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Translation:

19. Moliant i Ddewi (Rhisiart ap Rhys)

edited by Eurig Salisbury

A poem in praise of David by Rhisiart ap Rhys and a request to Sir Rhys ap Tomas to avenge the death of Gwilym. Date soon after 17 June 1497.

Swrn o dir a siwrnai dyn,
Sain Dafydd,1 ⁠Dafydd This form of the saint’s name is used alongside Dewi in the Welsh life, see WLSD; cf. GIRh 8.97. y sy’n 2 ⁠Pulput … ⁠symutir The manuscript reading is tentatively followed. GPC Ar Lein s.v. pulpud notes pulput as another form of the word. As for symutir, it seems that a consonant could become voiceless only in the stem of a subjunctive verb (see GMW 128), but symutir may be a dialectal form, cf. gwetws for ‘dywedodd’ (further, the variant form ysmuto is noted in GPC Ar Lein s.v. symudaf). It does not seem that the manuscript orthography uses t for d. d’ofyn.2 Ll. 1–2. A couplet which seem isolated at first, and whose significance only becomes clear in light of the last part of the poem. The poet calls on David for help on behalf of Deheubarth in order to facilitate Sir Rhys ap Thomas’s journey to avenge Gwilym’s death, see ll. 57–60n.
Tri deg oedd dy antur di
Gan y dynion gyn3 ⁠gyn A variant form of cyn ‘before’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. cyn1. d’eni:4 Ll. 3–4. According to the lives, Patrick was warned not to settle in the place where St Davids would later be, for it had been reserved for a boy who would be born in thirty years’ time, see StDW 110–13; WLSD 1–2 and the note on page 25. Rhigyfarch’s life states that David’s father, Sant, had also been forewarned about the birth of his son, see StDW 108–9. It is assumed that dynion is a reference here to David’s parents, who are named in the following couplet. The expression in this couplet is rather awkward, with antur quite unexpected in the context. The edition follows GPC Ar Lein s.v. antur (a) ‘feat’, but a different translation is possible: ‘Thirty [years] was the estimate [made] for you / by the men’.
5Dy dad, Sant5 ⁠Sant David’s father., gariad gwirion,
Da fo ym nerth dy fam, Non.6 ⁠Non David’s mother. 7 Ll. 5–6. Alternative punctuation is possible by making an aside of da fo ym nerth ‘may power be beneficial to me’: Dy dad, Sant, gariad gwirion, / Da fo ym nerth, dy fam, Non.
Dŵr ffons a gaed ar8 ⁠ar See GPC Ar Lein s.v. ar1 6 ‘by (means of) … as a result of’. y ffydd,
Dwyn golwg i’r dyn gweilydd.9 Ll. 7–8. According to the lives, when David was baptised a miraculous spring sprouted from the ground, by which the sight of a blind man, who was holding him during the ritual, was restored, see StDW 116–17; WLSD 3. He is the dyn gweilydd here, namely the Irish saint, Mobí, according to Rhigyfarch, who was born without a nose and without eyes, and who is described in both Gwynfardd Brycheiniog’s and Iolo Goch’s poems for David as wynepclawr ‘flat-face’, see WLSD 33–4; GLlF 26.158–61 and the note; DewiIG ll. 37‒40. Nonetheless, the exact meaning of gweilydd is unclear, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. ‘empty, void … without a care, without anxiety … free, ready’; cf. two examples by Rhisiart ap Rhys and Hywel Dafi where it is used as a noun, GRhB 21.37–8 Hen fu Ifor, a hŷn fu Ofydd, / a Mathusalem, moethus weilydd; GHDafi 3.6n Nid un gwlm a dynn gweilydd. It seems that ‘defective’ is the most appropriate meaning here.
Ceirw a’r adar, o’u cerrynt,
10Di-led,10 ⁠di-led The word is noted in GPC Ar Lein s.v. di-led, which refers to lled1 ‘breadth’ as the second element, but the meaning is obscure. It may refer to the fact that the animals mentioned to in this couplet could not roam free across the land, namely ‘caught, confined’. Another possibility is that lled is the adjective ‘half, part(ly), to a certain extent’, see ibid. s.v. lled3. That is, the stags and birds were ‘faultless’. gwâr, y’u delid gynt.11 Ll. 9–10. Both guarding crops against birds and controlling wild stags are common occurrences in the saints’ lives (see Henken 1991 158), but in David’s case they are found in the poems only. The birds are referred to in DewiGB ll. 168–75 (Gwynfardd Brycheiniog) and MWPSS 13.15‒16 (Lewys Glyn Cothi), and both the birds and the stags are referred to in DewiIG ll. 83‒8 (Iolo Goch) and DewiLGC1 ll. 15‒20 (Lewys Glyn Cothi).
Mab marw a’i fam ’n ei arwain
A wnaed yn fyw i’n dyn fain.12 ⁠i’n dyn fain The couplet suggests that God resurrected the widow’s son (see ll. 11–12n) on David’s behalf, and that the poet is here referring to the saint as ‘our slender man’. However, dyn is obviously a feminine noun here, which suggests that the poet is in fact referring to the widow, ‘our slender woman’. Furthermore, David is addressed in the second person throughout the poem. 13 Ll. 11–12. According to the lives, David resurrected a widow’s dead son as he was on his way to the synod at Llanddewibrefi, see StDW 144–5; WLSD 9–10.
Pulput14 ⁠pulput A form of pulpud ‘pulpit’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. lle na symutir 2 ⁠Pulput … ⁠symutir The manuscript reading is tentatively followed. GPC Ar Lein s.v. pulpud notes pulput as another form of the word. As for symutir, it seems that a consonant could become voiceless only in the stem of a subjunctive verb (see GMW 128), but symutir may be a dialectal form, cf. gwetws for ‘dywedodd’ (further, the variant form ysmuto is noted in GPC Ar Lein s.v. symudaf). It does not seem that the manuscript orthography uses t for d.
O rad Duw yt ar y tir.15 Ll. 13–14. In Henken 1991 113, 194, this couplet is linked with the following couplet and interpreted as a corroboration of a reference in Gwynfardd Brycheiniog’s poem for David to an altar sent to him from heaven which cannot be looked upon, see GLlF 26.180–3 and the note; cf. DewiIG l. 83. However, the key word here is pulput ‘pulpit’, which strongly suggests that the poet is referring to the hill that rose beneath David’s feet as he was preaching in the synod at Llanddewibrefi, see StDW 144–7; WLSD 10–11.
15Ni alloedd16 ⁠alloedd On the inflection -oedd instead of -odd in past forms of the verb, especially in texts associated with Morgannwg, see GLMorg 10.42n; cf. SeintiauRhRh l. 17. un oll âi i’i ddwyn 3 ⁠âi i’i ddwyn The manuscript reading, ae ddwyn, is adapted, assuming that the object of the verb is the [g]wenwyn ‘poison’ in the next line.
Fry â chan fwrw ywch wenwyn.17 Ll. 15–16. A reference to a section of the lives in which three monks try to kill David with poisoned bread, but the plot is foiled by one of David’s disciples, who journeys to Wales from Ireland on a sea-monster in order to warn him, see StDW 132–5; WLSD 6–8.
Gwisg wen pawb o’th garennydd,18 ⁠Gwisg wen pawb o’th garennydd A reference to other saints to whom David was believed to be related, such as Afan, Teilo, Dogfael and Tysul, see Bonedd y Saint.
Gŵr sy’n rhoi’r Grawys yn rhydd;19 ⁠Gŵr sy’n rhoi’r Grawys yn rhydd This belief appears in the poems only, namely that it was David who received permission from God to eat gwyniad ‘herring’ during the fast of Lent, see DewiIG ll. 69‒72; MWPSS 18.49‒50.
I’th dir ni ddaeth ederyn20 ⁠ederyn For the form, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. adar.
20A wna twyll i enaid dyn.21 Ll. 19–20. A story unknown to both the lives and the poetry addressed to David, yet there may not have been a story in the first place, for the poet may be referring in a general sense to the holiness of the dove that educated David (according to Rhigyfarch) and landed on his shoulder as he preached in the synod, see StDW 116–17, 144–5; WLSD 3. Cf. also later traditions about David banishing a bird for disturbing his prayer with its song, see Henken 1991 156.
Dyw22 ⁠dyw On the form, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. dyw1. Mawrth a fydd da i mi
Y troes Duw yt ras, Dewi.23 Ll. 21–2. According to the lives, David died on a Tuesday, see StDW 148–51; WLSD 13–14. The poet intends to visit St Davids on a Tuesday or even on 1 March, or possibly envisions himself following David to heaven on a similar Tuesday.
Dof innau hyd dy faenol,24 ⁠Dof innau hyd dy faenol The devoicing that occurs between hyd dy is ignored here, cf. l. 26n; contrast l. 20. Further, see the textual note on this line. 4 ⁠dy faenol The manuscript reading, dyf waenol, likely a misreading of dyvaenol, is amended. Furthermore, reading y faenol instead would avoid having to ignore the devoicing that should occur between hyd dy, but cf. similarly dwg hyd in l. 26.
Oddyno i 5 ⁠i This preposition, absent in the manuscript, was doubtless used in the time of Rhisiart ap Rhys.Dduw yn d’ôl.

