Skene's Four Ancient Books of
LXIII. RED BOOK OF HERGEST XVI
I. Stand forth, maidens, and survey the land
Of Cyndylan; Llys Pengwern, is it not in flames?
Woe to the youth that longs for good fellowship.
II. One tree with the tendril on it
Is escaping it may be,
But what God shall have willed, let it come!
III. Cyndylan, with heart like the ice of winter,
With thrust of wild boar through his head,
Thou hast dispensed the ale of Tren!
IV. Cyndylan, with heart like the fire of spring,
By the common oath, in the midst of the common speech,
Defending Tren, that wasted town!
V. Cyndylan, bright pillar of his country,
Chain-bearer, obstinate in fight,
Protected Tren, the town of his father!
VI. Cyndylan, bright intelligence departed,
Chain-bearer, obstinate in the host,
Protected Tren as long as be was living.
VII. Cyndylan, with heart of greyhound,
When he descended to the turmoil of battle,
A carnage he carved out.
VIII. Cyndylan, with heart of hawk,
Was the true enraged
Cub of Cyndrwyn, the stubborn one.
IX. Cyndylan, with heart of wild boar,
When he descended to the onset of battle,
There was carnage in two heaps.
X. Cyndylan, hungry boar, ravager,
Lion, wolf fast holding of descent,
The wild boar will not give back the town of his father.
XI. Cyndylan! while towards thee fled
His heart, it was a great festival
With him, like the press of the battle!
XII. Cyndylan of Powys purple gallant is he!
The strangers' refuge, their life's anchor,
Cub of Cyndrwyn, much to be lamented!
XIII. Cyndylan, fair son of Cyndrwyn,
No fitting garb is the beard about the nose,
Will a man be no better than a maid?
XIV. Cyndylan! a cause of grief thou art
Set forward will not be the array,
Around the pressure of the covert of thy shield!
XV. Cyndylan, keep thou the slope
Till the Lloegrians come to-day,
Anxiety on account of one is not fitting.
XVI. Cyndylan, keep thou the top
Till the Lloegrians come through Tren,
'Tis not called a wood for one tree!
XVII. My heart has great misery
In joining together the black boards,
Fair is the flesh of Cyndylan, the common grief of a hundred hosts!
XVIII. The Hall of Cyndylan is dark
To-night, without fire, without bed!
I'll weep a while, afterwards I shall be silent.
XIX. The Hall of Cyndylan is dark
To-night, without fire, without candle!
Except God, who will give me patience?
XX. The Hall of Cyndylan is dark
To-night, without fire, without light,
Let there come spreading silence around thee!
XXI. The Hall of Cyndylan! dark
Its roof, after the fair assemblage!
Alas, it makes not well its end!
XXII. The Hall of Cyndylan! art thou not
Without seemliness? in the grave is thy shield!
As long as he was living there was no break in the shingle.
XXII. The Hall of Cyndylan is forlorn
To-night, since there has been no one owning it,
Ah! death will not leave me long!
XXIV. The Hall of Cyndylan is not pleasant
To-night, on the top of Carrec Hytwyth,
Without lord, without company, without feast!
XXV. The Hall of Cyndylan is gloomy
To-night, without fire, without songs--
Tears are the trouble of my cheeks!
xxvi. The Hall of Cyndylan is gloomy
To-night, without family,
* * * * *
XXVII. The Hall of Cyndylan pierces me
To see it, without roof, without fire.
Dead is my chief, myself alive!
XXVIII. The Hall of Cyndylan lies waste
To-night, after warriors contended,
Elvan, Cyndylan Caeawc!
XXIX. The Hall of Cyndylan is piercing cold
To-night, after the honour that befel me.
Without the men, without the women it sheltered.
XXX. The Hall of Cyndylan is still
To-night, after losing its elder.
The great merciful God! what shall I do?
XXXI. The Hall of Cyndylan! dark is its roof
Since the destruction by the Loegrians
Cyndylan and Elvan of Powys.
XXXII. The Hall of Cyndylan is dark
To-night, of the children of Cyndrwyn,
Cynon and Gwiawn and Gwyn.
XXXIII. The Hall of Cyndylan pierces me
Every hour, after the great gathering din at the fire
Which I saw at thy fire-hearth!
XXXIV. The eagle of Eli, loud his cry:
He has swallowed fresh drink,
Heart-blood of Cyndylan fair!
XXXV. The eagle of Eli screams aloud
To-night, in the blood of fair men he wallows!
He is in the wood, a heavy grief to me!
XXXVI. The eagle of Eli I bear
To-night, bloody is he, I defy not,
He is in the wood, a heavy grief to me!
