Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales

LXIV. A DIALOGUE BETWEEN MYRDIN AND HIS SISTER GWENDYDD.

RED BOOK OF HERGEST I.

I. I have come to thee to tell
Of the jurisdiction I have in the North;
The beauty of every region has been described to me.

II. Since the action of Ardderyd and Erydon,
Gwendydd, and all that will happen to me,
Dull of understanding, to what place of festivity shall I go?

III. I will address my twin-brother
Myrdin, a wise man and a diviner,
Since he is accustomed to make disclosures
When a maid goes to him.

IV. I shall become the simpleton's song:
It is the ominous belief of the Cymry. The gale intimates
That the standard of Rydderch Hael is unobstructed.

V. Though Rydderch has the pre-eminence,
And all the Cymry under him,
Yet, after him, who will come?

VI. Rydderch Hael, the feller of the foe,
Dealt his stabs among them,
In the day of bliss at the ford of Tawy.

VII. Rydderch Hael, while he is the enemy
Of the city of the bards in the region of the Clyd;
Where will he go to the ford?

VIII. I will tell it to Gwendydd.
Since she has addressed me skilfully,
The day after to-morrow Rydderch Hael will not be.

IX. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
The intrepid in battle,
After Rydderch who will be?

X. As Gwenddoleu was slain in the blood-spilling of Ardderyd,
And I have come from among the furze,
Morgant Mawr, the son of Sadyrnin.

XI. I will ask my far-famed brother,
The fosterer of song among the streams,
Who will rule after Morgant?

XII. As Gwenddoleu was slain in the bloodshed of Ardderyd,
And I wonder why I should be perceived,
The cry of the country to Urien.

XIII, Thy head is of the colour of winter boar;
God has relieved thy necessities
Who will rule after Urien?

XIV. Heaven has brought a heavy affliction
On me, and I am ill at last,
Maelgwn Hir over the land of Gwynedd.

XV. From parting with my brother pines away
My heart, poor is my aspect along my furrowed cheek;
Now, after Maelgwn, who will rule?

XVI. Run is his name impetuous in the gushing conflict;
And fighting in the van of the army,
The woe of Prydein of the day!

XVII. Since thou art a companion and canon
Of Cunllaith, which with great expense we support,
To whom will Gwynedd go after Run?

XVIII. Run his name, renowned in war;
What I predict will surely come to pass,
Gwendydd, the country will be in the hand of Beli.

XIX. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
Intrepid in difficulties,
Who will rule after Beli?

XX. Since my reason is gone with ghosts of the mountain,
And I myself am pensive,
After Beli, his son Iago.

XXI. Since thy reason is gone with ghosts of the mountain,
And thou thyself art pensive,
Who will rule after Iago?

XXII. He that comes before me with a lofty mien,
Moving to the social banquet;
After Iago, his son Cadvan?

XXIII. The songs have fully predicted
That one of universal fame will come;
Who will rule after Cadvan?

XXIV. The country of the brave Cadwallawn,
The four quarters of the world shall hear of it;
The heads of the Angles will fall to the ground,
And there will be a world to admire it.

XXV. Though I see thy cheek so direful,
It comes impulsively to my mind,
Who will rule after Cadwallawn?

XXVI. A tall man holding a conference,
And Prydein under one sceptre,
The best son of Cymro, Cadwaladyr.

XXVII. He that comes before me mildly,
His abilities, are they not worthless?
After Cadwaladyr, Idwal.

XXVIII. I will ask thee mildly,
Far-famed, and best of men on earth,
Who will rule after Idwal?

XXIX. There will rule after Idwal,
In consequence of a dauntless one being called forth,
White-shielded Howel, the son of Cadwal.

XXX. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
The intrepid in war,
Who will rule after Howel?

XXXI. I will tell his illustrious fame,
Gwendydd, before I part from thee;
After Howel, Rodri.

XXXII. Cynan in Mona will be,
He will not preserve his rights;
And before the son of Rodri may be called,
The son of Cealedigan will be.

