Monday, February 20, 2006

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 7

Owain Glyndwr's daughter Gwenllian lived at Cenarth in the parish of St Harmon with her husband Philip ap Rhys, when she died Lewis Glyn Cothi composed this elergy.

No 188 Eergy for Gwenllian vz Owain Glyndwr

The woman whose hair was golden,
Born of the stags of Rhuddallt
Gwenllian, daughter of old Owain,
Was cheerful, God greet her.
It would not be strange, were the mighty redeemer
To honour the fair moon of Cynllaith.

The tongue, since she went from her land
Into the grave, has been laid low.
The countryside is unlively now
Since the priests came to Cenarth.
It was a hall that was new to her,
With tables for three townships,
She filled them, every wine that was
She gave out and shared there.

I, for my part, had from Cenarth:
Silver from every corner,
Feasting from every square foot,
All that makes the old feel healthy.
From her giving they gave Gwenllian
The name of St Anne.
Gwenllian was never foolish,
Gwen was good and wise;
The moon of Owain was kind,
The best amidst gold and precious stones.
Her father was a strong prince,
All of Wales was his dominion;
Forty dukes were forced to pay
A tax of gold and silver,
And he paid, unto the grave
For sixty two widows.

Gwenllian gave birth to lions,
Men of her stock who will rule.
Maredudd, Dafydd an ashwood,
My hopes are with her sons.
As tall as Owain their grandfather,
They shelter under their father’s wing.
In Cenarth and Sycharth there is talk,
And sadness in Gwerthrynion.
All honest folk cry out in anguish,
Everyone, Philip ap Rhys!

Gwenllian was the colour of the wave,
She and her husband were fair of face.
They never hid on the high feast days,
Nor on working days, nor any day.
Every moment was one for giving,
Easter gifts to adorn the world,
Christmas gifts, almost to excess,
Gifts on the feast of St Garmon, again to excess.

If I had a tongue of steel
Which had never spoken, never been used.
If my heart and my breast were made of brass
And my chest was a white stone,
I could not, any more than a reed stem,
Express with one head all our pain.
God chooses to take the wise,
We are nothing much more than broken twigs.
Gwenllian, like a vineyard of mead,
Was the unassuming Luned of Gwynedd,
Oh Jesus be a welcomer
To the fair Luned of Glyndwr.

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