Sunday, November 18, 2007

Radnorshire Bardic Poems, 42

This is a rather over the top praise poem by Lewis Glyn Cothi addressed to Dafydd Goch ap Hywel ab Einion of St Harmon, there are some interesting references to grazing lands in North West Radnorshire though.

No 190, Praise of Dafydd Goch ap Hywel

Good day to the bravest unto Rouen
The stout chieftain of Garmon's land,
Dafydd Goch, perhaps he is better
Than any man, or a hundred times better;
A Beuno of Hywel ab Einion,
Cast on his fair brow and talent;
Hywel's Gradifael of a hundred summers,
The root and great grandson of Adam.

Dafydd is the strongest man,
The richest, most generous stag.
From the thirding of Gwerthrynion,
His third is like the land of Non.
He loves a hundred feasts and to stock
The earth with his young beasts.
His cattle were upon Blaen Marchdeg,
Colouring it with their multitude;
Some on Blaen Gwy, with more to come,
Others upon the soil of Hirddywel;
A thousand colouring the hilltops,
Three thousand about St Harmon.

The cheeriest goodman of the council,
To his world he's like old Bedwyr.
He'll do, he's so gentle,
What Isaac and Esau would do;
Circling the greenwood for the deer,
Loving the staghounds raising the deer,
Charging to fair Nant Hyddgant,
Watching the ford for a chase;
Yonder is Dafydd coming home,
Calling his bard to have his reward;
Settling before me an endless feast,
A whorl of money in the palm of my hand.
In his home Weobley beer is my portion, and venison.
If every man was a suitor for ten lands,
If every mere man was a bard,
From his generosity, he'd have a gift
From the land of Garmon, three times too much.

His feasts, Dafydd had two thousand,
Were greater than the shoots of the forest:
Gentleness, the fairness of the father,
The mildness of his two grandfathers,
The courage of Lancelot and his bravery,
The strength of old Arthur and his height.
He holds, in a southern land,
The power of five giants in every finger,
The power of two great oaks, of twelve,
The power of nine from the land of fair Garmon.
Dafydd has been given Adam's form,
Given a better countenance, given the hand of Nudd,
And a serpent's fist to be turned into a seal,
And the claw of a man of war.

The best of a man is his face,
A man who knows dislike of no-one,
A wealthy, liberal man,
A man whose gold is as much as the river pebbles.
I have the silver of this man,
I share the gold of the same man,
I have the silver coins he wears,
Gold of the same kind upon the grandson of Einion.

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