XXXVII. The eagle of Eli, let him afflict
To-night the vale of illustrious Meissir,
Brochwael's land, long let him affront it!
XXXVIII. The eagle of Eli keeps the seas;
He will not course the fish in the Aber.
Let him call, let him look out for the blood of men!
XXXIX. The eagle of Eli traverses
The wood at dawn to feast,
His greed, may his boldness prosper it!
XL The eagle of Pengwern with the gray horn-beak,
Very loud his echoing voice,
Eager for the flesh.
XLI. The eagle of Pengwern with the gray horn-beak,
Very loud his call of defiance,
Eager for the flesh of Cyndylan!
XLII. The eagle of Pengwern with the gray born-beak,
Very loud his clamour,
Eager for the. flesh of him I love!
XLIII. The eagle of Pengwern! from afar is his call
To-night, for the men of blood is his look-out,
Truly will Tren be called the ruined town!
XLIV. The eagle of Pengwern! from afar let him call
To-night, for the blood of men let him look out,
Truly will Tren be called the town of flame!
XLV. The churches of Bassa! there rests
To-night, there ends, there shrinks within himself,
The shelter in battle, heart of the men of Argoed!
XLVI. The churches of Bassa are enriched
To-night, my tongue hath done it!
Ruddy are they, overflowing my grief!
XLVII. The churches of Bassa are close neighbouring
To-night to the heir of Cyndrwyn,
Graveyard of Cyndylan fair!
XLVIII. The churches of Bassa are lovely
To-night, their clover hath made them so,
Ruddy are they, overflowing my heart!
XLIX. The churches of Bassa have lost their privilege
Since the destruction by the Lloegrians
Of Cyndylan and Elvan of Powys.
L. The churches of Bassa are to make an end
To-night; the warriors are not to continue.
He knows who knoweth all things, and I here know.
LI. The churches of Bassa are still
To-night, and I am to cry!
Ruddy are they, overflowing is my lament.
LII. The White Town in the bosom of the wood!
There has ever been of its lustyhood,
On the surface of the grass, the blood!
LIII. The White Town in the country side!
Its lustyhood, its gray thoughtfulness,
The blood under the feet of its warriors!
LIV. The White Town in the valley!
Joyful its troop with the common spoil
Of battle, its people, are they not gone?
LV. The White Town between Tren and Trodwyd!
More common was the broken shield
Coming from battle than the evening ox.
LVI. The White Town between Tren and Traval.
More common was the blood
On the surface of the grass than the ploughed fallow.
LVII. Alas, Ffreuer! how sad is it
To-night, after the loss of kindred.
By the mishap of my tongue were they slain.
LVIII. Alas, Ffreuer! how languid she is
To-night, after the death of Elvan,
And the eagle of Cyndrwyn, Cyndylan.
LIX. It is not the death of Ffreuer that separates me
To-night from the enjoyment of the social circle.
I will keep awake, I will early weep.
LX. It is not the death of Ffreuer that pierces me with pain.
From the beginning of night till midnight
I will keep awake, I will weep with the dawn.
LXI. It is not the death of Ffreuer that stares me
To-night, and causes my checks to be yellow,
And the red tears to flow over the bedside.
LXII. It is not the death of Ffreuer that I am tormented with
To-night, but myself, being feebly sick,
My brothers and my country I mourn.
LXIII. Fair Ffreuer! there are brothers who cherish thee,
And who have not sprung from the ungenerous;
They are men who cherish no timidity.
LXIV. Fair Ffreuer! to thee have been brothers;
When they heard the meeting of armies
Their confidence would not fail them.
LXV. I and Ffreuer and Medlan,
While there may be battle in every place,
Are not concerned if our side be not slain.
LXVI. The mountain, were it still higher
I will not covet, there to lead my life.
Light of valuable things is my clothing.
LXVII. Parallel with the Avaerwy,
The Tren enters the Trydonwy,
And the Twrch falls into the Marchnwy.
LXVIII. Parallel with the Elwydden,
The Trydonwy flows into the Tren,
And the Geirw flows into the Alwen.
LXIX. Before my covering was made of the hide
Of the hardy goat, intent I was on carnage;
I was made drunk with the mead of Bryum.
LXX. Before my covering was made of the hide
Of the hardy goat, the young goat to the holly,
I was made drunk with the mead of Tren.
LXXI. After my brethren from the region of the Hafren,
And about the two banks of the Dwyryw,
Woe is me, God, that I am alive!
LXXII. After well-trained horses and garments of ruddy hue,
And the waving yellow plumes,
Slender is my leg, a covering is not left me.
