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Y Gododdin

Celtic Historic Literature by Aneirin, translation by Joseph Clancy


Gododdin's war-band on shaggy mounts, steeds the hue of swans, in full harness,
Fighting for Eidin's treasure and mead.
On Mynyddawg's orders shields were battered to bits,
Sword-blades descended on pallid cheeks.
They loved combat, broad line of attack: they bore no disgrace, men who stood firm.


I drank deeply of mead in my turn, wine-fed before Catraeth, in one gulp.
When he butchered with blades, unbudging, he was no sorry sight in combat.
He was no wretch, safeguarding spectre, baneful shield-bearing Madawg Elfed.
When the conflict came, his life was not spared, Arfon's avenger.
They charged, golden gems, defiant Briton, Cynon's swift horses.


Who comes as the heir with Heinif missing?
One above the throng, of the noblest name, he cut down many for the sake of fame.
He killed, Nwython's son, with collars of gold, a hundred princes to win himself praise.
Better when he went with men to Catraeth.


A wine-nourished man, ample his belly, a brisk grey-haired man,
Coat-of-mall spread wide, savage and sudden on his stallion's back.
There armed for battle, quick his spear and his shield, his sword and his dagger,
No better man than Heinif fab Nwython.

verses 95, 96 & 97