Select notes:
Translation:

9. Moliant i seintiau Brycheiniog

edited by Eurig Salisbury

A prayer to the saints of Brycheiniog by Huw Cae Llwyd before going on a pilgrimage to Rome. Date not long before 1475.

[Peniarth 54 →]

Dy dir a gred i dŷ’r Grog,1 tŷ’r Grog Possibly the church of Brecon priory, see ll. 22n, 26n Byneddig⁠; the Church in general as the body of Christ, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. eglwys (b); or even heaven.
Da fro y’ch2 fro y’ch Contract into a diphthong. enwid, Frycheiniog!
Dy Gymry nis dwg amraint,
Dlyedus wyd, wlad y saint.
5Dygaf rhwng pedair afon,
Dy led a hyd, y wlad hon:4 Dy led a hyd y wlad hon The edition has Dy led a hyd ‘your breadth and length’ as an aside, even though a’th hyd would be more correct. Otherwise, the aside could be omitted in favour of a hyd y wlad hon ‘and the breadth of this land’. Note that -d and h- count as separate consonants in this consonantal cynghanedd, ignoring the usual provection between wlad and hon.
Baedan⁠5 Baedan A small brook that flows into the river Usk near Govilon, a short distance to the west of Abergavenny, that denotes here the eastern boundary of Brycheiniog, see EANC 38; Morgan and Powell 1999: 33. o’r fan6 [y] fan Possibly a mutated form of man ‘place’, but a mutated form of ban makes more sense, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. ban1 (a) ‘height’. i ar Fynwy,7 i ar Fynwy The combination i ar, which contracts here into a diphthong, probably means ‘above’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. i4; Williams 1950: 6. However, whatever the place-name Mynwy⁠ may denote, its use is quite unexpected here. If it is the lordship of Monmouth on the river Monnow, which included the Three Castles, why refer to an area that was a long distance away from Brycheiniog – is it because the highland around Crickhowell faced Monmouth? Or the poet may be referring to the river Monnow, which flows a long distance from Baedan brook but broadly follows the north-east border of Brycheiniog, see l. 7n Baedan⁠; cf. GLGC 147.21, 178.44.
Cynon⁠8 Cynon A river that flows into the river Taff in Glamorgan, though its source lies near the southern border of Brycheiniog near Penderyn. ac Irfon⁠9 Irfon A river that joins the river Wye at Builth and represents here the north-western boundary of Brycheiniog. a Gwy.10 Gwy The river Wye traces the north-eastern boundary line of Brycheiniog.
Tir Selyf,11 tir Selyf Cantref Selyf was one of the cantrefs of Brycheiniog, see WATU 29, 421 (map); Lewis 1960: 38 (map). trasau haelion,
10 Ystrad Yw,12 Ystrad Yw A commote in the cantref of Talgarth in Brycheiniog, see WATU 227, 323 (map). henyw o hon;
Tir y Glyn,13 tir y Glyn In all likelihood the parish of Y Glyn in Cantref Mawr, namely Glyntarell where today the A470 crosses the Brecon Beacons from the north, see WATU 77. ein treigl ennyd,
Talgarth,14 Talgarth The easternmost cantref in Brycheiniog, see WATU 201, 421 (map); Lewis 1960: 38 (map). o boparth i’r byd.