25 Dy gob sy dros d’esgobaeth;
Dwg hyd nef (dy gadw a wnaeth)25 ⁠Dwg hyd nef – dy gadw a wnaeth The devoicing that occurs between dwg hyd is ignored here, cf. l. 23n.
Dy gennad,26 ⁠dy gennad Gwilym is described as David’s messenger, possibly as Gwilym was a Welshman (see l. 35n), and therefore a follower of Wales’s patron saint, but also as he lived in the vicinity of Dinefwr in the diocese of St Davids. diwag winwydd;
Dy ras yn fwy dros un27 ⁠dy ras yn fwy dros un ‘Your grace [will be] greater for one man’. Rhisiart is likely refering to Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n). David once cared for Gwilym, but his care for Sir Rhys, who is still in the land of the living, will be greater. fydd.
Aeth i Harri wneuthuriad,28 ⁠Aeth i Harri wneuthuriad The [g]wneuthuriad here is probably Sir Rhys ap Tomas, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. gwneuthuriad2 ‘maker, creator’; l. 57n. The line is reminiscent of the title ‘kingmaker’ given to Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, during the reigns of Henry VI and Edward IV, see OED Online s.v. There may be a reference here to the decisive part played by Sir Rhys at the battle of Bosworth, where Henry Tudor (1485–1509) was victorious, as well as the battle of Blackheath.
30Aeth lu29 ⁠aeth lu On the unexpected mutation, cf. GHDafi 11.16 Nid aeth ŵr heb dŷ ei thad, 62.16 Aeth olud Io i’th law di. yn ôl un o’th wlad30 ⁠un o’th wlad ‘One from your land’, either Gwilym, if he had a leading role in the army at Blackheath; Henry VII (see l. 29n), who was born at Pembroke castle; or, most likely, Sir Rhys ap Thomas (see ll. 29n, 57n)..
Brig glyn 6 ⁠glyn The manuscript reading, clyn, which could be a late form of clun ‘moor’ under the influence of glyn (see GPC Ar Lein s.v. clun2), is amended as it likely reflects the devoicing between brig and glyn, cf. l. 20 eneid tyn. y bu’r celanedd,
Boea lu caith,31 ⁠Boea lu caith The Cornish rebels at Blackheath are depicted as the warriors of one of David’s foremost enemies, Boea, an Irish chief who tried to murder the saint after he settled on his land. As they attacked David, Boea and his followers were struck down by a fever, see StDW 120–5 (where the form Baia is used); WLSD 4–6. It seems that Boea represents one of the rebel leaders, such as Michael An Gof or Baron Audley, see l. 38n. 7 ⁠caith The edition follows Richard Turbeville’s amendment, caeith. y Blac Hedd.32 ⁠y Blac Hedd ⁠Blackheath⁠, an area of open heath on the eastern outskirts of London, cf. GLGC 223.41 ⁠y Blac Hedd⁠; GLM VIII.8 ⁠y Blac Hieth⁠; GLMorg 34.74 Ym Mlac-heth⁠; TA IV.5 ⁠Blac Hêth⁠, VII.56 ⁠Y Blac Hêth⁠; GSDT 5.58 ⁠y Blac-heth⁠.
Dewi, dy ras, peth di-dro,
Dros un mewn derw sy yno,
35Mur Gwilym,33 ⁠Gwilym Possibly Gwilym ap Tomas of Tre-gib, but the identification is uncertain, see the introductory note. irwayw golas,
Merthyr sant34 ⁠merthyr sant Possibly a combination, but there are no other examples in GPC Ar Lein and martyr-saint does not appear before 1718 in OED Online s.v. martyr. The edition has sant as an adjective (see GPC Ar Lein s.v. ‘holy’), but the poet may be addressing David, cf. the previous l., where he is called mur Gwilym ‘defender of Gwilym’. Gwilym is the merthyr ‘martyr’ here (David died in old age). am orthoi’r 8 ⁠orthoi’r No meaning was found in the manuscript reading, orthy’r. It may be a misreading of orthir, namely gorthir ‘uplands … border, confines, neighbourhood, country’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. But reading [g]orthoi’r ‘to cover’ seems rather more appropriate, meaning that Gwilym’s body ‘covered the battle [field]’, see ibid. s.v. gorthoaf. sias.
Ennill y maes yn llew main
Ar lindys35 ⁠lindys According to GPC Ar Lein s.v. llinys, this lindys is a variant form of llindys ‘lineage, pedigree, stock; offspring; race’, and the same meaning is given to lindys (a primitive form) in a poem of praise to Afan by Lewys Glyn Cothi, see GLGC 139.12. The same meaning would fit here, but the same correspondence in cynghanedd appears in a poem by Dafydd Llwyd of Mathafarn to curse Richard III for murdering his two young nephews, see GDLl 25.43–4 Cael ymdroi mewn cwlwm drain / Bu’r lindys byr o Lundain⁠ ‘The little caterpillar from London / was allowed to writhe in a thicket of thorns’. The context strongly suggests that ‘caterpillar’ is meant as a derogatory description of Richard, even though this line is not noted as an example in GPC Ar Lein s.v. lindys1 (the earliest example there belongs to 1567), cf. Williams 1986: 28; Evans 1997: 267. The word lindys appears in a version of ‘Proffwydoliaeth yr Eryr’ (‘The Eagle’s Prophecy’) in Pen 27 (second half of the 15c.), but Linx is given in its place in an early text of the same prophecy found in the Red Book of Hergest (a similar variation happens in Llst 119’s version of a prophetic poem found in the Red Book), which is interpreted as a misreading in EVW 146 (cf. the variant form lingus, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. lincs). Dafydd Llwyd was well acquainted with ‘Proffwydoliaeth yr Eryr’ (GDLl 18.13–16), and it is likely that he took the word from a later version of the prophecy with the understanding that it referred to a ‘caterpillar’. It is also likely that Rhisiart ap Rhys took the correspondence in cynghanedd between lindys and ⁠Lundain⁠ from Dafydd Llwyd’s poem, this time in reference to another of Henry VII’s enemies. The rebels at Blackheath had three leaders, namely Michael An Gof (or Michael Joseph), Thomas Flamank and James Tuchet, Baron Audley. The most distinguished, Audley, is likely to be the butt of ridicule here. It seems that Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n) played a vital role in capturing Audley on the battlefield (Griffiths 2014: 48), who was beheaded shortly afterwards. daear Lundain.
Rhôi ynys Harri unwaith,
40A marw a wnâi ’mron ei waith.
Bedydd cyn bedyddio’i caf,36 ⁠Bedydd cyn bedyddio’i caf This rather bizarre line is interpreted as some sort of proverb, with the meaning that Gwilym had died before his time, cf. l. 40. Another possibility, following the second l. of the couplet (see l. 42n meibion Briaf), is that the poet is referring to Priam’s sons as virtuous pagans, that is, heroes who were born before Christ and therefore never baptised, but who were, nonetheless, worthy of being allowed into heaven, cf. the Nine Worthies, GG.net 75.2n (explanatory). However, this does little to throw light upon the meaning of the couplet as it stands, and it may be corrupt.
Ben brau fel meibion Briaf.37 ⁠meibion Briaf Priam, king of Troy in the Greek legends, had many sons, and the most famous was the great warrior, Hector.
Beth gorau’i alw, 9 ⁠gorau’i alw The manuscript reading, gorav alw, is adapted for the meaning. bath greulawn,38 ⁠Beth gorau’i alw, bath greulawn The caesura is too near to the end of the l., for it should not fall after the third syllable in a consonantal cynghanedd anghytbwys ddisgynedig, see CD 272.
Gorau lad,39 ⁠gorau lad The edition follows GPC Ar Lein s.v. llad1 ‘present; grace, benefit, blessing’, although it is also possible that lad is an unlenited form and a borrowing from the English ‘lad’, but lad does not appear in ibid. ar gweryl iawn.40 Ll. 43–4. The meaning is unclear. Possibly a question, Beth gorau’i alw ‘What best to call him?’, with bath greulawn ‘cruel likeness’ as one possible answer and the correct answer in the second l., namely gorau lad ‘the greatest gift’. However, the absence of mutation after beth is unusual, cf. ASCent 2.78 Beth orau byth a erys; GHDafi 77.1 Beth orau ’n y Deau dir. It is tentatively suggested that beth is in fact a mutated form of peth ‘person, creature (often derog., but also affectionately)’ (GPC Ar Lein s.v. peth 1 (b)), with [c]weryl iawn ‘just cause’ a description of the battle. The suggestion is that Gwilym died for a just cause.
45Ni rôi Gaer-ludd⁠41 ⁠Caer-ludd London, see CLlLl 10, 15; CLlLl2 1. anhuddad,42 ⁠anhuddad A dialectal form, possibly, of anhudded, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.
Gronwy lwyth,43 ⁠Gronwy lwyth Most of the influential noble families of Dinefwr and its vicinities, including the family of Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n), were descended from Gronwy ab Einion, see the introductory note. However, he is barely mentioned in the poetry as a whole, see Griffiths 2014: 8. er grwn o’i wlad.44 Ll. 45–6. The point is that a grave in London would not do for a true Welshman like Gwilym.

