5: Gwarchan

I
After the wine & feastings’ flavours flown,
Enrich’d on first fat fruits of slaughter’s spoil,
Energetic Eidol mounts the hill
Where ravens hover sensing victory,
Ascending skies oer spears wide thickening,
That him surround, some virgin barley-crop,
Offering not one semblance of retreat,
While warring-wonders shock stiff javelins,
Lips pallid grown, & pouting, lances carve
Banquets of blood, tho’ dim from lack of sleep,
Men surge from under Heiddun’s sword-sharp son,
Tough leader of the din tumultuous!

II
Blood-frigid Eidol, pallid skin-stretch pale,
Regaling judgement as his carnage spread,
Him owning horses, captain of their trappings,
He makes an instantaneous onset,
Descending & ascending as he flies.

III
Correct it is to praise those skillful men
Who lusting life leapt from the craven halls,
Eidol’s ambition moves bards every side,
“Praise goblets full of mead, good steeds & gold!”
O Quiet Soul! O Conqueror! O King!
Sea-roving foemen spy thy streamers blue,
Thee tiger on the tides, whose swarming host
Charg’d manfully by thy broad-beating breast,
Twas custom’ry for ye nine companies to lead
Into the blood for love of lands & tribe,
O throne victorious, hear strains harmonious,
Cynddilig praising, Aeron’s lion-cub,
& Enovant’s grandson, loved the world the most.

IV
As harnesses his charging horses held,
Them gut-gore drench’d on Catraeth’s crimson field,
His was the foremost hillfort-hewing shaft,
Whose battle-hounds harried the hoary highlands,
Behind his barks men hearken to the post,
Hard beckon’d to by Heiddun, steel-clad chief!

V
When fairly met good men must meet life’s loss;
Arvon’s Dialgur brought the golden torque,
Beyond brave battles fought by Brythons bold,
Him by Cynon’s own riders wide renown’d.

VI
No shame by Senylt’s court was ever felt,
Far-famed for filling brimming bowls of mead,
Whose sword-arm earn’d the holiest devotions,
For as he bray’d & barg’d into battle,
Supporting blood-soak’d soldiers in his arms,
Before Gododdin, Brennych & Deivyr,
What hooves of Hermes hied between the hosts,
When spear-gore stream’d over battle-black gear
& beams of bow-thread gleam from outstretch’d hands,
Praise Gwen, him like a hunter in the haar,
When foemen fought in mutual reproach,
When not one foot would turn its toes in flight,
Defending every region generally!

VII
Tis right for bards to relish such renown
The Zeus-blast, & the Sunstorm, & the Tempest
Swells with this gallant & talented knight ,
Whose ruddy reapers ache for breakneck war,
A manly lion leading pens of sheep,
All Britain lauds his firth-broad battle-sword,
Fields cleaving clearly ‘neath broadshoulder’d shields,
Blood flowing as liquer leaves vessel’d glass;
If mead be money, deem gold thine to claim,
Wine-nourish’d was Gwaednerth, old Llywri’s son!

VIII
As native acres received invaders
He fix’d a front against the coming foe,
Then drove them off, those laughing chiefs of war,
Even as far as Ephyd, Elphin-famed,
A bull of battle Eithinyin became!

IX
From realms about with qualities acclaim’d
Thro’ combat, & to Catraeth, with a cry,
Mix speedy steed,s with shields, broad armours dark,
Uplifted javelins, lances sharp-pointing,
Mailcoats a-glittering & with swords;
Excelling, he would penetrate the host
Blade felling a full five battalions:
As altars took the gold of Rhuvawn Hir,
We minstrels, too, receiv’d a rich reward.

X
Again has Angor blown away the brave,
Pike fierce, some widely-piercing serpentine,
An army’s immovable monument,
Proposing plentied pain & punishment,
Prize-giver to the best assaulting lance,
Thou art perfection’s lawful pinnacle,
Thou cometh careful to thy faithfull’s call,
Protecting all our Cymric progeny;
Praise Tudvwlch, Castle slayer, battle-lord:
Praise Meryn, Madyen’s son, a boy man-born!

XI
The grey wolf roars as water, & was caught
By Gwolowy, as Angor scatters slain,
This bold, unbroken rock defends his ain,
Main guardian Gododdin loved to love,
Whose ruddy horses, radiance & swords,
Have heard the song that rises rapidly
From Cymry’s famous bard, who stands in front
Of Garth Meryn, Tottarth with taleful tongue!

XII
It was his heart’s first custom to defend,
Gododdin versus very best of foes,
In battle’s van avenging vehemence,
It was his body’s custom, lion-swift,
To run on predatory shifting hordes,
Custom it was for Golstan’s sov’reign son
To listen to his father’s worldly words,
Custom was kept when Mynyydawg him held
To ruin regal shield & redden lance
Before the lord of Eidyn, Urfai, sworn.

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