Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales

CVII. RED BOOK OF HERGEST V

I. Let the cock's comb be red; naturally loud
Be his voice, from his triumphant bed:
Man's rejoicing, God will recommend.

II. Let the swineherds be merry at the sighing
Of the wind; let the silent be graceful;
Let the vicious be accustomed to misfortune.

III. Let the bailiff impeach; let evil be a tormentor;
Let clothes be fitting;
He that loves a bard, let him be a handsome giver.

IV. Let a monarch be vehement, and let him be brave;
And let there be a hurdle on the gap;
He will not show his face that will not give.

V. Fleet let the racers be on the side
Of the mountain; let care be in the bosom;
Unfaithful let the inconstant be.

VI. Let the knight be conspicuous; let the thief be wary;
The rich woman may be deceived;
The friend of the wolf is the lazy shepherd.

VII. Let the knight be conspicuous: fleet be the horse;
Let the scholar be ambitious;
Let the prevaricating one be unfaithful.

VIII. Let cows be round-backed; let the wolf be gray;
Let the horse over barley be swift;
Like gossamer will he press the grain at the roots.

IX. Let the deaf be bent; let the captive be heavy
Nimble the horse in battles;
Like gossamer will he press the grain the ground.

X. Let the deaf be dubious; let the rash be inconstant;
Let the mischievous wrangle;
The prudent need but be seen to be loved.

XI. Let the lake be deep; let the spears be sharp;
Let the brow of the sick be bold at the shout of war;
Let the wise be happy--God commends him.

XII. Let the exile wander; let the brave be impulsive;
Let the fool be fond of laughter.

XIII. Let the furrows be wet; let bail be frequent;
Let the sick be complaining, and the one in health merry;
Let the lapdog snarl; let the hag be peevish.

XIV. Let him that is in pain cry out; let an army be moving;
Let the well-fed be wanton;
Let the strong be bold; let the hill be icy.

XV. Let the gull be white; let the wave be loud;
Let the gore be apt to clot on the ashen spear.
Let the ice be gray; let the heart be bold.

XVI. Let the camp be green; let the suitor be reproachless;
Let there be pushing of spears in the defile;
Let the bad woman be with frequent reproaches.

XVII. Let the hen be clawed; let the lion roar;
Let the foolish be pugnacious;
Let the heart be broken with grief.

XVIII. Let the tower be white; let the harness glitter;
Let there be beauty--many will desire it;
Let the glutton hanker; let the old man mediate.