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[VI - XIV]

Gwyr a aeth ododin chwerthin ognaw.
chwerw en trin a llain en emdullyaw.
byrr vlyned en hed yd ynt endaw.
mab botgat gwnaeth gwynnyeith gwreith
e law.
ket elwynt e lanneu e benydyaw.
a hen a yeueing a hydyr a llaw.
dadyl diheu angheu y eu treidaw.Read more... )

Men went to Gododdin, laughter-inciting,
Bitter in battle, with blades set for war.
Brief the year they were at peace.
The son of Bodgad, by the deeds of his hand
did slaughter.
Though they went to churches to do penance,
The young, the old, the lowly, the strong,
True is the tale, death oer’took them.

Men went to Gododdin, with eager laughter,
Attacking in an army, cruel in battle,
They slew with swords without much sound
Rheithfyw, pillar of battle, took pleasure in giving.

Men went to Catraeth, swift was their host.
Fresh mead was their feast, their poison too.
Three hundred waging war, under command,
And after joy, there was silence.
Though they went to churches to do penance,
True is the tale, death oer’took them.

Men went to Catraeth, mead-nourished,
Sturdy and strong, it would be wrong should I not praise them.
Amid blood-red blades in dark-blue sockets,
The war-hounds fought fiercely, tight formation.
Of the war-band of Brennych, I would have thought it a burden,
to leave any in the shape of a man alive.
A friend I have lost; faithful I was.
Swift in the struggle, it grieves me to leave him.
The brave one desired no father-in-law’s dowry,
The son of Cian from Maen Gwyngwn.Read more... )
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An Lon Dubh

Int én bec
ro léic feit
do rind guip
fo-cheird faíd
os Loch Laíg
lon do chraíb

Blackbird at Belfast Lough

The wee bird
has let out a whistle
from the point of a beak
bright yellow;
it sends out a call
above Loch Laig
a blackbird from a branch
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The Hearth of Rheged

Many a lively hound and spirited hawk
were fed on its floor
before this place was in ruins.

This hearth-
It was more accustomed on its floor
to mead and drinkers petitioning.

This hearth- nettles hide it.

(from Marwnad Urien Rheged, The Red Book of Hergest, written down c. 1382)
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Ind ráith i comair in dairfedo,
ba Bruidgi, ba Cathail,
ba hÁedo, ba hAilello,
ba Conaing, ba Cuilíni,
ocus ba Máele Dúin.
Ind ráith d’éis cach ríg ar úair,
ocus int slúaig foait i n-úir.

The fort over against the oakwood,
It was Bruidge’s, it was Cathal’s,
It was Áed’s, it was Ailill’s,
It was Conaing’s, it was Cuilíne’s
and it was Máel Dúin’s.
The fort remains after each king in turn,
and the hosts sleep in the ground.
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Glen Ramadale;
my love in the dew of twilight
a morning glory in her hair,
setting it alight;
the hidden cuckoo's call
encircling her.

I heard the cuckoo yesterday;
a shadow fell across the evening;
beauty tearing apart memory's harp
in Glen Ramadale:
Darling! where did you go?
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On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road run by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.Read more... )
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Is aicher in gaeth in-nocht,
fo-fúasna fairrge findfholt,
ní águr réimm mora mind
dond laechraid lainn o Lothlind.

The wind is bitter this night:
It tosses the white hair of the sea;
I do not fear the wild warriors
From Lothlinn, who course on a quiet sea.
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You that are jealous and have a wife
go face the rain like other men.
If you want a hope of peace
question not your woman's moods.

She's woman born, and must so stay
whatever pain she has of it.
She is the servingmaid of love
and not herself responsible.

Don't trust the sight of your own eyes.
Half of what you know, know not.
Take proven news to be a lie.
Don't believe your own ears.

Suffer agitation calmly.
Bother with nothing under the sun.
The wisest thing to be
is a witless harmless fool.

Eat your meat and sleep your fill,
don't let her see your wretched pain,
cross the mire in a single leap,
nor care a straw for your woman's moods.

You that are jealous and cannot help but love her
don't care a straw for that empty woman's moods.
If you can't manage that, for honour's sake
outclimb all idiots to the peak of madness.
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When the fountain stream runs clear
And the rose is queen of the woods
And the nightingale on his bough
Trills and beautifies his sweet song
It's only right that I join in with mine.

Distant love,
For you all my heart aches
Nor may I have remedy
If I hearken not to your call:
Oh, for the warmth of love and soft wool,
Among the flowers or between the sheets
With my heart's desire for company.
But I can never have her near
Small wonder then that love's fire consumes me
A nobler Christian, Jew or Saracen
There never was, by God's decree.

He who wins her love
Feeds on manna sublime
I yearn for her night and day,
But desire robs me of that sun
And sharper than any thorn
Is the pain that only joy can heal.

Having no paper, I send
this verse to be sung by Filhol
in the goodly romance tongue
To Messer Hugo,
And the men of Poitou,
Of Berry and Guiana,
And, with joy, to the Bretons.


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