arderydd.”
Cornan, the horse of the sons of Elifer with the great retinue, carried Gwrgi, Peredur, Dunawd Fyr, and Cynfelyn the stumbler, to see the funeral pile of Gwenddoleu in Arderydd.
“Falsely was it said by Tudlew,
That no one’s steeds would be overtaken by Marchleu;
As he was reared to bring support to all around,
Powerful was the stroke of his sword upon the adversary;
Eagerly ascended the ashen spear from the grasp of his hand,
From the narrow summit of the awful pile.” Gorch. Mael.
[122d] “Vygu,” or “the place where he would suffocate some one.”
[122e] Or, “he would cut (lladd, mow) with a blade armfuls of furze.” The furze was for the purpose of supplying the pile.
[122f] When the weather is unsettled in harvest time, the reapers display greater energy and activity during the intervals of sunshine; hence the point of the simile.
[123a] Nothing more is known of this chieftain.
[123b] Or “Isaac,” as a proper name.
[123c] “O barth deheu.” “Deheu,” literally means the right, and as the mid-day sun is to the right of a person looking eastward, the word is also taken to signify the south; hence we say “deheudir” for South Wales. The “parth deheu” in this place must accordingly mean some district south of the scene of action, such as Wales, where Gwyddno and his family resided, would be.
[123d] “Devodeu,” manners, customs.
[123e] That is, the ebb and influx of the tide represented the contrary aspects of his character, the mild and the impetuous, which are respectively described in the succeeding lines.
[123f] Al. “from the point of Maddeu.”
[123g] If we take this “clawdd” to be the Catrail, we must look for Offer and Maddeu towards the extremity most remote from head quarters, i.e. the fort of Eiddin, (Edinburgh) and it is rather remarkable that, whilst the Catrail is generally supposed to terminate southward at the Peel-fell, some eminent antiquaries have fixed its furthest point at Castle Over, where there is a British fort, and others have thought that they could trace it in the Maiden-way near the Roman wall, though it must be confessed that these supposed continuations are by a third party regarded as Roman roads. The similarity between the words Offer and Over is very obvious. Baxter identifies Over with Oliclavis, which is naught else but ol y clawdd the extremity of the rampart.
[124a] Al. “There was no young offspring that he cut not to pieces, no aged man that he did not scatter about.”
[124b] “Murgreit.” The title is ascribed by Taliesin to the Deity.
A oreu elvydd,
A gwedi elvydd,
Addav yn gelvydd;
A gwedi Adda,
Y goreu Eva;
Yr Israel bendigaid
A oreu Murgraia.”
The eternal Trinity
Made the elements;
And after the elements
And after Adam
He made Eve;
The blessed Israel
The mighty Spirit made. (Gwawd Gwyr Israel.)
[124c] Gwyddneu or Gwyddno Garanhir, lord of Cantrev y Gwaelod, A.D. 460–520. Three poems attributed to him are preserved in the Myvyrian Archaiology. A character mentioned in the Mabinogion, goes by the name of Gwyddneu ab Llwydau.
[124d] Mr. Davies thinks that this warrior was the son of Cunedda, who gave his name to Ceredigion. As Cunedda, however, flourished in the early part of the fifth century, the martial age of his son Ceredig would not well coincide with the date of this poem. There was another Caredig, who succeeded Maelgwn Gwynedd as king of the Britons, about A.D. 590.
[125a] “Lletvegin;” lit. a domestic animal. We have another example here of the Bard’s favourite practice of contrasting the different qualities of the person whom he celebrates.
[125b] Or “When the appointed time of his departure is at hand,” q.d., “gar cyrdd,” from “cerdd” a walk. The adopted reading, however, is very strongly corroborated by passages in other poems, where “cyrdd” is unmistakeably used as the plural of “cerdd,” a song, e.g.—
“Cyrdd a cherddorion
A chathleu englynion.”
Songs and minstrels,
And Angel’s melodies. (Taliesin.)
“Ys cad ffyrdd, ys car cyrdd cyflef.”
“He is the roads of battle, he is the friend of harmonious songs.” (Cynddelw.)
“Llary deyrn cedyrn yn cadw gwesti cyrdd,
A mild prince of mighty men keeping festivals of songs,
And equally protecting the minstrels. (Llygad Gwr.)
“Arddelw cain ffyrdd cyrdd cyflef,
Urddedig wledig wlad nef.”
Claim the splendid paths of harmonious songs,
Consecrated governor of the kingdom of heaven. (Bleddyn Vardd.)
[125c] A favourite saying of a person of that name has been preserved in the following triplet;
“A glywaist ti chwedl Ceredig
Brenin doeth detholedig?
Pawb a’i droed ar syrthiedig.”
Hast thou heard the saying of Ceredig,
A wise and select king?
Every one has his foot on the fallen. (Iolo MSS. pp. 259, 664.)
[126a] The other reading “ceiniad” would mean a minstrel, which, on the supposition that the chieftain of the present is the same with that of the preceding stanza, would further support the textual construction which we have given there to “car cyrdd,” viz. the friend of song.
[126b] Al. “gowan,” gashing.
[126c] Al. “Crwydyr,” perambulated.
[126d] “Cystudd daear,” buried; “cystudd haiarn,” killed. See line 128.
[126e] Caradawg Vreichvras, chief elder (pen hynaiv) of Gelliwig in Cornwall. (Triad lxiv. first series.) According to the Triads he was one of the battle knights of the Isle of Britain, and in the Englyn attributed to Arthur he is styled “Pillar of Cymru.”
“Tri chadvarchawg Teyrn ynys Prydain: Caradawc Vreiehvras, a Llyr Lluyddawg, a Mael ab Menwaed o Arllechwedd; ac Arthur a gant iddynt hynn o Englyn,
Sev ynt vy nhri chadvarchawg
Mael hir a Llyr Lluyddawg,
A cholovn Cymru Caradawg.” (Triad 29.)
Caradawg’s horse Lluagor is recorded as one of the three battle horses of the Island. (Trioedd y Meirch, Myv. Arch. vol. ii. p. 20.)
[127a] This simile has evidently some connection with the story told of Caradawg, that owing to his well founded confidence in his wife’s virtue, he was able to carve a certain Boar’s head, an adventure in which his compeers failed. It is remarkable also that the Boar’s head, in some form or other, appears as the armorial bearing of all of his name. See the “Dream of Rhonabwy.”—Note. Al. “red boar.”
[127b] This statement may have two meanings, the one real, as indicative of what did actually take place, namely, that the dogs came out of the neighbouring woods to feed upon the corpses which had fallen by the band of Caradawg; the other allegorical, as referring to himself in his character of a boar or a bull, the wild dogs being his enemies, who thus hunted and baited him.
[127c] We may infer from this admission that the Bard’s statements, though poetically adorned, are, as to the main facts, framed with a strict regard to truth. Thus no less than four vouchers for the correctness of his description of Caradawg’s valour are presented to our notice by name.
[127d] Gwriad was the son of Gwrien, one of the three princes of vassal origin. (See line 56: notes.) Gwynn might have been either Gwyn Godyvron or Gwyn ab Nudd; both alluded to in the Mabinogi of Kilhwch and Olwen.
[127e] Lit. its mangling or hewing.
[127f] We should have been tempted to construe the line thus,—
“From the broken hill of encounter,”
Making “kynn caffat” into one word “cynghaffad,” had we not been precluded by the peculiar metre which version third presents throughout, and which accordingly requires “cyn” in this place to rhyme with “fryn.”—
“O fryn } caffad.”
Hydwn cyn }
Possibly “Hydwn” may be identified with Hdddinam or Hadingtoun, in the province of Valentia.
[128a] Al. “vron,” the presence. Caradawg’s father was Llyr Merini, a prince of Cornwall.
[128b] Al. “eurawc,” covered with gold.
[128c] Caradawg Vreichvras, just mentioned.
[128d] These two were doubtless sons of Llywarch Hên, mentioned together in the following stanza;—
“Na Phyll, na Madawg, ni byddynt hiroedlawg,
Or ddevawd y gelwynt;
‘Rhoddyn!’—‘na roddyn!’—cyngrair byth nis erchynt!”
Nor Pyll, nor Madawg, would be long lived,
If according to custom there was a calling—
“Surrender!” “They would not surrender!” quarters they ever scorned. (Elegy on Old Age, &c.)
[129a] Two persons named Gwgan and Gwion occur together in a Triad, as having been sentinels in the battle of Bangor, A.D. 603. As that event, however, happened subsequently to the battle of Cattraeth, where the heroes of the stanza were killed, the parties could not be the same. There was another Gwgawn, designated Llawgadarn, who is ranked with Gwrnerth and Eidiol in a Triad of the three strong men of Britain.
“Tri gyrddion ynys Prydain: Gwrnerth Ergydlym, a laddes yr arth mwyav ac a welwyd erioed a saeth wellten; a Gwgawn Llawgadarn, a dreiglis maen maenarch o’r glynn i benn y mynydd, ac nid oedd llai na thrugain ych ai tynnai; ac Eidiol Gadarn, a laddes o’r Saeson ym mrad Caersallawg chwechant a thrigain a chogail gerdin o fachlud haul hyd yn nhywyll.” (Triad lx. third series.)
Favourite expressions of both Gwgan and Gwiawn are recorded in Chwedlau’r Doethion. (Iolo MSS. pp. 251, 651.)
“A glywaist ti chwedl Gwgan,
Gwedi dianc o’r ffwdan?
Addaw mawr a rhodd fechan.”
Hast thou heard the saying of Gwgan,
After escaping from the turmoil?
Great promise and a small gift.
“A glywaist ti chwedl Gwiawn,
Dremynwr, golwg uniawn?
Duw cadarn a farn pob iawn.”
Hast thou heard the saying of Gwiawn,
The observer of accurate sight?
The mighty God will determine every right.
[129b] See proceeding stanza. Gwion and Gwyn are mentioned together as the sons of Cyndrwyn by Llywarch Hên. See his Elegy on Cynddylan.
