Sunday, July 15, 2007

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 38

This is a translation of a cywydd by Lewis Glyn Cothi in praise of the Sion and Hywel, two sons of Ieuan Coch. Lewis composed a number of praise poems to members of this family living in various parishes in Elfael Uwch Mynydd

No 155, Praise to the two sons of Ieuan Coch

Two generous men in fair Elfael,
Two braves, two oaks,
Two good sons and heirs
Of Ieuan Coch, a generous chieftain,
Both grandsons of Cadwgan,
The stags who break castles;
Sion with his successful look,
And Hywel, no-one is more generous.

There’s no more than an archer’s mark
Of woodland between their liberal homes,
And I am Lewis the strong archer,
Their two courts are my target,
I’ll shoot a poem from
My jaw at the two marks;
I’ll shoot a cywydd across the Ithon
At Sion, that is my office;
And then a bolt to where Hywel comes,
An ode of gwawdodyn metre.
I know well an idle game
Of bars between these two pure stags.
My feet have been running
Down between their fair homes.
I’m as swift as a swallow
As I follow after them.
I’m quicker to the sons of Ieuan
Than a breath of wind to a high bank,
Than white snow along the moorland,
Than a brown falcon to the forest,
Than an old eagle to the great cliff,
Than a wounded roebuck to the river cliff.
I’m a man of no use, in Llanfaredd,
For Sion, rose of the tribe.
I do not need to call for poems
From a book, just for Hywel his brother.

There are two more brothers
Who both learn the books of the others.
They’re four saplings from one oak,
They’re four fledglings.
There is no feebleness with these on side,
They’re loyal to a man.
Sion is the trunk in place of Ieuan Coch,
A stag, whom you know;
Hywel is the longest branch,
An old coffer I’ll get from him.
Two stags in the two battles,
Two swords of their country.
God gave Moses two tablets,
Golden images in two cloths;
Two are earth and sky,
Two bodies which are related;
Two days were one for a man,
For Roland against his enemy.
Two brothers are the men who permit us,
Stags, the same charity.
Two stars are special,
Two men dwell to turn steel aside.
Jesus, he who is an old man
Would give an age to these two men.

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