Y Gododdin

Y Gododdin is a medieval poem in Welsh. It consists of a series of elegies to the men of the kingdom of Gododdin and their allies who died fighting, according to the most common interpretation, the Angles of Deira and Bernicia, in a place called Catraeth. The poem is generally attributed to the bard Aneirin.

Y Gododdin

Warriors of the Kingdom of Gododdin


ardor of a man in youth,
Courage for battle:
Fast, thick-maned stallions
Beneath the superb teenager's thighs,
Large and light shield
On the back of a slender steed,
Sparkling blue blades,
Gold edged garments.
There will never be
Of acrimony between us:
Rather I will make you
Songs of praise.
The earth bathed in blood
Before the wedding feast,
Food for crows
Before the funeral.
A righteous comrade, Owain;
Execrable, his coat of crows.
Terrible is this soil to me,
Dejected, Marro's only son.



Crowned, ahead at all times,
Speechless in front of a woman, provided with mead.
He broke the edge of his shield, hearing
The battle cry, he spared none of those he pursued.
He wouldn't quit a fight until he had blood
Poured, like reeds he cut the men who had not fled.
In the palaces, Gododdin relates, came no
In front of Madawg's tent on his return
Only one man out of a hundred.



Crowned, guardian of the frontier, skilled in traps,
Of a sea eagle, its race, when it came to life,
His covenant was kept unbroken.
He accomplishes what was planned, without rout,
In front of the army of Gododdin it was flight,
Strong push for the country of Manawyd.
He spared neither coat of mail nor shield;
None could, of mead he was fed,
Guard against Cadfannan's blows.



Crowned, always ahead, fury of the wolf,
Wearing amber beads, necklaces, her part
Was expensive amber. For cups of wine
He repelled the attack, drenched in blood.
Though the men of Gwynedd and Gogledd have come
On the advice of Ysgarran's son,
The shields were torn to pieces.



Crowned, ever ahead, armed for battle,
Before his death, fearsome in the fray,
Champion charging at the head of the host,
Five companies fell to his blade.
Men from Deifr and Brennych, two thousand
Married their destiny in a single hour.
Before marriage, wolf food.
Before the altar, choice piece for crows.
Before his funeral, the field bathed in blood.
For mead in the great hall, a hundred guests.
As long as the chants last, Hyfaidd Hir will be celebrated.



Men came to Gododdin, loving to laugh,
Relentless in battle, every blade in its place.
For a brief year they were serene, at peace.
Bodgad's son took his revenge in hand.
Despite the penances in the churches,
Old and young, humble and noble,
True is the story, death overtook them.



Men came to Gododdin, laughing warriors,
Savages in the assault of the warrior band,
In serried ranks they killed with the sword,
Rhaithfyw, generous heart, army support.



Men came to Catraeth, an ardent warrior band.
Clear mead their portion, it was poison.
Three hundred in order for battle.
Then the festivities over, silence.
Despite the penances in the churches,
True is the story, death overtook them.



Men came to Catraeth, troops fed on mead,
Great disgrace if I did not celebrate them.
With great purple spears, sheathed black,
Stern and steadfast the dogs of war fought.
From the troupe of Brennych, I can hardly bear it,
I would leave only one man alive...
I lost a friend, who was loyal to me,
Ardent in battle, losing him saddens me.
He had no desire for a dowry,
The young son of Y Cian, of Maen Gwyngwn.



Men came to Catraeth at dawn:
Having driven away all their fears.
Three hundred faced ten thousand.
They dyed their spears red with blood.
He stood firm, bravest in battle,
In front of Mynyddawg Mwynfawr's men.



Men came to Catraeth at dawn:
Their big heart shortened the span of their lives.
They drank the mead, golden and sweet, that lure;
One year the bards were merry.
Red their swords, let the blades
Defiled, white shields and four-pointed spears,
In front of Mynyddawg Mwynfawr's men.



Men came to Catraeth in the morning.
He assured the shame of armies;
They made coffins necessary.
Christendom's wildest blades,
He establishes, no call for truce,
A path of blood and death for his enemies.
When Neirthiad was ahead of Gododdin's troop,
His high deeds revealed his bold heart.



