Being the fourth part of the tale of Culhwch ac Olwen; in which Yspaddaden Pencawr explains exactly what Culhwch must achieve in order to win the hand of Olwen in marriage.


And the next day they came again to the palace, and they said, "Do not shoot at us any more, unless you desire such hurt, and harm, and torture as you have now, and even more." To which Culhwch added "Give me your daughter, and if you will not give her, you shall receive your death because of her." "Where is he that seeks my daughter? Come closer where I may see you." And they placed him a chair face to face with him.

Said Yspaddaden Pencawr, "Is it you that seeks my daughter?" "It is," answered Culhwch. "I must have your pledge that you will not do towards me otherwise than is just, and when I have gotten that which I shall name, my daughter you shall have." "I promise you that willingly," said Culhwch, "name what you will." "I will do so," said he. "So you see that vast hill over there?" "I see it." "I require that it be rooted up, and that the grubbings be burned for manure on the face of the land, and that it be ploughed and sown in one day, and in one day that the grain ripen. And of that wheat I intend to make food and liquor fit for the wedding of you and my daughter. And all this I require done in one day." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though this be easy for you, there is yet that which will not be so. No husbandman can till or prepare this land, so wild is it, except Amaethon ap Don, and he will not come with you by his own free will, and you will not be able to compel him. "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Gofanon ap Don to come to the headland to rid the iron, he will do no work of his own good will except for a lawful king, and you will not be able to compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get; the two dun oxen of Gwlwlyd, both yoked together, to plough the wild land yonder stoutly. He will not give them of his own free will, and you will not be able to compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get; the yellow and the brindled bull yoked together do I require." "It will be easy for me to compass this."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get; the two horned oxen, one of which is beyond, and the other this side of the peaked mountain, yoked together in the same plough. And these are Nynniaw and Peibaw, whom God turned into oxen on account of their sins." "It will be easy for me to compass this."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Do you see that red tilled ground?" "I see it." "When first I met the mother of this maiden, nine bushels of flax were sown therein, and none has yet sprung up, neither white nor black; and I have the measure by me still. I require to have the flax to sow in the new land under, that when it grows up it may make a white wimple, for my daughter's head, on the day of your wedding." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you gets this, there is yet that which you will not get. Honey that is nine times sweeter than the honey of the virgin swarm, without scum and bees, do I require to make bragget for the feast." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"The vessel of Llwyr ap Llwyryon, which is of the utmost value. There is no other vessel in the world that can hold this drink. Of his free will you will not get it, and you cannot compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. The basket of Gwyddno Garanhir, if the whole world should come together, thrice nine men at a time, the meat that each of them desired would be found within it. I require to eat therefrom on the night that my daughter becomes your bride. He will give it to no one of his own free will, and you cannot compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. The horn of Gwlgawd Gododdin to serve us with liquor that night. He will not give it of his own free will, and you will not be able to compel him."

"It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. The harp of Teirtu to play to us that night. When a man desires that it should play, it does so of itself, and when he desires that it should cease, it ceases. And this he will not give of his own free will, and you will not be able to compel him."

"It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. The cauldron of Diwrnach Wyddel, the steward of Odgar mac Aedd, king of Ireland, to boil the meat for your marriage feast."

"It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. It is needful for me to wash my head, and shave my beard, and I require the tusk of Yscithyrwyn Benbaedd to shave myself with, I shall not profit by its use unless it is plucked alive out of his head."

