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Y Gododdin

Celtic Historic Literature by Aneirin, translation by Joseph Clancy


Wrong to leave him unsung, most valiant, he did not leave a breach out of fear.
His court left no bards unrewarded, he was ever mindful of New Year's.
Unploughed his land though it lie waste, battle too bitter, mighty dragon.
Dragon in blood after a wine-feast, Gwenabwy fab Gwen fights for Catraeth.


It was true, as Catlew would say, no man's horses could catch Marchlew.
He planted spears in a battle from a leaping steed, sturdy-framed, though not bred for bearing burdens.
At his post, savage his sword-stroke, he planted ashen shafts with squared hand, atop a steaming stallion.
Dear lord, he shared wine, unstinting; he slashed with a sharp bloodstained blade.
As reapers reap when weather turns, so Marchlew made the blood pour forth.


Issac, much-honoured man from the South, like the incoming ocean his ways,
Genial and generous, well-mannered over mead where he buried his weapons he called it quits.
Not stained, stainless; not faulty, faultless. His sword rang in the heads of mothers.
A wall in war, Gwydneu's son was praised.


Ceredig, cherished his renown: he seized, he safeguarded fame.
Pet cub, peaceful before his time came, excelling in courtesy.
May he come, honoured friend of song, to heaven's land, familiar home.

verses 29, 30 & 31