LXXIII. The cattle of Edeyrniawn went not astray,
And with none did they go away,
In the lifetime of Gorwynion, a man of Uchnant.
LXXIV. The cattle of Edeyrniawn went not astray,
And with none did they wander,
In the lifetime of Gowrynion, a man . . .
Reproach is known to the herdsman.
The price is shame and refusal.
On such as come to disgrace it will befall.
I know what is good,
The blood of one hero for another.
LXXV. Were it the wife of Gyrthmwl, she would be languid
This day; loud would be her scream;
She would deplore the loss of her heroes.
LXXVI. The soil of Ercal is on courageous men,
On the progeny of Moryal,
And after Rys great lamentation.
LXXVII. The hawk of Heledd calls unto me
"O God! why is it that to thee have been given
The horses of my country and their land?
LXXVIII. The hawk of Heledd will greet me
"O God I why is it that to thee are given the dark coloured harness
Of Cyndylan and his forty horses?"
LXXIX. Have I not gazed with my eyes on pleasant land
From the conspicuous seat of Gorwynion?
Long the course of the run, longer my recollection.
LXXX Have I not gazed from Dinlle
Wrecon on the patrimony of Ffreuer,
With grief for its social enjoyment?
LXXXI. A horseman from a Caer below,
He was slow in his complaints.
A man of Sannair--
LXXXII. Slain were my brothers all at once--
Cynan, Cyndylan, Cynwraith--
In defending Tren, a town laid waste.
LXXXIII. A tribe would not tread on the nest
Of Cynddylan; he would never flinch a foot;
His mother nursed no weakling son.
LXXXIV. Brethren I have had who never were dejected,
Who grew up like hazel saplings;
One by one, they are all gone.
LXXXV. Brethren I have had whom God has taken
From me; my misfortune caused it.
They would not purchase glory by false means.
LXXXVI. Thin the gale, thick the rumour,.
Sweet the furrows; thou that made them remain not;
Those who have been are no more.
LXXXVII. What is heard by God and man,
What is heard by young and old,
Disgrace of beards, let the flier loose.
LXXXVIII. While it lives the flier will fly
With garments waiting for the battlefield,
And with blue blades the chief was enlivened.
LXXXIX. I wonder the bright fort is no more
After its defenders notoriously skilful
In the lair of the boar there is breaking of pignuts.
XC. They are neither mist nor smoke,
Nor warriors in mutual defence.
In a meadow slaughter is bad.
XCI. I listened in the meadow to the clatter of shields.
A fortress is no restraint to the mighty,
The best of men, Caranmael.
XCII. Caranmael, pressure there is on thee;
I know thy retreat from battle.
A mark is wont on the brow of a combatant.
XCIII. Accustomed to exert a liberal hand,
The son of Cyndylan, retainer of praise,
The last man of Cyndrwyn, Caranmael.
XCIV. Devoid of zeal was he,
And his patrimony was sequestrated,
Who sought Caranmael for a judge.
XCV. Caranmael, intimate with exertion,
Son of Cyndylan of ready fame,
Was not a judge, though he would wist to be.
XCVI. Where Caranmael put on the corselet of Cyndylan,
And pushed forward his ashen spear,
A Frank should not deprive him of his head.
XCVII. The time when I fared on rich viands
I would not lift my thigh
For a man that complained of a sore disease.
XCVIII. Brothers I also have had
That would not complain of pestilential diseases:
One was Elvan, Cyndylan another.
XCIX. Hair is not gracefully worn, is it not becoming
A man in the heat of conflict?
My brethren were not clamorous.
C. But for death and its fearful afflictions,
And the pang of the blue blades,
I will not be clamorous either.
CI. The plain of Maodyn, is it not covered with frost?
Since the destruction of him who was of benevolent purpose
On the grave of Eirinwed thick the snow.
CII. The mound of Elwyddan, is it not drenched with rain,
And the plain of Maodyn below it?
Cynon ought to deplore him.
CIII. Four equal brothers to me have been,
And each was the head of a family.
Tren knows to itself no owner.
CIV. Four equal brothers to me have been,
And to each chief there was vigour.
Tren knows no congenial owner.
CV. Four equal courageous and comely
Brothers to me have been from Cyndrwyn.
There is not to Tren the possession of enjoyment.
CVI. Fly thee hence, and array thyself
Thou art not wont to rise with the dawn.
Am I not wounded by a spike from the comer of thy bag?
CVII. Fly thee hence and hide thyself
Thou art not of sinless conversation..
Prostration is useless, thy creeping will cause a noise.