Dinefwr⁠45 ⁠Dinefwr A sizeable castle on a ridge above the river Tywi near Llandeilo, and the main seat of the princes of Deheubarth. It may be significant that there was a chapel dedicated to David in the castle, see Griffiths 1994: 259. waed i nef fry,
Dewi, enaid, a dynny.
Tyn hen genfigen (gwan fydd)
50A thylodion46 ⁠tylodion A plural form of tylawd, a form of tlawd ‘poor’ with an epenthetic vowel, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.; cf. GG.net 8.77. o’th wledydd;
Ias chwerw, fel rhisg y dderwen,47 ⁠Ias chwerw, fel rhisg y dderwen Could this be a reference to an unpleasant medicine, some sort of purification, which used the bark of an oak? This bark was generally associated with the process of making leather in a tannery (see Linnard 1982: 39, 87–94), but it does not seem relevant in this context. Cf. the story of the cobbler in the Life of Gwenfrewy, who was cursed as he tried to bark an oak that stood near to the saint’s well.
A iachâ 10 ⁠iachâ The manuscript reading, iach a, is understood here as the verb, following the use of other verbs in ll. 49, 53, 55 and 56, instead of iach â ‘[and everyone] will become healthy’. bawb uwch ei ben;48 ⁠uwch ei ben The pronoun likely refers to the ias chwerw ‘bitter pang’ in the preceding line.
Dwg yn un â thi’th hunan 11 ⁠â thi’th hunan The manuscript reading, ath ehvnan, in which the syntax is incorrect, is amended.
Dalaith fraisg, dolwyth49 ⁠tolwyth A variant form of tylwyth ‘household’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. y frân;50 ⁠Dalaith fraisg, dolwyth y frân The [t]alaith ‘province’ is possibly the commote of Maenordeilo, or maybe Cantref Mawr, or even the old kingdom of Deheubarth. Indeed, the power of Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n) and his family reached across south-west Wales, and the raven (or three ravens) served as the family’s famous symbol, based the belief that they were descended from Urien Rheged, see DWH i: 98–100, 117–18, 244; DWH ii: 498–9; Griffiths 2014: 8–9. Note that the raven was also possibly used as a symbol by the uncle of Gwilym ap Tomas (see l. 35n), Rhys ap Gwilym, see DWH ii: 197.
55Dod aliwns ar dud elawr,
Dod er mwyn rhadau dewr mawr.
Od â Syr Rys,51 ⁠Syr Rys Sir Rhys ap Tomas, one of Henry VII’s main supporters in Wales, who played a key part in the king’s victory at the battle of Blackheath in 1497. Further, see Griffiths 2014; DNB Online s.n. Sir Rhys ap Thomas. On the mutated form Syr Rys, see the note on the poet, Syr Rhys, in GG.net. dwyswr52 ⁠twyswr The earliest example of a variant form of tywyswr (the earliest noted in GPC Ar Lein s.v. belongs to 1631). iaith,
Law greulon, i Loegr eilwaith,
Dug neu iarll, pen digon ym,
60Daw lawlaw, dial Wilym!53 ⁠Gwilym See 35n. 54 Ll. 57–60. The main sentence is Od â Syr Rys … / … i Loegr eilwaith, / … / … dial Wilym ‘If Sir Rhys … / … goes again to England, / … / … avenge Gwilym’. As in the rest of the poem, David himself is addressed here, this time as one who can facilitate an act of vengeance. The meaning of the secondary sentence Dug neu iarll … / Daw lawlaw is less obvious. The poet may be looking forward in time to a battle lawlaw ‘hand to hand’ between noblemen, or maybe a battle in which they stand shoulder to shoulder, as Sir Rhys did at Blackheath side by side with some of England’s foremost earls and barons.

