Sunday, July 22, 2007

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 39

Philip ap Rhys of Cenarth, St Harmon was the son-in-law of Owain Glyndwr. After Maredudd, Owain's son received a pardon from Henry V in 1421 it seems that Philip refused to surrender and continued the war against the English. In this poem the bard Llawdden praises Philip, still at large in the woods of Arwystl.

Praise of Philip ap Rhys of Cenarth (10)

I’d love to go with a fine poem,
Merlin’s gift, to where great fame is found,
Dear Philip, form of a stag
The lover of this southern land.
The stag of Rhys loves to give
Gold and a steed, in maintenance,
A lord from Philip Fychan, a true support
A Bendigeidfran of provision.
More than anyone he’s our life,
The face of Arthur for Gwerthrynion,
Another Ieuan Llwyd, lord of Glyn Aeron,
On to victory, chieftain!
Proof of the spirit of the nobility
Is found with this heir and his mead,
The wood in the apple-tree then
That causes its branch to sprout on high.
Philip ap Rhys is a tree from
The highest bud of the Isle of Honey,
The fine customs of a baron,
Generous God bestow on him,
The generosity of Einiawn’s race,
The face of a Goodman with the fairest look.
Majesty was given to my eagle,
The manner of a falcon amongst the goodmen,
A fine sight on a stallion, without ugliness,
Princely, God’s salvation for him!

There’s a longing amongst his nation
For the fair governance of Cynan’s grandchild.
In our land none but the birds and
The woodland branches care for him,
No minstrel, we who once made merry,
None can be found to salute him.
A fine journey awaits me, for love of him,
By the three months of summer,
I’ll cross yonder Pumlumon
With poems as gifts for him;
By my faith, how distant the respected one,
I’ll meet with my swan.

Jesus, I have a great longing,
He was in his beloved land,
A generous ruler, tall son of a chieftain,
When he left, a hunting ground.
Give him, powerful ruler,
A blow like Owain ab Urien;
In his story he succeeds,
Like the man on the Llychwr shore.
Old and fitting was the one who made,
A long campaign, a fine outlawdom,
Until he had justice and land and houses
From on high, he did not make peace.
After the nobleman’s son fled,
Philip is the equal of the Goodman:
He has rejected unjust rule,
And calls for victory,
Until which he dwells where he wishes,
Free like one of the stags.

As long as there is a fine mead feast
In the bright lands of Arwystl,
Swiftly to our land from Powys
A fair chieftain will come.
Where the houses and haunts of the father are found,
And the cultivated land of the great grandfather,
There one as old as Rhys’s son will dwell,
There he’ll deign to be by Christmas,
Let a long lifetime of fame and affection
Be given to the nephew of Rhydderch!

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