[129c] The son of Evrog, and one of the knights of the court of Arthur, who found the Greal.—
“Tri marchawg llys Arthur a gawsant y Greal. Galath vab Llawnselot dy Lak, a Pheredur mab Evrawc Iarll, a Bort mab brenin Bort. Y ddau gyntav oeddynt wery o gorph, a’r trydydd oedd ddiweir am na wnaeth pechawd cnawdol ond unwaith a hynny drwy brovedigaeth yn yr amser yr ennillawdd ev * * o verch Brangor yr hon a vu ymerodres yn Constinobl, or honn y doeth y genhedlaeth vwyav o’r byd, ac o genhedlaeth Joseph o Arimathea y hanoeddyn ell tri, ac o lin Davydd brophwyd mal y tystiolaetha Ystoria y Greal.”—(Triad lxi. first series.)
[129d] This name occurs in the Tale of Twrch Trwyth, page 259.
[129e] Probably Aeddon the son of Ervei: see line 845.
[130a] Or affirmatively, “a shield in the battle.”
[130b] Or “how sad their award.”
[130c] “How grievous is the longing for them.”
[130d] This line is full of poetical beauty, and forcibly exhibits how the baneful effects of the banquet, or the engagement to which it was the prelude, prevented the return of the warriors home, which their friends so ardently desired.
[130e] This figure is similar to that in the fourth line of the stanza.
[131a] His name occurs again in the poem. The “horn of Gwlgawd Gododin” is mentioned in the Tale of “Kilhwch and Olwen,” p. 283.
[131b] Or in reference to the banquet itself,—“notable were its effects, and it was the price which bought the battle of Cattraeth,” i.e. bought, or brought about its disastrous consequences.
[131c] That is, contributed his life towards a victory.
[131d] Or giantlike; a reference to his stature, implied in the title “Hir,” (tall) which was attached to his name. See stanza V. note.
[131e] Lit. “With the strength of steeds.”
[131f] “Ar gychwyn,” poised, ready to fly.
[132a] Rhuvawn is celebrated in a Triad as one of the three blessed kings of the Isle of Britain.
“Tri gwyndeyrn ynys Prydain; Rhun ab Maelgwn, Owain ab Urien, a Rhuawn Bevr ab Dewrath Wledig.” (Triad xxv. third series.)
In another Triad he is recorded as one of the three imperious ones of the island.
“Tri trahawc ynys Prydein; Gwibei drahawc a Sawyl ben uchel a Ruuawn Peuyr drahawc.” (Triad xxxiv. second series.)
Other versions, however, of the same Triad, give Rhun mab Einiawn in the room of Rhuvawn Pebyr.
He is also styled one of the three golden corpses of the Isle of Britain, because, when he was slain, his body was redeemed for its weight in gold.
“Tri eurgelein ynys Prydain: Madawc mab Brwyn; Ceugant Beilliawc; a Rhuawn Bevr, ab Gwyddnaw Garanhir; sev yu gelwid felly achaws rhoddi eu pwys yn aur am danynt o ddwylaw au lladdes.” (Tr. lxxvii. third series.)
His grave is alluded to by Hywel the son of Owain Gwynedd, about A.D. 1160, in these lines;—
“Tonn wenn orewyn a orwlych bet
Gwytua ruuawn bebyr ben teyrnet.” (Myv. Arch v. i. p. 277.)
The white wave, mantled with foam, bedews the grave,
The resting place of Rhuvawn Pebyr, chief of kings.
[132b] There may be some slight allusion here to the circumstance mentioned in the last Triad.
[132c] Coelvain; the stones of omen, an honorary reward. In this stanza Rhuvawn is celebrated as pious, valiant, and hospitable.
[132d] The hall (neuadd) might have been the camp itself, or it might have been the general’s tent, answering to the Roman prætorium. Along the extent of the Catrail there are several forts of the British people, which were built either on the contiguous hills, or on the neighbouring heights. A field in the neighbourhood of Dolgelley, which exhibits clear vestiges of an ancient encampment, goes by the name of “Neuadd Goch.”
“Neuadd pob diddos.”
Every shelter is a hall. (Adage.)
[133a] Or, “so great, so immense was the slaughter.” Another reading; “So great, a sea of radiance was the slaughter,” “mor o wawr,” in reference to the brightness of the weapons.
[133b] Morien Manawc is mentioned in the “Dream of Rhonabwy”, as one of the counsellors of Arthur, (p. 416.) His grave is pointed out in the following lines;—(Myv. Arch. vol. i. page 79.)
“E Beteu ae cut gwitwal
Ny llesseint heb ymtial
Gwrien Morien a Morial.
The graves that have their mounds together,
Are theirs, who fell not unavenged,
Gwrien, Morien, and Morial.
His memory was much cherished by the mediæval Bards, who not unfrequently compare their patrons to him. Thus Risserdyn (1290, 1340) says that Hywel ap Gruffydd had “vreich Moryen,” the arm of Morien; and his contemporary Madawg Dwygraig eulogises Gruffydd ap Madawg as being “ail Morien,” a second Morien.
[133c] “Medut,” from “meddu,” to possess, or it may signify “drunk,” from “meddw.” The kindling of the fire seems to have been for the purpose of annoying the enemy. Perhaps the allusion to fires, which occurs so frequently in the Poem, may, in some measure, explain the burnt and calcined features of many of our old camps.
[133d] Cynon was probably the general of this camp, under whom Morien fought.
[133e] “Welei.” Al. make.
[133f] Meaning himself. Another reading of the latter part of the line would be “with his brass armour shattered.”
[133g] I.e. the camp occupied by the enemy, as the next line clearly indicates.
[134a] “Noc ac escyc,” from “ysgog,” to stir. Al. “Noe ac Eseye,” as if they were the names of some Saxon officers, who hurled the stone. In this case we should render it,
“Noe and Eseye hurled a massive stone from the wall of the fort,
And never,” &c.
as if he were crushed beneath it. Adopting the former reading, however, we must observe the point of the words “ysgyg” and “ysgogit,” the one indicative of his undaunted courage, the other of his motionless state in death.
Nid ysgyg er meddyg mwy.”—Dr. S. Cent.
He is dead; he will stir no more for all the doctor’s art.
[134b] Cyhadvan, cyd advan, a co-retreat.
[134c] Al. Teithan.
[134d] Or “tumultuous,” annovawc, from an not and dov, tame, gentle, Al. “anvonawc,” sent, ordered.
[134e] See a description of his warlike character in the thirtieth stanza.
[134f] That is, Morien himself, who bore the epithet Mynawg or Manawg, (high-minded.) See preceding stanza, note two.
[134g] “Yn trwm,” as a person “seirchiawc saphwyawc—(and perhaps) elydnan,” would necessarily be. The bundles of combustible materials, which he also carried, would add to the weight of his armour, and tend to retard his movements. Or, “yn trwm” may refer to the battle, as being a pressure, or a sad affair.
[135a] Qu. Pedrawg, whose son Bedwyr was one of the three crowned chiefs of battle?
[135b] “Varchawc” may be coupled with “fowys,” indicating that the enemy fled on horseback.
[135c] “Cylchwy,” means a circular inclosure as well as a shield, and in that sense it can be taken here, as showing that Morien surrounded the camp with fire.
[135d] “Gwyth;” another reading gives “gwych,” which would have the same meaning as “gowychydd,” line 296.
[135e] Whether we read “ceinion” or “gleinion,” we should have the same meaning, viz.—“of the saints,” the Britons being thus distinguished from the pagan Saxons. Thus Llywarch Hen says of Geraint that he was
“Gelyn i Sais, car i saint.”
The Saxon’s foe, the friend of Saints.
[136a] “Lleithig,” a throne, or the dais of the hall; in the latter sense it would have reference to a banquet, and perhaps “tal” would mean the front or principal seat where Cynon sat. When, however, the battle commenced, the chieftain quitted the convivial board, and displayed the valour of a distinguished soldier.
[136b] His first thrust being so effectual. Al. “were not recognised,” having been so greatly mutilated.
[136c] Al. “in the day of gallantry.”
[136d] I.e. Elphin son of Gwyddno ab Gorvynion ab Dyvnwal Hen king of Gwent. In the early part of his life he was the patron of Taliesin, whom he found when an infant in a leathern bag, exposed on a stake of his father’s wear. “When Elphin was afterwards imprisoned in the castle of Dyganwy by Maelgwn Gwynedd, Taliesin by the influence of his song procured his release. There is a poem in the Myvyrian Archaiology, entitled the “Consolation of Elphin,” said to have been written by the chief of Bards.
Or, more likely, because of his connection with the North, he was one of the sons of Urien Rheged, mentioned by Llywarch Hen in the following triplet,—
“Pwylrai Wallawg, marchawg trin,
Er echwydd gwneuthur dyvin,
Yn erbyn cyvrysedd Elphin.”
Gwallawg, the knight of tumult, would violently rave,
With a mind determined to try the sharpest edge,
Against the conflict of Elphin.
[137a] Probably the Epidii, in Cantyre and Argyleshire. Al. “Hud a phyd,” “The valour of the forward Elphin had recourse to wiles and stratagems.”
[138a] Morien is probably alluded to here again, whose especial department seems to have been the superintendence of the martial fire. “Mur greit,” to which we have given the same meaning as to “Murgreit,” (line 292) might, however, in connection with the rest of the verse be differently translated; thus “The furze was kindled on the rampart by the ardent bull of conflict,” or “The furze was kindled by the ardent bulwark, the bull of conflict.” The latter construction seems to be favoured by a stanza in “Cyvoesi Merddin,” (Myvyrian Archaiology, vol. i. p. 148) where Morien is styled “mur trin,” “the bulwark of conflict.”
“Marw Morgeneu marw kyvrennin
Marw Moryen mur trin
Trymmav oed am dy adoed di Vyrdin.”
Morgeneu dead, Kyvrenin dead,
Morien the bulwark of conflict dead;
Most sad the lingering that thou art left, O Merddin.
[138b] The meaning seems to be, that the enemies directed their attack to the part which abounded most with riches, or where the treasures were collected, or it may refer to the banquet; “alavvedd,” signifying the flowing mead.
[138c] “Llaes;” al. “lliaws,” numerous.
[138d] Beli son of Benlli, a famous warrior in North Wales. Allusion is made to his burying place in Englynion y Beddau;—
“Pieu y bedd yn y maes mawr,
Balch ei law ar ei lavnawr?
Bedd Beli vab Benlli gawr.”
Who owns the grave in the great plain,
Proud his hand upon his spear?
