Saturday, March 24, 2007

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 31

Another praise poem by the fifteenth century bard Lewis Glyn Cothi which yet again reflects his great regard for the cantref of Elfael. Ieuan Du and Lleucu vz Ieuan Coch lived in the parish of Diserth, probably at Trecoed.

No 152, Praise of Ieuan Du and Lleucu vz Ieuan Coch

I walked through many lands
When I was footloose and free;
I saw with my own eyes
The riches of those evil countries;
I saw that their wealth was not to be had,
Not a score of their race were generous;
In Elfael I found bountiful folk,
There is no more generous land than this.

In Elfael on our own doorstep,
There is good fun and generosity;
In Elfael, the patrimony of the men,
There are warriors once more;
In Elfael, the land of Mael of the mead,
In crisis there is courage.
Here there is one of my nation
Who would hold the two lands once more:
Generous Ieuan Du, a leaping stag,
It is he, the son of Dafydd.
They talk throughout the five counties
Of the lineage of Hywel ap Meilyr;
I brought here for sale
A song for the goshawk of Diserth;
He gave me, and not sullenly
Three times its worth, and a little more.

There was once a lion in the town of Caerleon,
With his men of the Round Table;
He conquered, and shared with them,
Townships as far as Rome.
Ieuan has been a faithful pupil
To Arthur of old,
He has conquered, and will do so again,
In six places in Uwch Mynydd.

For Ieuan there is a hall
Entirely made of carved wood.
There within its walls
Is all that warms a resting man:
The warmth of food and discussion,
The warmth of gold, followed by verses,
The warmth of wine inside one,
The warmth of another silver coin.
Ieuan and his fair mistress
Share with all who are present.

There you’ll meet cheerful Lleucu,
A famous host, the daughter of Ieuan Coch;
She is the grandchild of Cadwgan,
He is the grandchild of Meilyr’s son.
A proverb, by the face of Non,
The kindness of these people;
They are the best of our country,
Sowing minted gold, providing mead.
Their mothers, their fathers,
Their brothers up in the vale of Edw,
Their children will be the strength of our land,
Their grandchildren will be honoured.
These two, a fine adventure,
Will excel over all others.

Jesus placed Lleucu under an oath,
Giving her hand to this prince;
He granted a wealth of power, Iefan,
And in that power and her share;
He granted tenants, he granted houses,
He granted fine soil, he granted good land,
He granted gold coins to him and to her,
Now grant them a long life.

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