Preiddu Annwn: The Spoils of Annwn
The Book of Taliesin XXX
I will praise the sovereign, supreme king of the land,
Who hath extended his dominion over the shore of the world.
Complete was the prision of Gwair in Caer Siddi,
Through the spite of Pwyll and Pryderi.
No one before him went into it.
The heavy blue chain held the faithful youth,
And before the spoils of Annwn woefully he sings,
And till doom shall continue a bard of prayer.
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen, we went into it;
Except seven, none returned from Caer Siddi.
Am I not a canidate for fame, if a song is heard?
In Caer Pedyrvan, four its revolutions;
In the first word from the cauldron when spoken,
From the breath of nine maidens it was gently warmed.
Is it not the cauldron of the chief of Annwn? What is its intention?
A ridge about its edge, and pearls.
It will not boil the food of a coward, that has not been sworn,
A sword bright gleaming to him was raised,
And in the hand of Leminawg it was left.
And before the door of the gate of Uffern the lamp was burning.
And when we went with Arthur, a splendid labour,
Except seven, non returned from Caer Vedwyd.
Am I not a candidate for the fame with the listened song
In Caer Pedryvan, in the Isle of the Strong Door?
The twilight and pitch darkness were mixed together.
Bright wine their liquor before their retinue.
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen we went on the sea,
Except seven, none returned from Caer Rigor.
I shall not deserve much from the ruler of literature,
Beyond Caer Wydyr they saw not the prowess of Arthur.
Three score legions stood on the wall,
Difficult was a conversation with its sentinel.
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen there went with Arthur,
Except only seven, none returned from Caer Golud.
I shall not deserve much from those with long shields.
They know not what day, who the causer,
What hour in the serene day Cwy was born.
Who caused him not to go to the dales of Devwy.
They know not the brindled ox, thick his headband.
SEven score knobs in his collar.
And when we went with Arthur of anxious memory,
Except seven, none returned from Caer Vandwy.
I shall not deserve much from those of loose bias,
They know not what day the world was created,
What hour in the serene day the Lord was born,
What animal they keep, silver its head.
When we went with Arthur of anxious contention,
Except seven, none returned from Caer Achren.
Monks congregate like dogs in a kennel,
From contact with their superiours they aquire knowledge,
Is one the course of the wind? is one the water of the sea?
Is one the spark of fire? of unrestrainable tumult?
Monks congregate like wolves,
From contact with their superiors they aquire knowledge,
They know not when the deep night and dawn divide,B
Nor what is the course of the wind, or who agitates it,
In what place it dies away, or on what land it roars.
The grave of the saint is vanishing from the altar-tomb.
I will pray to the Lord, the great supreme,
That I will not be left wretched. Christ be my portion.
This is thought to be an early grail quest; it serves as a midway between the world of Branwen uerch Llyr and that of Perceval and Le Roman du Graal.
Note that "save only seven, none returned.." and its relation to The Seven Survivors of Prydein.