Sunday, March 05, 2006

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 9

This is a request poem by Lewis Glyn Cothi addressed to Angharad vz Ieuan, the wife of Ieuan ap Philip, the constable of Cefnllys Castle.

No 172 Request for a Frieze to Angharad vz Ieuan

Good day to the good woman who gave
Me wine at the end of my life,
She is the best from her dominion handing out money in Cefnllys.

Angharad, in manner a Mary,
The daughter of Ieuan, unsullied,
The moon of Hywel ap Madog,
A moon who trusts in the Cross.
As good as the Duke’s payments
The customs of this grandchild of Meurig.
Her custom is to heed the priest,
To make and give her food to the old folk;
Not that Angharad, for all that,
Would allow a young person a moment’s hunger.
Angharad, daughter of a good father,
Is like Anna in Maelienydd.
Anna and her wedded husband
Gave alms to the poor and aged;
She, ‘Ngharad and Ieuan,
Pay well to the poor, the weak.
Philip’s prince, he is a hand and a pillar,
The very post of sweet wine.
He is rooted from the root,
The roots of bardic song.

Angharad has, in the fair country,
The name Angharad Silver Hand.
I was her supplicant,
Since then I’ve been her fond bard;
And for her bard let there be a gift,
A coverlet, protection from the cold snowdrift.
The books of the moon predict
Ice and a world of bitter cold,
At this very moment the fish
Are freezing in the ocean;
With the rod frozen
I’m colder than Llywarch Hen,
And I don’t know, for I’m so weak,
If I’ll live as long as Iolo.

Ieuan’s daughter, to save me from the cold,
Gave me a warm Arras cloth.
Some Lombard with silk brocade and muslin
Embroidered the cloth with a hand loom,
Placing the branches of a woodland
On the green bordered chasuble.
A likeness for the flag of St David’s diocese,
It is the banner of some German,
Groves of marigolds fill up the white sheet,
A multi-coloured picture in cloth.
Like a window upon fair Westminster
With a branch of yew woven above it.
With the golden thread of heaven’s angels
It has been glazed down to the edges,
It is wool from the sheep of Paradise,
Twenty pounds of peacock fleece.

A long life to Angharad,
She gave me a great load of leaf from her estate,
And her wine from a Greek island
I’ve received freely in Cefnllys,
And her tapestry of tiny clover
And a poem for Ieuan’s daughter.

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