Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales

CXIII. RED BOOK OF HERGEST XIII.

I. Maenwyn, when I was of thy age,
My garment should not be trodden under foot,
My land should not be ploughed without blood.

II. Maenwyn, when I was opposed to thee,
With youth attendant on me,
The foe would not break my boundary.

III. Maenwyn, while I was in pursuit of thee,
Following my youth,
The foe loved not the fury of my resentment.

IV. Maenwyn, while I was young and plump,
Addicted to fierce slaughter,
I would perform the acts of a man, though I was but a youth.

V. Maenwyn, take thy aim discreetly;
There is need of advice on him who is in error:
Let Maelgwn provide another mayor.

VI. My choice is a portion, with its sheath on it,
And sharp-pointed as a thorn;
It is not labour lost for me to whet a stone.

VII. A present was bestowed on me from the vale
Of Mewyrniawn, concealed in a bucket,
A sharp iron projecting from the hand.

VIII. Blessed be the solitary hag,
That said from the door of her cell,
"Maenwyn, do not deliver up thy knife."