A man came to Catraeth in the morning.
He greedily drank mead at midnight.
A disaster, best of companions,
Was his fight, seething killer.
Didn't walk on Catraeth
No hero whose heart
Didn't long for the party so much,
None of such quality
Only came from the fortress of Eidin.
He compelled the enemies to flee,
Tudfwlch Hir, far from home and native country.
He killed Saxons at least every eight days.
Long his courage will be celebrated,
Remembered by his noble companions.
When Tudfwlch lived, pillar of his people,
Carnage of the spear-bearing ranks, sons of Cilydd.



A man came to Catraeth at dawn.
In a circle against him a rampart of shields,
Long live the press of the attack, the taking of the booty,
Sound like thunder the crash of shields.
Brave, prudent, hero,
He tore and pierced with the points of his spear,
Bloody butchery of the blade,
In the struggle, heads under stern steel.
At court this slayer bowed humbly.
Great armies would lament, in front of Erthgl.



From the battle of Catraeth the story
Said the fallen men, long mourned.
Armies or hordes, they fought for their country
With the son of Godebawg, savage people.
Long coffins for men soaked in blood.
Wretched was fate, fate's claim,
Allocated to Tudfwlch and Cyfwlch Hir.
Yet by candlelight we drank this bright mead,
Despite its pleasant flavor, long hated.



First out of Eidin's shining fortress,
Loyal men-at-arms in his service.
In the front row, on cushions, he circulated
The drinking horn in his palace.
The first boast that was brewing was his;
Above all he loved gold and purple;
Under him the first choice of racy couriers with beautiful coats:
With a fiery cry, his noble heart deserved them.
First to beat the recall when the ranks fell apart,
Guide on the way, last to retire.



Champion on the front line,
Sun in the meadow:
Where could we find
Lord of Brittany so glorious?
Ford carried away by its assault,
Shield for shelter.
Resplendent the lord
In the great hall of Eidin,
Magnificent his glory.
His mead intoxicated men,
He drank vintage wine.
A reaper in war,
He was drinking sweet wine.
The spirit turned to battle,
He reaped the ears of battle.
The brilliant troop of combat
sang a war song
Prepared for battle
battle axis,
His shield was made thin
By the spears in the fight.
The companions had fallen
In the war task.
Frightening his war cry,
Irreproachable his action,
Bewitching his frenzy,
Before the grass covers
His grave, Gwrfelling Fras.



They revered the law.
Three blood-stained spears
Fifty, five hundred.
Three hounds, three hundred:
Three War Stallions
Of rich Eidin,
Three mail-clad companies,
Three kings with golden collars.
Three wild stallions,
Three peers in battle,
Three jumping as one,
They crushed enemies hard,
Three in a tough fight,
Three lions slaughtering enemies,
Gold in close combat,
Three lords among men
Who came from Brittany,
Cynci and Cynon,
Cyrin of Aeron.
The crafty of the clan
From Deifr asked:
The Bretons do they have a man
Better than Cynon,
Snake that bites its enemy?



In the great hall I drank wine and mead.
Many were his spears;
In the confrontation of men
He prepared a feast for the eagles.
When Cadwal charged in the green of dawn
A cry rose where he passed.
He would have left the shields broken, in straws.
Unyielding spears, this tailor
Would have split them in battle,
Tearing up the front rows.
The son of Sywno, a magician foretold it,
gave his life to acquire
A lofty reputation.
He cut with a sharp blade.
He slew both Athrwys and Affrel.
Turns out, he lived for the onslaught:
He shaped the corpses
Brave men in battle,
Charging at the head of Gwynedd.



Since I had been drinking, I crossed the border, a bleak fate.
It is not vain the reckless heart.
Busty, the lion's feast you prepared,
Many hostile spears on the run.
When everyone retreated, you leaped forward.
Was it wine, the blood of those you hurt,
For three years, for four, vast cellar
For your steward, whom you will diminish.
Heavenly bliss upon you for your intransigence:
Very famous was Breichiawl the Steadfast.<



Men came to Catraeth, they were renowned.
Wine and mead in golden cups, their drink,
A year of noble ceremonial.
Three hundred and sixty-three men with golden torcs.
Of all those who rushed, after drinking too much,
Only three returned free by courage in struggle,
Two war dogs of Aeron and tough Cynon,
And myself, drenched in blood, out of respect for my songs.



My relative, my friend, never wavering
Out of banquets, wild dragon.
At court he would never have lacked mead.
He knocked down tile after tile with his blows,
Fearless in combat, fearless in turmoil.
When he charged to the border, great was his glory,
He deserved his wine, warrior with a gold collar.
He gave liberally, shining ranks, noble hero,
A hundred lieges, gracious lord.
Noble his nature, foreign horseman,
Only son of Cian, from beyond Mount Bannawg.
Gododdin cannot say, after the fight,
When will return a more ardent than Llif.



