Sunday, April 15, 2007

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 33

This is an elegy composed by Lewis Glyn Cothi to Rhys and Owain ap Philip of Cenarth in the parish of St Harmon. They were the grandsons of Owain Glyndwr.

189, Elegy for the two sons of Philip ap Rhys

Rhys and Owain were mighty of face like the ash,
The hand and arm of St Harmon;
From Gwerthrynion they went
To heaven, to see Non.

Oh Non and Caron! Oh Iorys!
His choir needed the deer of Philip ap Rhys.
Oh my Jesus! Oh Mauricius!
Now their shirts linger beneath the stones.

Two shirts without sleeves for gentle folk,
Long is the yearning and grief;
Two coats made from the ribs of the oak,
Two gowns from heaven and earth.

Earth is the end,
The proud ignominy of the grave,
A strange revenge, to steal Rhys!

Owain was the youngest,
He and his oldest brother
Were the most generous, the tallest like pine trees.

Cenarth is cheerless
Without the falcons of Deheubarth,
So too the courtyard of Sycharth in the two lands of Powys.

There is no land without drink,
No township without custom,
A hand is not useful without finger or thumb.

Their generous father’s land
Is left without benefit, without their fair brows
Without their grip, without their two fingers.

A husband and wife
Are left weak by the loss of two chieftains,
And from placing two stones over their two shrouds.

They were the thumbs of Bedwyr
They were the marshals of the host,
They were two eagles, like ancient Cyrys.

Two hands their two shores
Two waters, two shields,
Two places, two vineyards, from the same fair court.

These two were,
Over seas, over lands,
For thousands they were Lludd and Llefelys.

Brothers who loved poetry,
They gave to the bards,
After the manner of the Wales of Uthr and Emrys.

I cry out to God in heaven,
I do so in anger,
A cry again and again after that.

The lions of Gwenllian
Swim in the heavens,
They went from the court to the churchyard.

Two men who had land,
Two saints of a prince,
Two privileged goshawks of the land’s parishes.

Two lands with two shores,
Secure their inheritance,
Heaven at last is their share, Owain and Rhys.

No comments: