Skene's Four Ancient Books of
LXXIX. BLACK BOOK OF CAERMARTHEN
Let God be praised in the beginning and the end.
Who supplicates Him, He will neither despise nor refuse.
The only son of Mary, the great exemplar of kings,
Mary, the mother of Christ, the praise of women.
The sun will come from the East to the North.
Intercede, for thy great mercy's sake,
With thy Son, the glorious object of our love,
God above us, God before us, God possessing (all things).
May the Father of Heaven grant us a portion of mercy;
10 Puissant Sovereign, may there be peace between us without refusal;
May we reform and make satisfaction for our transgressions,
Before I go to the earth to my fresh grave,
In the dark without a candle to my tribunal,
To my narrow abode, to the limits assigned to me, to my repose;
After my horse, and indulgence in fresh mead,
And social feasting, and gallantry with women.
I will not sleep; I will meditate on my end.
We are in a state the wantonness of which is sad;
Like leaves from the top of trees it will vanish away.
20 Woe to the niggard that hoards up precious things;
And unless the Supreme Father will support him,
Though he is allowed to have his course in the present world, his end will be
He knows not what it is to be brave, yet will he not tremble in his present
He will not rise up in the morning, will utter no greeting, nor will he sit;
He will not sing joyfully nor ask for mercy.
Bitter will, in the end, be the retribution
Of haughtiness, arrogance, and restlessness.
He pampers his body for toads and snakes
And lions, and conceives iniquity.
30 And death will come upon hoary age;
He is insatiable in the assembly and in the banquet.
Old age will draw nigh, and spreads itself over thee.
Thy ear, thy sight, thy teeth, they will not return;
The skin of thy fingers will wrinkle,
And age and hoariness will affect thee.
May Michael make intercession for us, that the Father of heaven may dispense us
The beginning of summer is a most pleasant season, tuneful the birds, green the
stalks of plants,
Ploughs are in the furrow, oxen in the yoke,
Green is the sea, variegated the land.
40 When cuckoos sing on the branches of pleasant trees,
May my joyfulness become greater.
Smoke is painful, sleeplessness is manifest.
Since my friends are returned to their former state
In the hill, in the dale, in the islands of the sea,
In every direction that one goes, in the presence of the blessed Christ there is
It was our desire, our friend, our trespass
To penetrate into the land of thy banishment.
Seven saints and seven score and seven hundred did he pierce in one convention.
With Christ the blessed they sustain. no apprehension of evil.
50 A gift I will ask, may it not be refused me by the God of peace.
Since there is a way to the gate of the Supreme Father,
Christ, may I not be sad before thy throne!