Scattered weapons,
Shattered columns, standing up.
great devastation,
The hero repelled the Angles.
He shot the arrows,
In the front lines, in the tumult of spears.
He humbled men,
Made wives widows, before dying.
Hoywgi's son blazed
In front of the lances which formed a rampart.



Hero, shield firm under his mottled brow,
His stride, of a young stallion.
There was the din of battle, there were flames,
There were fiery spears, there was the sun,
There was food of crows, benefit of crows.
Before it is lost near the ford,
As the dew fell, eagle full of grace,
The wave rolling near him,
The bards of the world esteem him big-hearted.
His warrior game squandered his strength;
Exterminated its leaders and their men.
Before the funeral near Eleirch
Fre, there was valor in his chest,
His blood streamed down his armor,
Intrepid Buddfan fab Bleiddfan.



A mistake to leave him without praise, very valiant,
He didn't leave a gap out of fears.
His court did not leave bards unrewarded,
He always remembered the New Year.
Without plowing his land, however devastated,
Too bitter fight, mighty dragon.
Bloodied dragon after a feast of wine,
Gwenabwy fab Gwen fought for Catraeth.



Truth, as Catlew would have said,
No trained horse could catch Marchlew.
He planted spears in the fight
Leaping on his steed, firmly harnessed,
Although he was not born to carry burdens.
In its place, savage, his sword stroke.
He planted ash arrows with one hand
Regular, riding a foaming stallion.
Dear lord, he shared the wine, without reserve;
He cut with a sharp blade, stained with blood.
As the reaper reaps when the season comes,
Thus Marchlew made the blood of abundance flow.



Issac, the most honored of the men of the South,
Like the rising ocean, its course,
Affable and generous,
Courteous while drinking mead.
Where he buried his weapons
He spoke of indemnity.
Spotless, pure, faultless, flawless.
His sword resounds in memory of mothers.
Wall in battle, Gwydneu's son was praised.



Ceredig, prized his fame.
He took and saved his glory.
Pampered lion cub, peaceful before its time
Don't come, shining with his courtesy.
Let him come, honored friend of song,
In heavenly land, familiar home.



Ceredig, prized ruler,
A hero unleashed in battle,
Gold encrusted shield of the battlefield,
Spears shattered, shredded,
Neither humble nor weak his sword stroke,
Like a man he held the front line.
Before mortal pain, before anguish,
Firm in his resolve, he held his ground.
May he be welcome in the community,
Reunited with the Trinity.



When Caradawg charged into battle,
Like a wild boar, slayer of three lords,
Bull of the warrior troop, murderer in the fight,
His hand provided the wolves with food.
I swear this: Owain fab Eulad,
And Gwrien and Gwyn and Gwriad,
Of Catraeth, of disaster,
Of Bryn Hyddwn before his fall,
After holding the bursting mead in hand,
Not a single one saw his father.



The men charged forward, advancing as one.
Brief their lives, intoxicated with pure mead,
Mynyddawg's troop, renowned in battle.
For a feast of mead they gave their lives,
Caradawg and Madawg, Pyll and Ieuan,
Gwgan and Gwiawn, Gwyn and Cynfan,
Steel-armed Peredur, Gwarddur and Aeddan,
A fearless warrior band in battle, shields shattered.
And although they were massacred, they killed.
Not a single one returned to his country.



The men charged forward as one fed
Of honey a whole year, great their purpose.
How sad their story, insatiable waiting,
Bitter their home, no child to cherish it.
How long the sorrow after them and the mourning,
For those ardent men of wine-fed countries.
Gwlyged of Gododdin, warm in his welcome,
He prepared the famous feast of Mynyddawg,
Its cost, the Battle of Catraeth.



Men came to Catraeth with a battle cry,
Swift black steeds armor and shields,
Spears, shafts erect and sharp points,
And gleaming chain mail and swords.
He led the way, clearing the way through the armies,
Five companies fell under his sword.
Rhufawn Hir offered gold at the altar,
And a rich reward to the bard.



