Skene's Four Ancient Books of
LXXXIII. BLACK BOOK OF CAERMARTHEN
Here is a graciously disposed King, who is wonderful in the highest degree,
Who is chief above the children of Adam,
Who is a happy and most mighty defence,
Who is generous, glorious, and most pure,
Whose claim is most strong and binding.
What is heard of him, and what is true, that will I celebrate.
To the great God, to the condescending and most compassionate God,
To the blessed God a sacred song I will sing.
Until I become a blameless man to God, I will consider the substance,
10 About the sin which Adam. shined.
About sin before the judgment I am very anxious,
Against the day of appointment, when all men shall come
From their graves in their strength and greatest vigour,
As they were when they were in their very prime,
In one host to the one place most pleasant,
Even to the top of one hill, in order to be judged.
Among this multitude may I attain the merit
Of being protected by a retinue of the nine orders of Heaven.
My God! what a gathering!
20 My Lord God! may my bardic lore
Affect the bonds of the universe!
My great Superior! my Owner!
The object of my reverence! before going to the sod, before going to the gravel,
Permit thou me to indite a composition
To thy praise, before my tongue becomes mute,
And my memory like Job, who spoke
Unto his wife concerning her dragonic obedience.
When the servant of God on a certain day came
To him to the contest with his wife,
30 Before the blow he gave a handful
Of what had peeled from the surface of his flesh.
And since the presents which any one gave were now acceptable,
The merciful God made a gift of charity
In pure gold, the treasure of the Trinity.
In a fainting state he sits, and there praises God.
Blessed was he to be plagued! Now said Sin,
"Thou knowest how to conceal the perfidy of the mysterious Being."
The love-diffusing Lord of heaven, the Creator, take thou to praise Him,
That thou mayest reach the fair and happy region,
40 Happy, pleasant, free, and greatly deserving praise.
Loving wine, love thou the gentle, preserve the truth.
Eva did not preserve the sweet apple-tree which God commanded her,
For her transgression He was not reconciled to her,
But manifest pain he inflicted upon her.
Some wonderful covering of a flinty dress she put on herself;
The Maker of heaven caused her, in the midst of her riches, to make herself
And a second miracle did the bountiful Lord, who hears being praised.
When she wished to avoid being caught,
The way in which she fled was where
50 There was a ploughman ploughing the ground,
With men in attendance. The mysterious Trinity has spoken it.
Then went the faultless mother of splendid gifts
With her happy husband. A crowd of men
Afterwards came to ask.
In an entertainment,
"Hast thou seen a woman and a son with her?"
And say thou, for the record's truth,
And he will not refuse our request,
That thou didst see us going without her
60 To a certain spot, and the blessing of God be on it!
Upon that came a destitute rabble, a race of the disposition of Cain,
A fierce and iniquitous multitude are they;
A tower was sought, in order to seek the mysterious Being,
Then said one who was deformed and unwitty, to the man whom thou seest,--
"Hast thou seen the men of the city of giants
Going by thee without turning?"
I did see them when I harrowed the fair land,
Where you see the reaping.
What the children of Cain now did, was
70 To turn away from the reapers.
Through the intercession of Mary Maria,
And her knowledge communicated to her by God,
There were defending them, besides herself,
The Holy Spirit and her sanctity.