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The Celtic Pages

Y Gododdin

Celtic Historic Literature by Aneirin, translation by Joseph Clancy


My kinsman, my comrade, never swayed except at a banquet, savage dragon.
At court he would not go short of mead.
He laid tile upon tile with his strokes, unbudged in battle, unbudged under stress.
When he charged on the border, great was his fame, he earned his wine, gold-collared soldier.
He gave freely, bright ranks, fair hero, retained a hundred men, gracious lord.
Noble his nature, foreign horseman, Cian's one son, from beyond Mount Bannawg.
Gododdin could not say, after battle, when there would come a keener than Llif.


Weapons scattered, columns shattered, standing their ground.
Great the havoc, the hero turned back the English.
He planted shafts, in the front ranks, in the spear-clash.
He laid men low, made wives widows, before he died.
Hoywgi's son flamed before spears forming a rampart.


Hero, shield firm below his freckled forehead, his stride a young stallion's.
There was battle's din, there was flame, there were keen spears, there was sunlight,
There was crow's food, a crow's profit.
Before he was left at the ford, as the dew fell, graceful eagle,
With the wave spreading beside him, the world's bards judge him great of heart.
His warfaring wasted his wealth; wiped out were his leaders and men.
Before burial beneath Eleircht Fre, there was valour in his breast,
His blood poured over his armour, undaunted Buddfan fab Bleiddfan.

verses 25, 26, 27 & 28