Never was a great hall so acclaimed built,
So powerful, so disproportionate the slaughter.
You deserved your mead, Morien, bright torch,
No one said that Cynon wouldn't leave corpses after him:
An armored spearman with a sonorous cry,
His sword resounded at the top of the rampart.
No more than a broad-based rock would shake
He would not be shaken, Gwyd son of Peilthan.



Never was a great hall built with such acclaim.
Except for Morien, another Caradawg,
Came there for the fight, noble his bearing,
No one as fearsome as Fferawg's son.
Brave in the struggle, fortress for the frightened,
In front of Gododdin's troop, his shield
Was broken, he stood firm against the onslaught.
This angry day he was alert, sad the cost.
The men of Mynyddawg deserved the gift of mead.



Never was a great hall so grandiose built.
There was never a braver warrior
Than kind-hearted Cynon, lord adorned with jewels.
He was seated at the top end of the table.
The man he was hitting wasn't.
Very sharp his spear,
White shield torn, he crushed the armies.
Very fast his steed, galloping in the front line,
That day of wrath Cynon's sword was lethal
When he charged in the green of dawn.



Never was a great hall so perfect built.
So generous, fury of a giant lion,
Is kind-hearted Cynon, lord so noble.
Fortress of battle, on the far wing,
Robust door of the warband, the noblest of blessings.
Of everyone I've seen and see in the world
Wielding the weapons of war, the bravest.
He killed enemies with a very sharp blade,
Like reeds they fell under his hand.
Son of Clydno, long will I sing, lord, your praise,
Endless, restless praise.



He rushed to the forefront of the battle.
He repelled the attack, leading the men,
Lord playing spear, laughing in battle.
Magic, his courage, equal to Elffin,
Eithinyn the renowned, wall of battle, bull of struggle.



He rushed to the forefront of the battle.
In exchange for mead and wine at court,
He placed his sword between two armies,
Magnificent rider before Gododdin,
Eithinyn the renowned, wall of battle, bull of struggle.



He rushed into battle before the cattle awoke.
You look like a lion,
In Gwanahon, for mead, the greatest courage,
And slow to fall, splendid leader,
Eithinyn the renowned, son of Boddw Adaf.



Excellent men, they left us.
Wine and mead they were fed.
By the banquet of Mynyddawg
I'm overwhelmed with pain,
By the loss of a warrior:
Like the roars of thunder
The shields resounded
Under the blows of Eitninyn's sword.




He rushed into battle before the cattle awoke.
A well-trained warband, shields in tatters.
Shield broken before Beli's herd mooed.
A lord dipped in blood, guardian of the flank,
Supports us, grizzled, against an assailant,
A dashing steed, ferocious steer with a golden torque.
The boar made a pact in the front line,
Pleasant speech, cry of refusal:
 Lord who calls us to heaven, save us! " 
He wields his spears for battle.
Cadfannan, a name famous for his booty,
No one denied that the army would be its paving.



For a feast, the saddest, the most precious,
For collapse, for a devastated country,
For the hair fall from one head,
Among the soldiers, an eagle, Gwydyen.
With his spear he fought for Gwyddug,
An Organizer, a plowman, his master.
Three bristling boars, bent on destruction,
Morien carried away with his spear,
Myrddin of songs, giving the best
Part of his health, our strength and support.
Ramparts resounding, the warrior band fighting
With the Saxons, the Irish and the Picts,
He carried the reddened, stiffened corpse of Bradwen,
Deft hand, Gwenawy fab Gwen.



For a feast, the saddest, the most precious,
For collapse, for a devastated country,
Smashed shields in battle.
Fierce the blows of the sword on the head,
In England men killed by three hundred lords,
His gauntlet was doing a good job
Against the Saxons, Irish and Picts.
As if taking a wolf skin, without a weapon,
Always brave, in his reduced troop,
In the battle of wrath and ruin
He perished, Bradwen did not return.



gold on the wall
Daring the assault,
Offense not to force the attack.
A downed Saxon
Was food for the birds,
Valorous, the battle cry.
Those who live will speak
Of the spear lords,
From one like lightning.
None of the living will say
That the day of killing
Cynhafal refused his support.



When you were a famous warrior
Defending the mountain wheat fields,
By right we were known as men of quality.
It was a strong gate, strong fortress in defeat,
Welcoming to those who implored his help,
Fortress for an army that trusted him.
Where he was was Heaven.







