Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales

CXII. RED BOOK OF HERGEST X.

I. Sitting high upon a hill, battle-inclined is
My mind, and it does not impel me onward:
Short is my journey, my tenement is laid waste.

II. Sharp is the gale, it is bare punishment to live;
When the trees array themselves in gay colours
Of summer; violently ill I am this day.

III. I am no hunter, I keep no animal of the chase;
I cannot move about:
As long as it pleases the cuckoo, let her sing!

IV. The loud-voiced cuckoo sings with the dawn,
Her melodious notes in the dales of Cuawg:
Better is the lavisher than the miser.

V. At Aber Cuawg the cuckoos sing,
On the blossom-covered branches:
The loud-voiced cuckoo, let her sing a while!

VI. At Aber Cuawg the cuckoos sing,
On the blossom-covered branches:
Woe to the sick that hears their contented notes.

VII. At Aber Cuawg the cuckoos sing:
The recollection is in my mind!
There are that hear them that will not bear them again!

VIII. Have I not listened to the cuckoo on the ivied tree?
Did not my shield hang down?
What I loved is but vexation; what I loved is no more.

IX. High above the merry oak,
I have listened to the song of birds.
The loud cuckoo--every one remembers what he loves.

X. Songstress with the solacing song! her voice is grief exciting:
Subject to wander, with the flight of the hawk,
The loquacious cuckoo at Aber Cuawg.

XI. The birds are clamorous; humid are the glens:
Let the moon shine; cold the midnight hour:
Distracted is my mind from the torment of disorder.

XII. White-topped is the cliff; long the midnight hour:
Every ingenious one-will be honoured:
I owe the indulgence of sleep to old age.

XIII. The birds are clamorous; the beach is wet:
Let the leaves fall; the exile is unconcerned:
I will not conceal it, I am ill this night.

XIV. The birds are clamorous; the strand is wet:
Clear is the sky; large the wave:
The heart is palsied with longing.

XV. The birds are clamorous; the strand is wet:
Conspicuous is the wave with its ample range:
What was formed in my youth,
I could love, if I could have it again.

XVI. Clamorous are the birds on the scent;
Loud the cry of dogs in a desert;
Again clamorous are the birds.

XVII. In the beginning of summer, gay are all varied seeds!
When the warriors hasten to the conflict,
I do not go, infirmity will not leave me.

XVIII. In the beginning of summer, it is glorious on the course,
When the warriors hasten to the field of battle;
I shall not go, infirmity separates me.

XIX. Hoary is the mountain summit; the tops of the ash are brittle:
From the Abers the fair wave is impelled:
Laughter is far from my heart.

XX. What is it to me this day at the end of the month?
In the social banquet I have left it:
Distracted is my mind; a fever has made choice of me.

XXI. Quick is the sight of the sentinel;
Let the idle use courtesy:
Distracted is my mind; disease preys upon me.

XXII. Riches like a bowl encircling mead,
The happy man will not wish for:
It is a precious thing to know patience.

XXIII. Riches like a bowl round the cheering beverage,
The gliding stream, the refreshing shower,
And the deep ford: the mind is stirred to treachery.

XXIV. To foment treachery is an iniquitous deed;
There will be pain where there will be purifying;
It is to sell a little for much.

XXV. Let the wicked be fomenting treachery;
When God will judge, at the long day,
Dark will be falsehood, truth clear.

XXVI. There is danger in repelling the graduated visitor;
Men are joyous over the beverage:
Frail is the reed, of riches an emblem.

XXVII. Hear the wave of sullen din, and loud,
Amidst the pebbles and gravel:
Distracted is my mind from delirium this night.

XXVIII. Branching is the top of the oak; bitter the taste of the ash:
Sweet the cow-parsnip; the wave is laughing:
The cheek will not conceal the affliction of the heart.

XXIX. The heaving sigh tells upon me,
After my experience .    .    .    .    .
God will not bestow on the wicked what is good.

XXX. To the wicked what is good will not be given;
But sorrow and anxiety:
God will not undo what he is doing,

XXXI. The son of sickness has been a brisk youth, he had
An active share in the court of the king;
May God be propitious to the diviner!

XXXII. As to what is being done, it will come to pass,
Let him that reads it consider:
What is detested by man here, is detested by God above.