Maenwyn, When I Was Your Age
Red Book of Hergest XIII
Maenwyn, when I was of thy age,
My garment should not be trodden under foot,
My land should not be ploughed without blood.
Maenwyn, when I was opposed to thee,
With youth attendant on me,
The foe would not break my boundary.
Maenwyn, while I was in pursuit of thee,
Following my youth,
The foe loved not the fury of my resentment.
Maenwyn, while I was young and plump,
Addicted to fierce slaughter,
I would perform the acts of a man, though I was but a youth.
Maenwyn, take thy aim discreetly;
There is need of advice on him who is in error:
Let Maelgwn provide another mayor.
My choice is a portion, with its sheath on it,
And sharp-pointed as a thorn;
It is not labour lost for me to whet a stone.
A present was bestowed on me from the vale
Of Mewyrniawn, concealed in a bucket,
A sharp iron projecting from the hand.
Blessed be the solitary hag,
That said from the door of her cell,
“Maenwyn, do not deliver up thy knife.”