Y mae’n rhaid, er mwyn rhadau,
Ym â chwi wers i’m iacháu.15 Ll. 13–14. The meaning of this couplet hinges upon the word [g]wers and its various meanings, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. Huw Cae Llwyd addresses the land of Brycheiniog directly at the beginning of the poem, therefore he may still be addressing it here. If so, ‘a length [of time]’ is the most suitable meaning, and the same is true if Huw is addressing the people of Brycheiniog, as he does in the next couplet. This is also the meaning that goes best with â chwi ‘with you’, namely a short period of time that Huw intended to spend in Brycheiniog before he went on his pilgrimage to Rome. Other meanings are possible, such as ‘lesson’, if Huw is seeking the land’s or its inhabitants’ wisdom and advice, and the same is true, more or less, if the meaning is ‘section of psalm or canticle; part of a religious service, prayer’. Otherwise, ‘a stanza of poetry’ could be appropriate as an offering (that is, the poem itself). A combination of meanings is also possible.
15Os y Tad a’n cenhiada,16 cenhiada The 3 singular present form of the verb caniadaf, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.
Swrn ydd ŷm, ar siwrnai dda,
I eglwys Bedr,17 eglwys Bedr There are three churches dedicated to Peter in Brycheiniog, one in Llanbedr Ystrad Yw north of Crickhowell and two, along with other saints, in Llanhamlach and Glasbury, see WATU 104. However, this is in all likelihood the basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican city in Rome, where Huw Cae Llwyd went on a pilgrimage in 1475, see MWPSS poem 16. os medraf,18 os medraf See GPC Ar Lein s.v. medraf (d), ‘to aim for, make for, go (to), arrive at’.
Yn ei ddydd19 ei ddydd Probably Peter’s day. The intention is to visit eglwys Bedr⁠Peter’s church’ on his feast day, 29 June. It seems that most Welsh pilgrims visited Rome between December and June, see Olson 2008: 28. But the poet may be referring to God, with Ei ddydd ‘His day’ referring to Judgement Day, see the combination in GPC Ar Lein s.v. dydd. yno ydd af.
Ceisiaf, ymglywaf o’m gwlad,
20Gan Gynog20 Cynog The foremost saint of Brycheiniog, a fact evident here in the way he is the first to be named. Six churches in Brycheiniog are dedicated to him, but the most famous was doubtless Merthyr Cynog in the mountains between Brecon and Llanwrtyd Wells, see Evans and Francis 1994: 21. wyn ei ganiad.
Y gwŷr doniog o’r dinas,21 [y] dinas Namely Brecon, to all purposes the foremost town of Brycheiniog, see l. 22n Ieuan a’r Grog.
Ieuan a’r Grog,22 Ieuan a’r Grog The church of Brecon was consecrated to John the Evangelist and in the Middle Ages housed an image of Christ in the form of a rood, possibly the most famous in Wales. There is a well-known poem of uncertain authorship to the rood, which may be the work of Huw Cae Llwyd or, more likely, Ieuan Brydydd Hir, see HCLl poem XLIV; GIBH poem 12. The rood was also praised by Ieuan ap Huw Cae Llwyd and Siôn Ceri, see HCLl poem LI; GSC poem 54. Further, see Parri 2003; GIBH 12.5n and the references given there. ynn yw’r gras;
Mair,23 Mair A number of locations in Brycheiniog have church dedications to Mary, such as Bronllys, Crucadarn, Talach-ddu, Llan-y-wern and Ystradfellte, yet the only place of note that carries her name is Builth, in Welsh Llanfair-ym-Muallt. Otherwise, her most famous church was doubtless Saint Mary’s church in Brecon, the town referred to in the previous couplet. Mihangel24 Mihangel Many locations in Brycheiniog have churches dedicated to this saint and archangel, such as Cathedin, Llanfihangel Cwm Du, Llanfihangel Fechan, Llanfihangel Nant Brân and Llanfihangel Tal-y-llyn. Others are found to the north of river Irfon, but see l. 8n Irfon⁠. ac Eluw,25 Eluw A form of Elyw⁠, patron saint of Llanelieu to the east of Talgarth.
Mathau26 Mathau Matthew the Evangelist, patron saint of Llandyfalle to the west of Talgarth. deg, cydymaith Duw;
25 Dewi,27 Dewi Six churches in the deanery of Brecon are dedicated to David, see James 2007: 46, 66 (map). The most obvious location in the context of this poem is the church of Llanddew to the north of Brecon (consecrated to both David and Non, see l. 29n Non⁠), near the home of one of Huw Cae Llwyd’s foremost patrons, Ieuan ap Gwilym of Peutun. Pawl,28 Pawl Paul’s association with a holy place in Brycheiniog is unknown. Following the similarity between Pawl⁠ and the Latin form of Peulun⁠, namely Paulinus⁠ (see l. 25n Peulun⁠), it is possible that it was once wrongly believed that the church in Llangorse was also dedicated to Paul. da yw Peulun,29 Peulun A form of Peulin⁠, patron saint of Llangorse to the north of Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan). Furthermore, cf. Llanbeulin, a lost medieval chapel that stood a short distance to the east of Llangorse (SO 154 283).
Domnig,30 Domnig The Dominican Order, the Black Friars, founded a priory in Brecon in 1269; see l. 33n Nicolas⁠. Byneddig31 Byneddig Namely Benedict. The Benedictine Order founded a cell in Brecon c.1100, which became a priory and a cathedral church in the twentieth century, see l. 22n. yn un;
Teilo,32 Teilo A saint to whom two churches are dedicated in Brycheiniog, both of which are located to the east of Llandovery, one in Llandeilo’r-fân and the other (along with David and Padarn) in Llywel. Ulltud,33 Ulltud A form of Illtud⁠, patron saint of the church of Llanilltyd to the south-west of Brecon and, along with Peter, of the church of Llanhamlach on the eastern outskirts of Brecon. Saint Elen,34 Saint Elen No association of Helen with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. The church of Llanelen, to the south of Abergavenny, is dedicated to her, but it was clearly not in Brycheiniog, as shown by the reference to Baedan brook in l. 7.
Tyfaelog35 Tyfaelog A saint to whom two churches are dedicated in Brycheiniog, one in Llandyfaelog Fach to the north of Brecon, and another in Llandyfaelog Tre’r-graig to the north of Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan). at36 at A preposition that both completes the cynghanedd and reflects the enumerative nature of this section of the poem, with the meaning ‘from Tyfaelog to Bilio’, cf. GG.net 71.15–18. Filo,37 Bilo A form of Bilio⁠, daughter of Brychan and patron saint of Llanfilo to the west of Talgarth. On the form see ArchifMR s.v. Llanfilo; DPNW 251; Morgan and Powell 1999: 102. Gwen;38 Gwen Daughter of Brychan and patron saint of Talgarth church.
Margred,39 Margred Margaret’s association with a holy place in Brycheiniog is unknown. Catrin,40 Catrin An early martyr and patron saint of a lost chapel that once stood near the gate on Watton Street on the eastern side of Brecon, see Davies 1978: 61. Aeled,41 Aeled A form of Eiliwedd⁠, daughter of Brychan and patron saint of a lost church that once stood on Slwch hill on the outskirts of Brecon. On the form, see Morgan and Powell 1999: 134; LBS ii, 418–22. Non,42 Non There is only one church associated with Non in Brycheiniog, namely the church of Llanddew to the north of Brecon, which was consecrated to both Non and her son, David, see James 2007: 66 (map); l. 25n Dewi⁠.
30 Ffraid,43 Ffraid Brigid, an Irish saint and patron saint of the church of Llansanffraid-ar-Wysg in the Usk valley, between Brecon and Crickhowell, the only church dedicated to her in Brycheiniog, see LBS i, 283. Iago,44 Iago No association of Saint James with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. Wenffryd,45 Wenffryd No association of Winefrede (Gwenfrewy) with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. Note the unusual form of her name, which is a rendering into Welsh of the English name. Eigion.46 Eigion Patron saint of Llanigon to the south of Hay-on-Wye. On the form, see DPNW 268; Morgan and Powell 1999: 97.
Saint Lidnerth47 Saint Lidnerth Likely a rendering into Welsh of the name Leonard⁠, the patron saint of a lost chapel that once stood in the castle of Pencelli in the Usk valley. a’n cyfnertho,
Saint Silin48 Saint Silin The only possible known connection between this saint and Brycheiniog is Gileston (or Gilestone) near Talybont-on-Usk (OS 501 123), see Morgan and Powell 1999: 82; WCD 588–9. neu Farthin49 Marthin No association of Martin with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. He is the patron saint of Cwm-iou to the north of Abergavenny, but that church, it seems, lay in the commote of Ewyas and not in Brycheiniog, whose eastern boundary follows the river Grwyne Fawr not far from Cwm-iou. fo;
Brynach,50 Brynach Patron saint of the church of Llanfrynach in the Usk valley, not far to the east of Brecon. Nicolas,51 Nicolas The priory of the Dominician Order in Brecon is dedicated to him, and there once stood a chapel consecrated to him in the town’s castle, see Davies 1978: 61; l. 21n Domnig⁠. Castau,52 Castau Patron saint of Llangasty Tal-y-llyn overlooking Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan). On the form, see Morgan and Powell 1999: 104; ArchifMR s.n. Llangasty⁠; LBS iii, 44. 53 Nicolas, Castau A form of cynghanedd lusg known as ‘pengoll’, see CD 175–6.
Meugan,54 Meugan Patron saint of Llanfeugan, which is located in a small coomb to the south of Pencelli in the Usk valley. Degeman55 Degeman A form of Degyman⁠, patron saint of the lost church of Llanddegyman to the east of Tretower. On the form, see ArchifMR s.n. Llanddegyman⁠; DPNW 413 s.n. Rhoscrowther⁠. ill dau;
35Da wŷr, Gynydr56 Cynydr A form of Cynidr⁠, patron saint of a number of churches in Brycheiniog, but only one bears his name, namely Llangynidr to the west of Crickhowell, which was dedicated to both him and Mary. a Gweino,57 Gweino A form of Gwynno⁠, patron saint of the church of Faenor on the river Taff to the north of Merthyr Tudfil; cf. the form Vaynorweyno⁠ in 1402, DPNW 487; Morgan and Powell 1999: 75.
Detu58 Detu Patron saint of the church of Llanddeti on the river Usk to the west of Llangynidr. fab, da ytiw fo;
Cenau,59 Cenau Patron saint of the church of Llangenau to the east of Crickhowell. Elli60 Elli Patron saint of the church of Llanelli in the Usk valley, to the west of Abergavenny., cain Wallwen,61 cain Wallwen It is tempting to read Cain⁠, one of the daughters of Brychan, but no association of Cain with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known, see LBS ii, 53–4. Furthermore, reading Cain⁠ is problematic in terms of interpreting Wallwen⁠, either as a mutated form (which is highly unlikely, as there are no other examples in this poem of mutating a saint’s name when it appears in a list) or as an original form. The place-name Capel Callwen in Glyntawe, which bears the saint’s name (WATU 29), suggests that Huw Cae Llwyd used a form of Callwen⁠, namely Gwallwen⁠. The valley was once known as Ystradwallwen, see the forms Ystradwallen⁠ (1548), Stradwallen⁠ (1553) and ystrad wallt twen⁠ (c.1566) in Morgan and Powell 1999: 51; cf. WCD 307 ‘Gwallwen ferch Afallach’. TC 105 lists examples of using both mutated and original forms after ystrad (cf. Ystradyfodwg, Ystrad Marchell), and suggests that the gender of the word was specific to different parts of the country, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. If so, ystrad was doubtless a feminine noun in the vicinity of Ystradwallwen, not far from Ystradgynlais and Ystradfellte, and the original form of the name was Gwallwen⁠. The mutation here is caused by the adjective cain ‘fair’.
Catwg,62 Catwg A form of Cadog⁠, patron saint of two churches in Brycheiniog, one in Llangatwg near Crickhowell in the Usk valley, and another in Llansbyddyd to the west of Brecon. It seems that Catwg⁠ was the form used specifically in the south-east, see MWPSS 327. Simwnt,63 Simwnt No association of Simon with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. Edmwnt64 Edmwnt Patron saint of the church of Crickhowell in the Usk valley. hen.