I am not weary lord,
I avenge myself in vain,
I laugh no laughter,
Under reptile feet,
My legs at full length
In a mud house,
A steel chain
At each ankle,
Because of mead, trump,
Horsemen of Catraeth.
Me, not me, Aneirin,
Taliesin knows it,
Master of the art of words,
I sang for Gododdin
Before the day fades.



The true value of the North a man possessed,
Kind heart, magnanimous nature.
No one walks the Earth, no mother has begotten,
One so fair, so strong, black as steel.
From a warrior band his brilliant blade saved me,
From a sinister cell of earth he gave birth to me,
From a place of death, from a harsh country,
Cenan fab Llywarch, bold, fearless.



No shame came from the court
Of Senylt nor of his cups filled with mead.
He dedicated his sword to his parents,
He devoted his shopping to the war.
He carried bloodstained men in his arms
Before the army of Deifr and Brennych.
The allure of his court: fast courier,
Spears and black war gear,
Long brown shaft in his hand,
And impetuous in his anger,
Smile giving way to reproach,
Sullen and amiable by turns.
No one saw his feet run away,
Cup bearer, protector of all countries.






His enemies trembled before his blade,
Fierce eagle, laughing in combat.
Shrill the antlers of his stags, more shrill his antlers.
Soiled fingers crush a head.
Varied his temper, affable, fatal,
Varied his mood, pensive, cheerful.
With determination Rhys marched to the hill of battle,
Not like those whose assault may waver.
No one can escape what is befalling him.



Ashamed that the shield was pierced
From kind-hearted Cynwal.
Ashamed her thighs resting
On a long-legged steed.
Black the brown shaft of his spear,
Blacker his saddle.
In his lair a Saxon
nibbles the leg of a
Goat: Rare
The spoils of his races.



It really happened, Addonwy, just as you promised me.
What Bradwen did, you did: you slaughtered, you burned.
You didn't hurt any worse than Morien.
You did not leave the distant wings, nor the front line:
Sure eye, never blinking,
You don't see the great swell of riders.
They massacred, they did not spare the Saxons.






The warriors rose together, well trained,
For Catraeth, a greedy and fast troop.
A wave beats, sparkling traveler,
At the place where the noble daggers are assembled:
You could only see a terminal board.
A noble value under no pressure
Morial does not accept the mark of shame,
Fierce blade, ready for carnage.



The warriors rose together, well trained,
A strong country will be called upon to follow.
He felled with arrow and sword
With furious kicks chased men in battle.



The warriors rose together, forming ranks.
With a single thought they attacked.
Their lives are short, their parents will wait for them for a long time.
Seven times their count of Angles they killed:
Their struggle turned wives into widows;
Many mothers with eyelids filled with tears.



For a feast of wine and mead
They swore to wreak great havoc.
Worthy of praise for his words,
He made before the hill,
In front of the slope of Buddugre,
Rise up the crows, lifted a cloud.
soldiers were falling
Over him like a swarm:
Not a fleeing movement.
Provident, very mobile,
Against the white steeds a hedge of swords,
Against the wall a blow of the sword.
First for the feast, tireless,
In sleep today,
The son of Rheiddun, lord of battle.



Because of a feast of wine and mead they left us,
Men in chain mail, I know the pain of death.
Before their gray hair came their murder.
Of the men of Mynyddawg, great is the misfortune,
Of three hundred, only one man returned.



Because of a feast of wine and mead they charged,
Famous men in battle, careless of life.
In shining rows around the cups, they joined the feast.
Wine, mead and winemaking, it was their lot.
From Mynyddawg's banquet pain overwhelms my mind,
Many of my companions I have lost.
Of three hundred champions who charged at Catraeth,
It's tragic, but only one man came back.



As he was when they all arose,
Like a bouncing ball,
Such he was until his return.
Such were the wine and the mead
Of Gododdin in Eidin,
Merciless in the fight, firm in rank.
And under Cadfannan a herd
Red steeds, wild rider, at dawn.



Barrage against the horde of Deifr,
Snake with a fearsome sting,
unshakable rock
Before the army,
Terrifying bear,
Killer, crusher,
He walked on the spears
When the battle came
In an alder trench.
The heir of Lord Nedig,
His anger served
A feast for the birds
In the din of combat.
You are rightly named, for your fierce action,
The first lord, bulwark of the war troop,
Merin ap Madain, bless your birth.