XXXIII. I will ask on account of the world,
And answer thou me gently;
Who will rule after Cynan?

XXXIV. Since Gwenddoleu was slain in the bloodshed of
Ardderyd, thou art filled with dismay;
Mervyn Vrych from the region of Manaw.

XXXV. I will ask my brother renowned in fame,
Lucid his song, and he the best of men,
Who will rule after Mervyn?

XXXVI. I will declare, from no malevolence,
The oppression of. Prydein, but from concern;
After Mervyn, Rodri Mawr.

XXXVII. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
Intrepid in the day of the war-shout;
Who will rule after the son of Rodri Mawr?

XXXVIII. On the banks of the Conwy in the conflict of Wednesday,
Admired will be the eloquence
Of the hoary sovereign Anarawd.

XXXIX. I will address my far-famed twin-brother,
Intrepid in the day of mockery,
Who will rule after Anarawd?

XL. The next is nearer to the time
Of unseen messengers;
The sovereignty in the band of Howel.

XLI. The Borderers have not been,
And will not be nearer to Paradise.
An order from a kiln is no worse than from a church.

XLII. I will ask my beloved brother,
Whom I have seen celebrated in fame,
Who will rule after the Borderers?

XLIII. A year and a half to loquacious
Barons, whose lives shall be shortened;
Every careless one will be disparaged.

XLIV. Since thou art a companion and canon of Cunllaith,
The mercy of God to thy soul!
Who will rule after the Barons?

XLV. A single person will arise from obscurity,
Who will not preserve his countenance;
Cynan of the dogs will possess Cymry.

XLVI. I will ask thee on account of the world,
Answer thou me gently,
Who will rule after Cynan?

XLVII. A man from a distant foreign country;
They will batter impregnable Caers
They say a king from a baron.

XLVIII. I will ask on account of the world,
Since thou knowest the meaning;
Who will rule after the Baron?

XLIX. I will foretell of Serven Wyn,
A constant white-shielded messenger,
Brave, and strong like a white encircled prison;
He will traverse the Countries of treacherous sovereigns;
And they will tremble before him as far as Prydein.

L. I will ask my blessed brother,
For it is I that is inquiring it,
Who will rule after Serven Wyn?

LI. Two white-shielded Belis
Will then come and cause tumult;
Golden peace will not be.

LII. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
Intrepid among the Cymry,
Who will rule after the two white-shielded Belis?

LIII. A. single passionate one with a beneficent mien,
Counselling a battle of defence;
Who will rule before the extermination?

LIV. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
Intrepid in the battle,
Who is the single passionate one
That thou predictest then?
What his name? what is he? when will he come?

LV. Gruffyd his name, vehement and handsome:
It is natural that he should throw lustre on his kindred;
He will rule over the land of Prydein.

LVI. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
Intrepid in battles,
Who shall possess it after Gruffyd?

LVII. I will declare from no malevolence,
The oppression of Prydein, but from concern;
After Gruffyd, Gwyn Gwarther.

LVIII. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
The intrepid in war,
Who will rule after Gwyn Gwarther?

LIX. Alas! fair Gwendydd, great is the prognostication of the oracle,
And the tales of the Sybil;
Of an odious stock will be the two Idases;
For land they will be admired; from their jurisdiction, long animosity.

LX. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
Intrepid in the battles,
Who will rule after them?

LXI. I will predict that no youth will venture;
A king, a lion with unflinching hand,
Gylvin Gevel with a wolf's grasp.

LXII. I will ask my profound brother,
Whom I have seen tenderly nourished,
After that who will be sovereign?

LXIII. To the multiplicity of the number of the stars
Will his retinue be compared;
He is Mackwy Dau Hanner.

LXIV. I will ask my unprotected brother,
The key of difficulty, the benefit of a lord--
Who will rule after Dan Hanner?

LXV. There will be a mixture of the Gwyddelian tongue in the battle,
With the Cymro, and a fierce conflict;
He is the lord of eight chief Caers.