Henwau saint yw hyn o sôn,
40Oed yw enwi y dynion,
Meistri, rhag fy nodi’n ôl,
Meistresau ym sy drasol,
Cenedl ym cnawdol yma,
Creiriau’r dyn yw carwyr da.
45Ni bo ym gâr heb ym gael
Nerth hyd Rufain wrth drafael!
Doda’ ’n werth eu da dan un
Duwiol weddi’n dâl uddun’.
Da i werin ystyriaid
50Neu ofni’r Hwn a fo’n rhaid:
Pwy a wyddiad ond Tad dyn
Peri Addaf o’r priddyn?
Ni wnâi Dduw (’n ei enwi ’dd oedd)
Ond dwedud: yntau ydoedd.65 Ll. 51–4. See Genesis 2.7 ‘Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.’ The mention of God ‘saying’ (l. 54 dwedud) echoes the frequent use of the phrase ‘God said’ in the first chapters of Genesis (cf. 1.3, 6, 9) but not in the context of creating Adam. Furthermore, there is nothing in Genesis that corresponds to the mention of God ‘naming’ Adam (l. 53 enwi), only that Adam gave the name Eve to his wife in Genesis 3.20. Cf. also the famous passage on the Word of God in John 1.
55Ple’n tueddir, plant Addaf?
Pŵl oedd ym wybod ple ’dd af.
Daw ynn i’n cadw66 i’n cadw The verb cadw ‘to keep’, in all likelihood, but the noun cadw ‘flock, herd’ is also possible, cf. i’n bagad ‘to our herd’ in the next l.; see GPC Ar Lein s.v. cadw1.1 cadw Although the manuscript reading, kad, is possible (i’n cad, y’n cad), amending to cadw yields better sense, see the explanatory note on this l. Considering the non-syllabic w, kad could be interpreted as a variant form of cadw, but omission of the non-syllabic w from the text is more likely. It seems that Huw Cae Llwyd had a tendency to leave out single letters occasionally, cf. ll. 58n, 64n; entv for entru in his poem to the saints of Rome, MWPSS 16.4n; bed⁠ for Bedr⁠ in his poem of longing for Ieuan ap Gwilym when he was in Rome, HCLl XXX.9. However, further analysis of the text shows that there may be an abbreviation mark at the end of the word in the manuscript, namely a small vertical l. tailing off from the letter -d. Similar marks often appear after -d at the end of lines, such as at the end of ydoedd in l. 54, but this example seems more intentional. If it is, in fact, an abbreviation mark, it may be unique. No other examples were found in Huw’s hand in this manuscript. yn un cail,
Daw i’n bagad, un bugail.67 Ll. 57–8. See John 10.11–16 ‘I am the good shepherd … I know my own sheep, and they know me, as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.’2 bugail The manuscript reading, bgail, is amended.
O Dduw, ieithoedd, ydd aethan’,
60Ato, Dduw, eto ydd ân’.68 Ll. 59–60. See Matthew 25.31–2 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.’ Thus ieithoedd is interpreted as ‘nations’, but ‘languages’ is also possible as a reference to the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.1–9, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. iaith.
I’i ellwng ef i’r nefoedd,
Yn llaw ddyn Ei allwedd oedd.
Os gwir i’n oes agori
Drysau nef, ymdrwsiwn ni.69 Ll. 61–4. The object of the verb (namely the pronouns ’i and ef) in l. 61 is the [d]yn ‘man’ in the next l., namely Peter, to whom Jesus gave ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven’, see Matthew 16.17–19. The ritual in which the Pope opened the Holy Doors of the basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican was an integral part of the jubilee celebrations in Rome by 1499, but seems to have been practised as early as 1450, see Olson 2008: 31.3 ymdrwsiwn ni The manuscript reading, ym drỽssywn i, is possible, that is, the 1 singular imperfect form, but the plural forms in ll. 57, 58 and 63 suggest that a plural form is likely here too, and that n- was lost under the influence of the previous word.
65Onid ânt o bob cantref,
Eled un dros wlad neu dref.
Ni wna ar ben un o’r byd
Neges da ond gwas diwyd.
Myn Mair, y mae ’n ’y mwriad
70Nad â ’nglŷn eneidiau ’ngwlad!70 Nad â ’nglŷn eneidiau ’ngwlad Huw Cae Llwyd did not wish for his fellow-countrymen to become stuck in hell.



