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The Celtic Pages

Y Gododdin

Celtic Historic Literature by Aneirin, translation by Joseph Clancy


Gold on the wall bold the assault, sin not to press the attack.
One shouting Saxon was food for the birds, high-hearted the war-cry.
Those who live will tell of the spearmen's lord, of one like a lightning-bolt.
None who live will say on the day of slaughter Cynhafal withheld his support.


When you were a famous fighter defending the highland fields of grain,
By right we were known as men of note.
He was a strong door, strong fort in defeat, gracious to those who implored his aid,
Fort to an army that trusted him. where he was, was called Paradise.


I'm no weary lord, I avenge no wrong, I laugh no laughter,
Under crawlers' feet, my legs at full length in a house of earth,
A chain of iron about both ankles, caused by mead, by horn, by Catraeth's raiders.
I, not I, Aneirin, Taliesin knows it, master of word-craft, sang to Gododdin before the day dawned.


The North's true valour one man possessed, kind-hearted, magnanimous nature.
None walk the earth, no mother has borne one so fair and strong, dark as iron.
From a war-band his bright blade saved me, from a fell cell of earth he bore me,
From a place of death, from a harsh land, Cenan fab Llywarch, bold, undaunted.

verses 49, 50 & 51