The Celtic Literature Collective

Song on Lleenawg
Book of Taliesin XI

In the name of the Ruler of heaven, the mighty one 
The supporter of his friends shall keep possession of his towns
Splendid his princely spear.
Warlike kings spear-scouting.
He will defend the pleasant plain of Lleenawg;.
The ruthless pushing shafts are broken.
Long they will experience
The gratitude of Prydain.
From the bush of Maw and Eiddyn,
They would not take opposition.
Friendly the aid of Clydwyn.
May I be satisfied! He supplied his fleet
From spears until the shafts were heated.
A coffin to every one his ambition.
They cannot reckon the battles fought
By Gwallawg. Better is wild food than a she-bear.
A battle in Agathes in defence,
Praise his active judgment caused.
A battle in the region of Bretrwyn with heat,
A great fire. Limited is his vehemence.
A battle, there was a rule of general benefit.
A battle, a battle of trembling in Aeron.
A battle in Arddunion and Aeron.
Bring reproach to the youths.
A battle in the wood of Beit at the close of the day.
Thou didst not think of thy foes.
A battle in the presence of Mabon.1
He will not mention the contradiction of the saved.
A battle in Gwensteri, and thou subduest Lloegyr.
A darting of spears there is made.
A battle in the marsh of Terra with the dawn,
Easily broken (was) the terrible arch,
At the first uttering of the wordy
Of kings who were extinguished in the war.
Men with full intent to obtain cattle.
Haearddur and Hyveidd and Gwallawg,
And Owen of Mona of Maelgwnian quality,2
Will lay the Peithwyr prostrate,
At the end of the wood of Oleddyfein,
From which there will be pierced corpses,
And the ravens wandering about.
In Prydain, in Eiddyn3, acknowledged.
In Gafran, in the retreat of Brecheinawc.
Tn energy, in exalted covering.
He sees not a hero, who saw not Gwallawg.


1. Mabon: though traditionally the name of a god, "Mabon" has been used as a nickname for Owain ap Urien, while here it seems to refer to Gwallawg. Mabon is a great hunter and a divine youth, so the identification of a hero against the Saxons with such a figure isn't necessarily surprising.

2. "Maelgwnian quality": that is, one who is like Maelgwn Gwynedd, the great sixth-century king of Gwynedd, who was both strong, but ruthless in his pursuit of power.

3. Eiddyn: Edinburgh.

Back to the Book of Taliesin