Your land has faith in the house of the Rood,1 tŷ’r Grog Possibly the church of Brecon priory, see ll. 22n, 26n Byneddig⁠; the Church in general as the body of Christ, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. eglwys (b); or even heaven.
you were named a good region,2 fro y’ch Contract into a diphthong. Brycheiniog!3 Brycheiniog An old kingdom that included four cantrefs, Cantref Mawr, Cantref Selyf (l. 9n), Talgarth (l. 12n) and Cantref Buellt, see WATU 241 (map); Lewis 1960: 38 (map). However, this poem strongly suggests that a large part of Cantref Buellt lay outside Brycheiniog, see the introductory note.
Your Welsh people, dishonour doesn’t possess them,
you’re worthy, land of saints.
5I’ll trace this land between four rivers,
your breadth and length:4 Dy led a hyd y wlad hon The edition has Dy led a hyd ‘your breadth and length’ as an aside, even though a’th hyd would be more correct. Otherwise, the aside could be omitted in favour of a hyd y wlad hon ‘and the breadth of this land’. Note that -d and h- count as separate consonants in this consonantal cynghanedd, ignoring the usual provection between wlad and hon.
Baedan5 Baedan A small brook that flows into the river Usk near Govilon, a short distance to the west of Abergavenny, that denotes here the eastern boundary of Brycheiniog, see EANC 38; Morgan and Powell 1999: 33. from the highland6 [y] fan Possibly a mutated form of man ‘place’, but a mutated form of ban makes more sense, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. ban1 (a) ‘height’. above Monmouth7 i ar Fynwy The combination i ar, which contracts here into a diphthong, probably means ‘above’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. i4; Williams 1950: 6. However, whatever the place-name Mynwy⁠ may denote, its use is quite unexpected here. If it is the lordship of Monmouth on the river Monnow, which included the Three Castles, why refer to an area that was a long distance away from Brycheiniog – is it because the highland around Crickhowell faced Monmouth? Or the poet may be referring to the river Monnow, which flows a long distance from Baedan brook but broadly follows the north-east border of Brycheiniog, see l. 7n Baedan⁠; cf. GLGC 147.21, 178.44.
Cynon8 Cynon A river that flows into the river Taff in Glamorgan, though its source lies near the southern border of Brycheiniog near Penderyn. and Irfon9 Irfon A river that joins the river Wye at Builth and represents here the north-western boundary of Brycheiniog. and Wye.10 Gwy The river Wye traces the north-eastern boundary line of Brycheiniog.
Selyf’s land,11 tir Selyf Cantref Selyf was one of the cantrefs of Brycheiniog, see WATU 29, 421 (map); Lewis 1960: 38 (map). Ystrad Yw12 Ystrad Yw A commote in the cantref of Talgarth in Brycheiniog, see WATU 227, 323 (map).
10lineages of generous people emanate from this land;
the land of Glyn,13 tir y Glyn In all likelihood the parish of Y Glyn in Cantref Mawr, namely Glyntarell where today the A470 crosses the Brecon Beacons from the north, see WATU 77. Talgarth,14 Talgarth The easternmost cantref in Brycheiniog, see WATU 201, 421 (map); Lewis 1960: 38 (map).
our journey in an instant from all parts of the world.

