Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd


Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd (or in Modern Welsh Hywel ap Owain Gwynedd) (died c. 1170) was a Welsh warrior-poet, the illegitimate son of Owain Gwynedd, king of Gwynedd.

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  • Caraf trachas Lloegyr, lleudir goglet hediw,
    ac yn amgant y Lliw lliwas callet.
    Caraf am rotes rybuched met,
    myn y dyhaet my meith gwyrysset.
    Carafy theilu ae thew anhet yndi
    ac wrth uot y ri rwyfaw dyhet.
    • O England's hate is my love unsleeping, Gwynedd my land,
      Golden on every hand to the myriad reaping.
      For her bounty of mead I love her, winter content,
      Where turbulent wastes of the sea but touch and are spent;
      I love her people, quiet peace, rich store of her treasure
      Changed at her prince's pleasure to splendid war.
    • "Gorhoffedd" (The Boast), line 3; translation from Robert Gurney Bardic Heritage (London: Chatto & Windus, 1969) p. 39.

  • Keueisy vun dunn diwyrnawd;
    keueisy dwy, handid mwy eu molawd;
    keueisy deir a pheddir a phawd;
    keueisy bymp o rei gwymp eu gwyngnawd;
    keueisy chwech heb odech pechawd;
    gwen glaer uch gwengaer yt ym daerhawd;
    keueisy sseith ac ef gweith gordygnawd;
    keueisy wyth yn hal pwyth peth or wawd yr geint;
    ys da deint rac tauaed.
    • One I have loved, uneluding, dearly possessed,
      Two I have wooed, by greater praise be they blessed –
      Three, yea, and four, with fortune lavish of gold,
      Five maidens I've won their white flesh fair to behold,
      And six more bright than the sun on my city's strong walls
      With never a treacherous rede to blemish delight;
      Seven by heaven! though hardly won was the fight –
      Yea eight of whom I have sung: but to bridle the tongue
      Lest heedless a careless word slip – the teeth they are strong!
    • "Gorhoffedd" (The Boast), line 75; translation from Robert Gurney Bardic Heritage (London: Chatto & Windus, 1969) p. 41.

  • Karafy gaer wennglaer o du gwennylan;
    myn yd gar gwyldec gweled gwylan
    yd garwny uyned, kenym cared yn rwy.
    Ry eitun ouwy y ar veingann
    y edrtch uy chwaer chwerthin egwan,
    y adrawt caru, can doeth yn rann.
    • I love a bright fort on a shining slope,
      Where a fair, shy girl loves watching gulls.
      I'd like to go, though I get no great love,
      On a longed-for visit on a slender white horse
      To seek my love of the quiet laughter,
      To recite love, since it's come my way.
    • "Awdl V" (Ode 5), line 1; translation from Gwyn Williams (trans.) Welsh Poems, 6th Century to 1600 (London: Faber & Faber, 1973) p. 43.

About Hywel ap Owain Gwynedd edit

  • Seithwyr y buam, dinam, – digythrudd,
    Digyfludd eu cyflam,
    Seithwyr ffyrf ffo ddiadlam,
    Saith gynt ni gymerynt gam.
    Can eddyw Hywel, hwyl ddi-oddef – cad
    (Cydfuam gyd ag ef),
    Handym oll goll gyfaddef,
    Handid tegach teulu nef.
    • Seven we were, faultless and fearless men,
      Unchecked in our attack.
      Seven firm men, strangers to flight,
      Seven who once endured no injury.
      Now Hywel is gone, who gladly bore a fight;
      Once we were joined with him.
      Now, we confess, we all are lost
      And heaven's host is fairer than before.
    • Peryf ap Cedifor "Marwnad Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd" (The Killing of Hywel ab Owain), line 5; translation from Carl Lofmark Bards and Heroes (Felinfach: Llanerch, 1989) p. 80

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