Much land and a man’s journey
beseech you, Saint David.1 ⁠Dafydd This form of the saint’s name is used alongside Dewi in the Welsh life, see WLSD; cf. GIRh 8.97. 2 Ll. 1–2. A couplet which seem isolated at first, and whose significance only becomes clear in light of the last part of the poem. The poet calls on David for help on behalf of Deheubarth in order to facilitate Sir Rhys ap Thomas’s journey to avenge Gwilym’s death, see ll. 57–60n.
Your feat was thirty [years in the making]
before3 ⁠gyn A variant form of cyn ‘before’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. cyn1. you were born to the people:4 Ll. 3–4. According to the lives, Patrick was warned not to settle in the place where St Davids would later be, for it had been reserved for a boy who would be born in thirty years’ time, see StDW 110–13; WLSD 1–2 and the note on page 25. Rhigyfarch’s life states that David’s father, Sant, had also been forewarned about the birth of his son, see StDW 108–9. It is assumed that dynion is a reference here to David’s parents, who are named in the following couplet. The expression in this couplet is rather awkward, with antur quite unexpected in the context. The edition follows GPC Ar Lein s.v. antur (a) ‘feat’, but a different translation is possible: ‘Thirty [years] was the estimate [made] for you / by the men’.
5your father, Sant5 ⁠Sant David’s father., pure beloved one,
may your mother Non’s6 ⁠Non David’s mother. power be beneficial to me.7 Ll. 5–6. Alternative punctuation is possible by making an aside of da fo ym nerth ‘may power be beneficial to me’: Dy dad, Sant, gariad gwirion, / Da fo ym nerth, dy fam, Non.
Spring-water was received by means8 ⁠ar See GPC Ar Lein s.v. ar1 6 ‘by (means of) … as a result of’. of faith,
giving the defective man his sight.9 Ll. 7–8. According to the lives, when David was baptised a miraculous spring sprouted from the ground, by which the sight of a blind man, who was holding him during the ritual, was restored, see StDW 116–17; WLSD 3. He is the dyn gweilydd here, namely the Irish saint, Mobí, according to Rhigyfarch, who was born without a nose and without eyes, and who is described in both Gwynfardd Brycheiniog’s and Iolo Goch’s poems for David as wynepclawr ‘flat-face’, see WLSD 33–4; GLlF 26.158–61 and the note; DewiIG ll. 37‒40. Nonetheless, the exact meaning of gweilydd is unclear, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. ‘empty, void … without a care, without anxiety … free, ready’; cf. two examples by Rhisiart ap Rhys and Hywel Dafi where it is used as a noun, GRhB 21.37–8 Hen fu Ifor, a hŷn fu Ofydd, / a Mathusalem, moethus weilydd; GHDafi 3.6n Nid un gwlm a dynn gweilydd. It seems that ‘defective’ is the most appropriate meaning here.
The confined,10 ⁠di-led The word is noted in GPC Ar Lein s.v. di-led, which refers to lled1 ‘breadth’ as the second element, but the meaning is obscure. It may refer to the fact that the animals mentioned to in this couplet could not roam free across the land, namely ‘caught, confined’. Another possibility is that lled is the adjective ‘half, part(ly), to a certain extent’, see ibid. s.v. lled3. That is, the stags and birds were ‘faultless’. tame stags and birds
10were taken formerly from their course.11 Ll. 9–10. Both guarding crops against birds and controlling wild stags are common occurrences in the saints’ lives (see Henken 1991 158), but in David’s case they are found in the poems only. The birds are referred to in DewiGB ll. 168–75 (Gwynfardd Brycheiniog) and MWPSS 13.15‒16 (Lewys Glyn Cothi), and both the birds and the stags are referred to in DewiIG ll. 83‒8 (Iolo Goch) and DewiLGC1 ll. 15‒20 (Lewys Glyn Cothi).
A dead son carried by his mother
was brought to life for our slender woman.12 ⁠i’n dyn fain The couplet suggests that God resurrected the widow’s son (see ll. 11–12n) on David’s behalf, and that the poet is here referring to the saint as ‘our slender man’. However, dyn is obviously a feminine noun here, which suggests that the poet is in fact referring to the widow, ‘our slender woman’. Furthermore, David is addressed in the second person throughout the poem. 13 Ll. 11–12. According to the lives, David resurrected a widow’s dead son as he was on his way to the synod at Llanddewibrefi, see StDW 144–5; WLSD 9–10.
A pulpit14 ⁠pulput A form of pulpud ‘pulpit’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. for you by God’s grace
on the land in a place that cannot be moved.15 Ll. 13–14. In Henken 1991 113, 194, this couplet is linked with the following couplet and interpreted as a corroboration of a reference in Gwynfardd Brycheiniog’s poem for David to an altar sent to him from heaven which cannot be looked upon, see GLlF 26.180–3 and the note; cf. DewiIG l. 83. However, the key word here is pulput ‘pulpit’, which strongly suggests that the poet is referring to the hill that rose beneath David’s feet as he was preaching in the synod at Llanddewibrefi, see StDW 144–7; WLSD 10–11.
15No one who tried to carry it all
could16 ⁠alloedd On the inflection -oedd instead of -odd in past forms of the verb, especially in texts associated with Morgannwg, see GLMorg 10.42n; cf. SeintiauRhRh l. 17. poison you with white bread on high.17 Ll. 15–16. A reference to a section of the lives in which three monks try to kill David with poisoned bread, but the plot is foiled by one of David’s disciples, who journeys to Wales from Ireland on a sea-monster in order to warn him, see StDW 132–5; WLSD 6–8.
All of your kinsmen [wear] white clothes,18 ⁠Gwisg wen pawb o’th garennydd A reference to other saints to whom David was believed to be related, such as Afan, Teilo, Dogfael and Tysul, see Bonedd y Saint.
a man who causes Lent to be free;19 ⁠Gŵr sy’n rhoi’r Grawys yn rhydd This belief appears in the poems only, namely that it was David who received permission from God to eat gwyniad ‘herring’ during the fast of Lent, see DewiIG ll. 69‒72; MWPSS 18.49‒50.
no bird20 ⁠ederyn For the form, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. adar. came to your land
20that corrupts a man’s soul.21 Ll. 19–20. A story unknown to both the lives and the poetry addressed to David, yet there may not have been a story in the first place, for the poet may be referring in a general sense to the holiness of the dove that educated David (according to Rhigyfarch) and landed on his shoulder as he preached in the synod, see StDW 116–17, 144–5; WLSD 3. Cf. also later traditions about David banishing a bird for disturbing his prayer with its song, see Henken 1991 156.
The Tuesday22 ⁠dyw On the form, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. dyw1. when God graced you, Dewi,
will be beneficial to me.23 Ll. 21–2. According to the lives, David died on a Tuesday, see StDW 148–51; WLSD 13–14. The poet intends to visit St Davids on a Tuesday or even on 1 March, or possibly envisions himself following David to heaven on a similar Tuesday.
I will come as far as your manor,24 ⁠Dof innau hyd dy faenol The devoicing that occurs between hyd dy is ignored here, cf. l. 26n; contrast l. 20. Further, see the textual note on this line.
from there to God’s house after you.

