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When hostile wolves imbrued the ground
With gore, and dealt destruction round,
Quick, at danger's call, he ran,
Glittering in the glorious van,
To guard with unresisted hand
The safety of his native land.
On Cattraeth's glorious fatal day,
Four hundred warriors sped their way, *
From golden cup's of flowing mead,
To trace the path where danger led.
Their sops revered their deeds, and mourn'd
Their mighty fall, for none return'd;
None but threet of all the throng,
Themes of the Ottadinian song.
Cynan and Cattraeth's deathless name
Live to grace the lists of fame.
But for their bard whom many a wound
Laid gasping on the bleeding ground,
Young chiefs an ample ransom told
In silver, steel, and solid gold;
And high they raised the funeral fires,
With sorrow to their fallen sires,
Who fought without the mystic power
To guard them in the dreadful hour.
Oh, had Cynvelyn's potent strain
Been chaunted on the crimson plain,
Still had they graced the festive hall,
Nor should their country mourn their fall!
The true number of the nobles, or warriors, who went to the tle of Cattraeth was 363. The translator has taken the nearest ind number.
The names of the three who survived, as appcars from the Godo. , were Cindihi, Cinric, or Cinon, of Adron in Galloway, and Cynon arawd.
NEST, THE DAUGHTER OF HOWEL. From the Welsh of Einion ab Gwalchmai.
By John Walters, B. A.
EINION AB GWALCHMAi flourished about 1240, but we have a historical record respecting Nest, the heroine of the poem.
The spring returns, the hills are green,
The forest blooms, the sea serene
Ebbs with hollow sounding tide,
But when will Einion's grief subside!
Chaunt the birds to cheer the plain,
But Einion breathes a mournful strain ;--
Failing like my feeble lay,
The wind now gently dies away.--
By Teivi's deep romantic stream
With slow steps, sorrowing, I came,
The praise of dying Nest I sung,
Her name still trembles on my tongue ;
With joyless heart and tearful eye
To tune her sacred dirge I try.
Like fair Elivri's was her fame,
And thousands have adored her name-
Low in her last abode is laid
In silence now, the matchless maid,
Who sprung from royal ancestry ;
Keen as the hawk's her dazzling eye.
In silken robe bright Cadvan's maid,
On blue Disunni's banks array’d,
Short time, but loved, and virtuous,
Nor hath my heart her loss survived ;
My heart, that heard her bards complain,
And died within me at the strain.
Tyrant death, thou ruthless foe,
At last thy fatal power I know :
Ah, generous Nest ! of soul benign,
How different is my fate from thine!
I, left to struggle with my woes,
Thou, peaceful in thy last repose !
Weary of life, and robb’d of rest,
I store long sorrow in my breast.
Thy loved remembrance nc'er shall part
From weeping Einion's faithful heart.
Still to my view the veil of death
Is present, and the form beneath
Those features of unrival'd hue,
Bright as heaven's ambrosial dew
New-fall’n on Aran's sky-topt brow,
Or wild Eryri’s cliffs of snow.
By martyrs’, and the virgin's claim,
By holy Dewi's sainted name,
By angels of the good and fair,
Trembling I lift my humble prayer,
Which to the throne of heaven will ily
Auspicious, and to thee, Most High !
That the dear maid, undoom’d to pain,
Near thy right hand a seat may gain.
Thou ne'er wilt banish beauteous Nest
From the bright mansions of the blest.
From the Welsh of Llywarch Prydydd y Móch.
By John Walters, B. A.
The original was taken from Llyvr Coch ó Hergest, or the Red ok of Hergest, kept in the archives of Jesus College, Oxon.
Llywarch ab Llewelyn, or Llywarch Prydydd y Môch, was one the most illustrious of the bards of the middle ages. He flourished from 1160 to 1220. Many of his compositions are printed in the Welsh Archaiology, and are valuable on account of the historical notices contained in them. No antiquary has hitherto ventured to throw even a conjecture on the meaning of the strange name be adopted-Llywarch Prydydd y Môch-Llywarch, Bard to the Pigs!As his poems are generally addressed to the princes who reigned in his time, my he not have considered himself exclusively their bard, and finding his muse neglected by them, is it not probable that, in a spirit of resentment, he designated himself the bard—not of the princes, but of the Pigs ? As Môch also means quick, in that sense probably the bard meant his designation to be Llywarch the quick-witted.
He who the glorious sun display'd,
And the pale moon in light array’d,
Give me, of poesy inspired,
To be with Merlin's genius fired,
And like Aneurin, in the day
He sung his famed Gododin's lay,
To celebrate my chiefs and sing
The praise of Gwyneth's prosp'rous king,
Whose fame hath o'er the region spread
Like mountain Breitbin's circling shade.
A hero matchless in his might,
Who drives the Saxon host to flight;
Skilful to rein the foaming steed,
And urge the chase with flying specd
(His steed that breasts the roaring flood
Of ancient Deva, dyed with blood ;)
A statesman, prudent to assuage
The unreas’ning crowd's unbridled rage;
Gentle in peace, but flaming far
A dreadful thunderbolt in war.
His foes impatient to destroy,
He gives the warlike shout with joy.
At his approach, can aught avail,
Of helm, or shield, or twisted mail :
Or countless host, or vaunted name,
Abate his boundless thirst of fame ?
Clogg'd with the slaughter of his sword,
Green Teivi blush'd, smooth Cledau roar'd.
At Snowdon's hill, and Conway's flood
He bathed his blade in Saxon blood :
Returning thence o’er Menai's stream,
Red conquest on his sword, he came. -
His foes are fall’n, or scatter'd wide
Like leaves upon the mountain side,
When the hurricane descends,
And all the sounding forest rends :
A feast for wolves they fell in fight,
Torn youthful from the nuptial rite :
Each snow-white breast, each tressy head,
The purple streaming gore o'erspread.
Now the sea the corses laves,
Floating on their bed of waves;
His squadrons, like the prancing steed,
Victorious trample o'er the dead,
Point their lances, court the strife,
And onward rush, profuse of life,
Where thronging thick with horrid roar,
The steeds of ocean beat the shore.
Around, where'er we turn our eyes,
His riches and his realms arise ;
Nor fruitless is the poet's strain,
Nor seeks his large relief in vain.
Beneath his banners, to his bards
Llewelyn deals his rich rewards;
Like generous Rutherch to bestow,
Like Howel to defy the foe:
Oft to his friends his bounty flows,
Despair the portion of his foes.
To combat, see! before his car
Rush onward, wild, the dogs of war,