The Celtic Literature Collective

The Juvencus Englynion

Cambridge MS Ff. 4.42

From a MS. of the Hexametrical Paraphrase of the Gospels, by C. Vettius Aquilinus Iuvencus, preserved in the University Library of Cambridge.  Transcribed in the ninth century, and re-introduced in W.F. Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales. They are some of the earliest examples of Welsh verse.

The Nine Juvencus Englynion  p. 1

Omnipotens auctor
Ti dicones adiamor

Nit arcup betid hicouid
Canlon cetticeidin gui-- haguid
Uor --rdutou ti guirdoned

Dicones pater harimed
Presen isabruid icunmer
Nisacup m-- arwp leder

Dicones Ihesu dielimu
Pbetid aguirdou pendibu
Guot capaur anmer-- adu

Gur dicones remedau
Elbid aguirdou anguoraut
Niguru gnim nolim trinta[ut]

It cluis inban iciman
Guorsed ceinmicun ucmount ran
Ucatrintaut bean trident[an]

It cluis it humil inhared celmed
Rit pucsaun mi detrintaut
Gurd meint iconidid imolaut

Rit ercis o-- raut inadaut
Presen pioubui int groisauc
Inungueid guoled trintaut

Un hanied napuil heper
Uuc nem isnem nitcouer
Nit guorgnim molim mapmeir

The Ifor Williams Translation, 1932

Almighty Creator
Thou hast made

The world cannot express in song bright and melodious
Even though the grass and trees should sing
All thy glories (miracles, riches), O true Lord!

The Father has wrought [such a multitude] of wonders in this world
That it is difficult to find an equal number
Letters cannot contain it, letters cannot express it.

Jesus wrought on behalf of the hosts of Christendom
[such a multitude] of miracles when he came
(? like the grass is the number of them).

He who made the wonder of the world,
will save us, has saved us.
It is not too great toil to praise the Trinity.

Purely, without blemish
In the great assembly,
Let us extol...

Purely, humbly, in skillful verse
I should give praise to the Trinity,
According to the greatness of his power.

He has required of the host in this world that belong to him
That they should at all times
All together fear the Trinity.

The one who has both wisdom and dominion above heaven,
Below heaven, completely;
It is not too great toil to praise the son of Mary.


The Three Juvencus Englynion, pp. 48-50.

Niguorcosam nemheunaur
Henoid mitelu nit gurmaur
Mi amfranc dam ancalaur

Nicanu niguardam nicusam
Henoid cet iben med nouel
Mi amfranc dam anpatel

Namercit mi nep leguenid
Henoid is discyrr mi coueidid
Dou nam riceus unguetid


The W. F. Skene Translation, 1869?

I will not sleep tonight, not one hour
Tonight; my houshold is not great.
I and my Franc around our kettle.

I sing not, nor laugh, nor sleep,
Tonight; though drinking the new mead,
I and my Franc around our pot.

No joyousness impresses me,
Tonight; my song is a lament.
Two do not talk to me [with] one speaker.

The Ifor Williams translation, 1932

I shall not boast vain things to-night
My retinue is not very large,
I and my hireling, about our cauldron.

I shall not sing, I shall not laugh, I shall not talk to-night,
Though we drank clear mead,
I and my hireling, about our bowl.

Let no-one ask me for mirth tonight;
Mean is my company.
Two lords...


The end colophon:

expliqunt quattor Evangelia
a Iuvenco presbyero
pene ad verbum translata
araut dinuadu.

My translation:

Here ends the four gospels
of Father Juvenco
to translated the words
a prayer for Nuada*

(the final line translation a supposition by Skene)

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