Thursday, November 23, 2006

Radnorshire Bardic Poems. 20

This praise poem by Lewis Glyn Cothi to Hywel ap Rhydderch and Annes Aubrey suggests to me that they lived in what locals now call the Mount, above the churchyard in Aberedw. I believe that many of what are described as sites of motte and bailey castles in Radnorshire were in fact re-used as fortified houses in the fifteenth century.

No. 148 Praise to Hywel ap Rhydderch and Annes Aubrey

The fond husband, the over generous wife,
A fair centrestone in Elfael.
The gifts of Hywel ap Rhydderch
He gives me with his loving words;
Annes Aubrey’s gifts of silver
And her ale cause benefit.
Oh God, good their store
Of invitations for a musician.

Hywel, who serves the mead,
Has a name above descent and nobility;
The descent of the lion above the churchyard
Is that of Hywel Fychan;
The descent of Elystan, more than the eighth part,
Even more, the descent of Rhys Michell.
The descent of Annes Aubrey of Brycheiniog,
Generosity that lasts for an age.
God created her from
The heart and ribs of Gw’ater Sais.

Within an old manuscript roll
I found these memories,
They’re had from Rhydderch Hael himself
And from his wife Arddun, the words of a poem;
Ifor Hael and Efa since then,
From the land, were the second couple;
Dafydd in his cywydd
Gave this name to them.
Hywel and Annes, in Elfael,
Were closer to Holy God.
Let their generosity be praised,
The young stag and his maid.

In the orbit of the star of Venus,
Every two stars will be many;
There are many silver coins for me,
Like showers, in the parish of Cewydd.
Bread and corn are as common
In Blaen Edwy as in the Wye vale;
An upright table full of every drink,
White bread, the best work of the bee.
Is bragget not the drink of the house,
Made with the first drawing of Weobley ale?
Hywel, by Derfel, is a father
From the generous of the south lands;
Annes, the daughter of Morgan, is a mother
Of the goodness of the blameless wives.
Hywel is St Elien
And Annes is St Gwen.
Hywel is the generous wine from the wood
And Annes is the vine.
Hywel is gold in the house of feasting,
Annes is gold of the same value.
Two in the peaks of Uwch Mynydd,
Two who are good for meals.
Good Hywel, an angel of plenty,
Annes, too, is so good.
Dewi and his mother bless him,
Let God himself bless her.

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