The Celtic Literature Collective

Llyfr Taliesin
The Book of Taliesin
Peniarth MS 2

The Book of Taliesin is a small manuscript, missing its covers, and thus the beginning of the first poem; luckily, this poem is also contained in the Red Book of Hergest. It contains 56 mostly-complete poems, and a fifty-seventh poem, of which only remains the words: "Darogan Katwal"--thought to be "Darogan Katwaladr," The Prediction of Cadwalladr.

The manuscript was the work of a single scribe, probably living in Glamorgan; this same scribe is thought to have produced other manuscripts, and J. Gwenogvryn Evans believed he worked on parts of the White Book of Rhydderch. It's exact history is unknown; it passed through the hands of several collectors during the seventeenth century, until finally being bought by Robert Vaughan, who added it to his library in Hengwrt, and stayed there until it entered the hands of W.W.E. Wynne in Peniarth. It was then donated to the National Library of Wales.

The majority of the translations I am using here are from The Four Ancient Books of Wales, by W. F. Skene, 1868. Unfortunately, they are probably not the most accurate translations, but they are the only ones which, to my knowledge, are public domain. (Even at that I'm not sure, though the book is well out of print.) In constructing this digital manuscript, I have worked using not only Skene's collection, but also the three volume "Book of Taliesin" diplomatic texts edited by J. Gwenogvryn Evans in the early part of the 20th century, and have heavily consulted the images of the manuscript, currently housed on the NLW website. If you look at the manuscript, it tends to alternate between using red or green initial letters. I have attempted to imitate this as closely as possible, including repeating the inconsistancies of the original scribe.

I. Priv Cyfarch Taliesin's First Address
II Marwnat y Vil Veib The Elegy of the Thousand Sons
III Buarch Beird The Fold of the Bards
IV Aduvyneu Taliesin The Pleasant Things of Taliesin
V Deus Duw O God, God of Formation
VI Armes Prydein Vawr The Great Prophesy of Britain
VII Angar Kyfyndawt The Hostile Confederacy
VIII Kat Godeu The Battle of the Trees
IX Mab Gyrfeu Taliesin The Childhood Achievements of Taliesin
X Daronwy Daronwy
XI Cadau Gwallawc Song on Lleenawg
XII Glaswawt Taliesin The Praise of Taliesin
XIII Kadeir Taliesin The Chair of Taliesin
XIV Kerd Veib am Llyr Song Before the Sons of Llyr
XV Kadeir Teyrnon The Chair of the Sovereign
XVI Kadeir Kerrituen The Chair of Cerridwen
XVII Kanu Ygwynt The Song of the Wind
XVIII Kychwedyl am dodyw o galchuynyd A rumour has come to me
XIX Kanu y Med The Song to Meed
XX Kanu y Cwrwf The Song to Ale
XXI Mic Dinbych In Praise of Tenby
XXII Plaeu yr Reifft The Plagues of Egypt
XXIII Trawsganu Kynon The Satire on Cynan Garwyn
XXIV Lath Moessen The Rod of Moses
XXV Torrit anuyndawl Song of the Horses
XXVI Y gofiessvys byt The Contrived World
XXVII Ar clawr eluyd On the Face of the Earth
XXVIII Ryfedaf na chiawr Alexander the Great
XXIX Ad duw meidat God the Possessor
XXX Preiddu Annwn The Spoils of Annwn, or, The Raid on Annwfn
XXXI Gwaeith Gwenystrad The Battle of Gwenystrad
XXXII Urien Yrechwydd A Song for Urien Rheged
XXXIII Eg gorffowys A Song for Urien Rheged
XXXIV Bei Lleas Vryan A Song for Urien Rheged
XXXV Gweith Argoet Llwyfein The Battle of Argoed Llwyfain, song to Urien
XXXVI Arddwyre Reged A Song for Urien Rheged
XXXVII Yspeil Taliesin The Spoils of Taliesin, a Song to Urien
XXXVIII Rhagoriaeth Gwallawc Song on Gwallawg ab Lleenawg
XXXIX Dadolwch Vryen The Satisfaction of Urien
XL Marwnat Erof The Death-song of Erof [Ercwlf]
XLI Marwnat Madawg The Death-song of Madawg
XLII Marwnat Corroi ap Dayry The Death-song of Cu-Roi son of Daire
XLIII Marwnat Dylan eil Ton The Death-song of Dylan son of the Wave
XLIV Marwnat Owain ap Vryen The Death-song of Owain son of Urien
XLV Marwnat Aeddon The Death-song of Aeddon
XLVI Marwnat Cunedda The Death-song of Cunedda
XLVII Armes Prydein Bychan The Lesser Prophesy of Britain
XLVIII Marwnat Vthyr Pen. The Death-song of Uthyr Pendragon
XLIX Kein gyfedwch A bright festivity
L Rydyrchafwy duw May God exalt
LI Trindawt tragywyd The Eternal Trinity
LII Gwawt Lud y Mawr The Praise of Lludd the Greater
LIII Yn wir dymbi romani kar Truly there will be to me a Roman friend
LIV Ymarwar Llud Bychan The Reconciliation of Lludd the Lesser
LV Kanu y Byt Mawr The Song of the Great World
LVI Kanu y Byt Bychan The Song of the Little World
LVII Darogan Katwal[adr?] Darogan Katwaladr


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Mary Jones 2015