Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Fragrant Wood
c. 11th century

My hope, my love, we will go
Into the woods, scattering the dews,
Where we will behold the salmon, and 
       the ousel in its nest,
The deer, and the roebuck calling;

The sweetest bird on the branches 
The cuckoo on the top of the green hill;
And death shall never find us
In the bosom of the fragrant wood.

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Elegy for Geraint" Welsh Battle Poem, circa A.D. 500

Before Geraint, the enemy's scourge,
I saw white horses, tensed, red,
After the war cry, bitter the grave...

In Llongborth, I saw the clash of swords,
Men in terror, bloody heads,
Before Geraint the Great, his father's son.

In Llongborth I saw the spurs
And men who did not flinch from spears,
Who drank their wine from glass that glinted...

In Llongborth I saw Arthur's
Heroes who cut with steel.
The Emperor, ruler of our labour.

In Llongborth Geraint was slain.
Heroes of the land of Dyfeint,
Before they were slain, they slew.

Under the thigh of Geraint swift chargers,
Long their legs, wheat their fodder,
Red, swooping like milk white eagles...

When Geraint was born, Heaven's gate stood open;
Christ granted all our prayers;
Lovely to behold, the glory of Britain.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A small, ancient verse that amused me...

The hart, he loves the highwood,
The hare, she loves the hill,
The knight, he loves his bright sword,
The lady loves her will.