The Hostile Confederacy
Book of Taliesin VII

Behold a bard who has not chanted yet.
But he will sing soon
and by the end of his song
he will know the starry wisdom.

No recompense for my song -
No one heeds the words of Taliesin.

The day dawns when
Kian will recite
a host of praises.
My reward will be the speech intended for Afagddu.

It was an ingenious exchange - 
The Lord's song
Became Gwion's utterance -
His speech, a chance occurrence.

Gwion could make the dead alive -
A difficult endeavour.

Gwion kept the cauldron
Steadily boiling.
Gwion of small merit
Shall be until the ages of ages.

The peace that you bring to me
In the depth of your praises
Does it not rather resemble a hostile conspiracy?

What then is this custom?
your tongue recites
so many native songs
that you are no longer able to say
words of blessing over the clear liquid
which is the theme of your eulogy.

I alone am your custom
the third among equal judges.

Three score years
I have suffered earthly existence,
in the water of the law and the crowd,
in the elements of the earth.

Surrounded by a hundred servants
a hundred kings making oaths
a hundred leaving them
a hundred returning to them,
a hundred bards chanting
and predicting this.

Small was her desire
for gold and silver--
Lladdon, daughter of the Wave.

Who is the mortal who left her
With a bloody breast?
He will be spoken of later
and he will be greatly praised.

I am Taliesin
and I defend the true lineage
until the end of time
to Elphin's profit.

Is it not a tribute
of gold that is given 
when one is loathed and unloved?

Perjury and treason,
I no longer desire them.
In the stream of our song,
no one recognises
the brother who greets me.

I am a wiseman of the primal knowledge,
I am an experienced astrologer,
I pronounce anger, I pronounce solutions,
I speak to habitual fawners.
Continue, behold God.

In the language of Talhearn,
baptism was the judgement,
whoever expounded to him the nature
and the power of poetry
To him is wisdom bestowed,
and inspiration without fail.

Seven score goddesses
have shares in inspiration,
but of these scores, only one truly.

Anger will cease in the depths,
in the depths anger will swell,
in the depths, under the earth,
in the sky over the earth,
only one truly knows
what is the sadness
that is better than joy.

I know the law
of fertile inspiration
when it is skilful,
to those happy days,
to a quiet life,
to the defence of the times,
to kings of whom long is the consolation
to the things who are on the face of the earth.

It is difficult to perform
a task on a new garment.
Why is the harp-string lamenting?
Why does the cuckoo lament, why does it sing?
I know it as I know many pleasant things.
I know why Geraint and Arman
abandoned their camp,
I know when the spark
of hardness works from the stones,
I know why the honeysuckle smells good,
why crows are the colour of wax.

Talhearn is
the great master of stars,
he knows the mind of trees,
he knows that meditation is the day's pleasure,
he knows good and evil.
I know the cup where the wave has flowed,
I know the end of the dawn,
I know who has preached
to Eli and Eneas.

I know the cuckoos of summer,
I know where they go in winter.

The inspiration that I sing
I have brought it up from the depths.

A river of it flows,
I know its length,
I know when it disappears,
I know when it refills,
I know when it overflows,
I know when it disappears,
I know which foundation
there is under the sea.
I know its measure,
I know each (one) and what surrounds it.

I know how numerous are the hours of the day,
I know how numerous are the days in the year,
how numerous are the spears in battle,
how numerous are the drops of a shower
gently dispersing...

I know all the craft of Gwydion
who made great mockery and nearly a disgrace.

I know who it is
who fills the river
and its release on the people of Pharaoh,
I know who averts
the present questions.

I know what made enduring patience
when the sky was raised.

When the great knowledge of the stars is imparted
then will be understood every high thing.
I know when the spirit is working,
when the sea is pleasant,
when the race is valiant,
when the Most High is implored,
I know the extent over the earth
of the sun which shines upon us,
I know when the bird of anger goes to its rest,
the bird of anger goes to its nest
when the earth becomes green.
I know who sings the psalms,
and by whom the songs are psalmed,
if one truly considers them
and collects them together in a book.

I know the number of the winds and streams,
I know the number of the streams and winds,
how many are the rivers,
I know size of the earth
and its thickness.
I know the sound of blades
reddened on all sides under the sun,
I know the Regulator
of the Heavens and of the Earth.

I know why a hill resounds.

I know why devastators win land,
I know why the silver vault is reknitted,
why breath is black,
why it is better,
why the valley is radiant.

I know why the cow is horned,
why a wife is loving,
why milk is white,
why holly is green,
why the goat is bearded,
in the many fields,
why it is bearded,
why the parsnip is crested,
why the wheel is round,
why the mallet is flat,
why the kid is speckled,
why salt is in brine,
why beer is a lively medium...

I know why the alder is purple coloured,
why the linnet is green,
why hips are red,
why a woman is never still,
why night comes,
I know the nature of the flood
but no one knows why the interior of the sun is red.

I know who made the great pole
which connects earth and heaven,
I know the number of fingers in the cauldron.
on the one and only, on the hand,
I know what name of two words
will never be taken from the cauldron.

I know why the ocean rolls about us,
why fish are black,
of sea food will their flesh be,
until the time when it will be transformed
when the fish will lock it up. (the sea?)

I know that the white swan's foot is black,
I know that the sharp spear is four-sided,
I know that the heavenly race are unfallen,
I know that there are four elements
but their end is not known to me.
I know the wanderings of the boar and the deer.

I salute you, bard of the border,
how do you stand beside he whose bones are of the fog
in a place where the two cataracts of the wind combat?

My knowledge declares itself
in Hebrew, in Greek,
In Greek and Hebrew,
laudate, laudate Iesu.

A second time was I created,
I have been a blue salmon,
I have been a dog, I have been a deer,
I have been a goat on the mountain,
I have been trunk, I have been a beech,
I have been an axe in the hand,
I have been a pin in the tongs.

For a year and half,
I have been a white speckled cock,
among the hens of Eiddyn. {Edinburgh}
I have been a stallion at stud,
I have been a battling bull,
I have been a yellow goat.

Fecund and nourishing,
I have been a grain discovered
and I have grown on the hill.
The harvester took me
in a corner full of smoke
in order to free my essence.

I have been in great suffering;
a red hen took me,
she had red wings and double comb;
I rested nine months
in her belly, as a child.
I have been matured,
I have been offered to the king,
I have been dead, I have been alive,
I have possessed the ivy branch,
I have had an escort;
before God I have been poor.

The Protector has also instructed me
between his red hands. He who has spoken of me
will find it hard to be happy;
that he may find great glory in it.

I am Taliesin
and I defend the true lineage
until the end of time
to the profit of Elphin.

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