Ode IV by Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd

My choice, a slim, fair, comely girl,
tall, lovely in her heather-coloured gown.
My chosen experience, to look at womanliness
when it quietly utters a seemly thought.
My choice is to share with and be with a girl
privately, with secrets and with gifts.
My choice, fair colour of the wave,
wise one in your country, is your elegant Welsh.
You are my choice. How do I stand with you?
Why are you silent, my pretty silence?
I’ve chosen a girl of whom I’ll not repent:
it’s right to choose a lovely girl of choice.

From: Williams, Gwyn (tr. & ed.), Welsh Poems: 6th Century to 1600, 1974, University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angeles, p. 42.

Date: 12th century (original); 1974 (translation)

By: Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd (c1120-1170)

Translated by: David Gwyn Williams (1904-1990)

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