Llywarch Hen's Lament On Cynddylan

Taliesin in the sixth century. He was engaged at the battle of

Cattraeth, where he witnessed the fall of three of his sons, and in the

endless wars of that period. He had twenty four sons, all of whom were

slain in battle in the bard's lifetime. He retired for refuge to the

Court of Cynddylan, then Prince of Powys, at Pengwern, now Shrewsbury.

The Saxons at length drove Cynddylan from Pengwern, and the bard retired

o Llanfor, near Bala, in Merionethshire, where he died at the long age

of 150 years. Hence the appellation _hen_, or the aged. Twelve poems of

this bard remain, but all are imbued with the melancholy of the poet's


Cynddylan's hearth is dark to-night,

Cynddylan's halls are lone;

War's fire has revell'd o'er their might,

And still'd their minstrel's tone;

And I am left to chant apart

One murmur of a broken heart!

Pengwern's blue spears are gleamless now,

Her revelry is still;

The sword has blanched his chieftain's brow,

Her fearless sons are chill:

And pagan feet to dust have trod

The blue-robed messengers of God. {92}

Cynddylan's shield, Cynddylan's pride,

The wandering snows are shading,

One palace pillar stands to guide

The woodbine's verdant braiding;

And I am left, from all apart,

The minstrel of the broken heart!