The grave of Beli son of Benlli Gawr. (Myv. Arch. v. i. p. 82.)
Or Beli son of Rhun, a sovereign of North Wales.
[139a] “Ffin;” i.e. the Catrail.
[139b] The contrast between the appearances of the two heralds is remarkable.
[139c] I.e. the “Nar,” the puny messenger of the Saxons, compared here to a “twrch,” a boar, or a mole.
[139d] “Of a worthy character.”
[139e] Or, “the battle spear.”
[139f] “A clat,” cladd, a trench. “In those parts where it (the Catrail) is pretty entire,—the fosse is twenty-six and twenty-five feet broad; and in one place which was measured by Dr. Douglas, the fosse was twenty-seven and a half feet broad. But in those parts where the rampart has been most demolished, the fosse only measures twenty-two and a half feet, twenty, and eighteen; and in one place only sixteen feet wide.” Chalmers’s Caledonia, vol. i. Al. “aclut,” i.e. Alclud, (Dunbarton.) “The warriors upon the far-famed Alclyde.”
[140a] Or, “in behalf of the power.”
[140b] Being skilled in the knowledge of the stars.
[140c] Lit. “For the falling.” To pull one’s hair was looked upon in the light of a great insult, as we may well infer from the kindred one of handling the beard, which was punishable by law. Thus e.g. a man might legally beat his wife “am ddymuno mevl ar varv ei gwr”—for wishing disgrace on the beard of her husband. Such a treatment appears to have been offered to Gwydion, which made his attendant determined upon avenging his cause.
[140d] “Awyr eryr,” a title given to him in reference to the sublime character of his profession. Gwydien, or Gwydion, was one of the three blessed astronomers of the Isle of Britain,
“Tri gwyn Seronyddion ynys Prydain. Idris Gawr, a Gwydion mab Don, a Gwyn ab Nudd; a chan vaint eu gwybodau am y ser a’u hanianau a’i hansoddau y darogenynt a chwenychid ei wybod hyd yn nydd brawd.” (Triad lxxxix. third series.)
Two stanzas entitled “Cad Goddau,” published in the Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 167, are ascribed to him. He is reported to have been buried in Morva Dinllev. See Englynion y Beddau, (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 78.)
[141a] Gwyddwg seems to have been in the service of Gwydien.
[141b] Al. “protect him with his spear,” (wayw.) The other reading (waen) is preferred on account of the rhyme.
[141c] “Murdyn;” it may be “mur dyn,” (the bulwark of men) as descriptive of the character of Morien, who is elsewhere styled “mur trin,” see line 382, note.
[141d] We meet in British history with several instances of female heroism; the following Triad records the names of three viragos in particular;—
“Tri gwrvorwyn ynys Prydain; Llewei verch Seithwedd Saidi; a Mederai Badellvawr, a Rhorei vawr verch Usber Galed.” (Triad 96, third series.)
The Englynion Beddau y Milwyr point out the graves of others,—
“Y beteu yn y morva ys bychan ae haelwy
Y mae Sanant Syberv vun y mae Run ryvel achwy
Y mae Carwen verch Kennin y mae lledin a llywy.” (Myv. Arch. i. 82.)
The graves on the shore, on which but little generosity has been bestowed,
Are those of Sanant the courteous maid, of Rhun foremost in the war,
Of Carwen daughter of Cennyn, of Lledyn and Llywy.
[141e] His character has been described before in stanza xxv.
[142a] The servant in question, for “unben” does not exclusively mean a monarch, but it is applied also as a complimentary appellation like the modern Sir, “Ha unben! Duw a’ch noddo.” “O Sir! God protect you.” (Kilhwch and Olwen.)
[142b] Al. “heb benn,” a headless wolf.
[142c] It would appear as if the servant retaliated in kind upon the slayer of his mistress, who was either a wolf in disposition, or bore it as a badge; and that such a deed entitled him to bear a coat charged with figures emblematic thereof.
[142d] “Ysgrwydiat.” Al. “Gold mailed warriors slept in death, (cysgrwyddiad) on the city walls.”
[142e] “Cred,” of faith, as distinguished from the unbelieving Saxons.
[142f] “Aerflawdd,” nimble for slaughter. “There was a tribute of carnage, nor were they long engaged in the tumult of battle.”
[143a] Another version gives “the birds of battle;” but both doubtless refer to the birds of prey which roved to the scene of battle, prepared to perch upon the carcases of the dead. There is something extremely natural and affecting in the conduct of the “feeble man,” as here described.
[143b] Or, “of fair observation:” probably the very individual who warded off the birds. The Gorchan Maelderw would indicate that Syll was an incorrect transcript of pelloid or pellwyd, which word would supply the blank after brwydryat, and make the line rhyme with the preceding. The passage would then be, “and drove away the roving birds. Truly, Mirain,” &c.
[143c] A river so called, which cannot now be identified, as there are several in the South of Scotland, which would admit of this Welsh form; such as, the Leith, the Lugar, &c. Perhaps it is the same with Aber Lleu, where Urien Rheged was assassinated, and Aber Llyw mentioned in the “Elegy on Old Age” by Llywarch Hen.
[143d] “In the day of conflict.” Gorch. Mael.
[144a] Al. “look.”
[144b] “Gwyr nod;” this expression has two significations, it means both “men of note” and “slaves.” The lines that follow seem to restrict it here to the latter sense.
[144c] The word Din indicates it to have been a camp or a fort.
[144d] “We may suppose this to refer to the property that was collected within the camp on the summit of the hill.
[144e] “Dinas,” a fortified town. In these lines we have a graphic picture of the panic stricken state of that portion of the army in which Aneurin happened to be at this particular time; and it is a fitting prelude to the account of his incarceration which he gives in the succeeding stanza but one. But whilst the bard exposes his own incapacity, he pays an indirect compliment to the skill and courage of Gwynwydd; such a state of affairs, he seems to say, was owing to the absence of that hero on the heights.
[144f] Meaning, perhaps, that had he himself been present, this cowardice would not have been manifested. We may, however, render the line thus,—“Vines are not named when they are not found,” and regard it as a proverb intended to illustrate the truth of the foregoing statements, viz. that no mention would have been made of such things had they not really existed. Truth was a necessary element of Welsh Poetry.
[145a] “Ceny,” i.e. cyni. Llywarch Hen has introduced a stanza into his “Elegy on Old Age,” very similar in some of its expressions;
“Adwen leverydd cyni
Vran; pan disgynai yn nghyvyrdy
Pen gwr, pan gwin a ddyly.”
[145b] “Talben,” a fixed charge, or a tax. A very natural reflection from the head of a family!
[145c] “Gorddin;” what impels or drives forward; what is posterior, ultimate, or following; the rear. (Dr. Pughe’s Dict.) It would appear from this that the captive was pushed along towards his prison by some person from behind.
[145d] I.e. this treatment I despise, it is beneath my notice, I will regard it as a particle of dust under my feet. There was a maxim in reference to a really felt trouble which said;—
“Nid â gwaew yn ronyn.”
Pain will not become a particle.
[145e] How true to nature this disclaimer of any peevish and revengeful feelings when the power of fully exercising them was taken away! And yet his conduct, as implied in “gorddin,” at the same time belied such a declaration.
[145f] Lit. “my knee.” The prisoner here very naturally gives vent to his feelings in reference to the racking pain which was inflicted upon him.
[146a] “Bundat,” from pwn. In the original the line is imperfect, the particular part of his person that was thus pained being left unmentioned.
[146b] He here summons back his courage, and bursts into expressions of defiance as to the irresistible freedom of his awen, declaring that he would still in his dismal prison celebrate the praise of his countrymen, to the disparagement of his enemies at the battle of Cattraeth.
[146c] Lit. “make,” “compose;” ποιεω.
[146d] Perhaps this may mean no more than that Taliesin’s mind was akin to his own.
[146e] The dawn of the following morning; or, it may, be the day of liberty.
[146f] Or we may put “goroledd gogledd” in apposition with “gwr,” and construe it thus,—
“The hero, the joy of the North, effected it,”
i.e. my deliverance. Llywarch Hen and his sons came from the North.
[147a] Lit. “There does not walk upon the earth.”
[147b] “Dihafarch drud,” the same epithets are applied to Llywarch in the following Englyn y Clywed.—
“A glyweisti a gant Llywarch,
Oedd henwr drud dihavarch;
Onid cyvarwydd cyvarch.”
Didst thou hear what Llywarch sang,
The intrepid and bold old man?
Greet kindly though there be no acquaintance.
[147c] He would not submit to arbitration, which would imply an inability to assert their rights by force of arms.
[147d] Senyllt was the son of Cedig ab Dyvnwal Hen, and father of Nudd Hael. The word means seneschal, and perhaps Senyllt acted in that character, and had derived his name from thence. The term in the etymological sense would be applied to Gwen.
[148a] Al. “He bestowed his sword upon the,” &c.
[148b] Al. “lynwyssawr;” “he was a plague;” or “with his arm he made pools of blood.”
[148c] “Seil,” lit. “foundation.”
[148d] This seems to countenance the idea suggested in the note to line 346, that the Neuadd was none other than the camp itself.
[148e] “Keingyell,” ceingel; a hank of thread.
[148f] This was probably his sword which flashed.
[148g] Llywarch Hen’s son, see note to line 272. He was slain “ar ryd vorlas,” on the ford of Morlas, which, as far as its etymology is concerned, would very well answer to the scene of the battle of Cattraeth.
[148h] There is much poetic force in this line.
[149a] Perhaps Luce Bay, near Leucopibia.
[149b] Llywarch Hen, in his Elegy on Urien Rheged, speaks thus,—
“Yn Aber Lleu lladd Urien.”
In Aber Lleu Urien was slain.
[149c] Probably on the river Lid, or Liddel, on the northern borders of Cumberland.
[149d] It is not unlikely that the “cangen Caerwys,” formed a part of the great fleet of Geraint, who is styled in Brut Tysilio, “Geraint Caerwys.”
[149e] A poetical definition of a storm in winter.
[149f] “Rhiallu” means also the power of a sovereign, but as it is not likely that Aneurin would acknowledge the regal claims of the enemy, we have thought it more consistent with the general design of the poem to adopt a construction, which shows the advantages possessed by the enemy over the natives in point of numerical strength.
