Armes Prydein Vawr
The Greater Prophecy of Britain
Hosts will come.
We shall possess riches
Prosperity and peace;
Generous rulers, benevolent lords;
And, after disruption, the region settled.
Fierce men, wrathful, mighty
Bold in combat, angry; powerful,
As far as Caer Weir will rout their foes.
Celebration follows devastation,
Agreement between Prydein and Dublin;
Ireland, Mon, Scotland, Cornwall
At One in their endeavour.
Britons shall have triumph,
Long since foretold;
Noble rulers, Northmen too,
Shall embark on an assault.
Myrddin tells us how
An assembly at Aber Peryddon
Will bring the High King's stewards
(They will moan of death)
To gather taxes
The Cymry will not pay.
Mary's Mabon, sovereign Word,
Unbroken by Saxon battery!
Down with Gwtheyrn's pariahs!
Foreign foes will go into exile,
No welcome anywhere, no land given -
Rivers will be strange to them everywhere!
Hengist and Horsa bought Thanet
With deceit and guile; since then
They have grown ever stronger.
Secret slayings, drunkenness, terror,
Have given them power;
Now destitution reigns
Front many deaths, and women's tears
Sow desolation on the land.
We yearn to be free of savage rulers,
Sorrowing at a world upturned;
Thanet's thieves may rule us,
Our lands laid waste -
God's word prohibiting blows -
But we pray they may retreat
Before our lands are overrun.
Mabon of Mary, unbroken
The Cymry remain -nobles, princes,
Warriors - all cry out one-voiced,
Single-hearted, of one mind.
Not from pride, but shunning disgrace,
They avoid parley - preying
To God and Dwi - send home the Saxon,
Who shamefully ravished the land.
Cymry and Saxon will meet,
Both sides struggling for supremacy,
Fierce warbands testing their strength,
While on the hills battle-cries are heard
And the clash of blades.
On Wye's banks ring out;
Banners descried through savage assault.
Food for wolves the Saxons,
Cymric lords gathering their forces,
Attacking vanguard and rear.
Saxons will kneel in blood,
Bleeding men on every side;
Many will flee through the forest
like foxes in the streets,
Banished forever from Britain's land
Driven to the sea in terror and dismay.
Caer Geri's stewards will groan,
Uttering their fear in bolt and hide,
To Aber Peryddon with ill-luck
To gather fatal taxes.
Attacking with eighteen thousand,
Only eight thousand will return
With blood-soaked shirts -
A sorry tale to tell their wives.
Cymry from the south
Contend without care their taxes.
Sharp blades cut cleanly,
Paying no doctor's fee.
Great war-bands come
As the Cymry arise and give battle.
Unavoidable death has been evoked;
Never again will the Saxons
Gather such evil taxes.
In forest, field, hill and dale
A candle will lighten the darkness.
Cynan will lead the assault,
As the Saxons, groaning, cry: 'Ah, God!'
And Cadwaladr, mighty pillar,
Gathers his stern lords,
Driving them to beds of earth
With bloody faces.
In the end, the Saxons will rush,
Furiously into Caer Wynt.
Blessed are the Cymry who invoke
The Trinity to give them freedom.
Let neither Dyfed nor Glywysing tremble:
The high king's stewards will fail,
And Saxon warriors, though savage,
Won't get drunk at our expense.
With orphaned sons, stiff and cold,
The foe will flee to Lego's banks.
The awen foretells: the day will come
When Wessex will have one mind,
One voice, a single thought.
With Angles, fleeing daily, outcast, lost,
We will rush into battle like bears,
Taking dreadful toll of the enemy.
Spear-play will be seen, much bloodshed,
Heads split open, brains scattered,
Wives widowed, steeds left riderless,
Terrible groans after the charge.
Death's messengers gather
Where corpses stand in ranks.
Vengeance for endless taxes,
Proud envoys, deceitful foes.
The Cymry must he hardened,
Trained, united, sworn
Companions in the field.
Compelled to wage war,
The Cymry will muster,
Under Dewi's banner,
Dublin's clansmen fighting at our sides.
Demanding first what the Saxon's want,
What right they have to ancient lands,
And whence they come and why.
Since Gwrtheyrn's time they have sought
To trample us under foot - no rights
Have they to do so - great wrongs
Have they done to us,
Breaking Dewi's laws.
The Cymry will be certain
To let no Saxon walk away;
We'll punish them for all they did
With death their payment now.
Paid will be all debts,
Four hundred and four years after Christ.
Great warriors, bright-haired, battle-seasoned,
Will come from Ireland to our aid;
From Lego a fleet of ships will come,
Baneful in battle, rending all before them;
From Alclud will come reckless men
To drive the Saxons out of Prydain;
From Llydaw a mighty army,
Warlike warriors who spare nut their foes.
On every side Saxons will fall,
Their day ended, their stolen lands forsworn.
Death, brought hither on warriors blades,
Will pay for the thieving courtiers.
May a hedge be their only haven,
May the sea be their council,
And may blood be their companion.
Cynan and Cadwaladr, leaders of the war-band,
Will be praised forever, grace be theirs;
Powerful lords prudent in council,
Crushing the Saxons in the sight of God.
Two generous men, gives of land and cattle,
Two mighty heroes, bulwarks of Prydain,
Bears undaunted by force of battle.
Seers foretell the Saxons will depart.
From Manaw to Llydaw our lands will stretch;
From Dyfew to Thanet, will be ours;
From Gwawl to Gweryd, right to the sea
Our sway over Yrechwydd.
The Saxons won't return:
The Irish will rejoin their comrades,
The Cymry will rise a mighty force,
Ale-filled war-bands and soldiers in swarms,
God's kings who protected their flocks,
Wessex men in every ship,
Cynan bonding with Isis comrades.
Soon every man will shout for joy,
That the Saxons are gone -
Only corpses facing the heroes
As far as Sandwich.
Driving out the foreigners,
One after another to the sea,
The Cymry will be one people
From now till doomsday,
Seeking neither druid nor bard.
None but I foretell this island's future.
Pray to the Lord who made heaven and earth:
Let Dewi be our leader,
In Caer Gelli - for God's sake:
Who dies not, hides not, nor ever fails,
Who withers never, bends not, but endures.
Sometimes this is attributed to Taliesin, sometimes to Myrddin/Merlin, it can't have been written before 930 CE.
It envisions a time when all Celtic nations will rise up and defeat the Saxon invaders. Not likely. I've hardlinked a number of odd names --Lydlaw is Brittany, etc.
Back to the Book of Taliesin