The Celtic Literature Collective

The Black Book of Carmarthen XVII

Sweet appletree, your branches delight me, 
Luxuriantly budding my pride and joy! 
I will put before the lord of Macreu, 
That on Wednesday, in the valley of Machawy 
Blood will flow.
Lloegyr's (England's) blades will shine.
But hear, O little pig! on Thursday
The Cymry will rejoyce
In their defence of Cymimawd,
Furiously cutting and thrusting.
The Saesons (Saxons) will be slaughtered by our ashen spears,
And their heads used as footballs.
I prophesy the unvarnished truth -
The rising of a child in the secluded South.

Sweet and luxuriant appletree,
Great its branches, beautiful its form!
I predict a battle that fills me with far.
At Pengwern, men drink mead,
But around Cyminawd is a deadly hewing
By a chieftain from Eryri - til only hatred remains.

Sweet yellow appletree,
Growing in Tal Ardd,
I predict a battle at Prydyn,
In defense of frontiers.
Seven ships will come
Across a wide lake,
Seven hundred men come to conquer.
Of those who come, only seven will return
According to my prophecy.

Sweet appletree of luxuriant growth! 
I used to find food at its foot,
When because of a maid,
I slept alone in the woods of Celyddon, 
Shield on shoulder, sword on ,
Hear, 0 little pig! listen to my 
As sweet as birds that sing on Monday 
When the sovereigns come across the sea, 
Blessed by the Cymry (Welsh), because of their strength.

Sweet appletree in the glade,
Trodden is the earth around its base.
The men of Rhydderch see me not,
Gwendyyd no longer loves nor greets me
I am hated by Rhydderch's strongest scion.
I have despoiled both his son and daughter:
Death visits them all - why not me?
After Gwnddoleu no one shall honour me,
No diversions attend me,
No fair women visit me.
Though at Arderydd (Arthuret) I wore a golden torque
The swan-white woman despises me now.

Sweet appletree, growing by the river, 
Who will thrive on its wondrous fruit? 
When my reason was intact
I used to lie at its foot
With a fair wanton maid, of slender form.
Fifty years the plaything of lawless en
I have wandered in gloom among spirits
After great wealth, and gregarious minstrels,
I have been here so long not even sprites
Can lead me astray. I never sleep, but tremble at the thought
Of my Lord Gwenddoleu, and y own native people.
Long have I suffered unease and longing--
May I be given freedom in the end.

Sweet appletree, with delicate blossom, 
Growing concealed, in the wind! 
At the tale was told to me
That my words had offended the most powerful minister,
Not once, not twice, but thrice in a single day.
Christ! that my end has come
Before the killing of Gwndydd's son
Was upon my hands!

Sweet appletree with your delicate blossom,
Growing amid the thickets of trees!
Chwyfleian foretells,
A tale that will come to pass
A staff of gold, signifying bravery
Will be given by the glorious Dragon Kings. 
The grateful one will vanquish the profaner, 
Before the child, bright and bold,
The Saesons shall fall, and bards will flourish

Sweet appletree of crimson colour,
Growing, concealed in the wood of Celyddon: 
Though men seek your fruit, their search is vain
Until Cadwaladyr comes from Cadfaon's meeting
To Teiwi river and Tywi's lands,
Till anger and anguish come from Arawynion,
And the long-hairs are tamed.

Sweet appletree of crimson colour,
Crowing, concealed, in the wood of Celyddon 
Though men seek your fruit, their search is vain,
Till Cadwalad comes from Rhyd Rheon's meeting,
And with Cynon advances against the Saeson.
Victorious Cymry, glorious their leaden,
All shall how their rights again,
All Britons rejoice, sounding joyful horns.
Chanting songs of happiness and peace!

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