Saturday, January 19, 2008

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 43

It seems ages since I posted a translation of a bardic poem addressed to a patron in what became Radnorshire. I haven't run out there are dozens more to come I'm afraid! This is one of Lewis Glyn Cothi's praise poems addressed to Ieuan ap Llywelyn of Crug Eryr, Llanfihangel Nant Melan and his wife Edudful vz Maredudd. Clud by the way is the Welsh name for Radnor Forest, metheglin was a spirit made from honey.

Poem 167, Praise of Ieuan ap Llywelyn and Edudful vz Maredudd.

In Nant Melan there is a hearth
Within the palace of a fair, cheerful prince;
God's blessings to the wise goodman,
Good day to a wise and gentle goodwoman:
Light, bright, swift Ieuan,
His name and his claim are under Clud;
Edudful with her dark blond husband
Fill all with food and drink.
Land and fire cannot be mentioned
Except in the context of the swan of Nant Melan,
And Edudful's diligent bard
Has called her "a second Sunday".
Llywelyn Fychan like Ilar,
Was twice as strong as an oak;
Ieuan, his son, possesses
The same strength and quality.
Maredudd Fychan, the best in Britain,
Generous, of the main line of old Noah;
Edudful, his daughter, came
With his hand and his greeting.

If over Maesyfaidd, Iefan
Has the status of Joachim and his roots,
Then every Sunday Edudful is
Like an Anna in Maelienydd.
A wife and husband in pure white fur
Who give their gold, these two,
Who give alms to the poor,
Who feed ale to this province.
Every day, every night, he is
Before the table of the wise folk,
Foods, vegetables in summer,
Butter, soups in the winter,
Metheglin from the bees of the woodland,
The first drawing of the Weobley ale,
This is the court that is
Full of the nine joys,
People of good humour,
A hundred there, or more.
Their two sons, by the Sacrifice!
Will become one increase and power;
Gwilym and Rhys are two columns,
The strong roots of the tree of paradise,
The two shoots fill the earth,
And wise Ieuan is the old oak.
His children both grow
On the ancient vine of Nannau;
One is a post in Llanbister,
A yew tree that keeps his word,
The other is the pillar of Crug Eryr,
That grows like a fir tree.
Two roots from the grandfather's cot
Who count the gold of the Iforites,
Two princes of Bran's royal blood,
Two green oaks of the wood of Elystan
Two sons like Gradifael,
Truly Jesus will form them.

Good health to the mother and father, amen,
Were old Noah indeed healthy,
Were any one of their land old,
Gwilym and Rhys will live as long.

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