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Y Gododdin

Celtic Historic Literature by Aneirin, translation by Joseph Clancy


In the great hall I drank wine and mead.
Many were his spears; in the clash of men he fashioned a feast for eagles.
When Cadwal charged in the green of dawn a cry went up wherever he came.
He would leave shields shattered, in splinters.
Stiff spears this splitter would slash in battle, ripping the front rank.
Sywno's son, a wizard foresaw it, sold his life to purchase a high reputation.
He cut with a keen-edged blade, he slaughtered both Athrwys and Affrel.
As agreed on, he aimed to attack: he fashioned carcasses of men brave in battle, charged in Gwynedd's front line.


Since I drank, I crossed the border, sad fate.
Not harmless is a reckless heart.
Lavish the lion's feast you fashioned, many the hostile spears you routed.
When all fell back, you leapt to attack.
Were it wine, the blood of those you speared, for three years, for four,
a huge store for your steward, which you would decrease.
Heaven's bliss be yours for not yielding: world-famous was Breichiawl the steadfast.


Men went to Catraeth, they were renowned.
Wine and mead from gold cups was their drink, a year in noble ceremonial,
Three hundred and sixty-three gold-torqued men.
Of all those who charged, after too much drink, but three won free through courage in strife,
Aeron's two war-hounds and tough Cynon, and myself, soaked in blood, for my song's sake.

verses 22, 23 & 24