LXVI. I will ask my pensive brother,
Who has read the book of Cado,
Who will rule after him?

LXVII. I say that he is from Reged,
Since I am solemnly addressed;
The whelp of the illustrious Henri,
Never in his age will there be deliverance.

LXVIII. I will ask my brother renowned in fame,
Undaunted among the Cymry,
Who will rule after the son of Henri?

LXIX. When there will be a bridge on the Tav, and another on the Tywi,
Confusion will come upon Lloegyr,
And I will predict after the son of Henri,
Such and such a king and troublous times will be.

LXX. I will ask my blessed brother,
For it is I that is inquiring,
Who will rule after such and such a king?

LXXI. A silly king will come,
And the men of Lloegyr will deceive him;
There will be no prosperity of country under him.

LXXII. Myrdin fair, of fame-conferring song,
Wrathful in the world,
What will be in the age of the foolish one?

LXXIII. When Lloegyr will be groaning,
And Cymir full of malignity,
An army will be moving to and fro.

LXXIV. Myrdin fair, gifted in speech,
Tell me no falsehood;
What will be after the army?

LXXV. There will arise one out of the six
That have long been in concealment;
Over Lloegyr he will have the mastery.

LXXVI. Myrdin fair, of fame-conferring stock,
Let the wind turn inside the house,
Who will rule after that?

LXXVII. It is established that Owein should come,
And conquer as far as London,
To give the Cymry glad tidings.

LXXVIII. Myrdin fair, most gifted and most famed,
For thy word I will believe,
Owein, how long will he continue?

LXXIX. Gwendydd, listen to a rumour,
Let the wind turn in the valley,
Five years and two, as in time of yore.

LXXX. I will ask my profound brother,
Whom I have seen tenderly nourished,
Who will thence be sovereign?

LXXXI. When Owein will be in Manaw,
And a battle in Prydyn close by,
There will be a man with men under him.

LXXXII. I will ask my profound brother,
Whom I have seen tenderly nourished,
After that who will be sovereign?

LXXXIII. A ruler of good breeding and good will he be,
Will conquer the land,
And the country will be happy with joy.

LXXXIV. I will ask my profound brother,
Whom I have seen tenderly nourished,
After that who will be sovereign?

LXXXV. Let there be a cry in the valley
Beli Hir and his men like the whirlwind;
Blessed be the Cymry, woe to the Gynt.

LXXXVI. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother,
Intrepid in battles,
After Beli who will be the possessor?

LXXXVII. Let there be a cry in the Aber,
Beli Hir and his numerous troops;
Blessed be the Cymry, woe to the Gwyddyl.

LXXXVIII. I will address my farfamed twin-brother
Intrepid in war;
Why woe to the Gwyddyl?

LXXXIX. I will predict that one prince will be
Of Gwynedd, after your affliction;
You will have a victory over every nation.

XC. The canon of Morvryn, how united to us
Was Myrdin Vrych with the powerful host,
What will happen until the wish be accomplished?

XCI. When Cadwaladyr will descend,
Having a large united host with him,
On Wednesday to defend the men of Gwynedd,
Then will come the men of Caer Garawedd.

XCII. Do not separate abruptly from me,
From a dislike to the conference;
In what part will Cadwaladyr descend?

XCIII. When Cadwaladyr descends
Into the valley of the Tywi,
Hard pressed will be the Abers
And the Brython will disperse the Brithwyr.

XCIV. I will ask my profound brother,
Whom I have seen tenderly nourished;
Who will rule from thenceforth?

XCV. When a boor will know three languages
In Mona, and his son be of honourable descent,
Gwynedd will be heard to be abounding in riches.

XCVI. Who will drive Lloegyr from the borders
Of the sea, who will move upon Dyved?
And as to the Cymry, who will succour them?

XCVII. The far-extended rout and tumult of Rydderch,
And the armies of Cadwaladyr,
Above the river Tardennin,
Broke the key of men.

XCVIII. Do not separate abruptly from me,
From dislike to the conference,
What death will carry off Cadwaladyr?

XCIX. He will be pierced by a spear from the strong timber
Of a ship, and a hand before the evening;
The day will be a disgrace to the Cymry.

