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Y Gododdin

Celtic Historic Literature by Aneirin, translation by Joseph Clancy


Splendid the song, well-trained war-band.
A cheerful chamber, he was s endthrift, he won from all sides the praise of bards for gold and great steeds and besotting mead.
But when he came from battle they praised Cyndilig of Aeron, bloodstained men.


Splendid the song, bright were the war-bands.
In Mynyddawg's campaign, lord of men and Eudaf's daughter's, Gwananhon's strife,
There was one clad in purple, crushed men's land.


No cowards could bear the hall's uproar.
Before battle a battle broke out like a fire that rages when kindled.
On Tuesday they donned their dark armour, on Wednesday, bitter their meeting,
On Thursday, terms were agreed on, on Friday, dead men without number,
On Saturday, fearless, they worked as one, on Sunday, crimson blades were their lot,
On Monday, men were seen waist-deep in blood.
After defeat, the Gododdin say, before Madawg's tent on his return there came but one man in a hundred.


Early he rose, at dawning, fFor a spear-fight before the line.
A breach, a blazing breakthrough, like a boar he charged the hill.
He was courteous, he was grave.
Savage were his dark spear-shafts.

verses 69, 70 & 71