Skene's Four Ancient Books of
LXXVI. BLACK BOOK OF CAERMARTHEN
A skilful composition, the pattern being from God,
A composition, the language, beautiful and pleasant, from Christ.
And should there be a language all complete around the sun,
On as many pivots as there are under the sea,
On as many winged ones as the Almighty made,
And should every one have thrice three hundred tongues,
They could not relate the power of the Trinity.
A diligent man in prosperity will receive no punishment.
Let communion be ready against the Trinity.
10 Let him be ill and ailing when his flesh becomes weak,
That he may puff his disguise.
Woe to thee, man of passion; if the world were given me,
Unless thou wert to deliver thyself, thou wouldst be satiated of the evil.
Art thou not at liberty as regards what thy mind loves?
Furious thy violent death, thy being borne on the wattled frame;
More wretched thy end, thy interment in the grave,
And being trodden by feet in the midst of soil and sod.
Unequalled thy journey, thy separation from thy companions.
Faithless and useless body, think of thy soul!
20 Body, thou wouldst not hear when others spoke.
What gavest thou of thy wealth before private confession?
What gavest thou of thy riches before the close and silent pit?
And what thou hadst intended, thou hast left undone
And thou sawest not how many thou shouldst have loved.
And a benefit it would have been as regards the passions of the people.
And the good would have come to so much prosperity.
When thou of thy freedom purchasest a hundred things, they are uncertain,
And vanish as suddenly as the motion of eyelid.
Hast thou noticed that they love sinisterly while seeking violence?
30 Thou respectedst not Friday, of thy great humility
Thou chantedst not a paternoster at matins or vespers,
A paternoster, the chief thing to be repeated: meditate on nothing
Except the Trinity.
Thou shouldst pay what is equal to three seven paternosters daily.
What has been and is not, and their life has not passed away.
Thou art more accustomed to the roaring of the sea than to the preaching of the
Must thou not go to the pile, because thou hast not been humble?
Thou respectedst neither relies, nor altars, nor churches.
Thou didst not attend to the strains of bards of harmonious utterance.
40 Thou didst not respect the law of the Creator of heaven before death.
A strange mixture didst thou employ in thy speech.
Woe is me that I went with thee to our joint work!
Woe is me when I am about to praise thee!
When I came to thee, small was my evil,
But it came to me from thy grovelling co-operation.
As for them, none will believe us respecting thy appearance of enjoyment.