“Deg myrdd yn y rhiallu, deg rhiallu yn y vynta, a deg mynta yn y gatyrva.”
Ten myriads in the riallu ten times the riallu, in the mynta, ten mynta in the catyrva.
[150a] “Dyvu wyt,” dyvnwydd; or according to Gorch. Mael. dyvwn, i.e. Devon, the country of Geraint ab Erbin,—“Gwr dewr o goettir Dyvnaint.” (Llywarch Hen.)
[150b] “Yd wodyn,” from gwoddew, purpose or design. Al. “foddyn,” did they drown.
[150c] Qu. Carbantium in the province of Valentia?
[150d] Dyvynawl Vrych, or Donald Brec, who is said in the Scotch Chronicles to have been slain in the battle of Vraithe Cairvin, (qu. Carw van?) by Owain king of the Britons. He is introduced to our notice again in the Gododin.
[150e] Or, a bolt.
[150f] Pwyll in some of the pedigrees of Gwynvardd Dyved is said to be the son of Argoel, or Aircol Law Hir, son of Pyr y Dwyrain; but Mr. Davies in the “Rites and Mythology of the Druids,” states that he was the son of Meirig, son of Aircol, son of Pyr, which is rather confirmed by some other MS. Pedigrees. In Taliesin’s “Preiddeu Annwn,” he is mentioned, with his son Pryderi, as having joined Arthur in some perilous expeditions.
“Bu cywair carchar Gwair ynghaer Sidi
Trwy ebostol Pwyll a Phryderi.” &c.
Arranged was the prison of Gwair in Caer Sidi
By the ministration of Pwyll and Pryderi. &c. (Myv. Arch. i. 45.)
Pwyll is the hero of one of the Mabinogion.
[151a] Brwys; “of fine growth,” “large.”
[151b] Llywarch Hen speaks of a person of this name.
“Tywarchen Ercal ar âr dywal
Wyr, o edwedd Morial;
A gwedy Rhys mae rhysonial.” (Elegy on Cynddylan.)
The sod of Ercal is on the ashes of fierce
Men, of the progeny of Morial;
And after Rhys there is great murmuring of woe.
[151c] Al. “from the place where he was once overtaken.”
[151d] This stanza evidently contains a reproof to one of the British chiefs, who turned coward on the field of battle. The circumstances mentioned in the two first lines, that his shield was pierced behind him, “ar grymal carnwyd,” (on the crupper of his horse) would indicate that he was then in the act of fleeing, holding his shield in such a position, as best to protect his back from the darts of his pursuers. Of this the Bard remarks “ni mad,” it was not honourable, “non bene.”
[152a] Lit. “placed his thigh on.” Llywarch Hen gives quite a different account of his own son Pyll;—
“Mad ddodes ei vorddwyd dros obell
Ei orwydd, o wng ac o bell.” (On Old Age.)
Gracefully he placed his thigh over the saddle
Of his steed, on the near and farther side.
[152b] We may suppose that the Bard looks upon the dark hue of his accoutrements as ominous of a mournful and dishonourable result.
[152c] A sarcastic irony addressed to the coward himself, who probably had boasted of some heroic deeds that he would perform. Where are they? And where is this brave warrior? Not distinguishing himself on the field of battle; not entering cities in triumph; but in a cell gnawing the shoulder of a buck.
[152d] “Gell.” This word has a reference to “gell,” dark, and it may be that Aneurin regarded the one as typical of the other; that he thought the man who appeared in dark armour would eventually be found in a dark cellar. It is not clear whether this person secreted himself, or whether he was placed by his enemies in the “cell” here mentioned. If the former, we may regard his eating the venison as a further proof of his unwarlike character; if the latter, “cnoi angell bwch” may be considered as something tantamount to living upon bread and water in our days.
[152e] Al. “hwch,” a sow.
[152f] Al. “May triumph be far from his hand.”
[153a] See line 468. It may be inferred from this place that the person just spoken of had abandoned Gwen, which shows his character in still blacker colours.
[153b] See line 404. O shame upon the nameless knight, to flee where a woman fought!
[153c] “Dibennor;” this word may signify either the rabble who were not invested with military accoutrements, or such as had no regular commander, or the infantry as distinguished from the cavalry mentioned in the succeeding line. Though so many were ready to attack the Saxons, the circumstance could not inspire our hero(!) with any corresponding amount of patriotic feelings.
[153d] “It is well that Adonwy came, that Adonwy came to the defence of those that were left;
Bradwen fought, slaughtered, and burned;
Thou didst not guard either the extremity or the entrance
Of the towering town; thy helmet did I not behold from the sea,
From the rampart of the sea, O thou knight worse than a slave.”
[154a] This stanza refers to a conference, to which the Cymry were at length fain to submit.
[154b] Trimuntium, belonging to the Selgovæ, in Valentia. Al. “The dales beyond the ridges that were cultivated.”
[154c] “Gwas,” which means also youth. It is probable that the messenger or herald of the Saxons is here meant, who being of an avaricious mind made exorbitant demands, was “heb ymwyd,” could not keep his “gwyd,” his inclinations or desires, within his own breast. Nor was Aneurin on the other hand willing that his countrymen should make concessions; rather than that, he calls upon them to put forth their strength once more, and assert their rights on the field of battle.
[154d] Aneurin, addressing his country.
[154e] Al. “Plentiful.”
[154f] Llancarvan in Glamorganshire was anciently called by this name. Al. “tan veithin;” qu. tân eithin, gorze fire?
[154g] “Luthvin,” (glwth vin.) Al. “the edge of his sword gleamed.”
[154h] The Saxon herald.
[154i] “Gnaws gwan,” him, who was necessarily in a weak or defenceless state, namely the British herald.
[154j] By the “bulwark of toil” is probably understood Morien.
[155a] Being like him a Bard.
[155b] “Cynrennin.” Al. “expert.” The conference having been so egregiously violated by the assassination of the British herald, is immediately broken up, and the advice of Aneurin eagerly followed.
[155c] Their loquacity and haste had been greatly excited by liquor.
[155d] See Notes to stanza xxxviii.
[155e] The treacherous herald before mentioned.
[156a] Another way of construing these two lines would be,—
“Strangers to the country, their deeds shall be heard of;
The bright wave murmured along on its pilgrimage;”
in reference to the British heroes.
[156b] According to version 4,—
“Where they had collected together the most melodious deer.”
The deer were collected within the encampment for the purpose of supplying the army with food, or so as to be out of the reach of the enemy. The locality was probably that of Ban Carw, the Deer Bank.
[156c] Dyvynawl Brych.
[156d] I.e. no pacific insignia.
[156e] A moral reflection suggested by the perfidy of the Saxons at the conference of Llanveithin.
[156f] Morial is recorded in one of the Englynion y Beddau, (see line 348, note 2) as one who fell not unavenged. His name occurs in one of Llywarch Hen’s poems, (see line 495. note 2.) Meugant gives an account of the expedition of one Morial to Caer Lwydgoed (Lincoln) from whence he brought a booty of 1500 bullocks.
[156g] Or, “mutually sharing” the toils of war.
[157a] These two lines may be translated in reference to the Saxon herald;
“The stranger with the crimson robe pursued,
And slaughtered with axes and blades.”
[157b] “Cywrein.” Al. “The warriors arose, met together, and with one accord,” &c.
[157c] Or, “made the assault.”
[157d] Or, simply, “women.”
[157e] “Gwich,” a shriek; Al. “acted bravely.” Al. “were greatly exasperated;” or perhaps for “gwyth” we should read gweddw, “their wives they made widows.” Gruffydd ap yr Ynad Coch in his Elegy upon Llywelyn, (Myv. Arch. i. 396) makes use of similar sentiments, in the following lines,—
Llawer deigr hylithr yn hwylaw ar rudd
Llawer ystlys rhudd a rhwyg arnaw
Llawer gwaed am draed wedi ymdreiddiaw
Llawer gweddw a gwaedd y amdanaw
Llawer meddwl trwm yn tomrwyaw.
Llawer mam heb dad gwedi ei adaw
Llawer hendref fraith gwedi llwybrgodaith
A llawer diffaith drwy anrhaith draw
Llawer llef druan fal ban fu’r Gamlan.
Many a slippery tear sails down the cheek,
Many a wounded side is red with gore,
Many a foot is bathed in blood,
Many a widow raises the mournful shriek,
Many a mind is heavily troubled,
Many a son is left without a father,
Many an old grey town is deserted,
Many are ruined by yonder deed of war,
Many a cry of misery arises as erst on Camlan field.
[158a] Al. “Nor was there a hero (lew from glew)” &c. Al. “Nor was there a lion so generous, in the presence of a lion of the greatest course;” the latter description referring to some other chief of renown.
[158b] Or the cry, “dias;” being either the shout of battle, or the voice of distress.
[158c] “Angor,” from ang and gor; lit. a staying round, which indicates the city in question to have been of a circular form. Probably it was one of the forts which are so commonly seen on our hills.
[158d] That is, either the place where Bards were entertained, or where the deer were protected. See line 535.
[159a] “Gwryd,” manliness, as displayed in war.
[159b] I.e. Cynon.
[159c] Or, “wide.”
[159d] A similar expression has been used before (line 512) “nac eithaf na chynor.” A “clod heb or heb eithaf,” simply means immortal praise.
[159e] The distinguishing feature of this stanza is its prosopopæia, or its change of things into persons, as in the case of Hwrreith, Buddugre, and Rheiddyn, which are translated respectively Spoliation, Victory, and the Lance.
[159f] Eidol or Eidiol Gadarn is recorded as one of the three strong men of Britain, having, at the meeting on Salisbury plain, slain 660 Saxons with a billet of wood.
“Tri Gyrddion Ynys Prydain; Gwrnerth Ergydlym, a laddes yr arth mwyaf ac a welwyd erioed a saeth wellten; a Gwgawn Lawgadarn, a dreiglis maen Maenarch or glynn i ben y mynydd, ac nid oedd llai na thrugain ych ai tynnai; ac Eidiol Gadarn, a laddes o’r Saeson ym mrad Caersallawg chwechant a thrugain a chogail gerdin o fachlud haul yd yn nhywyll.” (Triad 60. third series.)
The time here specified “from sunset until dark,” will not be found to tally at all with the commencement of the fight at Cattraeth, which is said to have been “with the day,” and “with the dawn;” this circumstance is fatal to Davies’s theory.
