Sunday, July 22, 2007

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 40

Here is another praise poem to Philip ap Rhys and Gwenllian of Cenarth, St Harmon. Ffransis Payne considered it the best of the poems composed for the family. It is the only surviving work by the bard Ieuan Gyfannedd.

Praise of Philip ap Rhys and Gwenllian vz Owain Glyndwr (IG)

Philip, a generous royal stock,
Ap Rhys, there‘s mention of you,
Lover of our song;
And much, too, of Gwenllian;
Honour to you and this goddess,
Famed Arthur of Gwerthrynion.

You dwell in the house of fame,
You and the girl from Glyn;
You are firmly seated
On the bench of the men of estate;
Loyally the bards, all who would cultivate
Your land, would not leave its support
In summer or in winter,
God’s blessing on your house.

I’ve composed a wide acre of praise
In the borderlands, it’s honourable;
Like an agreement for joint-ploughing,
I refer to you in furrows of harmonious praise.
The datgeiniaid have sung, have harrowed,
Have dug over an acre of song.

It has been sown a hundred times
With the blessings of the weak.
Chieftain of our land, your praise was ever
A fresh shoot, like that of Rhys,
It has been sown, like the seed corn
From the wheat, the world’s blessing.
Your dominion is more than a saint’s,
The land has been sown with a chaired poem
In your praise, Mary’s blessing upon you;
The world has been sown, unto the grave,
With songs to the girl from Gwynedd.

This tall house in the hill’s fold
Is the wheat store of blessings;
You are the best of men, with a fair wife
And a house for every charity;
Your hall has been stitched
With good poetry, your delight;
The carpenters of praise measure their trunks
By a man’s goodness, not with greenwood;
Today, Rhydderch’s nephew, is lifted up
By the work of carpenters of love,
And on high, the belfry of their praise
Will be ready by morning.

A long life to you and the girl from Gwynedd,
To give there in mead and song.
A long life was given to Moses,
Old Noah lived to a great age,
You and Gwenllian will grow old
In the land of fame, in the hill’s fold.

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