25Your cope lies over your diocese;
deliver to heaven (he upheld you)25 ⁠Dwg hyd nef – dy gadw a wnaeth The devoicing that occurs between dwg hyd is ignored here, cf. l. 23n.
your messenger,26 ⁠dy gennad Gwilym is described as David’s messenger, possibly as Gwilym was a Welshman (see l. 35n), and therefore a follower of Wales’s patron saint, but also as he lived in the vicinity of Dinefwr in the diocese of St Davids. abundant noble stock;
your grace will be greater for one man.27 ⁠dy ras yn fwy dros un ‘Your grace [will be] greater for one man’. Rhisiart is likely refering to Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n). David once cared for Gwilym, but his care for Sir Rhys, who is still in the land of the living, will be greater.
A maker went to Henry,28 ⁠Aeth i Harri wneuthuriad The [g]wneuthuriad here is probably Sir Rhys ap Tomas, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. gwneuthuriad2 ‘maker, creator’; l. 57n. The line is reminiscent of the title ‘kingmaker’ given to Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, during the reigns of Henry VI and Edward IV, see OED Online s.v. There may be a reference here to the decisive part played by Sir Rhys at the battle of Bosworth, where Henry Tudor (1485–1509) was victorious, as well as the battle of Blackheath.
30a host29 ⁠aeth lu On the unexpected mutation, cf. GHDafi 11.16 Nid aeth ŵr heb dŷ ei thad, 62.16 Aeth olud Io i’th law di. followed one from your land.30 ⁠un o’th wlad ‘One from your land’, either Gwilym, if he had a leading role in the army at Blackheath; Henry VII (see l. 29n), who was born at Pembroke castle; or, most likely, Sir Rhys ap Thomas (see ll. 29n, 57n).
The corpses were upon the dale,
Boea’s host of slavish ones,31 ⁠Boea lu caith The Cornish rebels at Blackheath are depicted as the warriors of one of David’s foremost enemies, Boea, an Irish chief who tried to murder the saint after he settled on his land. As they attacked David, Boea and his followers were struck down by a fever, see StDW 120–5 (where the form Baia is used); WLSD 4–6. It seems that Boea represents one of the rebel leaders, such as Michael An Gof or Baron Audley, see l. 38n. of Blackheath.32 ⁠y Blac Hedd ⁠Blackheath⁠, an area of open heath on the eastern outskirts of London, cf. GLGC 223.41 ⁠y Blac Hedd⁠; GLM VIII.8 ⁠y Blac Hieth⁠; GLMorg 34.74 Ym Mlac-heth⁠; TA IV.5 ⁠Blac Hêth⁠, VII.56 ⁠Y Blac Hêth⁠; GSDT 5.58 ⁠y Blac-heth⁠.
Dewi, may your grace, an unwavering thing,
be upon one who’s in an oak coffin there,
35defender of Gwilym,33 ⁠Gwilym Possibly Gwilym ap Tomas of Tre-gib, but the identification is uncertain, see the introductory note. [one with a] vigorous blue-grey spear,
a martyr saint34 ⁠merthyr sant Possibly a combination, but there are no other examples in GPC Ar Lein and martyr-saint does not appear before 1718 in OED Online s.v. martyr. The edition has sant as an adjective (see GPC Ar Lein s.v. ‘holy’), but the poet may be addressing David, cf. the previous l., where he is called mur Gwilym ‘defender of Gwilym’. Gwilym is the merthyr ‘martyr’ here (David died in old age). for covering the battle [field].
Winning the field as a slender lion
over the caterpillar35 ⁠lindys According to GPC Ar Lein s.v. llinys, this lindys is a variant form of llindys ‘lineage, pedigree, stock; offspring; race’, and the same meaning is given to lindys (a primitive form) in a poem of praise to Afan by Lewys Glyn Cothi, see GLGC 139.12. The same meaning would fit here, but the same correspondence in cynghanedd appears in a poem by Dafydd Llwyd of Mathafarn to curse Richard III for murdering his two young nephews, see GDLl 25.43–4 Cael ymdroi mewn cwlwm drain / Bu’r lindys byr o Lundain⁠ ‘The little caterpillar from London / was allowed to writhe in a thicket of thorns’. The context strongly suggests that ‘caterpillar’ is meant as a derogatory description of Richard, even though this line is not noted as an example in GPC Ar Lein s.v. lindys1 (the earliest example there belongs to 1567), cf. Williams 1986: 28; Evans 1997: 267. The word lindys appears in a version of ‘Proffwydoliaeth yr Eryr’ (‘The Eagle’s Prophecy’) in Pen 27 (second half of the 15c.), but Linx is given in its place in an early text of the same prophecy found in the Red Book of Hergest (a similar variation happens in Llst 119’s version of a prophetic poem found in the Red Book), which is interpreted as a misreading in EVW 146 (cf. the variant form lingus, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. lincs). Dafydd Llwyd was well acquainted with ‘Proffwydoliaeth yr Eryr’ (GDLl 18.13–16), and it is likely that he took the word from a later version of the prophecy with the understanding that it referred to a ‘caterpillar’. It is also likely that Rhisiart ap Rhys took the correspondence in cynghanedd between lindys and ⁠Lundain⁠ from Dafydd Llwyd’s poem, this time in reference to another of Henry VII’s enemies. The rebels at Blackheath had three leaders, namely Michael An Gof (or Michael Joseph), Thomas Flamank and James Tuchet, Baron Audley. The most distinguished, Audley, is likely to be the butt of ridicule here. It seems that Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n) played a vital role in capturing Audley on the battlefield (Griffiths 2014: 48), who was beheaded shortly afterwards. of London’s land.
Likewise he delivered Henry’s kingdom,
40and died at the point of [completing] his work.
I see it as baptizing before the baptism,36 ⁠Bedydd cyn bedyddio’i caf This rather bizarre line is interpreted as some sort of proverb, with the meaning that Gwilym had died before his time, cf. l. 40. Another possibility, following the second l. of the couplet (see l. 42n meibion Briaf), is that the poet is referring to Priam’s sons as virtuous pagans, that is, heroes who were born before Christ and therefore never baptised, but who were, nonetheless, worthy of being allowed into heaven, cf. the Nine Worthies, GG.net 75.2n (explanatory). However, this does little to throw light upon the meaning of the couplet as it stands, and it may be corrupt.
generous leader like the sons of Priam.37 ⁠meibion Briaf Priam, king of Troy in the Greek legends, had many sons, and the most famous was the great warrior, Hector.
One whose call was greatest, cruel likeness,38 ⁠Beth gorau’i alw, bath greulawn The caesura is too near to the end of the l., for it should not fall after the third syllable in a consonantal cynghanedd anghytbwys ddisgynedig, see CD 272.
the greatest gift,39 ⁠gorau lad The edition follows GPC Ar Lein s.v. llad1 ‘present; grace, benefit, blessing’, although it is also possible that lad is an unlenited form and a borrowing from the English ‘lad’, but lad does not appear in ibid. in a just cause.40 Ll. 43–4. The meaning is unclear. Possibly a question, Beth gorau’i alw ‘What best to call him?’, with bath greulawn ‘cruel likeness’ as one possible answer and the correct answer in the second l., namely gorau lad ‘the greatest gift’. However, the absence of mutation after beth is unusual, cf. ASCent 2.78 Beth orau byth a erys; GHDafi 77.1 Beth orau ’n y Deau dir. It is tentatively suggested that beth is in fact a mutated form of peth ‘person, creature (often derog., but also affectionately)’ (GPC Ar Lein s.v. peth 1 (b)), with [c]weryl iawn ‘just cause’ a description of the battle. The suggestion is that Gwilym died for a just cause.
45London41 ⁠Caer-ludd London, see CLlLl 10, 15; CLlLl2 1. couldn’t offer a covering42 ⁠anhuddad A dialectal form, possibly, of anhudded, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. [for him]
in place of a grave in his [own] land, Gronwy’s tribe.43 ⁠Gronwy lwyth Most of the influential noble families of Dinefwr and its vicinities, including the family of Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n), were descended from Gronwy ab Einion, see the introductory note. However, he is barely mentioned in the poetry as a whole, see Griffiths 2014: 8. 44 Ll. 45–6. The point is that a grave in London would not do for a true Welshman like Gwilym.