Magnificent singing, a war troop was there,
The soldiers surrounding Catraeth waged war.
Mixture of blood, trampled and trampled.
The warriors were trampled,
Vengeance, tribute of mead,
And corpses, although the cost was heavy.
Clipno will not say, after the battle,
Although he took communion, he got his due.



Magnificent song, noble war troop,
Rumble of fire, thunder and flood.
Superb courage, rider trained in combat,
Harvester red, he was hungry for battle.
Fierce fighter, wherever he heard
The clash with the horde of this country he charged,
Shield against shield. He would have raised a spear
Like a glass of sparkling wine. Silver
His mead pot: it deserved gold.
Nourished with wine was Gwaednerth fab Llywri.



Magnificent singing, sparkling war troops.
Before ruin comes, lock of Aeron's gate,
The gray eagles gave prizes to the hand
From the chief: he provided for the birds of prey.
For the friendship of Mynyddawg, leader of men,
He threw himself against hostile spears.
Before Catraeth, ardent were the men with the golden torques:
They struck and killed those who stood firm.
There they came from their countries, offspring of war,
There they fought but rare, among the Bretons
Of Gododdin, a better man than Cynon.



Magnificent singing, well-trained war troop.
A lively room, he was generous,
On all sides he won the praise of the bards
For gold, great steeds and intoxicating mead.
But when he came to battle they praised
Cyndilig of Aeron, blood-splattered men



Magnificent the song, sparkling were the war troops.
In the expedition of Mynyddawg, lord of men,
And of the daughter of Eudaf, the struggle of Gwananhon,
There was one dressed in purple, land of crushed men.



No coward would have tolerated the tumult of the great hall.
Before the fight a fight annihilates
These furious like a fire that flares up.
On Tuesday they put on their black armor,
On Wednesday, their bitter meeting,
On Thursday, the conditions were accepted,
On Friday, deaths of men in small numbers,
On Saturday, without fear, they worked as one,
On Sunday, purple blades were their lot,
On Monday, men were found with their chests covered in blood.
After the defeat, the Gododdin said,
On his return to Madawg's tent
Only one man out of a hundred returned.



Early he got up, at daybreak,
For a spear fight in front of the front.
A breach, a blazing breakthrough,
Like a wild boar he charged the hill.
He was courteous, he was serious.
Fierce were his black spears.



Early he got up, in the mornings.
When the warriors charged in bands,
At the head, leading, pursuing,
Before hundreds the first to load.
He was also impatient for the massacre
Than to drink mead and wine.
So fierce he was,
He massacred the enemies,
Ithael, bold in the attack.



He dove head first into the pit,
Not a design in his intelligent head.
Showing his glory for the slaughter on the wall,
Owain's feat, climbing the rampart,
Vigorous his spear before his fall,
Seeking death, songs of destruction.
Elegant his movements, offering and afflicting.
Pale death, the stain on his gauntlet,
In his hand he carried loose chain mail.
From his coffin was not poured
A royal booty in the ground.
Frozen and bitter his glory, pale cheeks,
Beautiful in the judgment of women,
Master of steeds, black traps and snow-glare shields
Companion in combat, climbing, falling.



War leader, he leads in combat.
The country's warrior troop loved the fierce harvest.
Bloody ground for a fresh grave,
War equipment for his purple clothing.
Trampling armor, armor trampled,
Fatigue falls like death.
The lances burst when the fight begins,
No clear path for the spear strike.



I sang nobly how devastated would be
Your rooms and your bedrooms.
Worthy of sweet and captivating mead,
A champion assault at dawn.
Magnificent loot, war troop angle
He grieved as long as he remained alive.
The people of Gwynedd will hear of his glory.
Gwananhon will be his grave.
The steadfast Cadafwy of Gwynedd,
Bull of the warrior troop in a conflict of kings.
Before a bed of earth, before sleep,
A grave on the border of Gododdin.



He fought with a fierce enemy,
Black assassin, a pirate troop.
He was not hidden, an outlaw,
He was not a bittersweet friend.
Gray steeds snorted under his hand.
Nothing was abandoned from the land of Pobddelw,
He did not abandon, war bull, not an acre,
Steadfast hold, Llywyrddelw.



His war steeds carried bloody war traps,
Red herd in Catraeth.
Blaenwydd feeds an army of boiling thoroughbreds,
Wrathful war dog charging down the slope.
The fame, the brilliant honor, is ours.
From Hedyn's hand, steel is sown.



