Saturday, May 26, 2007

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 36

This is an elegy by Lewis Glyn Cothi for Hywel Goch ap Rhys ap Dafydd ap Hywel Fain of Gwestun, Llangynllo:

No. 179, Elegy for Hywel Goch

The falcon with the long golden hair,
Who I saw in Rhiwlallt,
Today, he does not pay the costs
In the land of Gwestun.
He went, this great grandson of Hywel Fain,
Through the throng to the oak and the winding cloth.
He went, as if across a sea,
From Rhiwlallt, on a bier.
Hywel Goch, who would hunt the wicked,
Son of generous Rhys of the ready purse,
Famed throughout the land,
A bed of earth for Hywel ap Rhys.

He was a planted tree in Llangynllo,
He was tired after the planting.
God keeps a fair dwelling,
The vineyards of God are full of leaves,
There he cut down, after summer,
The tallest of the young growth.
Hywel was a very tall plant
From a straight, well-bred vine;
A useful plant where I played,
God is the carpenter who cut him down.
He cut down an oak tree of Maelienydd,
And now the woodland is weaker.
He broke a string with a talent
To sing out from the centre,
He broke a fine bow with a
Talent for aiming straight.
A fair, modest falcon has fallen,
By magic, as he flew.
A tree in the top of the river-cliff uprooted,
By the sun, the greatest in Rhiwlallt.
The hand of Rhys ap Dafydd
Has been hidden in the choir of Cynllo.

Rhys was a stag from the conquerors
His seven antlers were truly beautiful,
And the seventh, his favourite,
Has fallen beside Rhys.
Rhys was a tree for us throughout the dominion,
And upon it were seven roots,
Jesus with his axe one night,
Cut a good one from the seven.
There was a castle on top of Gwestun
With seven towers, one was shot down,
Once again one of the seven is broken
By a cannonball from heaven.

Many the wounds on my cheek,
Many the cries of woe for Hywel Goch.
No healthy man, not two, can sing,
No human laughter with the string music,
No-one who comes is cheerful,
No-one puts on weight because of Hywel.
Are not the sons of widows upon every bench?
Are not the youngsters in a wretched state/?
Is not the world unpleasant for everyone?
Are the brooks of Gwestun not weeping?
Hywel is where we cannot see him,
We have need of him this month.
There is weeping for the soldier,
Heaven is now his home.

No comments: