Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales

L. BLACK BOOK OF CAERMARTHEN XVII

I. Sweet appletree of delightful branches,
Budding luxuriantly, and shooting forth renowned scions,
I will predict before the owner of Machreu,
That in the valley of Machawy on Wednesday there will be blood,--
Joy to Lloegyr of the blood-red blades.
Rear, O little pig! there will come on Thursday
Joy to the Cymry of mighty battles,
In their defence of Cymminawd, with their incessant sword-thrusts.
On the Saxons there will be a slaughter with ashen spears,
And their heads will be used as balls to play with.
I prophesy truth without disguise,--
The elevation of a child in a secluded part of the South.

II. Sweet appletree, a green tree of luxurious growth,
How large are its branches, and beautiful its form!
And I will predict a battle that will make me shriek
At Pengwern, in the sovereign feast, mead is appropriate.1

III. Sweet appletree, and a yellow tree;
Grow at Tal Ardd, without a garden surrounding it;
And I will predict a battle in Prydyn,
In defence of their frontier against the men of Dublin;
Seven ships will come over the wide lake,
And seven hundred over the sea to conquer.
Of those that come, none will go to Cennyn,
Except seven half-empty ones, according to the prediction.

IV. Sweet appletree that luxuriantly grows!
Food I used to take at it base to please a fair maid,
When, with my shield on my shoulder, and my sword on my thigh,
I slept all alone in the woods of Celyddon.
Hear, O little pig! now apply thyself to reason,
And listen to birds whose notes. are pleasant,
Sovereigns across the sea will come on Monday;
Blessed will the Cymry be, from that design.

V. Sweet appletree that grows in the glade!
Their vehemence will conceal it from the lords of Rydderch,
Trodden it is around its base, and men are about it.
Terrible to them were heroic forms.
Gwendydd loves me not, greets me not;
I am hated by the firmest minister of Rydderch;
I have ruined his son and his daughter.
Death takes all away, why does he not visit me?
For after Gwenddoleu no princes honour me;
I am not soothed with diversion, I am not visited by the fair;
Yet in the battle of Ardderyd golden was my torques,
Though I am now despised by her who is of the colour of swans.

VI. Sweet appletree of delicate bloom,
That grows in concealment in the woods!
At break of day the tale was told me,
That the firmest minister is offended at my creed,
Twice, thrice, four times, in one day.
O Jesus! would that my end had come
Before the death of the son of Gwendydd happen on my hand!

VII. Sweet appletree, which grows by the river-side!
With respect to it, the keeper will not thrive on its splendid fruit.
While my reason was not aberrant, I used to be around its stem
With a fair sportive maid, a paragon of slender form.
Ten years and forty, as the toy of lawless ones,
Have I been wandering in gloom and among sprites.
After wealth in abundance and entertaining minstrels,
I have been (here so long that) it is useless for gloom and sprites to lead me astray.
I will not sleep, but tremble on account of my leader,
My lord Gwenddoleu, and those who are natives of my country.
After suffering disease and longing grief about the words of Celyddon,
May I become a blessed servant of the Sovereign of splendid retinues!

VIII. Sweet appletree of delicate blossoms,
Which grows in the soil amid the trees!
The Sibyl foretells a tale that will come to pass--
A golden rod of great value, will, for bravery,
Be given to glorious chiefs before the dragons;
The diffuser of grace will vanquish the profane man.
Before the child, bold as the sun in his courses,
Saxons shall be eradicated, and bards shall flourish.

IX. Sweet appletree, and a tree of crimson hue,
Which grow in concealment in the wood of Celyddon;
Though sought for their fruit, it will be in vain,
Until Cadwaladyr comes from the conference of Cadvaon,
To the Eagle of Tywi and Teiwi rivers;
And until fierce anguish comes from Aranwynion,
And the wild and long-haired ones are made tame:

X. Sweet appletree, and a tree of crimson hue,
Which grow in concealment in the wood of Celyddon;
Though sought for their fruit, it will be in vain,
Until Cadwaladyr comes from the conference of Rhyd Rheon,
And Cynan to meet him advances upon the Saxons;
The Cymry will be victorious, glorious will be their leader.
All shall have their rights, and the Brython will rejoice,
Sounding the horns of gladness, and chanting the song of peace and happiness!

Footnotes

1. The following lines are added at the bottom of the page:--

And around Cymminawd, a deadly hewing down
By a chief of Eryri--hatred will remain.