C. Do not separate abruptly from me
From dislike to the conference,
How long will Cadwaladyr reign?

CI. Three months and three long years,
And full three hundred years
With occasional battles, he will rule.

CII. Do not separate abruptly from me
From dislike to the conference,
Who will rule after Cadwaladyr?

CIII. To Gwendydd I will declare;
Age after age I will predict;
After Cadwaladyr, Cynda.

CIV. A hand upon the sword, another upon the cross,
Let every one take care of his life;
With Cyndav there is no reconciliation.

CV. I will foretell that there will be one prince
Of Gwynedd, after your affliction,
You will overcome every nation.

CVI. And as to the tribe of the children of Adam,
Who have proceeded from his flesh,
Will their freedom extend to the judgment?

CVII. From the time the Cymry shall be without the aid
Of battle, and altogether without keeping their mien,
It will be impossible to say who will be ruler.

CVIII. Gwendydd, the delicately fair,
The first will be the most puissant in Prydein;
Lament, ye wretched Cymry!

CIX. When extermination becomes the highest duty,
From the sea to the shoreless land,
Say, lady, that the world is at an end.

CX. And after extermination becomes the highest duty,
Who will there be to keep order?
Will there be a church, and a portion for a priest?

CXI. There will be no portion for priest nor minstrel,
Nor repairing to the altar,
Until the heaven falls to the earth.

CXII. My twin-brother, since thou hast answered me,
Myrdin, son of Morvryn the skilful,
Sad is the tale thou hast uttered.

CXIII. I will declare to Gwendydd,
For seriously hast thou inquired of me,
Extermination, lady, will be the end.

CXIV. What I have hitherto predicted
To Gwendydd, the idol of princes.
It will come to pass to the smallest tittle.

CXV. Twin-brother, since these things will happen to me,
Even for the souls of thy brethren,
What sovereign after him will be?

CXVI. Gwendydd fair, the chief of courtesy,
I will seriously declare,
That never shall be a sovereign afterwards.

CXVII. Alas I thou dearest, for the cold separation,
After the coming of tumult,
That by a sovereign brave and fearless
Thou shouldst be placed under earth.

CXVIII. The air of heaven will scatter
Rash resolution, which deceives, if believed:
Prosperity until the judgment is certain.

CXIX. By thy dissolution, thou tenderly nourished,
Am I not left cheerless?
A delay will be good destiny when will be given
Praise to him who tells the truth.

CXX. From thy retreat arise, and unfold
The books of Awen without fear;
And the discourse of a maid, and the repose of a dream.

CXXI. Dead is Morgeneu, dead Cyvrennin
Moryal. Dead is Moryen, the bulwark of battle;
The heaviest grief is, Myrdin, for thy destiny.

CXXII. The Creator has caused me heavy affliction;
Dead is Morgeneu, dead is Mordav,
Dead is Moryen, I wish to die.

CXXIII. My only brother, chide me not;
Since the battle of Ardderyd I am ill;
It is instruction that I seek;
To God I commend thee.

CXXIV. I, also, commend thee,
To the, Chief of all creatures
Gwendydd fair, the refuge of songs.

CXXV. The songs too long have tarried
Concerning universal fame to come;
Would to God they had come to pass!

CXXVI. Gwendydd, be not dissatisfied;
Has not the burden been consigned to the earth?
Every one must give up what he loves.

CXXVII. While I live, I will not forsake thee,
And until the judgment will bear thee in mind;
Thy entrenchment is the heaviest calamity.

CXXVIII. Swift is the steed, and free the wind;
I will commend my blameless brother
To God, the supreme Ruler;
Partake of the communion before thy death.

CXXIX. I will not receive the communion
From excommunicated monks,
With their cloaks on their hips;
May God himself give me communion!

CXXX. I will commend my blameless
Brother in the supreme Caer;
May God take care of Myrdin!

CXXXI. I, too, will commend my blameless
Sister in the supreme Caer;--
May God take care of Gwendydd. Amen!