The first lines of this stanza may be translated in divers ways, such as,—
“With a feast of wine and a banquet of mead, endowed
By Cynlaith, mother of Hwrraith, was the energetic Eidol.”
“With a feast of wine and a banquet of mead,
Did his brave (hwrraith from hwrdd) mother
The energetic Eidol.”
“With a feast of wine and a banquet of mead,
Did his mother Hwrraith
At the first fall of the dew (cyn llaith) enrich
The energetic Eidol.”
[160a] The hill on which the vanguard was stationed.
[160b] Waiting their prey.
[160c] “Cynydaw” (cnydiaw) to yield a crop. Cynydaw means also to rise; and we may thus construe the passage,—
“The foremost spearmen spring up around him.”
Another reading gives “cwydaw” to fall, in allusion to the slaughter of the men; adopting this expression, it would seem that “arnaw” was more applicable to “racvre,” the mount of the van.
[160d] “Glas heid,” (glas haidd) green barley. It is rather singular that the words, without the slightest alteration, will admit of another simile equally beautiful and appropriate, viz.—glas haid, a blue swarm of flies. The word glas may be indicative of the prevailing colour of the dress or armour of the men,
“As from the rocky cliff the shepherd sees
Clustering in heaps on heaps the driving bees,
Rolling, and blackening, swarms succeeding swarms,
With deeper murmurs and more hoarse alarms;
Dusky they spread, a close embodied crowd,
And o’er the vale descends the living cloud.” (Pope’s Homer, b. ii. l. 111.)
[161a] “Hedin;” this word seems of kindred nature with haidd (barley) and is here translated accordingly; (hedeg, to shoot out, or to ear, as corn.) Another version gives “hediw,” (heddyw, today.)
[161b] It is still very common in Wales to call the cause or origin of any thing by the name of mam: thus, for instance, we say “mam y drwg” of the chief instigator of mischief. What we are to understand by the “mother of the lance” it is not very easy to determine; it might have been courage or the sense of wrong, or quarrel, or any other cause which excited the Britons to fight.
[161c] Al. “They marched and chanted, clad in coat of mail.”
[162a] “Vawr dru,” &c. Al. “miserable hero.”
[162b] This confirms the view we have taken of the “milcant a thrychant” at line 86.
[162c] “Gloew dull;” in bright array. It may refer also to the viands.
[162d] “Mai;” Taliesin, in like manner, says of Urien, that he was,—
“Un yn darwedd
Gwin a mal a medd.”
One who was generous of wine, and bounty, and mead.
“Mal,” properly speaking, seems to have been a certain tribute, as above. Thus we read in Welsh legends;—
“He gave his domain of Clynog to God and to Beuno for ever, without either contribution or tax (heb na mal nac ardreth.”) (Buch. Beuno.)
“There is neither contribution nor tax, (na mal na threth) which we ought to pay.” (H. Car. Mag. Mabinogion.)
The word in the text may signify gifts or presents; or it may mean meal, (mâl, what is ground) in allusion to the more substantial portion of the feast.
[163a] Lit. “I am being ruined.”
[163b] Mynyddawg himself.
[163c] Al. “From amongst.”
[163d] That is, free and precipitate in his course, as a ball flies through the air. This simile seems to have been borrowed from a popular game among the Britons called pelre, which consisted in the beating of a ball backwards and forwards, and is alluded to by Taliesin in the following lines;
“Ceiniadon moch clywid eu govalon:
Marchawglu mor daer am Gaer Llion;
A dial Idwal ar Aranwynion
A gware pelre a phen Saeson.” (Myv. Arch. i. p. 73.)
Songsters, soon would their cares be heard;
An army of horsemen so harassing round Caer Llion;
And the revenge of Idwal on the Aranwynians;
And the playing of ball-buffetting with Saxon heads.
Al. “mab Pel;” Present the son of Pel.
[163e] “Hud:” has this word any reference to “hudwg,” a racket for ball playing?
[164a] “Ystryng;” from ys and tryng or trengu.
[164b] “Adan;” that is â dan, will go under. Lit. “under the red-stained warriors go the steeds,” &c. “Ymdan march,” is a well known phrase for mounting a horse.
[164c] The same, it may be, with Angar, one of the sons of Caw of Cwm Cawlwyd, and brother of Aneurin. A saying of his occurs in the Chwedlau’r Doethion. (Iolo MSS. pp. 256, 554.)
“A glyweist ti chwedl Angar
Mab Caw, Catfilwr clodgar?
Bid tonn calon gan alar.”
Hast thou heard the saying of Angar,
Son of Caw the celebrated warrior?
The heart will break with grief.
[164d] “Raen,” from rha, which is also the root of rhain, spears.
[164e] This passage, in another form, occurs three times in the Maelderw version and may be translated as follows;
“Angor, thou scatterer of the brave,
Serpent, piercing pike,
And immovable stone in the front of the army.”
[164f] Al. “Oppressor, dressed in thy shining white robes.”
[165a] “Gwaenawr.” Al. “The spears.” Al. “The stones.”
[165b] That is, the fosse of the Catrail, or that which surrounded one of the camps.
[165c] See lines 386, 524, 534. Al. “like ploughing the furrow.”
[165d] The Bard in this stanza evidently plays upon the names of three of the British heroes, showing how appropriately they represented their respective characters; Cywir, enwir; Merin, mur; Madien, mad. Perhaps it would be better to transpose the two first, and read the line as it occurs in one stanza of the Gorchan Maelderw;
“Enwir ith elwir oth gywir weithred.”
Enwir art thou named from thy righteous deed;
for in “Kilhwch and Olwen” we meet with a person bearing the name of Gweir Gwrhyd Ennwir, who is said to have been an uncle of Arthur, his mother’s brother.
[165e] “Bulwark of every tribe.” Al. “of every language.” Gorch. Maelderw.
[165f] Merin the son of Merini ab Seithenyn, king of the plain of Gwyddno, whose land was overflowed by the sea. He is said to have been the founder of the church of Llanverin, or Llanvetherin, Monmouthshire. In the Gorchan Maelderw Merin is called the son of Madieith.
[166a] Al. “Gwynedd.”
[166b] I.e. the drinking horn. “Dial;” Gorch. Mael. “to take vengeance for the contribution of mead.” Owain Cyveiliog alludes to this circumstance in his Poem on the Hirlas Horn;—
“Kigleu am dal met myned dreig Kattraeth.” (Myv. Arch. i. 266.)
That this author was acquainted with the Gododin appears further from the following,
“Nid ym hyn dihyll nam hen deheu;”
where he evidently refers to line 290 of our Poem.
[166c] “Cyvyringet,” those who met together between the two armies; from cyvrwng, cyd-rhwng.
[166d] “Cibno ced,” seems to have been the cup of drink presented to bards and minstrels by their entertainers. (See line 345.) Not even the speech inspiring influence of this cup, could elicit an adequate description of the slaughter which ensued at Cattraeth.
[167a] Or, “the gallantry of the glorious knight of conflict.”
[167b] Lit. “Ruddy reaping.” Al. “Ruddy reaper, thou pantest for war.”
[167c] Al. “Thou man of Gwynedd.”
[167d] Lit. “Thou unmanest;” di-mwng.
[167e] “Llain.” Al. “lance.”
[167f] The expression “until blood flows” is not in the original.
[167g] That glass vessels were used by the Britons in the sixth century is further proved by the testimony of Llywarch Hen, who speaks of
“Gwyr ni giliynt rhag ovn gwayw,
Ac yved gwin o wydr gloyw.” (Elegy upon Geraint)
Men who would not flinch from the dread of the spear,
And the quaffing of wine out of the bright glass.
[168a] “Ariant,” money contributed towards any thing; thus “ariant cwynos,” supper money, was paid by the gentry and freeholders towards the maintenance of the officers of the court; “ariant gwastrodion,” money of the equerries, was paid by the king’s tenants in villainage once a year, to furnish provender for his horses; “ariant am y vedd” would likewise be a contribution paid towards a banquet of mead. Gwaednerth made his enemies, as it were, pay him this tribute with the gold of their armour.
[168b] His history is unknown.
[168c] Or, “retinue.”
[168d] “Dyrraith;” law of fate; death,
[168e] Probably Ayr in Scotland, rather than Aeron in Wales.
[168f] Lit. “the head.”
[168g] I.e. the Clyde. Al. “The brown eagles.” Llywarch Hen speaks of “the brown eagles” (eryron llwyd) and of “the eagle with the brown beak,” (eryr pengarn llwyd.)
[169a] Lit. “Without reproach.”
[169b] Or, “From the region.”
[169c] Al. “Men of privilege.”
[169d] “Llogell;” a receptacle, a depository, a closet. It might here refer more particularly to the room which contained the viands. “Llogail” would be a wattled room.
[169e] The frequent repetition of the word “byd” in this stanza is remarkable.
[169f] Lit. “not without ambition.”
[169g] Eidol is specified by name as being the most indefatigable in his pursuit after mirth. A person of that name and character is mentioned in a poem attributed to Cuhelyn. See Myv. Arch. i. 164.
[169h] Or, “the grandson of Enovant.” Al. “One out of a hundred,” Cynddilig might have been the son of Cor Cnud, whose grave is recorded in the Englynion y Beddau. (Myv. Arch. i. 11.)
“Kian a ud diffaith cnud.
Draw o tuch pen bet alltud
Bet Cindilic mab Corknud.”
Or the son of Nwython, mentioned in the Bruts, (Myv. Arch. ii. 321) and Genealogy of the Saints. (Iolo MSS. 137.) Or else he might have been the son of Llywarch Hen,—
“Och Cynddilig, na buost wraig!”
Oh, Cynddilig, why wert thou not a woman!
(Elegy on Old Age.)
The mention made of Aeron in the foregoing stanza naturally led the Bard to speak in this of a chieftain connected therewith.
[170a] Were it not for the anachronism we should be induced to regard this lady as none other than Elen the daughter of Eudav, prince of Erging and Euas, and wife of Macsen Wledig; heroine also of a Romance entitled “The Dream of Macsen Wledig.” As Macsen, however, is known to have been put to death as early as the year 388, Elen’s life could not possibly have been so protracted as to enable her to take a part in the battle of Cattraeth.
