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10th century. The former part of it is in a large character, and more ancient than the other; and the latter part is in the handwriting of our great poet Cynddelw, written about the year 1160.
SINCE it is a vain person that is thus adorned with gold, Near the court of Gwalloc,
I also will appear as one possessing riches.
Be accursed the thicket
That pulled out his eye in his presence,
Gwalloc son of Llênoc the sovereign.
Be there a curse to the black wood,
That pulled out his eye that was black,
Gwalloc son of Llênoc, leader of a host.
Be there a curse to the white wood,
That pulled his eye out of his head,
Gwalloc son of Llênoc the prince.
Be there a curse to the green wood
That pulled out the eye of my youth,
Gwalloc son of Llênoc the honourable.
Fierce bull of war! when host with host,
Is in the battle's tumult lost!
Supreme of those who mighty are!
Whose look of ire no mortal dare!
Yet foremost of the sons of earth
That light the hospitable hearth;
Soul of Hospitality!
Is there refuge here for me?
Persuasive tongue of him whose art
Can rule with words the human heart!
Chief of the brave! who can assuage,
And lull at will thy bosom's rage,
Say if in this distracted hour
For me is refuge in thy power;
Here a suitor I await,
Speak! and let me know my fate.
This boon bestow, and for thy name
I'll weave a song of deathless fame;
That whereso, chief, thou shalt appear,
The shout of praise will glad thy ear.
And I, fresh from the battle's field,
Ere from my arm is dropp'd my shield,
Will join, with feeble voice, the song
That would thy valiant deeds prolong..
I greet thee, gallant youth! and yield;
Warrior whose protecting shield
Guards the weak in troubled hour,
From murder's blow, from rapine's power.
Thy name, thy origin, declare,
Lover of Creirddillad fair,
Daughter of Lludd of hoary brow:
Gwyn, son of Nudd, am I; and thou
Hast oft beheld my round hoof'd steed
Bear me on with frantic speed
Through the battle's tide of blood.-
Gwyn, I know thee brave and good.
Gwyddno Garanhir am 1;
Vainly would I shun thine eye:
Though gloomy sadness shades thy brow,
In silence do not leave me now :
For cold and silent is my home,
And press'd with sorrow am I come!—
Gwyn, son of Nudd, of hosts the pride,
To thee what boon can be denied?
Eagle of the rocky shore!
For thee my lips I'll ope once more;
For thee, by whose resistless blow,
A thousand warriors lie low,
Strew'd like broken rushes round,
Prostrate gnaw the gore-stain'd ground;
By my carved ring, with gold
Studded round, I will unfold
To thee the story of my woe,
The source whence all my sorrows flow.
I saw, where hoar Caer Mandwy shrouds
His head among the mantling clouds,
Slaughter stain with blood the snow,
And ravage all the plains below.
Gwyn, son of Nudd, the blessing of armies.
From the toil of thy arm quicker would hosts
Fall down than the broken rushes.
Ystec, my dog, that is well trained,
And he is the best of dogs;
Dormarthedd, that belonged to Maelgwyn.
Dormarthedd with brown nose: if thou didst look
Upon it, then thon wouldest suppose
That he ranged with a serpent's motion.
The place where brave Gwenddolau fell,
Son of Ceido, I can tell :
When loud the boding ravens scream'd
Then his vital current stream'd:
Then, of mighty bards the pride,
Ceido's son, Gwenddolau, died;
Gwerydd's son of mighty fame,
Brân, a host against him came.
When the clamouring raven rose,
The hero sunk, to dread repose;
Those eyes beheld the fatal place,
Where fell the pride of Gwerydd's race.
I know the place where Llachan fell;
Who his valiant deeds can tell?
Arthur's son, renown'd in song,
Oft he burst the conflict's throng.
He heard the raven's boding cry,
And met unaw'd his destiny.
Where Meiric died, Carcian's son,
Of matchless fame, to me is known.
Dark was the raven's wing, that spread,
When Meiric mingled with the dead.
Where Gwalloc fell, I know the place,
Brave issue of a noble race!
Lloegr's ruin, Llênoc's son,
Bloody, bloody, set thy sun:
Where Britain's warriors lie low,
From east to north the spots I know.
Low in the silent grave they sleep,
And I am left to live and weep.
Where Britain's warriors lie low,
From east to south the spots I know,
Mingling with their native earth,
But I am left to mourn their dearth.
THE BATTLE OF GWENYSTRAD.
From the Welsh of Taliesin.
IF warlike chiefs with dawning day
At Cattraeth met in dread array,
The song records their splendid name,
But who shall sing of Urien's fame?
His patriot virtues far excel
Whate'er the boldest bard can tell :
His dreadful arm and dauntless brow
Spoil and dismay the haughty foe.
Pillar of Britain's regal line!
'Tis his in glorious arms to shine;
Despair and death attend his course,
Brave leader of the Christian force !
See Prydyn's men, a valiant train,
Rush along Gwenystrad's plain!
Bright their spears, for war address'd,
Raging vengeance fires their breast;
Shouts like Ocean's roar arise,
Tear the air, and pierce the skies.
Here they urge their tempest force!
Nor damp nor forest turns their course:
Their breath the shrieking peasants yield
O'er all the desolated field.
But lo, the daring hosts engage!
Dauntless hearts and flaming rage;
And, ere the direful morn is o'er,
Mangled limbs and reeking gore,
And crimson torrents whelm the ground,
Wild destruction stalking round;
Fainting warriors gasp for breath,
Or struggle in the toils of death.
Where th' embattled fortress rose,
(Gwenystrad's bulwark from the foes,)
Fierce conflicting heroes meet-
Groans the earth beneath their feet.
I mark, amidst the rolling flood,
Where hardy warriors stain'd with blood