Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

THE

CAMBRIAN WREATH;

Poems, Historical, Legendary, and Humorous.

THE INUNDATION OF CANTREV Y GWAELOD.

From the Welsh of Gwyddno Garanhîr.

By Anthony Todd Thomson, Esq.

GWYDDNO GARANHIR was a prince and bard of the sixth century; his domain was called Cantrev y Gwaelod, the Lowland Hundred,” a fine champaign district, said to extend from Harlech in North Wales, to St. David's head, in South Wales, and; according to the Welsh historical Triads, to have filled the space now occupied by the “ tempestuous bay of Cardigan,” having in it sixteen fortified towns, surpassing all in Wales except Caerlleon on Uske. couplet from an ancient Welsh bard has become an adage in Cardiganshire, when any great tribulation takes place, the sufferer's pain is compared to

Ochenaid Gwyddno Garanhir,
Pan droes y don dros ei dir.
“The sigh of Gwyddno Garanhir,
When o'er his land rush'd waves se vere."

Come forth, Seithenyn! and behold,
Waste is the land of heroes bold:
Lo! bursting o'er his wonted shores,
On Gwyddno's plains wild Ocean roars.

Accursed, Awrfin, ever be,
Who, after wine, let in the sea !
Let deep Gwenestr's raging flood,
O'erwhelm the plains where Gwyddno stood.
Accursed Mactaith, whose fatal spleen
When hush'd the battle's changing din,
Loosed deep Gwenestr's gloomy wave
O’er Gwyddno’s fertile plains to rave.
Hark! from the brow of hoary Caer,
Mererid's wailings fill the air!
Or soon, or late, Fate's vengeful blow
Still lays the proud oppressor low.
From Caer's high brow, smit by despair,
Mererid lifts his voice in prayer ;
Check'd is oppression's towering pride,
That whilom heaven itself defied.
From Gwinau comes Mererid's moan,
The chair of Cedawl is overthrown;
Where joyous plenty ruled the scene,
Gaunt, griping penury is seen.
Mererid's groans oppress my soul,
Mirth, beauty, or the sparkling bowl,
Can to me nought of joy bestow,
God lays the proud destroyer low.
Dismal this night Mererid's cry
Compels me from my couch to fly;
Check'd is oppression's haughty stride,
Destruction overwhelms his pride.

ELPHIN'S CONSOLATION.

From the Welsh of Taliesin.

PENNANT, who introduces this poem in his “ Tour," says ;The history of our famous bard (Taliesin) begins like that of oses. He was found, exposed on the water, wrapped in a leathern 1g, in a fishing wear which had been granted to Elphin, son of wyddno Garanhîr, a petty prince of Cantrev y Gwaelod for $ support. The young prince, reduced by his extravagance, irst into tears at finding, as he imagined, so unprofitable booty. He took pity on the infant, and caused proper care be taken of him. After this Elphin prospered ; and Taliesin, hen he grew up, addressed to him the following moral ode. take the liberty of using the beautiful translation, which a ir countrywoman of mine has lately favored the world."

1.

ELPHIN ! fair as roscate morn,
Cease, O lovely youth ! to mourn;
Mortals never should presume
To dispute their Maker's doom.
Feeble race, too blind to scan
What the Almighty deigns for man;
Humble hope be still thy guide,
Steady faith thy only pride ;
Then despair will fade away,
Like demons at the approach of day.
Cunllo's prayers acceptance gain,
Goodness never sues in vain :
He who form’d the sky is just,
In him alone, O Elphin! trust.
See ! glist’ning spoils in shoals appear,
Fate smiles this bour on Gwyddoo's wear.

II.

Elphin fair ! the clouds dispel That on thy lovely visage dwell! Wipe, ah wipe, the pearly tear, Nor let thy manly bosom fear: What good can melancholy give? 'Tis bondage in her train to live. Pungent sorrows doubts proclaim, Ill suit those doubts a Christian's name. Thy great Creator's wonders trace His love divine to mortal race; Then doubt, and fear, and pain will fly, And hope beam radiant in thine eye. Behold me, least of human kind, Yet heaven illumes my soaring mind. Lo! from the yawning deep I came, Friend to thy lineage and thy fame, To point thee out the paths of truth, To guard from hidden rocks thy youth; From seas, from mountains, far and wide, God will the good and virtuous guide.

III.

ELPHIN fair, with virtue blest,
Let not that virtue idly rest;
If roused, 'twill yield thee sure relief,
And banish far unmanly grief;
Think on that Power, whose arm can save,
Who e'en can snatch thee from the grave:
He bade my harp for thee be strung,
Prophetic lays he taught my tongue.
Though like a slender reed I grow,
Toss’d by the billows to and fro,
But still by Him inspired, my song
The weak can raise, confound the strong:

« ForrigeFortsæt »