[170b] “Dieis.” Al. “her thrusts were penetrating.”
[171a] “Meiwyr,” men of the field. Al. “Meinir,” the slender maid, which might refer to the daughter of Eudav.
[171b] The Gorchan Maelderw clearly indicates that the fire was kindled in the presence of the army, and not for religious purposes before the Deity.
[171c] This stanza explains the expression used in line 116. Seven days, then, we may suppose, formed the whole space of time during which the events related in the Gododin occurred. The action of Homer’s Iliad occupied nearly fifty days.
[171d] The daily operations are somewhat differently stated in the fragments of the Gododin, which are appended to “Gorchan Maelderw.” There they are as follows,—
“On Tuesday they put on their splendid robes;
On Wednesday bitter was their assembly;
On Thursday messengers formed contracts;
On Friday there was slaughter;
On Saturday they dealt mutual blows;
On Sunday they were pierced by ruddy weapons;
On Monday a pool of blood knee deep was seen.”
[172a] See lines 27, &c. It would appear as if the three lines at the end of the stanza were appended to it by some compiler, merely on account of their uniformity of rhyme.
[172b] Lit, “At the early arising morn,” or “quickly rising in the morning.”
[172c] “Aber;” the junction of rivers; the fall of a lesser river into a greater, or into the sea. By metaphor, a port or harbour.
[172d] Or more definitely,—“Occurred the battle of Aber in front of the course.”
[172e] Or “a breach was made, and the knoll was pervaded with fire.”
[172f] The stanza is imperfect, which accounts for the omission of the hero’s name. From the Gorchan Maelderw we would infer that he was Gwair one of the three “taleithiawg cad,” or coronetted chiefs of battle. (Myv. Arch. ii. 12.)
[172g] Probably, the valuables collected within the encampment on the hill.
[173a] This word may be taken either in its literal sense, as alluding to the birds of prey that devoured the dead bodies, or else metaphorically as denoting the warriors themselves. In the latter sense Casnodyn uses it in the following passage;
Eryr tymyr gwyr, gweilch disaesneg.”
Cynan, the eagle of the land of men, who are heroes with no English.
In this sense “gwrwnde” would necessarily allude to the colour of the men’s habiliments.
[173b] The stanza is thus varied in Gorchan Maelderw,
“At the early dawn of morn they marched
To conflict, headed by the king in front of the course;
Gwair was greeted by the fluid gore
In the van of the battle;
He was a beloved friend.
In the day of distress
The wealth of the mountain, the place,
And the forward beam of war, wore a murky hue.” (Gorch. Mael.)
[173c] “Eilin;” in a second; another reading has “meitin,” a word of similar import, signifying a space of time.
[173d] “Aber;” ut supra.
[173e] The Catrail, or else the vallum of our hero’s camp.
[173f] That is, single handed he faces a hundred men of the enemy.
[174a] That you should have committed such a slaughter with the same coolness and indifference, as if you were merely revelling over your mead.
[174b] “Dynin,” the dwarf, who had killed the British herald, contrary to the law of war. Al, “ * * * with the edge and stroke of the sword, the fierce warrior.”
“It was such a thrust to the little man.” (Gorch. Mael.)
[174c] “Mor ddiachor;” it may be also translated “how unrestrainedly.” The Gorchan Maelderw has it “mor diachar,” how unamiably, which seems to be required by the rhythmical run of the passage;
“Oed mor diachar
Yt wanei escar.”
[174d] It is not quite clear whether this person be the same with the one mentioned in stanza lli. or whether another event, of a similar character with that described therein, be not here introduced. We are inclined, however, to consider both passages as referring to the same act of treachery.
[174e] Probably from the top of the rampart.
[174f] “Cynyt,” (cynnud) fire wood. The bushes growing out of the sides of the vallum checked not his fall. Al. “Cywydd,” his song; though this word derived from cy and gwydd, may likewise have the same meaning as the former.
[174g] “Cywrenhin,” (cywreinin) accurate, elaborate; well formed, handsome. If it may be taken actively, the meaning in this place would be skilful or talented, which epithet would apply well to him as a bard.
[175a] It will be recollected that the “gorgeous pilgrim,” (line 534) broke down the encampment; on the supposition, then, that he was identical with the “foe” mentioned in the last stanza, we may imagine him encountering Owain with his badge of truce at the very breach he was making, and that he then and there put him to death. It is not impossible, however, but that Owain was another herald who renewed the offer of peace, after the death of the “delight of the bulwark of toil,” and that both were dishonourably slain by the same perfidious messenger.
[175b] That is, he was entitled in right of his office, as herald, to every protection and safety, whilst engaged in proposing terms of peace.
[175c] Lit. “The best branch.” “The wand denotes privilege.” See Iolo MSS. p. 634.
[175d] Lit. “due.”
[175e] “Three things are forbidden to a bard; immorality, to satirize, and to bear arms.” (Institutional Triads.)
[175f] Quasi dicat, “did not wear one.”
[176a] That is, avenge his death. There is a reference here to the custom of distributing gifts out of a coffer, suggested by the similarity between the expressions “pridd prenial,” the earthly shrine or coffin, and “prid prenial,” the price chest.
[176b] “Barn ben” might have the sense of adjudged to lose her head, capitis damnata; in which case the passage would be translated as follows:—
“It was a violation of privilege to sentence a woman to death.”
The other construction is, however, more especially countenanced by a similar expression in “Gwasgargerdd Vyrddin” where the meaning is obvious.
“Pan dyvo y brych cadarn
Hyt yn Rhyt Pengarn
Lliwaut gwyr treuliaut Karn
Pendevic Prydein yno pen Barn;” (Myv. Arch. i. 132.)
And on that account is preferred here. There is reason to think that the Lady in question is the daughter of Eudav, already mentioned, upon whose message, as well as that of Mynyddawg, “the gay and the illustrious tribes,” proceeded to Cattraeth. It is observable, as confirmatory of this view, that Eidol was introduced into our notice before in the stanza immediately preceding that in which she is celebrated.
[176c] “Iaen,” like ice.
[177a] “Rhy,” excessively.
[177b] “Gwlad gordd,” “gwrdd werydd.” In the Triads Eidol is called one of the three gyrddion of the Isle of Britain. (Triad, 60.)
[177c] The agricultural character of the usual employments of the early Britons in times of peace, is clearly inferred from the frequent use of the word “medel,” in reference to their soldiery.
[177d] Or, “He sounded for steeds, he sounded for harness.”
[177e] “Am grudd;” his cheeks all around.
[177f] Or, “the ribs.”
[178a] The Cymry were thus styled to distinguish them from the Saxons, who were pagans. See supra, line 365.
[178b] “Amnant,” from “avn,” boldness, courage.
[178c] “Cell;” a cell, a closet, a grove. Perhaps it here means a house, or habitation in general.
[178d] Lit. the room, or chamber.
[178e] “Yt vyddei dyrllyddei;” where was, where was brewed; or, “where it was wont to brew.”
[178f] A person of the name of “Gwres the son of Rheged,” is mentioned in the “Dream of Rhonabwy,” in conjunction with Owain ab Urien. Gwrys seems to have been a Venedotian chief.
[178g] The Welsh poets frequently represent a man of worth, as a ced, or a gift.
[178h] As the Lloegrians have been shown before to be clearly amongst the enemies of the British chiefs, (see line 547) the meaning of this sentence is, that the hero under consideration was the conqueror, or the master of the Lloegrians; and that he thus marshalled them against their will. In like manner Einion ab Gwalchmai describes Llywelyn as,—
“Llywelyn llew glwys, Loegrwys lugyrn.”
Llywelyn the amiable lion, the torch of the Lloegrians.
[178i] “Attawr;” al. “allawr,” the altar. A metaphor borrowed from the discipline of the church, and in keeping with the title of saints, by which the chieftain and his followers are designated.
[179a] Lit. “the battle of sovereignty,”
[179b] “Cynnest,” Al. “cyn cywest,” “before thou art allied to the earth,” before thou formest an acquaintance or connection with the earth by falling thereon.
[179c] “Gorffin;” the Catrail.
[179d] We have repeatedly seen that fire was resorted to in this war, for the purpose of annoying or destroying the adversary, or else in self defence, with the view of keeping him at bay. On the part of the Britons the fire department seems to have been presided over by Morien; and indeed the title “Mynawc,” which we have here translated high-minded, and which is elsewhere connected with the name of Morien, would induce us to infer that the Bard, in the above stanza, is presenting us once more with a prospect of that hero surrounded by his own blazing engines.
[179e] “Lluyddawg.” Al. “The successful (llwyddawg) bitter-handed, high-minded chief;” who may have been Llyr lluyddawg. (Tr. xxiii.)
[180a] The contrast between his conduct in war and his domestic character is here noticed.
[180b] I.e. the enemy.
[180c] Or, “we are called to the sea and the borders, (or to the harbours “cynnwr,” from cyn-dwfr) to engage in the conflict.”
[180d] Lit. “Sharpened iron.”
[180f] “Sychyn,” a small ploughshare. Doubtless a weapon resembling it, and bearing the same name. Al. “Syrthyn,” “They fell headlong with a clang.”
[180g] We have adopted this as a proper name from its similarity to Fflewddur Fflam, the name of one of the three sovereigns of Arthur’s court, who preferred remaining with him as knights, although they had territories and dominions of their own.
“Tri unben Llys Arthur; Goronwy ab Echel Forddwydtwll, a Chadraith ab Porthor Godo; a Fleidur Fflam mab Godo; sef oeddent yn Dywysogion yn Berchennogion Gwlad a Chyfoeth, a gwell oedd ganddynt no hynny aros yn Farchogion yn Llys Arthur, gan y bernid hynny yn bennaf ar bob anrhydedd a bonheddigeiddrwydd, a ellid wrth ygair y Tri Chyfiawn Farchawg.” (Triad, 114, third series.)
If, however, it be not a proper name, the line might be rendered,—
“A successful warrior, flaming in steel, before the enemy.”
[181a] “Dinus;” from “din,” a fort, and “ysu,” to consume.
[181b] “Gwych.” Al. “the angry.”
[181c] Or, “the honourable.”
[181d] “Echadaf,” i.e. “ech,” εχ ex, and “adav,” a hand.
