Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales

XLV. RED BOOK OF HERGEST XII

I. Let the furious Unhwch lead me on
To the front of the mutual conflict--
'Tis better to be killed than parley on terms.

II. Let the furious Unhwch lead me on--
It was said in the Pass of Llech,--
"Dunawd the son of Pabo will not lurk."

III. Let the furious Unhwch lead me on--
Like the sullen agitation of the sea was the war-expanding tumult.
Of Urien with the ardent grasp.

IV. The eagle of Gal, Unhwch, bold and generous,
Wrathful in war, sure of conquest,
Was Urien with the ardent grasp.

V. The eagle of Gal, Unhwch,
The possessor of the energetic soul . . .
The cell of the sea of smooth inlets with green surface.

VI. A head I bear by my side,
That has been an assaulter between two hosts--
The magnanimous son of Cynvarch was its possessor.

VII. A head I bear by my side,
The head of Urien, the mild leader of his army--
And on his white bosom the sable raven is perched.

VIII, A head I bear in my shirt,
The head of Urien who governed a court in mildness--
And on his white bosom the sable raven gluts.

IX. A head I bear in my hand,
He that was a soaring eagle, whose like will not be had,
His princely breast is assailed by the devourer.

X. A head I bear by the side of my thigh,
That was the shield of his country,
That was a wheel in battle,
That was a ready sword in his country's battles.

XI. A head I bear on my sword:
Better his being alive than that he should go to the grave;
He was a castle for old age.

XII. A head I bear from the bordering land of Penawg,
Wide extended was his warfare:
Urien the eloquent, whose, fame went far.

XIII. A head I bear on my shoulder,
That would not bring on me disgrace--
Woo to my hand that my lord is slain.

XIV. A head I bear on my arm,
He that overcame the land of Bryneich--
But after being a hero, now on the hearse.

XV. A head I bear in the grasp of my hand,
Of a chief that mildly governed a country;
The head, the most powerful pillar of Prydain.

XVI. A head I bear that supported me,
Is there any known but he welcomed?
Woe my hand, gone is be that sustained me.

XVII. A head I bear from the Riw,
With his lips foaming with blood--
Woe to Reged from this day!

XVIII. My arm has not flagged; my bosom is greatly troubled;
Ah! my heart, is it not broken?
A head I bear that was my support.

XIX. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day,
Under earth and stones:
Woe my hand, that the father of Owain is slain!

XX. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day,
Amidst earth and oak:
Woe my hand, that my cousin is slain!

XXI. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-night;
Under stones let it be left:
Woe my hand, what a step has fate decreed me!

XXII. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-night
Amidst earth and green sods:
Woe my hand, that the son of Cynvarch is slain!

XXIII. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day
Under the greensward and a tumulus:
Woe my hand, that my lord is slain!

XXIV. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day,
Under earth and sand:
Woe my hand, the step that is decreed to me!

XXV. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day
Under earth and nettles:
Woe my hand, that such a step could have happened to me!

XXVI. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day
Under earth and blue stones:
Woe my hand, the step that has befallen me!

XXVII. A master-feat of the world the brother has been in pursuit of;
For the horns of the buffalo, for a festive goblet
He was the depredator with the hounds in the covert of Reged!
XXVIII. A master-feat of the world the brother has eagerly sought,
For the equivocal horn of the buffalo;
He was the chaser with the hounds with the men of Reged.

XXIX. Eurdyl will be joyless this night,
And multitudes (will be so) besides:
In Aber Lleu has Urien been slain.

XXX. Eurdyl will be sorrowful from the tribulation of this night,
And from the fate that is to me befallen;
That her brother should be slain at Aber Lleu.

XXXI. On Friday I saw great anxiety
Among the hosts of Baptism,
Like a swarm without a hive, bold in despair.

XXXII. Were there not given to me by Run, greatly fond of war,
A hundred swarms and a hundred shields?
But one swarm was better far than all.

XXXIII. Were there not given to me by Run, the famous chief,
A cantrev, and a hundred oxen?
But one gift was better far than those.

XXXIV. In the lifetime of Run, the peaceless ranger,
The unjust will wallow in dangers;
May there be irons on the steeds of rapine.

XXXV. The extreme I know of my trouble:
Is what all will hear in every season of warfare;
No one can charge me with anything.

XXXVI. Dunawd, the leading horseman, would drive onward,
Intent upon making a corpse,
Against the onset of Owain.

XXXVII. Dunawd, the chief of the age, would drive onward,
Intent upon making battle,
Against the conflict of Pasgen.

XXXVIII. Gwallawg, the horseman of tumult, would drive onward,
Intent upon trying the sharpest edge,
Against the conflict of Elphin.

XXXIX. Bran, the son of Mellyrn, would drive onward,
Collecting men to burn my ovens:
A wolf that looked grimly by the banks of Abers.

XL. Morgant and his men would drive onward,
Collecting a host to burn my lands:
He was a mouse that scratched against a rock.

XLI. I pushed onward when Elgno was slain;
The blade which Pyll brandished would gleam terribly,
If tents were pitched in his country.

XLII. A second time I saw, after a conflict,
A golden shield on the shoulder of Urien;
A second to him there was Elgno Hen.

XLIII. Upon the resolution there came a failing
From the dread of a furious horseman:
Will there be another compared with Urien?

XLIV. Decapitated is my lord, his opponents are powerful:
Warriors will not love his enemies:
Many sovereigns has he consumed.

XLV. The ardent disposition of Urien! it is sadness to me:
There is commotion in every region.
In pursuit of Llovan Llawdivro.

XLVI. Gentle gate! thou art heard afar;
There is scarcely another deserving praise,
Since Urien is no more.

XLVII. Many a hunting-dog and fine grown hawk
Have been trained on its flow,
Before Erlleon became desolate.

XLVIII. This hearth, deserted by the shout of war,
More congenial on its floor would have been
The mead, and loquacious drinkers.

XLIX. This hearth, will not nettles cover it?
While its defender lived,
More congenial to it were those who made requests.

L. This hearth, will it not be covered by the greensward?
In the lifetime of Owain and Elphin,
Its cauldron boiled the prey.

LI. This hearth, will it not be covered with musty fingers?
More congenial around its viand would have been
The gashing sword of the dauntless.

LII. This hearth, will not the slender brambles cover it?
Burning wood used to be on it,
Which Reged was accustomed to give.

LIII. This hearth, will not thorns cover it?
More congenial on it would have been the mixed group
Of Owain's social retinue.

LIV. This hearth, will it not be covered over by the ants?
More accustomed it was to bright torches,
And harmless festivities.

LV. This hearth, will it not be covered with dock-leaves?
More congenial on its floor would have been
The mead, and loquacious drinkers.

LVI. This hearth, will it not be turned up by the swine?
More congenial to it would have been
The joy of men, and the circling horns of banquet.

LVII. This hearth, will it not be scratched up by the fowl?
Want would not approach it
In the lifetime of Owain and Urien.

LVIII. This buttress, and that one there,
More congenial around them would have been
The joy of a host, and the tread of a minstrel.