"It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. There is no one in the world that can pluck it out of his head except Odgar mac Aedd, king of Ireland." "It will be easy for me to compass this."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. I will not trust any one to keep the tusk except Gado of North Britain. Now the sixty cantrefs of North Britain are under his sway, and of his own free will he will not come out of his kingdom, and you will not be able to compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. I must spread out my hair in order to shave it, and it will never be spread out unless I have the blood of the jet black sorceress, the daughter of the pure white sorceress, from Pen Nant Gofid, on the confines of Hell." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. I will not have the blood unless I have it warm, and no vessels will keep warm the liquid that is put therein except the bottles of Gwyddolwyn Gorr, which preserve the heat of the liquor that is put into them in the east, until they arrive at the west. And he will not give them of his own free will, and you will not be able to compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Some will desire fresh milk, and it will not be possible to have fresh milk for all, unless we have the bottles of Rhinnon Rhin Barnawd, wherein no liquor ever turns sour. And he will not give them of his own free will, and you will not be able to compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Throughout the world there is not a comb or scissors with which I can arrange my hair, on account of its rankness, except the comb and scissors that are between the two ears of Twrch Trwyth, the son of Prince Tared. He will not give them of his own free will, and you will not be able to compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. It will not be possible to hunt Twrch Trwyth without Drudwyn the whelp of Greid, the son of Eri." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Throughout the world there is not a leash that can hold him, except the leash of Cwrs Cant Ewin." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Throughout the world there is no collar that will hold the leash except the collar of Canhastyr Canllaw." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. The chain of Cilydd Canhastyr to fasten the collar to the leash." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Throughout the world there is not a huntsman who can hunt with this dog, except Mabon ap Modron. He was taken from his mother when three nights old, and it is not known where he now is, nor whether he is living or dead." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Gwynn Mygdwn, the horse of Gweddw, that is as swift as the wave, to carry Mabon ap Modron to hunt the Twrch Trwyth. He will not give him of his own free will, and you will not be able to compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. You will not get Mabon, for it is not known where he is, unless thou find Eidoel, his kinsman in blood, the son of Aer. For it would be useless to seek for him. He is his cousin." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Garselit the Gwyddelian is the chief huntsman of Ireland; the Twrch Trwyth can never be hunted without him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. A leash made from the beard of Dissull Farfawc, for that is the only one that can hold those two cubs. And the leash will be of no avail unless it be plucked from his beard while he is alive, and twitched out with wooden tweezers. While he lives he will not suffer this to be done to him, and the leash will be of no use should he be dead, because it will be brittle." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Throughout the world there is no huntsman that can hold those two whelps except Cynedyr Wyllt, the son of Hettwn Glafyrawc; he is nine times more wild than the wildest beast upon the mountains. You will never get him, neither will you ever get my daughter." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. It is not possible to hunt the Twrch Trwyth without Gwynn ap Nudd, whom God has placed over the brood of devils in Annwn, lest they should destroy the present race. He will never be spared from there." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. There is not a horse in the world that can carry Gwynn to hunt the Twrch Trwyth, except Du, the horse of Mor of Oerfeddawg." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Until Gilennhin the king of France shall come, the Twrch Trwyth cannot be hunted. It will be unseemly for him to leave his kingdom for your sake, and he will never come here." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. The Twrch Trwyth can never be hunted without the son of Alun Dyfed; he is well skilled in letting loose the dogs." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. The Twrch Trwyth cannot be hunted unless you get Aned and Aethlem. They are as swift as the gale of wind, and they were never let loose upon a beast that they did not kill him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get; Arthur and his companions to hunt the Twrch Trwyth. He is a mighty man, and he will not come for you, neither will you be able to compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this there is yet that which you will not get. The Twrch Trwyth cannot be hunted unless you get Bwlch, and Cyfwlch and Sefwlch, the grandsons of Cleddyf Difwlch. Their three shields are three gleaming glitterers Their three spears are three pointed piercers. Their three swords are three griding gashers, Glas, Glessic, and Clersag. Their three dogs, Call, Cuall, and Cavall. Their three horses, Hwyrdydwg, and Drwgdydwg, and Llwyrdydwg. Their three wives, Och, and Garam, and Diaspad. Their three grandchildren, Lluched, and Vyned, and Eissiwed. Their three daughters, Drwg, and Gwaeth, and Gwaethaf Oll. Their three handmaids Eheubryd, the daughter of Kyfwlch; Gorasgwrn, the daughter of Nerth; and Gwaedan, the daughter of Kynvelyn]. These three men shall sound the horn, and all the others shall shout, so that all will think that the sky is falling to the earth." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. The sword of Gwrnach the Giant; he will never be slain except with that. Of his own free will he will not give it, either for a price or as a gift, and you will never be able to compel him." "It will be easy for me to compass this, although you may think that it will not be easy."

"Though you get this, there is yet that which you will not get. Difficulties shall you meet with, and nights without sleep, in seeking this, and if you do not obtain it, neither shall you obtain my daughter." "Horses shall I have, and chivalry; and my lord and kinsman Arthur will obtain for me all these things. And I shall gain your daughter, and you shall lose your life." "Go forward. And you shall not be chargeable for food or raiment for my daughter while you are seeking these things; and when you have compassed all these marvels, you shall have my daughter for your wife."


To the fifth part of Culhwch ac Olwen

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