W. J. GRUFFYDD (1881-1954)

​‘One Poor Man
’ a translation of ‘Y Tlawd Hwn

Because the wind was troubled for a time
And the sound of weeping in the beating of the rain,
An insinuating echo of affliction in resounding rhyme
Ringing through his soul again and again,
The heave of the distant ocean on a quiet evening
Affirming intimations from generations before
And the babble of the rivers awakening
The anguish of all the suffering that he bore —
He went, struck dumb, into a silent reverie
As his companions withdrew one by one
Leaving him to dwell in a great mystery
To listen to strange voices all alone.

He perceived beauty while his brothers
Called God’s curse upon foulness of the world,
He refused their pathway to Heaven
For the echo of enchanted pipes, barely heard 
And the murmur of bees in the vineyards of Arawn
Heavy under honeyed dew on the valley bed
And hidden nectar of the dwellings that abound
In the golden ramparts of Caer Siddi overhead
Where he could feast in halls before his burial
And listen to the choir of Rhiannon’s birds sweetly
Singing through the entrances of pearl
Out to the oblivion of the eternal sea.

Gwerful Fychan

In the spring of her days she saw the freshness
Of the world dancing past; on every crest
There was a crown of roses, and careless tresses
Lay soft and easy on each blessed breast;
On the breezes the scents of musk and wine
And intoxicating perfumes were concealed;
A thousand kisses ripened on lips divine
And every heart the joys of life revealed.
She took up her harp then to declaim
It all in song — her summer burgeoned,
Distilled the sun, the dew, the rain —
In immortal and audacious verse; then turned,
With a tear on her cheek, away from all delight
And walked bereft into the darkness of the night.