A lord of Gododdin is honored,
A noble protector is mourned.
To Eidin, force of fire, he will not come.
He placed his elite men on the front,
Forming a wall before the battle.
With brutal force he led the assault.
Since he had eaten and drunk, heavy burden.
From the warband of Mynyddawg he did not return
Than a single, bitter, streaming blade.



With the loss of Moried, a shield was missing.
They carried, they honored a hero.
He held blue blades in his hands,
Heavy spears portend peril.
On a dapple-gray horse, bending its neck,
Fearsome the slaughter of his blades.
When he returns from battle, not a man to flee,
It deserves praise, the sweet and captivating mead.






Lucky, triumphant, supple backbone of fearful men,
His blue blade repelling foreign enemies,
Robust, vigorous, powerful his hand,
Intrepid, wise, they forced themselves against him.
His feat, leaping
Against nine champions,
Among friends and enemies,
And challenge them.
I love the triumphant seat that is his,
Cydillig of Aeron, daring hero.



I appreciated his head-on attack on Catraeth
In payment for mead and wine at court.
I appreciated his lack of contempt for a blade
Before he was killed because of his clumsy Uffin.
I appreciated, additional praise, his contribution to the carnage.
He placed his sword at the edge of the forest.
Gwrlydr said before Gododdin
That Ceidiaw's son excelled in battle.



Unfortunate I am, my vigor consumed,
Bearing the pain of death in pain,
And above all, the heavy sorrow of seeing
Our warriors falling, heads under their hooves.
And endless pain and mourning
For the valiant soldiers of our campaigns,
Rhufawn and Gwgawn, Gwiawn and Gwlyged,
In the harshest places, unshakeable under the push.
May their souls be, after the battle,
Welcome to the heavenly lands of abundance.



He repelled the attack with waves of blood.
He massacred like a hero the ranks which were firmly waiting.
Quick movement of his hand, he swallowed a glass
Of mead, before the kings launched the armies.
He called for battle where many remained
Mute: although tightened roughly, it did not give way
Before the rush of axes and sharp swords.



Its value is known,
It is proclaimed loudly
Refuge of the troops,
Refuge, his sword,
Army at the forefront,
Place of honor
On the day of battle,
Surrounded in battle.
They were full of anger,
Having been watered
And drinking the mead.
No greeting
To keep away
The powerful rush of enemies.
When the said is said,
Break the load
Steeds and soldiers,
Resolute destiny of men.



When a crowd of thoughts
Assail me, melancholy spirit,
My breath is failing
Like in the race, so I cry.
A loved one I deplore,
A loved one whom I loved, noble deer,
Pain for man
Who was once in the ranks of Argoed.
He gave himself whole
For his compatriots, for the love of a prince,
For roughly cut wood,
For a flood of pain, for feasts.
Surrounded by friends he led us to a blazing fire,
Has seats of white skins with sparkling wine.
Gereint from the South uttered the war cry,
Bright and loyal, noble was his face,
Lord of the spear generous, lord worthy of praise,
So graceful, I know his nature well,
I knew Gereint well: benevolent and noble.



Sincere praise of a hero,
Unshakable anchor in the fight.
Mighty eagle of men full of anger,
Bearing the shock of the assault, Eldef glowed brightly.
He led the charge on fast stallions
In battle, lion cub fed with cups of wine.
Before a fresh grave, the cheeks faded,
It was made for feasts rich in bright mead.



Incessant the rise of the flood on each shore:
For Hafal, the same abundance.
Torn the face of his shield,
Impulsive, angry,
Keeper of Rhywoniawg.
Once again were seen on the banks of Aled
War horses in bloody harnesses.
Let them be unshakable,
May their talents be great,
Fierce fighters
When they are furious.
Severe in the fight, he cut with the sword:
Deep war scars a hundred
Will wear them. He would have written a song for the New Year;
There advances towards the young man without blemish,
There advances towards the haughty boar,
Even a young girl, virgin and queen.
And since he was the son of a just king,
Lord of Gwynedd, of the blood of Cylydd Gwaredawg,
Before the earth covers his cheeks,
Beneficent, prudent, without fear,
Prompt in gift and praise.
A tomb guards Garthwys Hir of Rhywoniawg.






Sadness comes upon me, unwanted,
A greater one will never come:
Never was a braver man fed at court
Than him, nor one more firm in the fight.
At Rhyd Benclwyd his steeds were eminent,
His reputation extended far, a sieve his shield.
Before Gwair Hir was under the turf,
He deserved the horns of mead, only son of FferFarch.