I must, for the sake of grace,
spend time with you so that I’ll be saved.15 Ll. 13–14. The meaning of this couplet hinges upon the word [g]wers and its various meanings, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. Huw Cae Llwyd addresses the land of Brycheiniog directly at the beginning of the poem, therefore he may still be addressing it here. If so, ‘a length [of time]’ is the most suitable meaning, and the same is true if Huw is addressing the people of Brycheiniog, as he does in the next couplet. This is also the meaning that goes best with â chwi ‘with you’, namely a short period of time that Huw intended to spend in Brycheiniog before he went on his pilgrimage to Rome. Other meanings are possible, such as ‘lesson’, if Huw is seeking the land’s or its inhabitants’ wisdom and advice, and the same is true, more or less, if the meaning is ‘section of psalm or canticle; part of a religious service, prayer’. Otherwise, ‘a stanza of poetry’ could be appropriate as an offering (that is, the poem itself). A combination of meanings is also possible.
15If the Father permits us,16 cenhiada The 3 singular present form of the verb caniadaf, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.
we are many, on a good journey,
to Peter’s church,17 eglwys Bedr There are three churches dedicated to Peter in Brycheiniog, one in Llanbedr Ystrad Yw north of Crickhowell and two, along with other saints, in Llanhamlach and Glasbury, see WATU 104. However, this is in all likelihood the basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican city in Rome, where Huw Cae Llwyd went on a pilgrimage in 1475, see MWPSS poem 16. if I reach there,18 os medraf See GPC Ar Lein s.v. medraf (d), ‘to aim for, make for, go (to), arrive at’.
it’s there I’ll go on his day.19 ei ddydd Probably Peter’s day. The intention is to visit eglwys Bedr⁠Peter’s church’ on his feast day, 29 June. It seems that most Welsh pilgrims visited Rome between December and June, see Olson 2008: 28. But the poet may be referring to God, with Ei ddydd ‘His day’ referring to Judgement Day, see the combination in GPC Ar Lein s.v. dydd.
I’ll ask, from my land I’ll sense it,
20holy Cynog20 Cynog The foremost saint of Brycheiniog, a fact evident here in the way he is the first to be named. Six churches in Brycheiniog are dedicated to him, but the most famous was doubtless Merthyr Cynog in the mountains between Brecon and Llanwrtyd Wells, see Evans and Francis 1994: 21. for his permission.
The blessed men of the town,21 [y] dinas Namely Brecon, to all purposes the foremost town of Brycheiniog, see l. 22n Ieuan a’r Grog.
John and the Rood,22 Ieuan a’r Grog The church of Brecon was consecrated to John the Evangelist and in the Middle Ages housed an image of Christ in the form of a rood, possibly the most famous in Wales. There is a well-known poem of uncertain authorship to the rood, which may be the work of Huw Cae Llwyd or, more likely, Ieuan Brydydd Hir, see HCLl poem XLIV; GIBH poem 12. The rood was also praised by Ieuan ap Huw Cae Llwyd and Siôn Ceri, see HCLl poem LI; GSC poem 54. Further, see Parri 2003; GIBH 12.5n and the references given there. are our grace;
Mary,23 Mair A number of locations in Brycheiniog have church dedications to Mary, such as Bronllys, Crucadarn, Talach-ddu, Llan-y-wern and Ystradfellte, yet the only place of note that carries her name is Builth, in Welsh Llanfair-ym-Muallt. Otherwise, her most famous church was doubtless Saint Mary’s church in Brecon, the town referred to in the previous couplet. Michael24 Mihangel Many locations in Brycheiniog have churches dedicated to this saint and archangel, such as Cathedin, Llanfihangel Cwm Du, Llanfihangel Fechan, Llanfihangel Nant Brân and Llanfihangel Tal-y-llyn. Others are found to the north of river Irfon, but see l. 8n Irfon⁠. and Elyw,25 Eluw A form of Elyw⁠, patron saint of Llanelieu to the east of Talgarth.
fair Matthew26 Mathau Matthew the Evangelist, patron saint of Llandyfalle to the west of Talgarth., God’s companion;
25David,27 Dewi Six churches in the deanery of Brecon are dedicated to David, see James 2007: 46, 66 (map). The most obvious location in the context of this poem is the church of Llanddew to the north of Brecon (consecrated to both David and Non, see l. 29n Non⁠), near the home of one of Huw Cae Llwyd’s foremost patrons, Ieuan ap Gwilym of Peutun. Paul,28 Pawl Paul’s association with a holy place in Brycheiniog is unknown. Following the similarity between Pawl⁠ and the Latin form of Peulun⁠, namely Paulinus⁠ (see l. 25n Peulun⁠), it is possible that it was once wrongly believed that the church in Llangorse was also dedicated to Paul. Peulin29 Peulun A form of Peulin⁠, patron saint of Llangorse to the north of Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan). Furthermore, cf. Llanbeulin, a lost medieval chapel that stood a short distance to the east of Llangorse (SO 154 283). is good,
Dominic30 Domnig The Dominican Order, the Black Friars, founded a priory in Brecon in 1269; see l. 33n Nicolas⁠., Benedict31 Byneddig Namely Benedict. The Benedictine Order founded a cell in Brecon c.1100, which became a priory and a cathedral church in the twentieth century, see l. 22n. the same;
Teilo,32 Teilo A saint to whom two churches are dedicated in Brycheiniog, both of which are located to the east of Llandovery, one in Llandeilo’r-fân and the other (along with David and Padarn) in Llywel. Illtud,33 Ulltud A form of Illtud⁠, patron saint of the church of Llanilltyd to the south-west of Brecon and, along with Peter, of the church of Llanhamlach on the eastern outskirts of Brecon. St Helen,34 Saint Elen No association of Helen with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. The church of Llanelen, to the south of Abergavenny, is dedicated to her, but it was clearly not in Brycheiniog, as shown by the reference to Baedan brook in l. 7.
Tyfaelog35 Tyfaelog A saint to whom two churches are dedicated in Brycheiniog, one in Llandyfaelog Fach to the north of Brecon, and another in Llandyfaelog Tre’r-graig to the north of Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan). to36 at A preposition that both completes the cynghanedd and reflects the enumerative nature of this section of the poem, with the meaning ‘from Tyfaelog to Bilio’, cf. GG.net 71.15–18. Bilio,37 Bilo A form of Bilio⁠, daughter of Brychan and patron saint of Llanfilo to the west of Talgarth. On the form see ArchifMR s.v. Llanfilo; DPNW 251; Morgan and Powell 1999: 102. Gwen;38 Gwen Daughter of Brychan and patron saint of Talgarth church.
Margaret,39 Margred Margaret’s association with a holy place in Brycheiniog is unknown. Catherine,40 Catrin An early martyr and patron saint of a lost chapel that once stood near the gate on Watton Street on the eastern side of Brecon, see Davies 1978: 61. Aeled,41 Aeled A form of Eiliwedd⁠, daughter of Brychan and patron saint of a lost church that once stood on Slwch hill on the outskirts of Brecon. On the form, see Morgan and Powell 1999: 134; LBS ii, 418–22. Non,42 Non There is only one church associated with Non in Brycheiniog, namely the church of Llanddew to the north of Brecon, which was consecrated to both Non and her son, David, see James 2007: 66 (map); l. 25n Dewi⁠.
30Brigid,43 Ffraid Brigid, an Irish saint and patron saint of the church of Llansanffraid-ar-Wysg in the Usk valley, between Brecon and Crickhowell, the only church dedicated to her in Brycheiniog, see LBS i, 283. James,44 Iago No association of Saint James with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. Winefrede,45 Wenffryd No association of Winefrede (Gwenfrewy) with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. Note the unusual form of her name, which is a rendering into Welsh of the English name. Eigion.46 Eigion Patron saint of Llanigon to the south of Hay-on-Wye. On the form, see DPNW 268; Morgan and Powell 1999: 97.
May St Leonard47 Saint Lidnerth Likely a rendering into Welsh of the name Leonard⁠, the patron saint of a lost chapel that once stood in the castle of Pencelli in the Usk valley. support us,
may there be St Silin48 Saint Silin The only possible known connection between this saint and Brycheiniog is Gileston (or Gilestone) near Talybont-on-Usk (OS 501 123), see Morgan and Powell 1999: 82; WCD 588–9. or Martin;49 Marthin No association of Martin with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. He is the patron saint of Cwm-iou to the north of Abergavenny, but that church, it seems, lay in the commote of Ewyas and not in Brycheiniog, whose eastern boundary follows the river Grwyne Fawr not far from Cwm-iou.
Brynach,50 Brynach Patron saint of the church of Llanfrynach in the Usk valley, not far to the east of Brecon. Nicholas,51 Nicolas The priory of the Dominician Order in Brecon is dedicated to him, and there once stood a chapel consecrated to him in the town’s castle, see Davies 1978: 61; l. 21n Domnig⁠. Castau,52 Castau Patron saint of Llangasty Tal-y-llyn overlooking Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan). On the form, see Morgan and Powell 1999: 104; ArchifMR s.n. Llangasty⁠; LBS iii, 44. 53 Nicolas, Castau A form of cynghanedd lusg known as ‘pengoll’, see CD 175–6.
both Meugan54 Meugan Patron saint of Llanfeugan, which is located in a small coomb to the south of Pencelli in the Usk valley. and Degyman55 Degeman A form of Degyman⁠, patron saint of the lost church of Llanddegyman to the east of Tretower. On the form, see ArchifMR s.n. Llanddegyman⁠; DPNW 413 s.n. Rhoscrowther⁠.;
35Cynidr56 Cynydr A form of Cynidr⁠, patron saint of a number of churches in Brycheiniog, but only one bears his name, namely Llangynidr to the west of Crickhowell, which was dedicated to both him and Mary. and Gwynno,57 Gweino A form of Gwynno⁠, patron saint of the church of Faenor on the river Taff to the north of Merthyr Tudfil; cf. the form Vaynorweyno⁠ in 1402, DPNW 487; Morgan and Powell 1999: 75. good men,
Detu58 Detu Patron saint of the church of Llanddeti on the river Usk to the west of Llangynidr. the youth, he too is good;
Cenau,59 Cenau Patron saint of the church of Llangenau to the east of Crickhowell. Elli,60 Elli Patron saint of the church of Llanelli in the Usk valley, to the west of Abergavenny. fine Callwen61 cain Wallwen It is tempting to read Cain⁠, one of the daughters of Brychan, but no association of Cain with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known, see LBS ii, 53–4. Furthermore, reading Cain⁠ is problematic in terms of interpreting Wallwen⁠, either as a mutated form (which is highly unlikely, as there are no other examples in this poem of mutating a saint’s name when it appears in a list) or as an original form. The place-name Capel Callwen in Glyntawe, which bears the saint’s name (WATU 29), suggests that Huw Cae Llwyd used a form of Callwen⁠, namely Gwallwen⁠. The valley was once known as Ystradwallwen, see the forms Ystradwallen⁠ (1548), Stradwallen⁠ (1553) and ystrad wallt twen⁠ (c.1566) in Morgan and Powell 1999: 51; cf. WCD 307 ‘Gwallwen ferch Afallach’. TC 105 lists examples of using both mutated and original forms after ystrad (cf. Ystradyfodwg, Ystrad Marchell), and suggests that the gender of the word was specific to different parts of the country, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. If so, ystrad was doubtless a feminine noun in the vicinity of Ystradwallwen, not far from Ystradgynlais and Ystradfellte, and the original form of the name was Gwallwen⁠. The mutation here is caused by the adjective cain ‘fair’.,
Cadog,62 Catwg A form of Cadog⁠, patron saint of two churches in Brycheiniog, one in Llangatwg near Crickhowell in the Usk valley, and another in Llansbyddyd to the west of Brecon. It seems that Catwg⁠ was the form used specifically in the south-east, see MWPSS 327. Simon,63 Simwnt No association of Simon with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. Edmund64 Edmwnt Patron saint of the church of Crickhowell in the Usk valley. the old.

