Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales


I. Black thy horse, black thy cope,
Black thy head, black thyself,
Yes, black I art thou Yscolan?

II. I am Yscolan the scholar,
Slight is my clouded reason,
There is no drowning the woe of him who offends a sovereign.

III. For having burnt a church, and destroyed the cattle of a school,
And caused a book to be submerged,
My penance is a heavy affliction.

IV. Creator of the creatures, of supports
The greatest, pardon me my iniquity!
He who betrayed Thee, deceived me.

V. A full year was given me
At Bangor on the pole of a weir;
Consider thou my suffering from sea-worms.

VI. If I knew what I now know
As plain as the wind in the top branches of waving trees,
What I did I should never have done.