Dewi, beloved one, you take
those of the blood of Dinefwr45 ⁠Dinefwr A sizeable castle on a ridge above the river Tywi near Llandeilo, and the main seat of the princes of Deheubarth. It may be significant that there was a chapel dedicated to David in the castle, see Griffiths 1994: 259. up to heaven.
Take away both old jealousy (it will be weak)
50and the poor46 ⁠tylodion A plural form of tylawd, a form of tlawd ‘poor’ with an epenthetic vowel, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.; cf. GG.net 8.77. from your lands;
a bitter pang, like the bark of an oak,47 ⁠Ias chwerw, fel rhisg y dderwen Could this be a reference to an unpleasant medicine, some sort of purification, which used the bark of an oak? This bark was generally associated with the process of making leather in a tannery (see Linnard 1982: 39, 87–94), but it does not seem relevant in this context. Cf. the story of the cobbler in the Life of Gwenfrewy, who was cursed as he tried to bark an oak that stood near to the saint’s well.
will heal everyone above it;48 ⁠uwch ei ben The pronoun likely refers to the ias chwerw ‘bitter pang’ in the preceding line.
make one with yourself
the powerful province, the raven’s household;49 ⁠tolwyth A variant form of tylwyth ‘household’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. 50 ⁠Dalaith fraisg, dolwyth y frân The [t]alaith ‘province’ is possibly the commote of Maenordeilo, or maybe Cantref Mawr, or even the old kingdom of Deheubarth. Indeed, the power of Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n) and his family reached across south-west Wales, and the raven (or three ravens) served as the family’s famous symbol, based the belief that they were descended from Urien Rheged, see DWH i: 98–100, 117–18, 244; DWH ii: 498–9; Griffiths 2014: 8–9. Note that the raven was also possibly used as a symbol by the uncle of Gwilym ap Tomas (see l. 35n), Rhys ap Gwilym, see DWH ii: 197.
55place foreigners on a bier’s lid,
do it for the sake of a great brave man’s graces.
If Sir Rhys,51 ⁠Syr Rys Sir Rhys ap Tomas, one of Henry VII’s main supporters in Wales, who played a key part in the king’s victory at the battle of Blackheath in 1497. Further, see Griffiths 2014; DNB Online s.n. Sir Rhys ap Thomas. On the mutated form Syr Rys, see the note on the poet, Syr Rhys, in GG.net. leader52 ⁠twyswr The earliest example of a variant form of tywyswr (the earliest noted in GPC Ar Lein s.v. belongs to 1631). of a nation,
cruel hand, goes again to England,
a duke or earl, my satisfaction,
60he’ll go hand to hand [with him], avenge Gwilym!53 ⁠Gwilym See 35n. 54 Ll. 57–60. The main sentence is Od â Syr Rys … / … i Loegr eilwaith, / … / … dial Wilym ‘If Sir Rhys … / … goes again to England, / … / … avenge Gwilym’. As in the rest of the poem, David himself is addressed here, this time as one who can facilitate an act of vengeance. The meaning of the secondary sentence Dug neu iarll … / Daw lawlaw is less obvious. The poet may be looking forward in time to a battle lawlaw ‘hand to hand’ between noblemen, or maybe a battle in which they stand shoulder to shoulder, as Sir Rhys did at Blackheath side by side with some of England’s foremost earls and barons.

1 ⁠Dafydd This form of the saint’s name is used alongside Dewi in the Welsh life, see WLSD; cf. GIRh 8.97.

2 Ll. 1–2. A couplet which seem isolated at first, and whose significance only becomes clear in light of the last part of the poem. The poet calls on David for help on behalf of Deheubarth in order to facilitate Sir Rhys ap Thomas’s journey to avenge Gwilym’s death, see ll. 57–60n.

3 ⁠gyn A variant form of cyn ‘before’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. cyn1.

4 Ll. 3–4. According to the lives, Patrick was warned not to settle in the place where St Davids would later be, for it had been reserved for a boy who would be born in thirty years’ time, see StDW 110–13; WLSD 1–2 and the note on page 25. Rhigyfarch’s life states that David’s father, Sant, had also been forewarned about the birth of his son, see StDW 108–9. It is assumed that dynion is a reference here to David’s parents, who are named in the following couplet. The expression in this couplet is rather awkward, with antur quite unexpected in the context. The edition follows GPC Ar Lein s.v. antur (a) ‘feat’, but a different translation is possible: ‘Thirty [years] was the estimate [made] for you / by the men’.

5 ⁠Sant David’s father.

6 ⁠Non David’s mother.

7 Ll. 5–6. Alternative punctuation is possible by making an aside of da fo ym nerth ‘may power be beneficial to me’: Dy dad, Sant, gariad gwirion, / Da fo ym nerth, dy fam, Non.

8 ⁠ar See GPC Ar Lein s.v. ar1 6 ‘by (means of) … as a result of’.

9 Ll. 7–8. According to the lives, when David was baptised a miraculous spring sprouted from the ground, by which the sight of a blind man, who was holding him during the ritual, was restored, see StDW 116–17; WLSD 3. He is the dyn gweilydd here, namely the Irish saint, Mobí, according to Rhigyfarch, who was born without a nose and without eyes, and who is described in both Gwynfardd Brycheiniog’s and Iolo Goch’s poems for David as wynepclawr ‘flat-face’, see WLSD 33–4; GLlF 26.158–61 and the note; DewiIG ll. 37‒40. Nonetheless, the exact meaning of gweilydd is unclear, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. ‘empty, void … without a care, without anxiety … free, ready’; cf. two examples by Rhisiart ap Rhys and Hywel Dafi where it is used as a noun, GRhB 21.37–8 Hen fu Ifor, a hŷn fu Ofydd, / a Mathusalem, moethus weilydd; GHDafi 3.6n Nid un gwlm a dynn gweilydd. It seems that ‘defective’ is the most appropriate meaning here.

10 ⁠di-led The word is noted in GPC Ar Lein s.v. di-led, which refers to lled1 ‘breadth’ as the second element, but the meaning is obscure. It may refer to the fact that the animals mentioned to in this couplet could not roam free across the land, namely ‘caught, confined’. Another possibility is that lled is the adjective ‘half, part(ly), to a certain extent’, see ibid. s.v. lled3. That is, the stags and birds were ‘faultless’.

11 Ll. 9–10. Both guarding crops against birds and controlling wild stags are common occurrences in the saints’ lives (see Henken 1991 158), but in David’s case they are found in the poems only. The birds are referred to in DewiGB ll. 168–75 (Gwynfardd Brycheiniog) and MWPSS 13.15‒16 (Lewys Glyn Cothi), and both the birds and the stags are referred to in DewiIG ll. 83‒8 (Iolo Goch) and DewiLGC1 ll. 15‒20 (Lewys Glyn Cothi).

12 ⁠i’n dyn fain The couplet suggests that God resurrected the widow’s son (see ll. 11–12n) on David’s behalf, and that the poet is here referring to the saint as ‘our slender man’. However, dyn is obviously a feminine noun here, which suggests that the poet is in fact referring to the widow, ‘our slender woman’. Furthermore, David is addressed in the second person throughout the poem.

13 Ll. 11–12. According to the lives, David resurrected a widow’s dead son as he was on his way to the synod at Llanddewibrefi, see StDW 144–5; WLSD 9–10.