The talk so far has been of the names of saints,
40 [now] it’s time to name the people,
masters, lest I be marked behind,
my mistresses of good lineage,
bodily kin for me here,
good kinsmen are a man’s treasures.
45May I never have a kinsman without [also]
having support to travel as far as Rome!
I’ll give a pious prayer all at once
as payment to them which is equal to the value of their goodness.
The people would do well to consider
50or fear Him who is an essential:
who except the Father of man
knew how to create Adam from the earth?
God (He named him)
did but utter: [and] he was.65 Ll. 51–4. See Genesis 2.7 ‘Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.’ The mention of God ‘saying’ (l. 54 dwedud) echoes the frequent use of the phrase ‘God said’ in the first chapters of Genesis (cf. 1.3, 6, 9) but not in the context of creating Adam. Furthermore, there is nothing in Genesis that corresponds to the mention of God ‘naming’ Adam (l. 53 enwi), only that Adam gave the name Eve to his wife in Genesis 3.20. Cf. also the famous passage on the Word of God in John 1.
55Where do we go, Adam’s children?
Knowing where I will go would be obscure to me.
One shepherd will come to us, to our herd,
to keep us66 i’n cadw The verb cadw ‘to keep’, in all likelihood, but the noun cadw ‘flock, herd’ is also possible, cf. i’n bagad ‘to our herd’ in the next l.; see GPC Ar Lein s.v. cadw1. in one fold.67 Ll. 57–8. See John 10.11–16 ‘I am the good shepherd … I know my own sheep, and they know me, as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.’
The nations, from God they went,
60to Him, God, they’ll go again.68 Ll. 59–60. See Matthew 25.31–2 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.’ Thus ieithoedd is interpreted as ‘nations’, but ‘languages’ is also possible as a reference to the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.1–9, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. iaith.
To allow him into heaven,
in a man’s hand was His key.
If it’s true that the doors of heaven
will open in our time, let us prepare ourselves.69 Ll. 61–4. The object of the verb (namely the pronouns ’i and ef) in l. 61 is the [d]yn ‘man’ in the next l., namely Peter, to whom Jesus gave ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven’, see Matthew 16.17–19. The ritual in which the Pope opened the Holy Doors of the basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican was an integral part of the jubilee celebrations in Rome by 1499, but seems to have been practised as early as 1450, see Olson 2008: 31.
65If they won’t go from every cantref,
may one go on behalf of a land or town.
No one in this world can bring a good mission
to its fulfilment save a faithful servant.
By Mary, it’s my intention
70that the souls of my land will not be caught!70 Nad â ’nglŷn eneidiau ’ngwlad Huw Cae Llwyd did not wish for his fellow-countrymen to become stuck in hell.

1 tŷ’r Grog Possibly the church of Brecon priory, see ll. 22n, 26n Byneddig⁠; the Church in general as the body of Christ, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. eglwys (b); or even heaven.

2 fro y’ch Contract into a diphthong.

3 Brycheiniog An old kingdom that included four cantrefs, Cantref Mawr, Cantref Selyf (l. 9n), Talgarth (l. 12n) and Cantref Buellt, see WATU 241 (map); Lewis 1960: 38 (map). However, this poem strongly suggests that a large part of Cantref Buellt lay outside Brycheiniog, see the introductory note.

4 Dy led a hyd y wlad hon The edition has Dy led a hyd ‘your breadth and length’ as an aside, even though a’th hyd would be more correct. Otherwise, the aside could be omitted in favour of a hyd y wlad hon ‘and the breadth of this land’. Note that -d and h- count as separate consonants in this consonantal cynghanedd, ignoring the usual provection between wlad and hon.

5 Baedan A small brook that flows into the river Usk near Govilon, a short distance to the west of Abergavenny, that denotes here the eastern boundary of Brycheiniog, see EANC 38; Morgan and Powell 1999: 33.

6 [y] fan Possibly a mutated form of man ‘place’, but a mutated form of ban makes more sense, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. ban1 (a) ‘height’.

