And this was the first poem that Taliesin ever sang, being to console Elphin in his grief for that the produce of the weir was lost, and, what was worse, that all the world would consider that it was through his fault and ill-luck. And then Gwyddno Garanhir asked him what he was, whether man or spirit. Whereupon he sang this tale, and said,-
"First, I have been formed a comely person,
In the court of Ceridwen I have done penance;
Though little I was seen, placidly received,
I was great on the floor of the place to where I was led;
I have been a prized defence, the sweet muse the cause,
And by law without speech, I have been liberated
By a smiling black old hag, when irritated
Dreadful her claim when pursued :
I have fled with vigour, I have fled as a frog,
I have fled in the semblance of a crow, scarcely finding rest
I have fled vehemently, I have fled as a chain,
I have fled as a roe into an entangled thicket
I have fled as a wolf cub, I have fled as a wolf in a wilderness,
I have fled as a thrush of portending language
I have fled as a fox, used to concurrent bounds of quirks
I have fled as a martin, which did not avail
I have fled as a squirrel, that vainly hides,
I have fled as a stag's antler, of ruddy course,
I have fled as iron in a glowing fire,
I have fled as a spear-head, of woe to such as has a wish for it
I have fled as a fierce bull bitterly fighting,
I have fled as a bristly boar seen in a ravine,
I have fled as a white grain of pure wheat,
On the skirt of a hempen sheet entangled,
That seemed of the size of a mare's foal,
That is filling like a ship on the waters
Into a dark leathern bag I was thrown,
And on a boundless sea I was sent adrift;
Which was to me an omen of being tenderly nursed,
And the Lord God then set me at liberty."
Then came Elphin to the house or court of Gwyddno his father, and Taliesin with him. And Gwyddno asked him if he had had a good haul at the weir, and he told him that he had got that which was better than fish.
"What was that?" said Gwyddno.
"A Bard," answered Elphin.
Then said Gwyddno, "Alas, what will he profit thee?"
And Taliesin himself replied and said, "He will profit him more than the weir ever profited thee."
Asked Gwyddno, "Art thou able to speak, and thou so little?"
And Taliesin answered him, "l am better able to speak than thou to question me."
"Let me hear what thou canst say," quoth Gwyddno.