14 ⁠pulput A form of pulpud ‘pulpit’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.

15 Ll. 13–14. In Henken 1991 113, 194, this couplet is linked with the following couplet and interpreted as a corroboration of a reference in Gwynfardd Brycheiniog’s poem for David to an altar sent to him from heaven which cannot be looked upon, see GLlF 26.180–3 and the note; cf. DewiIG l. 83. However, the key word here is pulput ‘pulpit’, which strongly suggests that the poet is referring to the hill that rose beneath David’s feet as he was preaching in the synod at Llanddewibrefi, see StDW 144–7; WLSD 10–11.

16 ⁠alloedd On the inflection -oedd instead of -odd in past forms of the verb, especially in texts associated with Morgannwg, see GLMorg 10.42n; cf. SeintiauRhRh l. 17.

17 Ll. 15–16. A reference to a section of the lives in which three monks try to kill David with poisoned bread, but the plot is foiled by one of David’s disciples, who journeys to Wales from Ireland on a sea-monster in order to warn him, see StDW 132–5; WLSD 6–8.

18 ⁠Gwisg wen pawb o’th garennydd A reference to other saints to whom David was believed to be related, such as Afan, Teilo, Dogfael and Tysul, see Bonedd y Saint.

19 ⁠Gŵr sy’n rhoi’r Grawys yn rhydd This belief appears in the poems only, namely that it was David who received permission from God to eat gwyniad ‘herring’ during the fast of Lent, see DewiIG ll. 69‒72; MWPSS 18.49‒50.

20 ⁠ederyn For the form, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. adar.

21 Ll. 19–20. A story unknown to both the lives and the poetry addressed to David, yet there may not have been a story in the first place, for the poet may be referring in a general sense to the holiness of the dove that educated David (according to Rhigyfarch) and landed on his shoulder as he preached in the synod, see StDW 116–17, 144–5; WLSD 3. Cf. also later traditions about David banishing a bird for disturbing his prayer with its song, see Henken 1991 156.

22 ⁠dyw On the form, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. dyw1.

23 Ll. 21–2. According to the lives, David died on a Tuesday, see StDW 148–51; WLSD 13–14. The poet intends to visit St Davids on a Tuesday or even on 1 March, or possibly envisions himself following David to heaven on a similar Tuesday.

24 ⁠Dof innau hyd dy faenol The devoicing that occurs between hyd dy is ignored here, cf. l. 26n; contrast l. 20. Further, see the textual note on this line.

25 ⁠Dwg hyd nef – dy gadw a wnaeth The devoicing that occurs between dwg hyd is ignored here, cf. l. 23n.

26 ⁠dy gennad Gwilym is described as David’s messenger, possibly as Gwilym was a Welshman (see l. 35n), and therefore a follower of Wales’s patron saint, but also as he lived in the vicinity of Dinefwr in the diocese of St Davids.

27 ⁠dy ras yn fwy dros un ‘Your grace [will be] greater for one man’. Rhisiart is likely refering to Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n). David once cared for Gwilym, but his care for Sir Rhys, who is still in the land of the living, will be greater.

28 ⁠Aeth i Harri wneuthuriad The [g]wneuthuriad here is probably Sir Rhys ap Tomas, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. gwneuthuriad2 ‘maker, creator’; l. 57n. The line is reminiscent of the title ‘kingmaker’ given to Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, during the reigns of Henry VI and Edward IV, see OED Online s.v. There may be a reference here to the decisive part played by Sir Rhys at the battle of Bosworth, where Henry Tudor (1485–1509) was victorious, as well as the battle of Blackheath.

29 ⁠aeth lu On the unexpected mutation, cf. GHDafi 11.16 Nid aeth ŵr heb dŷ ei thad, 62.16 Aeth olud Io i’th law di.

30 ⁠un o’th wlad ‘One from your land’, either Gwilym, if he had a leading role in the army at Blackheath; Henry VII (see l. 29n), who was born at Pembroke castle; or, most likely, Sir Rhys ap Thomas (see ll. 29n, 57n).

31 ⁠Boea lu caith The Cornish rebels at Blackheath are depicted as the warriors of one of David’s foremost enemies, Boea, an Irish chief who tried to murder the saint after he settled on his land. As they attacked David, Boea and his followers were struck down by a fever, see StDW 120–5 (where the form Baia is used); WLSD 4–6. It seems that Boea represents one of the rebel leaders, such as Michael An Gof or Baron Audley, see l. 38n.

32 ⁠y Blac Hedd ⁠Blackheath⁠, an area of open heath on the eastern outskirts of London, cf. GLGC 223.41 ⁠y Blac Hedd⁠; GLM VIII.8 ⁠y Blac Hieth⁠; GLMorg 34.74 Ym Mlac-heth⁠; TA IV.5 ⁠Blac Hêth⁠, VII.56 ⁠Y Blac Hêth⁠; GSDT 5.58 ⁠y Blac-heth⁠.

33 ⁠Gwilym Possibly Gwilym ap Tomas of Tre-gib, but the identification is uncertain, see the introductory note.

34 ⁠merthyr sant Possibly a combination, but there are no other examples in GPC Ar Lein and martyr-saint does not appear before 1718 in OED Online s.v. martyr. The edition has sant as an adjective (see GPC Ar Lein s.v. ‘holy’), but the poet may be addressing David, cf. the previous l., where he is called mur Gwilym ‘defender of Gwilym’. Gwilym is the merthyr ‘martyr’ here (David died in old age).

35 ⁠lindys According to GPC Ar Lein s.v. llinys, this lindys is a variant form of llindys ‘lineage, pedigree, stock; offspring; race’, and the same meaning is given to lindys (a primitive form) in a poem of praise to Afan by Lewys Glyn Cothi, see GLGC 139.12. The same meaning would fit here, but the same correspondence in cynghanedd appears in a poem by Dafydd Llwyd of Mathafarn to curse Richard III for murdering his two young nephews, see GDLl 25.43–4 Cael ymdroi mewn cwlwm drain / Bu’r lindys byr o Lundain⁠ ‘The little caterpillar from London / was allowed to writhe in a thicket of thorns’. The context strongly suggests that ‘caterpillar’ is meant as a derogatory description of Richard, even though this line is not noted as an example in GPC Ar Lein s.v. lindys1 (the earliest example there belongs to 1567), cf. Williams 1986: 28; Evans 1997: 267. The word lindys appears in a version of ‘Proffwydoliaeth yr Eryr’ (‘The Eagle’s Prophecy’) in Pen 27 (second half of the 15c.), but Linx is given in its place in an early text of the same prophecy found in the Red Book of Hergest (a similar variation happens in Llst 119’s version of a prophetic poem found in the Red Book), which is interpreted as a misreading in EVW 146 (cf. the variant form lingus, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. lincs). Dafydd Llwyd was well acquainted with ‘Proffwydoliaeth yr Eryr’ (GDLl 18.13–16), and it is likely that he took the word from a later version of the prophecy with the understanding that it referred to a ‘caterpillar’. It is also likely that Rhisiart ap Rhys took the correspondence in cynghanedd between lindys and ⁠Lundain⁠ from Dafydd Llwyd’s poem, this time in reference to another of Henry VII’s enemies. The rebels at Blackheath had three leaders, namely Michael An Gof (or Michael Joseph), Thomas Flamank and James Tuchet, Baron Audley. The most distinguished, Audley, is likely to be the butt of ridicule here. It seems that Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n) played a vital role in capturing Audley on the battlefield (Griffiths 2014: 48), who was beheaded shortly afterwards.

