An Ode On The Death Of Hoel

of the sixth century. He was himself a soldier, and distinguished

himself at the battle of Cattraeth, fought between the Welsh and Saxons,

in or about the year 560, but was disastrous to the former and especially

to the bard, who was there taken prisoner, and kept for several years in

confinement. He composed his principal poem, the Gododin, upon the

battle of Cattraeth. This is the oldest Welsh poem extant, and is full
/> of boldness, force, and martial fire. It has been translated into

English by the Rev. John Williams, (ab Ithel,) and published by the

Messrs. Rees, of Llandovery. The bard died, according to tradition, from

the blow of an assassin before the close of the sixth century.]

Had I but the torrent's might,

With headlong rage, and wild affright,

Upon Deira's squadrons hurl'd,

To rush and sweep them from the world!

Too, too secure in youthful pride,

By them my friend, my Hoel, dy'd,

Great Cian's son; of Madoc old,

He ask'd no heaps of hoarded gold;

Alone in Nature's wealth array'd

He asked and had the lovely maid.

To Cattraeth's vale, in glitt'ring row,

Twice two hundred warriors go;

Ev'ry warrior's manly neck

Chains of regal honour deck,

Wreath'd in many a golden link:

From the golden cup they drink

Nectar that the bees produce,

Or the grape's ecstatic juice.

Flush'd with mirth and hope they burn,

But none from Cattraeth's vale return,

Save Aeron brave and Conan strong,

(Bursting through the bloody throng,)

And I, the meanest of them all,

That live to weep and sing their fall.