7 i ar Fynwy The combination i ar, which contracts here into a diphthong, probably means ‘above’, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. i4; Williams 1950: 6. However, whatever the place-name Mynwy⁠ may denote, its use is quite unexpected here. If it is the lordship of Monmouth on the river Monnow, which included the Three Castles, why refer to an area that was a long distance away from Brycheiniog – is it because the highland around Crickhowell faced Monmouth? Or the poet may be referring to the river Monnow, which flows a long distance from Baedan brook but broadly follows the north-east border of Brycheiniog, see l. 7n Baedan⁠; cf. GLGC 147.21, 178.44.

8 Cynon A river that flows into the river Taff in Glamorgan, though its source lies near the southern border of Brycheiniog near Penderyn.

9 Irfon A river that joins the river Wye at Builth and represents here the north-western boundary of Brycheiniog.

10 Gwy The river Wye traces the north-eastern boundary line of Brycheiniog.

11 tir Selyf Cantref Selyf was one of the cantrefs of Brycheiniog, see WATU 29, 421 (map); Lewis 1960: 38 (map).

12 Ystrad Yw A commote in the cantref of Talgarth in Brycheiniog, see WATU 227, 323 (map).

13 tir y Glyn In all likelihood the parish of Y Glyn in Cantref Mawr, namely Glyntarell where today the A470 crosses the Brecon Beacons from the north, see WATU 77.

14 Talgarth The easternmost cantref in Brycheiniog, see WATU 201, 421 (map); Lewis 1960: 38 (map).

15 Ll. 13–14. The meaning of this couplet hinges upon the word [g]wers and its various meanings, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. Huw Cae Llwyd addresses the land of Brycheiniog directly at the beginning of the poem, therefore he may still be addressing it here. If so, ‘a length [of time]’ is the most suitable meaning, and the same is true if Huw is addressing the people of Brycheiniog, as he does in the next couplet. This is also the meaning that goes best with â chwi ‘with you’, namely a short period of time that Huw intended to spend in Brycheiniog before he went on his pilgrimage to Rome. Other meanings are possible, such as ‘lesson’, if Huw is seeking the land’s or its inhabitants’ wisdom and advice, and the same is true, more or less, if the meaning is ‘section of psalm or canticle; part of a religious service, prayer’. Otherwise, ‘a stanza of poetry’ could be appropriate as an offering (that is, the poem itself). A combination of meanings is also possible.

16 cenhiada The 3 singular present form of the verb caniadaf, see GPC Ar Lein s.v.

17 eglwys Bedr There are three churches dedicated to Peter in Brycheiniog, one in Llanbedr Ystrad Yw north of Crickhowell and two, along with other saints, in Llanhamlach and Glasbury, see WATU 104. However, this is in all likelihood the basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican city in Rome, where Huw Cae Llwyd went on a pilgrimage in 1475, see MWPSS poem 16.

18 os medraf See GPC Ar Lein s.v. medraf (d), ‘to aim for, make for, go (to), arrive at’.

19 ei ddydd Probably Peter’s day. The intention is to visit eglwys Bedr⁠Peter’s church’ on his feast day, 29 June. It seems that most Welsh pilgrims visited Rome between December and June, see Olson 2008: 28. But the poet may be referring to God, with Ei ddydd ‘His day’ referring to Judgement Day, see the combination in GPC Ar Lein s.v. dydd.

20 Cynog The foremost saint of Brycheiniog, a fact evident here in the way he is the first to be named. Six churches in Brycheiniog are dedicated to him, but the most famous was doubtless Merthyr Cynog in the mountains between Brecon and Llanwrtyd Wells, see Evans and Francis 1994: 21.

21 [y] dinas Namely Brecon, to all purposes the foremost town of Brycheiniog, see l. 22n Ieuan a’r Grog.

22 Ieuan a’r Grog The church of Brecon was consecrated to John the Evangelist and in the Middle Ages housed an image of Christ in the form of a rood, possibly the most famous in Wales. There is a well-known poem of uncertain authorship to the rood, which may be the work of Huw Cae Llwyd or, more likely, Ieuan Brydydd Hir, see HCLl poem XLIV; GIBH poem 12. The rood was also praised by Ieuan ap Huw Cae Llwyd and Siôn Ceri, see HCLl poem LI; GSC poem 54. Further, see Parri 2003; GIBH 12.5n and the references given there.

23 Mair A number of locations in Brycheiniog have church dedications to Mary, such as Bronllys, Crucadarn, Talach-ddu, Llan-y-wern and Ystradfellte, yet the only place of note that carries her name is Builth, in Welsh Llanfair-ym-Muallt. Otherwise, her most famous church was doubtless Saint Mary’s church in Brecon, the town referred to in the previous couplet.

24 Mihangel Many locations in Brycheiniog have churches dedicated to this saint and archangel, such as Cathedin, Llanfihangel Cwm Du, Llanfihangel Fechan, Llanfihangel Nant Brân and Llanfihangel Tal-y-llyn. Others are found to the north of river Irfon, but see l. 8n Irfon⁠.

25 Eluw A form of Elyw⁠, patron saint of Llanelieu to the east of Talgarth.

26 Mathau Matthew the Evangelist, patron saint of Llandyfalle to the west of Talgarth.

27 Dewi Six churches in the deanery of Brecon are dedicated to David, see James 2007: 46, 66 (map). The most obvious location in the context of this poem is the church of Llanddew to the north of Brecon (consecrated to both David and Non, see l. 29n Non⁠), near the home of one of Huw Cae Llwyd’s foremost patrons, Ieuan ap Gwilym of Peutun.

28 Pawl Paul’s association with a holy place in Brycheiniog is unknown. Following the similarity between Pawl⁠ and the Latin form of Peulun⁠, namely Paulinus⁠ (see l. 25n Peulun⁠), it is possible that it was once wrongly believed that the church in Llangorse was also dedicated to Paul.

29 Peulun A form of Peulin⁠, patron saint of Llangorse to the north of Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan). Furthermore, cf. Llanbeulin, a lost medieval chapel that stood a short distance to the east of Llangorse (SO 154 283).

30 Domnig The Dominican Order, the Black Friars, founded a priory in Brecon in 1269; see l. 33n Nicolas⁠.

31 Byneddig Namely Benedict. The Benedictine Order founded a cell in Brecon c.1100, which became a priory and a cathedral church in the twentieth century, see l. 22n.