36 ⁠Bedydd cyn bedyddio’i caf This rather bizarre line is interpreted as some sort of proverb, with the meaning that Gwilym had died before his time, cf. l. 40. Another possibility, following the second l. of the couplet (see l. 42n meibion Briaf), is that the poet is referring to Priam’s sons as virtuous pagans, that is, heroes who were born before Christ and therefore never baptised, but who were, nonetheless, worthy of being allowed into heaven, cf. the Nine Worthies, GG.net 75.2n (explanatory). However, this does little to throw light upon the meaning of the couplet as it stands, and it may be corrupt.

37 ⁠meibion Briaf Priam, king of Troy in the Greek legends, had many sons, and the most famous was the great warrior, Hector.

38 ⁠Beth gorau’i alw, bath greulawn The caesura is too near to the end of the l., for it should not fall after the third syllable in a consonantal cynghanedd anghytbwys ddisgynedig, see CD 272.

39 ⁠gorau lad The edition follows GPC Ar Lein s.v. llad1 ‘present; grace, benefit, blessing’, although it is also possible that lad is an unlenited form and a borrowing from the English ‘lad’, but lad does not appear in ibid.

40 Ll. 43–4. The meaning is unclear. Possibly a question, Beth gorau’i alw ‘What best to call him?’, with bath greulawn ‘cruel likeness’ as one possible answer and the correct answer in the second l., namely gorau lad ‘the greatest gift’. However, the absence of mutation after beth is unusual, cf. ASCent 2.78 Beth orau byth a erys; GHDafi 77.1 Beth orau ’n y Deau dir. It is tentatively suggested that beth is in fact a mutated form of peth ‘person, creature (often derog., but also affectionately)’ (GPC Ar Lein s.v. peth 1 (b)), with [c]weryl iawn ‘just cause’ a description of the battle. The suggestion is that Gwilym died for a just cause.

41 ⁠Caer-ludd London, see CLlLl 10, 15; CLlLl2 1.

42 ⁠anhuddad A dialectal form, possibly, of anhudded, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.

43 ⁠Gronwy lwyth Most of the influential noble families of Dinefwr and its vicinities, including the family of Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n), were descended from Gronwy ab Einion, see the introductory note. However, he is barely mentioned in the poetry as a whole, see Griffiths 2014: 8.

44 Ll. 45–6. The point is that a grave in London would not do for a true Welshman like Gwilym.

45 ⁠Dinefwr A sizeable castle on a ridge above the river Tywi near Llandeilo, and the main seat of the princes of Deheubarth. It may be significant that there was a chapel dedicated to David in the castle, see Griffiths 1994: 259.

46 ⁠tylodion A plural form of tylawd, a form of tlawd ‘poor’ with an epenthetic vowel, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.; cf. GG.net 8.77.

47 ⁠Ias chwerw, fel rhisg y dderwen Could this be a reference to an unpleasant medicine, some sort of purification, which used the bark of an oak? This bark was generally associated with the process of making leather in a tannery (see Linnard 1982: 39, 87–94), but it does not seem relevant in this context. Cf. the story of the cobbler in the Life of Gwenfrewy, who was cursed as he tried to bark an oak that stood near to the saint’s well.

48 ⁠uwch ei ben The pronoun likely refers to the ias chwerw ‘bitter pang’ in the preceding line.

49 ⁠tolwyth A variant form of tylwyth ‘household’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.

50 ⁠Dalaith fraisg, dolwyth y frân The [t]alaith ‘province’ is possibly the commote of Maenordeilo, or maybe Cantref Mawr, or even the old kingdom of Deheubarth. Indeed, the power of Sir Rhys ap Tomas (see l. 57n) and his family reached across south-west Wales, and the raven (or three ravens) served as the family’s famous symbol, based the belief that they were descended from Urien Rheged, see DWH i: 98–100, 117–18, 244; DWH ii: 498–9; Griffiths 2014: 8–9. Note that the raven was also possibly used as a symbol by the uncle of Gwilym ap Tomas (see l. 35n), Rhys ap Gwilym, see DWH ii: 197.

51 ⁠Syr Rys Sir Rhys ap Tomas, one of Henry VII’s main supporters in Wales, who played a key part in the king’s victory at the battle of Blackheath in 1497. Further, see Griffiths 2014; DNB Online s.n. Sir Rhys ap Thomas. On the mutated form Syr Rys, see the note on the poet, Syr Rhys, in GG.net.

52 ⁠twyswr The earliest example of a variant form of tywyswr (the earliest noted in GPC Ar Lein s.v. belongs to 1631).

53 ⁠Gwilym See 35n.

54 Ll. 57–60. The main sentence is Od â Syr Rys … / … i Loegr eilwaith, / … / … dial Wilym ‘If Sir Rhys … / … goes again to England, / … / … avenge Gwilym’. As in the rest of the poem, David himself is addressed here, this time as one who can facilitate an act of vengeance. The meaning of the secondary sentence Dug neu iarll … / Daw lawlaw is less obvious. The poet may be looking forward in time to a battle lawlaw ‘hand to hand’ between noblemen, or maybe a battle in which they stand shoulder to shoulder, as Sir Rhys did at Blackheath side by side with some of England’s foremost earls and barons.

1 ⁠y sy’n The manuscript reading, a sy’n, is amended. The exact nature of a vowel in the syllable before a main stress was often unclear, with y often found in place of a, but a in place of y less commonly.

2 ⁠Pulput … ⁠symutir The manuscript reading is tentatively followed. GPC Ar Lein s.v. pulpud notes pulput as another form of the word. As for symutir, it seems that a consonant could become voiceless only in the stem of a subjunctive verb (see GMW 128), but symutir may be a dialectal form, cf. gwetws for ‘dywedodd’ (further, the variant form ysmuto is noted in GPC Ar Lein s.v. symudaf). It does not seem that the manuscript orthography uses t for d.

3 ⁠âi i’i ddwyn The manuscript reading, ae ddwyn, is adapted, assuming that the object of the verb is the [g]wenwyn ‘poison’ in the next line.

4 ⁠dy faenol The manuscript reading, dyf waenol, likely a misreading of dyvaenol, is amended. Furthermore, reading y faenol instead would avoid having to ignore the devoicing that should occur between hyd dy, but cf. similarly dwg hyd in l. 26.

5 ⁠i This preposition, absent in the manuscript, was doubtless used in the time of Rhisiart ap Rhys.

6 ⁠glyn The manuscript reading, clyn, which could be a late form of clun ‘moor’ under the influence of glyn (see GPC Ar Lein s.v. clun2), is amended as it likely reflects the devoicing between brig and glyn, cf. l. 20 eneid tyn.

7 ⁠caith The edition follows Richard Turbeville’s amendment, caeith.

8 ⁠orthoi’r No meaning was found in the manuscript reading, orthy’r. It may be a misreading of orthir, namely gorthir ‘uplands … border, confines, neighbourhood, country’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. But reading [g]orthoi’r ‘to cover’ seems rather more appropriate, meaning that Gwilym’s body ‘covered the battle [field]’, see ibid. s.v. gorthoaf.

9 ⁠gorau’i alw The manuscript reading, gorav alw, is adapted for the meaning.

10 ⁠iachâ The manuscript reading, iach a, is understood here as the verb, following the use of other verbs in ll. 49, 53, 55 and 56, instead of iach â ‘[and everyone] will become healthy’.

11 ⁠â thi’th hunan The manuscript reading, ath ehvnan, in which the syntax is incorrect, is amended.