Saturday, March 03, 2007

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 30

This is a praise poem by Lewis Glyn Cothi to Watcyn Fychan of Hergest

No. 127, Praise of Watcyn Fychan

Mary has made a heaven of the present
In the estate of fair Herast,
And Master Watcyn, God, a powerful father,
Has made into a man of estate.
Estate is being strong,
Being wise to give judgement;
Estate is the charge of two kindreds
And the ruling of others.
Many judgements with the white harness
From whence comes the saint of Gwallter Sais.
He is the sword form Dover to Glasbury,
And along the Humber, Tomas's chieftain.

He would be a generous prophet,
Sixty acres will fall into place;
He would silence and be heard,
The truth comes from the quiet prayer.
Gwatcyn, who gathers and calms,
Who compels with weapons.
Gentle and wild, moorland and wood,
In my opinion, so unalike.
With the spear he causes
The rebellious to loose men,
He does not make peace
For the hosts who come to war.
Gwatcyn is a wise-bloom
Slow-brave, witty-wise.
He subdues the men of the lowlands
With his fair words,
Some of the fearless out of fear of battle,
Some others out of love.
Abaying the two lands of Powys
With the tip of a finger.
Not Dudley nor the Duke nor their men
Have done as much as he.

The land of Powys, mother of the mead,
Is his kindred, and Gwynedd.
Let there be called beneath his banner
Eighteen lands, they'll come to him:
Cedewian and Caereinion,
Ceri and broad Arwystli,
From London to great Mechain,
From Cyfeiliog to Maelor.
By now he rules a hundred castles,
A hundred great townships, a hundred healthy crowds,
A hundred citadels before the conquest ends,
A hundred companies with a hundred spear-rests,
A hundred stallions, the first of a thousand,
From a hundred to twenty thousand;
He seeks a core of counties along the border,
Twenty lands follow him,
Twenty seals from the heights of Windsor,
Twenty offices for my great lord.

Watcyn at the limits of his lands
Is honoured as a baron;
His credible father was a baron,
Their great-grandfathers were barons;
He is a baron without a word gone to waste,
He shall be a tall earl, the lion of Herast.

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