Three hundred men with golden torques attacked:
The fight for the country was fierce.
Although they were slain, they killed,
Until the end of the world, they will be honored.
Companions who went together,
Tragic, but only one man returned.



Three hundred, with golden torques,
Warriors, well trained,
Three hundred, haughty, in agreement, armed,
Three hundred boiling steeds
Led them into battle.
Three dogs, three hundred:
Tragic, no return.



Fierce in war, tenacious in distress,
In the fight he would have made no truce.
In the day of wrath he did not avoid the fight,
Bleiddig mab Eli had the fury of a wild boar.
He sipped the wine from glass goblets.
On the day of the fight he achieved a feat
On a white stallion before dying:
Purple corpses left behind.



Shield throwing fire, he bowed to no one,
He quenched his thirst for glory.
After protest, steeds at the heart of the fight,
They planted spears, enemies stained with blood.
When my companions were hit, he hit the others:
He would not have borne any dishonor.
He remained firm on the ford: he was proud
When his was the hero's part at court.



Divine haven of heaven, long desired land,
Poor us, for this distressing and endless sorrow.
When the lords came from Din Eidin,
An army of elite men from each region,
In fight against the Angles, magnificent army,
Nine companies for one man per roof,
Multitude of steeds, armor and silk clothing,
Gwaednerth defended himself in battle.



Gododdin's troop on scrub-covered mountains,
Destriers the color of swans, complete harness,
Fighter for Eidin's riches and mead.
At Mynyddawg's command
The shields were reduced to pieces,
The blades of swords felled
On pale cheeks.
They loved the fight, wide array on the attack:
They could bear no shame, men who remained inflexible.



I in turn drank a quantity of mead,
Fed wine before Catraeth, in one gulp.
When he slaughtered with the sword, unshakeable,
His fight was not a sad spectacle.
He was not miserable, protection against specters,
Evil shield bearer, Madawg Elfed.



When the melee arose,
His life was not spared,
Avenger of Arfon.
They charged, golden gems,
Intractable Breton,
The fast horses of Cynon.



Who came as heir
When did Heinif miss?
One above the crowd,
Of the noblest name,
He killed many
For love of glory.
He killed the son of Nwython,
With golden necklaces,
A hundred princes
To earn praise.
The best when it came
With the men in Catraeth,
Nourished with wine,
Wide his belly,
Grizzly man, determined,
Wide chain mail,
Fierce and lively
On his stallion.
There, armed for battle,
Bring his spear and his shield,
His sword and his dagger,
No better man
That Heinif fab Nwython.



Beyond the sea of Iudeu*, bold in battle, [the Firth of Forth]
Three times as fierce as a fierce lion,
Ornate bubo, irresistible in anger.



Its nature: on a fast steed
Fight for Gododdin
Leading men who love war;
His nature: he was like a nimble young deer;
His nature: against the army of Deifr he charged;
His nature: son of Galystan, without being the lord,
When he spoke his father listened;
Its nature: for Mynyddawg's sake, broken shields;
Its nature: a red spear before the lord of Eidin.



I saw his blade in a swarm
Fighting a fierce enemy.
At the din of the shields men trembled.
They fled before Eidin's innumerable troops.
Those his hand found
They hardly escaped him.
A candle for him, a song.
Obstinate, distorted shield,
If he was attacked, he attacked.
He stabbed only once.
He stabbed, he was stabbed.
Often after a feast
His gift abroad.
He was unyielding in battle.
And before being covered in clods of earth
Edar won the right to drink the mead.



He struck more than three hundred, the most daring,
He mowed down the center and the far wings.
He showed himself worthy, leading noble men;
He gave steeds from his flock for the winter.
He brought black ravens to the walls
From the citadel, although he was not Arthur.
He made his strength a shelter,
Rampart on the front, Gwawrddur.



His hand gave a banquet to the birds,
I praise him, a man who does not back down,
A fierce man, a skinner.
His garment was gold
On the front line,
In the merciless clash of unshakable men.
The struggle of the freckled cupbearer,
The third of the most terrible,
Terror in the assault,
Continuation in the fight,
Fierce howler of the warrior troop,
First in a long line,
Glorious was Cipno fab Gwengad.

Copyright 1998 Erik Stohellou

Sources: Joseph Clancy, The earliest Welsh poetry