[181e] A person of this name is ranked in the Triads as one of the three “trwyddedawg hanvodawg,” or free guests of the court of Arthur. (Myv. Arch. ii. 73 )
[181f] Or, “the sovereign of the impregnable strand, or extremity of Gododin,” traeth y annor (an nhor.)
[182a] “Am rann, (i.e. amrant.) See line 40.
[182b] The city of Mynyddawg, from whence he was called Mynyddawg Eiddyn.
[182c] Or, “The raging flame turns not from Eiddyn.”
[182d] Or, “at the entrance or gate.”
[182e] “Trusi;” al. “trin;” “he placed a thick cover in front of the battle.”
[182f] The effects of his toil in battle.
[182g] Al. “O goledd,” by arrangement, being actuated by the same motive as that which induced Gwrgan the Freckled long before to “enact a law that no one should bear a shield, but only a sword and bow;” hence it is said, “his countrymen became very heroic.” (Iolo MSS. p. 351.)
[183a] Lit. “the strand supported.” Traeth means also the extremity of a district, and may accordingly be applied here to the boundary line between Gododin and the British dominions.
[183b] “Periglawr;” one who has to do with what is extreme, or dangerous; one who administers extreme unction; a parish priest.
[183c] Al. “penifeddawr,” giddy-headed. Al. “penufuddawr” having an obedient head—rein-obeying.
[183d] Al. “The mounted spearman.”
[183e] Another reading gives “Odren” but the one adopted above suits the rhyme better.
[183f] There is a reference here to some pagan ceremonies to which the Saxons had recourse, for the purpose either of propitiating their gods, or of receiving omens at their altars.
[184a] A body of British soldiers under the command of Nwython son of Gildas, and nephew of Aneurin, seem to have taken advantage of the peculiar position of the enemy, who were now probably unarmed, and to have attacked them, which caused the latter, as usual, to seek refuge by flight in one of the neighbouring forts. That we are right in adopting Nwython as a proper name would appear, moreover, from two different passages in the fragments of the Gododin subjoined to Gorchan Maelderw, where “the son of Nwython,” is distinctly mentioned as one of the heroes that fell at Cattraeth.
[184b] Donald Brec, or as he is called in Latin, Dovenal Varius, king of the Scots, who was slain by Owain, king of the Strathclyde Britons in the battle of Vraithe Cairvin, otherwise Calatros, which in sound somewhat resembles Galltraeth, or Cattraeth. It is true that the Scottish chronicles assign a much later date to that event, than the era of the Gododin, nevertheless as they themselves are very inconsistent with one another on that point, giving the different dates of 629, 642, 678 and 686, it is clear that no implicit deference is due to their chronological authority, and that we may, therefore, reasonably acquiesce in the view which identifies Dyvnwal Vrych, with Donald Brec, seeing the striking similarity which one name bears to the other.
[184c] Supposing the person who killed Donald to be the same with Owain, son of Urien, there may be here an allusion to his men as well as to the birds of prey. See line 18 note one.
[184d] Lit. “The bone;” even as it is popularly said at this day that a man who gives great support to another is his back bone.
“Caletach wrth elyn nog asgwrn.”
Harder to an enemy than a bone. (Elegy on Cunedda.)
[185a] Or, “whilst the foes range the sea.”
[185b] Lit. “It was his characteristic or property.”
[185c] “Naw rhiallu;” the literal amount of this force would be 900,000; “naw,” however, may have here the meaning of “nawv,” floating; “naw rhiallu,” a fleet.
[185d] “Gorddinau;” from “gorddin,” what impels or drives forward; or the word may mean tribes, from “cordd”; and then the passage would be:
“In the face of blood, of the country, and of the tribes.”
[185e] Cynddilig was introduced to our notice before, (line 645) as a person who loved the world in company with the melody-seeking Eidol.
[186a] Or, “as the alternative.”
[186b] That this is a proper name, appears from the following passage in Taliesin’s “Canu y Cwrw;”—
“Ev cyrch cerddorion
Se syberw Seon
Neu’r dierveis i rin
[186c] Or, “who caused the stream of blood.”
[186d] Gwenddoleu ap Ceidiaw is recorded in the Triads as the head of one of the three “teulu diwair,” or faithful tribes of the Isle of Britain, because his men maintained the war for six weeks after he was slain in the battle of Arderydd, A.D. 577. He is also joined with Cynvar and Urien, under the title of the three “tarw cad” or bulls of battle, on account of their impetuosity in rushing upon the enemy.
[187a] “Pen o draed;” from head to foot. Not, as Davies translates it, “from the highest to the lowest,” as is evident from a similar phrase in Cynddelw, (Myv. Arch. vol. i. p. 220.)
“Yd kwytynt pennawr penn o draed;”
where the word “pennawr” refers to one particular rank, if not to an individual.
[187b] See line 344.
[187c] See line 324.
[187d] See line 335.
[187e] Lit. “after their conflict.”
[188a] “Tra;” “whilst the gory pool continued to fill.”
[188b] “Erchyn;” al. “echyn,” “and slew them like a hero; they were not saved.”
[188c] Or, “he darted with the spear,” or, “they were prostrated with the spear.”
[188d] “A medd,” with the mead. He abandoned the social banquet, or a life of luxury, at the call of public duty.
[188e] Al. “Is there a place where the people do not relate the greatness of his counsel?”
[188f] “Bwylliadau,” (i.e. bwyelliadau) the strokes of his battle-axe. Another version gives “bwyll yaddeu,” which may be rendered, “Pwyll assaulted.”
“With a rush Pwyll made the assault.”
[188g] “Lliveit handit;” which were sharpened.
[188h] Al. “Where his founding blade was seen.”
[189a] Or, “maintenance for.”
[189b] There were two persons who bore this name in the sixth century, the one was Pryderi the son of Dolor, chief of the people of Deivyr and Bryneich, and was distinguished with Tinwaed and Rhineri, under the epithet of the three strong cripples of the isle of Britain:
“Tri Gwrddvaglawg ynys Prydain; Rhineri mab Tangwn; a Thinwaed Vaglawg; a Phryderi mab Doler Deivr a Bryneich.” (Triad, 75.)
The other was Pryderi, the son of Pwyll Pen Annwn, a chieftain of Dyved, which country is by Lewis Glyn Cothi called “Gwlad Pryderi;” and by Davydd ab Gwilym, “Pryderi dir.” He is styled one of the three strong swineherds of Britain, having tended the swine of Pendaran his foster father, during the absence of his father in the unknown world.
“Tri Gwrddveichiad ynys Prydain; cyntav vu Pryderi vab Pwyll Pendaran Dyved, a getwis voch ei dad tra yttoedd yn Annwn; ac yng nglyn Cwch yn Emlyn y cetwis eve wynt.” &c. (Triad, 101.)
In the Tale of Math Mathonwy, he is said to have been buried at Maen Tyriawg, near Ffestiniog. We may therefore presume that the Englynion y Beddau refer to the other in the following passage;
“Yn Abergenoli y mae Bet Pryderi
Yn y terau tormeu tir.”
In Abergenoli is the grave of Pryderi,
Where the waves beat against the shore.
A saying of Pryderi has been thus recorded;—
“Hast thou heard the saying of Pryderi,
The wisest person in counselling?
There is no wisdom like silence.” (Iolo MSS. p. 661.)
[190a] “Pryderaf,” I am anxious about; a word suggested by the name of the chief.
[190b] A result brought about by the arrival of Pryderi’s troops.
[190c] “Have I been afflicted.”
[190d] “Celaig;” from cel, the root also of Celtiaid and Celyddon.
[190e] There were two territories of this name, Argoed Derwennydd, (Derwent wood apparently) and Argoed Calchvynydd, “between the river Tren and the river Tain, that is the river of London.” (Iolo MSS. p. 476.) One of them, the former probably, was the patrimony of Llywarch Hen.
“Cyn bum cain vaglawg, bum cyfes eiriawg,
Ceinvygir ni eres;
Gwyr Argoed eirioed a’m porthes.” (Elegy on Old Age.)
Before I appeared with crutches, I was eloquent in my complaint,
It will be extolled, what is not wonderful—
The men of Argoed have ever supported me!
[191a] “Gwal.” “The Cymmry appropriated this name to regions that were cultivated and had fixed inhabitancy, as opposed to the wilds, or the unsettled residences of the Celtiaid, Celyddon, Gwyddyl, Gwyddelod, Ysgotiaid, and Ysgodogion; which are terms descriptive of such tribes as lived by hunting and tending their flocks.” (Dr. Pughe, sub. voce.) Both descriptions of persons are thus included in the Bard’s affectionate regret. Al. “accustomed at the rampart.”
[191b] “Pwys;” pressure or weight. Or perhaps “arlwydd pwys” means “the legitimate lord,” in opposition to usurpers, just as a wedded wife is styled “gwraig bwys,” as distinguished from a concubine.
[191c] “Dilyvn;” or perhaps “dylyvn,” smooth.
[191d] Al. “rekindled.”
[191e] “Gosgroyw,” rather fresh.
[191f] Geraint, the son of Erbin, was prince of Dyvnaint, (Devon) and one of the three owners of fleets of the Isle of Britain, each fleet consisting of 120 ships, and each ship being manned by 120 persons.
“Tri Llynghesawg ynys Prydain; Geraint mab Erbin; Gwenwynwyn mab Nav; a March mab Meirchion; a chweugain llong gan bob un o’r Llynghesogion, a chweugain llongwyr ymhob llong.” (Triad 68, Third series.)
Llywarch Hen wrote an Elegy upon Geraint, in which the place of his death is thus mentioned;—
“Yn Llongborth y llas Geraint,
Gwr dewr o goettir Dyvnaint,
Wyntwy yn lladd gyd a’s lleddaint.”
At Llongborth was Geraint slain,
A strenuous warrior from the woodland of Dyvnaint,
Slaughtering his foes as he fell.
Geraint ab Erbin was the grandfather of Aneurin, but as he died in king Arthur’s time, A.D. 530, we can hardly identify him with the Geraint of the text, who probably was a son, or some other relation, that had inherited his fleet.
[192a] “Llwch gwyn,” probably “Vanduara,” Gwyn Dwr, or White Water, which seems to have been one of the old designations of a river in Renfrewshire. (See Caledonia Romana, p. 143.) Adar y y llwch gwyn, the birds of the white lake, is a mythological epithet for vultures. Their history is recorded in the Iolo MSS. p. 600.
