The Celtic Literature Collective

The Chair of Taliesin
Book of Taliesin XIII

I AM the agitator
Of the praise of God the Ruler.
With respect to the concerns of song,
The requisites of a profound speaker,
A hard, with the breast of an astrologer.
When he recites
The Awen1 at the setting in of the evening.
On the fine night of a fine day.
Bards loquacious the light will separate.
Their praise will not bring me to associate,
In the strath, on the course,
With aspect of great cunning.
I am not a mute artist,
Conspicuous among the bards of the people.
I animate the bold,
I influence the heedless;
I wake up the looker on,
The enlightener of bold kings.
I am not a shallow artist,
Conspicuous among kindred bards,
The likeness of a subtle portion,
The deep ocean (is) suitable
Who has filled me with hatred?
A prize in every unveiling.
When the dew is undisturbed,
And the wheat is reaped,
And the bees are gentle,
And myrrh and frankincense,
And transmarine aloes.
And the golden pipes of Lleu,2
And a curtain of excellent silver,
And a ruddy gem, and berries.
And the foam of the sea.
Why will the fountain hasten
Water-cresses of purifying juicy quality?
What will join together the common people?
Worth the nobility of liquor.
And a load that the moon separates,
The placid gentleness of Myrddin.3
And philosophers of intelligence
Will study about the moon.
And the influence of an order of men,
Exposed to the breeze of the sky.
And a soddening and effusion,
And a portion after effusion,
And the coracle of-glass
In the hand of the pilgrim,
And the valiant one and pitch,
And the honoured Segyrffyg,
And medical plants.
A place of complete benefit,
And bards and blossoms.
And gloomy bushes,
And primroses and small herbs,
And the points of the tree-shrubs.
And deficiency and possession,
And frequent pledging.
And wine overflowing the brim, 
From Rome to Rossed.
And deep still water,
Its stream the gift of God.
Or if it will be wood the purifier,
Fruitful its increase.
Let the brewer give a heat,
Over a cauldron of five trees,
And the river of Gwiawn,
And the influence of fine weather,
And honey and trefoil,
And mead-horns intoxicating
Pleasing to a sovereign,
The gift of the Druids.


1. Awen: divine inspiration

2. golden pipes of Lleu: whatever this item is is now unknown.

3. Myrddin: another mention of Myrddin in the Taliesin poems; here he's depicted as gentle, which is certainly not found in the traditional tales.

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