Saturday, June 24, 2006

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 17

No 147 A Request for Cattle to Annes Aubrey and Isbel vz Rhys

Two women more kindly bred
Than any two alive, as God is a surety.
Annes Aubrey, without flattery,
Daughter of Morgan, the vineyard of our nation;
The noble blood of Isbel, daughter of Rhys Fychan
From Is-Mynydd, Good day!

You are good, two Llywys for the land,
And good, too, your two fathers.
In terms of bloodline, you excel,
You are higher than the high woodland.
Your nobility grows Annes
From Aubrey, as pure as mead,
From Gwallter Sais and Rhosier Hen,
From the deer herd of Moreiddig Warwyn.
Isbel, your descent has been high,
Its place at the summit of pedigrees,
The descent of Ifor, supreme,
From Y Tanwr, no lesser man.
Two lands, your ancient tribe’s inheritance,
These are the two lands of your two tribes:
The two banks of the Wye as far as Monmouth,
The two well-cultivated lands of Elfael.
And your two husbands are placed
In the front rank as far as the land of Emlyn:
Fluent Hywel of the race of Rhydderch,
Brought to the affection of SiƓn ap Phelpod.
Neither of your two husbands would begrudge
Your honouring a bard or a musician.

I do not demand from anyone good,
But only for your two faces.
Two barrels of white ferment,
As dark as Weobley ale;
Not the nation’s wooden barrels,
But barrels that refill.
I shall ordain for the two
A house of straw and two torques.
Behold, two vineyards of Hirddywel,
Their liquor is like honey,
If the new Gascon wine is white,
Then their wine will be pure white.
And there were great portents
Upon them, like upon the cattle of Anglesey;
Bent like drinking horns
And marked on their foreheads.
Eight feet of the same age
Running with medicine from eight faucets.
It has the property to restore a hundred fellows
Who’ve been on the beer.
It does not cause an untimely mass,
Nor mess up my clothes or my head;
It does not make me tipsy, a sozzled weakling,
Nor drunk, nor deaf.
When I go on a journey
It saves me from giddiness.
It improves my muse,
And is the point that keeps my mind in time.

You both could, were my request greater,
Reward me twice over from your store of cattle.
You shall have while a vine grows
my wine from a green shoot.
I shall have, Isbel and Annes,
Your wine and more of your profit.
To you two, and to your two husbands
A life twice as long as an oak in water.
To me your good cattle without condition,
To you the blessings of your bard.

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