[192b] Al. “There was a white badge on his shield.”
[192c] Lit. “his anchor.”
[192d] “Cyman,” “cydvan,” (i.e. cyd man) the place of gathering. Al. “his broken anchor.”
[192e] It is not improbable that the eagle was charged on Geraint’s standard, for it is also frequently alluded to in Llywarch Hen’s Elegy—e.g.
“Oedd re redaint dan vorddwyd Geraint,
Garhirion, grawn odew,
Rhuddion, rhuthr eryron glew.”
Under the thigh of Geraint were fleet runners,
With long hams, fattened with corn;
They were red ones; their assault was like the bold eagles.
[193a] “Lledvegin,” an animal partly reared in a domestic way. We have chosen the lamb as being one of the animals most commonly reared in this manner. Nevertheless, a previous wildness, with reference to the military aspect of his character, might be intended to be conveyed in this epithet.
“Lledvegyn is a kine, or what shall be tamed in a house; namely, such as a fawn, or a fox, or a wild beast similar to those.” (Welsh Laws.)
[193b] “Rhan,” see lines 40 and 732.
[193c] Or, “He presided over the feast, pouring from the horn the splendid mead.” So Cynddelw,—
“Baran lew llew lloegyr oual
Lleduegin gwin gwyrt uual.” (Myv. Arch. v. i. p. 225.)
[193d] As the natural consequence of military operations.
[193e] “Llawr llaned,” ground of smooth surface. Al. “llanwed,” every region was filled with slaughter.
[193f] “Hual amhaval,” like a fetter. “Avneued” from “avn,” courage.
[194a] The sound of the name, in connection with the word “hual,” in a former line, makes it very probable that the hero mentioned was of the tribe of Caswallon Law Hir, celebrated as one of the “hualogion deulu” of the Isle of Britain, called so because the men bound themselves together with the
“hualau,” or fetters of their horses, to sustain the attack of Serigi Wyddel, whom Caswallon slew with his own hand, when he drove the Irish out of Anglesey.
“Tri hualogion teulu Y. P. Teulu Caswallon Llawhir a ddodasant hualeu eu Meirch ar eu traed pob deu o naddynt wrth ymladd a Serigi Wyddel yng Cerrig y Gwyddyl y Mon, a theulu Rhiwallon mab Uryen yn ymladd ar Saeson, a theulu Belyn o Leyn yn ymladd ag Etwyn ym mryn Ceneu yn Rhos.” (Triad 49, first series.)
Caswallon Law Hir was the son of Einion Yrth ab Cunedda Wledig, king of Gododin. He succeeded to the sovereignty of North Wales, A.D. 443, and is said to have died in 517. There was a Cas son of Seidi, who was one of the heroes of Arthur’s Court.
[194b] A hundred in the middle part of North Wales, so called from Rhuvon son of Cunedda Wledig, whose inheritance it was.
[194c] Probably the enemy.
[194d] Or, “the shout was raised.”
[194e] Cadvorion, i.e. cad-vawrion; or, it may be, more literally, cad-vorion, “martial ants,” in reference to their activity.
[194f] Lit. “warning.”
[195a] Lit. “prepared.”
[195b] The popular air “Nos Galan” is supposed to have been a relic of the musical entertainments of this season.
[195c] A chieftain of Mona, the land that enjoyed “the valour of Ervei;” see his Elegy by Taliesin apud Myv. Arch. v. i. p. 70. Ervei was also engaged in the battle of Cattraeth;—
“Red speared was Urvei before the lord of Eiddin.” (Gorch. Mael.)
[195d] That is, in domestic life he was as refined as a lady, modest as a virgin, whilst in war he was brave and high minded.
[195e] The word “teyrn” reminds us of a line which countenances the theory we suggested relative to the expression “edyrn diedyrn,” in stanza xv. but which we omitted to mention in its proper place. It occurs in the “Elegy on Cunedda.” (Myv. Arch. i. p. 71) as follows;—
“Rhag mab edern cyn edyrn anaelew.”
“Before the son of Edeyrn ere his kingdom became fearful.”
[196a] This warrior was probably of the family of Urien Rheged, for a grandson of his, the celebrated Kentigern, was called Cyndeyrn Garthwys. Arthwys son of Ceneu ab Coel was too early for the battle of Cattraeth.
[196b] Tinogad was the son of Cynan Garwyn, and was celebrated for his swift steed, named Cethin.
“Tri marchlwyth ynys Prydain—ar ail marchlwyth aduc Cornann March meibion Eliffer gosgortuawr, a duc Gwrgi a Pheredur arnaw, ac nys gordiuedawd neb namyn Dinogat vab Kynan Garwyn yar y Kethin kyvlym ac aruidiawt ac aglot a gauas yr hynny hyd hediw.” (Triad 11, second series.)
[196c] The possession of slaves, whether of native origin, or derived from the custom of the Romans, prevailed to some extent among the Britons of the fifth and sixth century, and seems to have denoted a certain degree of power on the part of the owners. Taliesin the Druid boasts that he had received “a host of slaves,” (torof keith) from his royal patron Cunedda Wledig. (Myv. Arch. v. i. p. 71.)
[197a] “Bar,” al. “ban,” on the heights.
[197b] Or, the chief, the best.
[197c] Many places in Wales bear the name of this animal, where it appears to have been common in ancient times, such as “Bryn yr iwrch,” “Ffynon yr iwrch,” and the like. Hunting the roebuck is recognised in the Welsh Laws; and is called one of the three cry hunts (helva ddolev.)
“Mi adaen iwrch er nas daliwyv.” (Adage.)
I know a roebuck, though I may not catch him.
[197d] “Derwenydd;” Derventio, the river Derwent in Cumberland.
[197e] “Llewyn a llwyvein.” It is difficult to ascertain the particular animals which these terms respectively represent. The former might denote a young lion, a white lion, or any beast in general to whose eating faculties the word llewa would be applicable. The latter might signify any animal whose haunts were the elm forests, or whose property was to llyvu or to lick, as does a dog. The fox being named llwynog from llwyn a forest, and the forests in the North being chiefly of elm, it is not unlikely but that the said animal was frequently called llwyvain in that part of the country when the Bard wrote, though it is not known now by that name. It is remarkable that both terms also signify certain kinds of wood. The former the herb orach, the latter the elm.
[197f] Al. “None would escape.”
[198a] “Angcyvrwng;” lit. “were he to place me without an intervening space,” that is, were he to straiten me on every side.
[198b] When any thing is taken away or used, or when any thing is done, the owner not knowing it, or without asking his leave, it is called Anghyvarch. “Anghyvarchwyr,” extortioners. W. Salesbury, 1 Cor. v.
[198c] Lit. “There would not come, there would not be to me, one more formidable.”
[198d] The head of the river Clyde in Scotland.
[198e] “Veruarch.” Morach Morvran is often mentioned by the poets on account of his celebrated banquet.
“Cygleu yn Maelawr gawr vawr vuan,
A garw ddisgyr gwyr a gwyth erwan;
Ac ymgynnull, am drull, am dramwyan,
Mal y bu yn Mangor am ongyr dan;
Pan wnaeth dau deyrn uch cyrn cyvrdan,
Pan vu gyveddach Morach Morvran.”
In Maelor the great, the hastening shout was heard,
And the dreadful shrieks of men with gashing wounds in pain;
And together thronging to seek a cure, round and round they strayed,
As it was in Bangor for the fire of the brunt of spears;
When over horns two princes caused discord,
While in the banquet of Morach Morvran. (Owain Cyveiliog.)
[199a] This stanza evidently refers to the same transaction as that which is recorded in the lxxxth, though the details are somewhat differently described.
[199b] One of these, we may presume, was Dyvnwal Vrych.
[199c] The whole line may be thus translated;
“I saw the men, who with the dawn, dug the deep pit.” Al. “I saw at dawn a great breach made in the wall at Adoen.”
[199d] See stanza lii.
[199f] “Yr enwyd.”
[200a] Gwarthan the son of Dunawd by Dwywe his wife, “who was slain by the pagan Saxons in their wars in the north.” (Iolo MSS. p. 556.)
[200b] Or, “let it be forcibly seized in one entire region.”
[200c] An allusion to his incarceration, see lines 440, 445.
[200d] Gardith; i.e. garw deith (or teithi.)
[200e] Tithragon; i.e. teith-dragon.
[200f] A pitched battle.
“Gwr yn gware a Lloegyrwys.” (Cynddelw.)
A man playing with the Lloegrians.
[200g] Or, “did he bring and supply.”
[200h] “Tymyr;” native place.
[201a] “Dyvnuyt;” see also stanza, xlviii.
[201b] One of the officers appointed to the command of Geraint’s fleet.
[201c] This stanza, with the exception of a few words, is the same with the lxxxix.
[201d] Or “valiantly.”
[201e] “Gwelydeint,” from “gwelyd,” a wound; or “gwelyddeint,” they took repose in the grave.
[201f] Al. “with the gory trappings,” as in the other stanza.
[202a] Al. “a dau,” the two sons, and two haughty boars.
[202b] Al. “riein,” a lady.
[202c] Cilydd was the son of Celyddon Wledig, and father of Cilhwch who is the hero of an ancient dramatic tale of a singular character.
[202d] In a former stanza he is called Garthwys Hir.
[202e] “Nod;” is a conspicuous mark.
[203a] See stanza xl.
[203b] “Dyli,” condition or impulse.
[203c] “Vracden;” from “brag,” a sprouting out, and “ten,” stretched.
[203d] The Irish.
[203e] The inhabitants of Scotland.
“Hon a oresgyn
Holl Loegr a Phrydyn.” (Taliesin.)
She will conquer
All England and Scotland.
[203f] “Giniaw,” from “cyni,” affliction.
[204a] “Cemp,” i.e. “camp,” a feat, surpassingly.
[204b] Or, “at his side.”
[204c] Al. “Arreith;” i.e. “a rhaith;” “the sentence of the law was that they should search;” or “the jury searched.” Al. “in various directions they searched.”
[204d] Probably the Cantii or people of Kent.
[204e] If the stanza, however, is not properly completed here, we may assign the sigh to Gwenabwy himself, in reference probably to his father, as in the preceding stanza.