Go to Index:  





The Poem
You are here: celtic » gododdin » poem


The Celtic Pages

Y Gododdin

Celtic Historic Literature by Aneirin, translation by Joseph Clancy


A man went to Catraeth at dawn.
Ringed round him a rampart of shields, sharp they press the attack, seize plunder,
Loud as thunder the crashing of shields.
Ardent,man, prudent man, champion, he ripped and he pierced with his spearpoints,
Deep in blood he butchered with blades, in the strife, heads under hard iron.
In the court this hewer bowed humbly.
Great hosts would groan, facing Erthgl.


Of the battle of Catraeth the tale is of fallen men, long lamented.
In hosts, in hordes, they fought for the land with Godebawg's sons, savage folk.
On long biers were borne men drenched in blood.
Wretched was the lot, fate's stern demand, allotted Tudfwlch and Cyfwlch Hir.
Though by candles' light we drank bright mead, though good was its taste, long detested.


First man out of Eidin's bright fortress, loyal men-at-arms in attendance.
First in rank, on down pillows, he passed the drinking-horn round in his palace.
The first brewing of bragget was his; first of all he loved gold and purple;
First pick of sleek steeds raced beneath him: with a fierce cry, his high heart earned them.
First to raise the cry when ranks gave way, bear in the pathway, last to retreat.

verses 17 & 18