Archive for March 4th, 2016

Friday, 4 March 2016

Preiddeu Annwn: The Spoils of Annwn by Taliesin

I praise the Lord, Prince of the realm, King.
His sovereignty has extended across the world’s tract.
Equipped was the prison of Gweir in the Mound Fortress,
throughout the account of Pwyll and Pryderi.
No one before him went into it,
into the heavy blue/gray chain; a faithful servant it held.
And before the spoils of Annwfyn bitterly he sang.
And until Judgment shall last our bardic invocation.
Three fullnesses of Prydwen we went into it
Except seven none rose up from the Fortress of the Mound.

I am honored in praise. Song was heard
in the Four-Peaked Fortress, four its revolutions.
My poetry, from the cauldron it was uttered.
From the breath of nine maidens it was kindled.
The cauldron of the chief of Annwfyn: what is its fashion?
A dark ridge around its border and pearls.
It does not boil the food of a coward; it has not been destined.
The flashing sword of Lleawch has been lifted to it.
And in the hand of Lleminawc it was left.
And before the door of hell lamps burned.
And when we went with Arthur, brilliant difficulty,
except seven none rose up from the Fortress of Mead-Drunkenness.

I am honored in praise; song is heard
in the Fortress of Four-Peaks, isle of the strong door.
Flowing water and jet are mingled.
Sparkling wine their liquor before their retinue.
Three fullnesses of Prydwen we went on the sea.
Except seven none rose up from the Fortress of Hardness.

I merit not the Lord’s little men of letters.
Beyond the Glass Fortress they did not see the valor of Arthur.
Six thousand men stood upon the wall.
It was difficult to speak with their sentinel.
Three fullnesses of Prydwen went with Arthur.
Except seven none rose up from the Fortress of Guts (Hindrance?).

I do not merit little men, slack their will.
They do not know which day the chief was created,
what hour of the midday the owner was born,
what animal they keep, silver its head.
When we went with Arthur, sorrowful strife,
except seven none rose up from the Fortress of Enclosedness.

Monks howl like a choir of dogs
from an encounter with lords who know:
Is there one course of wind? is there one course of water?
Is there one spark of fire of fierce tumult?

Monks pack together like young wolves
from an encounter with lords who know.
They do not know when midnight and dawn divide.
Nor wind, what its course, what its onrush,
what place it ravages, what region it strikes.
The grave of the saint is hidden (or: lost, vanishing, in the Otherworld), both grave and ground (or: champion).
I praise the Lord, great prince,
that I be not sad; Christ endows me.


Date: ?14th century (manuscript original); 1996 (translation)

By: Taliesin (6th century)

Translated by: Sarah Higley (19??- )