Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Mere mad-cap revellers, unwisely gay,
More like than heroes, and a nation's stay.
Pale mead, their bev'rage in the field and hall,
Became the bane-draught, and the death to all.
On to Cattraeth march'd the warriors forth,
Some idly vaunting in their fatal mirth,
Some singing strains hilarious as they laugh’d,
Wild victims of the vile distemper'd draught;
The potent bragget wrought them woe and shame,
T'he crime-its chastisement,-quick following came-
But firmly obstinate the war-dogs fought,
And with their red blades horrid havoc wrought.
Tribe of Bernicia! were ye judged by me,
Oh not a man had been alive of ye!
No, by the flood! for while I mark'd your bordes,
The friend I loved was butcher'd by your swords,
In cruel, wanton, and unmanly wise,
When he had better been your captived prize :
No valiant man amid the battle's shock
Surpass’d young Gion of wild Gwyngwn's rock.

GWRVOLING.
From his eastern throne the bright sun shone

And glow'd on Britain's glorious isle,
And there reveal'd the warrior steel’d,

A chieftain's gallant style:
In Eiddin's hall, more loud than all,

He call'd for wine and gustful mead,
And in the field (thrown by, his shield)

He rush'd, the host to lead.
For freedom, rough and terrible,
He sprang forth like a savage bull,
And dared to combat-('twas his wont,)
And stood the conflict's direst brunt;-
Bright among the battle's gleams
The glowing wing of war he seems ;

To shelter him in peril's hour,
Bright shields arose, and arms of power :
The chief, though terrible, was rash,
His shield was shatter'd with a crash,
When snared amid a host of fues,
No friends saw when his signals rose.
Ah! closed the scene-his grave of green

Beneath the tumulus is laid-
The man of might in hall or fight,

Gwrvoling's speed is stay’d.

[blocks in formation]

BUDDVAN. While chiefs with the glow of resentment were blushing, Mid death-shrieks of women,and dreadful blood-gushing; The brave son of Howgi was there in his pride, And the son of Ysperi the boldest defied ; While Buddvan ab Bleiddvan a strong fortress stood, Exulting, and fearless ’mid horror and blood. With shield on his shoulder, the hero he shone, In swiftness but second to Prwydau alone; His dread front was painted, terrific his form, In battle tumultuous—the soul of a storm ;Gloomy and deadly the gleam of his spear, He moved as a fire--exciting wild fear. 'Twas well for the ravens that Buddvan was brave, A feast on his foes to the ravens he gave; Yet, ere by the sons of the gen'rous forsook, Mild were his manners, and lovely his looksoft as the dew of Eryri his course, Or full stately stream, void of fierceness of force. Oh the bards will applaud the bright deeds of the brave; in the high tide of battle he rush'd like a wave;

dreadful destroyer, ’mid clashing of spears: But lo! from the war-field the chief disappears-

G

His fleet steed and harness are laved o'er with gore; The brave son of Bleiddvan exulteth no more.

GWENABY.
To him unknown the dastard's vice,
He scorn'd to quit through cowardice;

The pass 'twas his to guard :
Within his hospitable court
The minstrels of renown resort,

And gain the bright reward.
No imposts on the land he rose,
When new-year's festival he chose

To keep, with princely pride.
Unknown to him the oppressor's guile;
He made the joyless desert smile,

Cheer'd mountains waste and wild,
Alas! for him those arts are o'er,
The fatal wine-feast cheers no more;
A hero laved in crimson gore,

He shone in Cattraeth strife :
Magnificent war's dragon then !
Unknown to him the vaunter's strain ;
The best of chiefs, the best of men,
Was Gwenaby, the son of Gwên ;

The youth of blameless life,

CARADOC.
Caradoc, like a young and ruddy boar,
Rush'd to the war-field, and the boldest tore ;
The bull of battle ! raging in his might,
His dread approach inspirited the fight.-
The wild dogs preying on the hills he caught,
And to his purposes both tamed and taught;
His feats were various, and high fame he won ;
My witnesses are Owen, Euladd's son,
With Gwrien, Gwyn, and Gwriad ;-they beheld,
With me, his deeds at bloody Cattraeth field;

Great the advantage by his daring gain'd,
Broke was the eminence before attain'd.

RHYS. Rhys consumed the lowlands-annihilating ire ! Rhys consumed the lowlands with sword and blazing fire ; Though blood was shed, and dwellings burnt, he ne'er ob

tained bis end, He sought the fortress on the height, but fortress never

gain’d. Unguarded at his utmost need, when lost his hopes that day, He failed to mount the tall and swift slight steed of shining

grey ; The shield upon his crupper-seat he failed in time to raise, The fatal shaft sped darkly forth-in death the hero lies. Thy mournful halls are lordless now, thou in the battle

struck, Thy man is in the buttery, regaling on the buck; While thou art smarting in thy wounds-oh bright, new

fallen star! Far, far from thee that serving-man--his helping hand,

oh far !

Wealth came to us in plenty from Bradwen's pits of brine, Wealth came to us in plenty, and gladd’ning was its shine; The spoiler came and cast a cloud upon our sunny day, Adonwy with his powers rush’d,and bore our wealth away.

CAREDIG. Dh dear to memory Caredig's name, lond Fancy's fragrances embalm his fame-the minstrel-warrior with the youthful face, hat moved in lovelines3—a hero's grace ! hough scarce matured was his gentle form, mprovement daily gaye th' ennobling charm;

And his was cheerfulness, ingenuous youth!
The brow of frankness and the breast of truth :-
Engaging master of the harp and sword,
Young patriot soldier, and melodious bard!
Now feats of heroism grace his times,
Anon the sweetness of his mellow rhymes.-

His buckler, spangled with the glowing gold,
Was like the sun-gleam'd hoar-frost to behold,
Yet to his eye more beautiful appears
The cluster in it of short broken spears.
The young Caredig! when his final hour
Arrives, be his felicity and power
In that high region of the good, above,
Th’ abode of science, purity, and love.

Should this specimen of the new version of Aneurin's Gododin meet the approbation of the public, it will soon be published, and not otherwise.

EDITOR

THF CONFERENCE BETWEEN GWYDD NO AND

GWYN AB NUDD.

From the Welsh of Gwyddno Garanhir.

By Anthony Todd Thomson, Esq.

The five first verses, the twenty-first, twenty-second, and twentythird are very obscure; and therefore the translation is given as literally as possible. The originals of this, and the other poems of this ancient bard's, are to be found in a Manuscript, in the Hengwrt library, called Llyvr Duo Gaerfyrddin, The Black Book of Caermarthen, the oldest Welsh MS now known. It is a quarto of 54 leaves, and contains poems composed by Merddin, Taliesin, Llywarch Hên, Gwyddno Garanhîr, and Elain. This singular MS is universally admitted by good judges to have been written in the

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »