Wednesday, 6 February 2008

"Merlin: Priest of Nature" by Jean Markale

In it he discusses whether Merlin was a fictional character or a real person. There is historical evidence to prove that Myrddin did live in the lowlands of Scotland during the sixth century and he wrote some interesting poetry:The "Dialogue between Myrddin and Taliesin", "The Birches", "The Apple Trees", "The Song of the Swine" and "The Song of Yscolan" are to be found in The Black Book of Carmarthen. This is the oldest Welsh manuscript, dating to the end of the twelfth century. The "Dialogue between Myrddin and his sister, Gwendydd" appears in The Red Book of Hergest, a fourteenth century manuscript.

Poetry fragments:

Seven score noble warriors went toward the shadows.

In the forest of Kelyddon they have found death.

Since I, Myrddin, am first after Taliesin,

let my prophecy be shared by us both.

Blessed be the silver birch of the valley of the Gwywhose branches fall one against the other.

It will be there at the battle of Arderyd,

when the herds will bellow at the Mochwyford,

when lances and cries will burst forth at Dyganwg,

when Edwin will spread his domination over Mon,

when pale and agile young men,dressed in red,

will come to meet the troops...Black is your horse,

black your cloak, black your face,

black yourself,yes, all black. Is it you, Yscolan?

I am Yscolan the scholar.

My weak reason is clouded over.

Is it irreparable, to have offended the master?

I have burned a church, slain a school's cows,

hurled the Book in the waves.

My penance is heavy indeed...

My only brother, do not be angry with me.

Since the battle of Arderyd I have been sick.

I seek only to know and I commend you to God.

I too, I commend youto the lord of all creatures,

white Gwendydd, refuge of poetry...

I will not receive communion from excommunicated monks whose cloaks fall to their hips.

Let God himself give it to me.

I shall commend my blameless brother to the high City.

May God look after Myrddin.

I shall commend my sisterwho is above reproach to the high City.

May God look after Gwendydd.

To the man who speaks from his tomb,

it has been told that within seven years the horse of Eurdein,

the Man of the north, will die.

I have drunk wine in a shining goblet with the chieftains of the cruel war.

My name is Myrddin, son of Morvryn.

I have drunk wine in a cupwith the chieftains of devouring war.

Myrddin is my glorious name...

Sweet apple tree, you of the lovely branches putting forth vigorous buds on all sides,

I will predict in the presence of the master of Marchothat one Wednesday,

in the valley of Muchwaythere will be bloodand joy for the men of Lloegr whose tears will be red.

Sweet apple tree with yellow reflections,

you who grow on a hill above the moor,

I will predict a war within Britain to defend our borders against the men of Ywerddon.

Seven ships will come by the great water,

and seven hundred men by sea to fight us.

them, none will return to his homefor seven,

empty-handed after defeat.

Sweet apple tree of lush foliage,

I have fought beneath you to please a maiden,

shield on shoulder and sword on hip.

I have slept alone in the forest of Kelyddon.

Listen, little pig, why do you think of sleep?

Lend your ear to the sweet song of birds.

Kings will come across the sea on Mondayand the Kymry will be blessed.

Sweet apple tree that grows in the clearing,

the nobles of Rydderch's court do not see you though they trample the earth at your feet.

To their eyes the faces of heroes are terrible.

Gwendydd no longer loves me and comesno more to see me.

I am hateful to Gwassawg, one of Rydderch's faithful, for I have slain his son and his daughter.

May merciless death come to me...

Since Gwenddolen, no prince does me honor.

I have neither joy nor a woman's company.

At the battle of Arderyd

I received a gold torque,

and now she who is white as a swan scorns me.

Listen, little pig: on Thursday joy will come to the Kymry and their powerful troops who will defend Kymmynawd with great strokes of the sword

They will make a great massacre of Saxons with their lances of ash.

They will use their heads to play at bowls.

I predict the truth without disguising it:

I predict that a child will grow up

who today is hidden in the south.

Listen, little pig:

I have trouble sleeping so shaken am I by my sorrows.

For fourteen years I have suffered so much that now my appearance is wretched.

What does it matter to Rydderch, celebrating tonight,

that I spent last night without sleeping,

snow up to my knees and needles of ice in my hair,

sad fate...Listen, little pig: is the mountain not green?

My coat is thin.

There is no rest for me.

My face is pale.

Gwendydd comes no more to see me.

When the men of Brynych come to these shores with their armies,

the Kymry will conquer and the day will shine.

Listen, little pig:

it is not my designto listen to the water birds make a great din.

My hair is sparse,

my clothing not warm,

the vale is my loft, but I have no grain.

My summer harvest gives small satisfaction.

Since the battle of Arderyd I can feel nothing,

not if the sky fell and the sea overflowed.


karsten said...

pls keep op with u good work. you work so hard .i hope that u get lots on good comments for u hard work .
i have to thank u so much that u bin in some part in my life .thanks for that
with lots on love hugs and kisses
ur sweetie
pls i love u