32 Teilo A saint to whom two churches are dedicated in Brycheiniog, both of which are located to the east of Llandovery, one in Llandeilo’r-fân and the other (along with David and Padarn) in Llywel.

33 Ulltud A form of Illtud⁠, patron saint of the church of Llanilltyd to the south-west of Brecon and, along with Peter, of the church of Llanhamlach on the eastern outskirts of Brecon.

34 Saint Elen No association of Helen with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. The church of Llanelen, to the south of Abergavenny, is dedicated to her, but it was clearly not in Brycheiniog, as shown by the reference to Baedan brook in l. 7.

35 Tyfaelog A saint to whom two churches are dedicated in Brycheiniog, one in Llandyfaelog Fach to the north of Brecon, and another in Llandyfaelog Tre’r-graig to the north of Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan).

36 at A preposition that both completes the cynghanedd and reflects the enumerative nature of this section of the poem, with the meaning ‘from Tyfaelog to Bilio’, cf. GG.net 71.15–18.

37 Bilo A form of Bilio⁠, daughter of Brychan and patron saint of Llanfilo to the west of Talgarth. On the form see ArchifMR s.v. Llanfilo; DPNW 251; Morgan and Powell 1999: 102.

38 Gwen Daughter of Brychan and patron saint of Talgarth church.

39 Margred Margaret’s association with a holy place in Brycheiniog is unknown.

40 Catrin An early martyr and patron saint of a lost chapel that once stood near the gate on Watton Street on the eastern side of Brecon, see Davies 1978: 61.

41 Aeled A form of Eiliwedd⁠, daughter of Brychan and patron saint of a lost church that once stood on Slwch hill on the outskirts of Brecon. On the form, see Morgan and Powell 1999: 134; LBS ii, 418–22.

42 Non There is only one church associated with Non in Brycheiniog, namely the church of Llanddew to the north of Brecon, which was consecrated to both Non and her son, David, see James 2007: 66 (map); l. 25n Dewi⁠.

43 Ffraid Brigid, an Irish saint and patron saint of the church of Llansanffraid-ar-Wysg in the Usk valley, between Brecon and Crickhowell, the only church dedicated to her in Brycheiniog, see LBS i, 283.

44 Iago No association of Saint James with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known.

45 Wenffryd No association of Winefrede (Gwenfrewy) with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. Note the unusual form of her name, which is a rendering into Welsh of the English name.

46 Eigion Patron saint of Llanigon to the south of Hay-on-Wye. On the form, see DPNW 268; Morgan and Powell 1999: 97.

47 Saint Lidnerth Likely a rendering into Welsh of the name Leonard⁠, the patron saint of a lost chapel that once stood in the castle of Pencelli in the Usk valley.

48 Saint Silin The only possible known connection between this saint and Brycheiniog is Gileston (or Gilestone) near Talybont-on-Usk (OS 501 123), see Morgan and Powell 1999: 82; WCD 588–9.

49 Marthin No association of Martin with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known. He is the patron saint of Cwm-iou to the north of Abergavenny, but that church, it seems, lay in the commote of Ewyas and not in Brycheiniog, whose eastern boundary follows the river Grwyne Fawr not far from Cwm-iou.

50 Brynach Patron saint of the church of Llanfrynach in the Usk valley, not far to the east of Brecon.

51 Nicolas The priory of the Dominician Order in Brecon is dedicated to him, and there once stood a chapel consecrated to him in the town’s castle, see Davies 1978: 61; l. 21n Domnig⁠.

52 Castau Patron saint of Llangasty Tal-y-llyn overlooking Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan). On the form, see Morgan and Powell 1999: 104; ArchifMR s.n. Llangasty⁠; LBS iii, 44.

53 Nicolas, Castau A form of cynghanedd lusg known as ‘pengoll’, see CD 175–6.

54 Meugan Patron saint of Llanfeugan, which is located in a small coomb to the south of Pencelli in the Usk valley.

55 Degeman A form of Degyman⁠, patron saint of the lost church of Llanddegyman to the east of Tretower. On the form, see ArchifMR s.n. Llanddegyman⁠; DPNW 413 s.n. Rhoscrowther⁠.

56 Cynydr A form of Cynidr⁠, patron saint of a number of churches in Brycheiniog, but only one bears his name, namely Llangynidr to the west of Crickhowell, which was dedicated to both him and Mary.

57 Gweino A form of Gwynno⁠, patron saint of the church of Faenor on the river Taff to the north of Merthyr Tudfil; cf. the form Vaynorweyno⁠ in 1402, DPNW 487; Morgan and Powell 1999: 75.

58 Detu Patron saint of the church of Llanddeti on the river Usk to the west of Llangynidr.

59 Cenau Patron saint of the church of Llangenau to the east of Crickhowell.

60 Elli Patron saint of the church of Llanelli in the Usk valley, to the west of Abergavenny.

61 cain Wallwen It is tempting to read Cain⁠, one of the daughters of Brychan, but no association of Cain with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known, see LBS ii, 53–4. Furthermore, reading Cain⁠ is problematic in terms of interpreting Wallwen⁠, either as a mutated form (which is highly unlikely, as there are no other examples in this poem of mutating a saint’s name when it appears in a list) or as an original form. The place-name Capel Callwen in Glyntawe, which bears the saint’s name (WATU 29), suggests that Huw Cae Llwyd used a form of Callwen⁠, namely Gwallwen⁠. The valley was once known as Ystradwallwen, see the forms Ystradwallen⁠ (1548), Stradwallen⁠ (1553) and ystrad wallt twen⁠ (c.1566) in Morgan and Powell 1999: 51; cf. WCD 307 ‘Gwallwen ferch Afallach’. TC 105 lists examples of using both mutated and original forms after ystrad (cf. Ystradyfodwg, Ystrad Marchell), and suggests that the gender of the word was specific to different parts of the country, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. If so, ystrad was doubtless a feminine noun in the vicinity of Ystradwallwen, not far from Ystradgynlais and Ystradfellte, and the original form of the name was Gwallwen⁠. The mutation here is caused by the adjective cain ‘fair’.

62 Catwg A form of Cadog⁠, patron saint of two churches in Brycheiniog, one in Llangatwg near Crickhowell in the Usk valley, and another in Llansbyddyd to the west of Brecon. It seems that Catwg⁠ was the form used specifically in the south-east, see MWPSS 327.

63 Simwnt No association of Simon with a holy place in Brycheiniog is known.

64 Edmwnt Patron saint of the church of Crickhowell in the Usk valley.

65 Ll. 51–4. See Genesis 2.7 ‘Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.’ The mention of God ‘saying’ (l. 54 dwedud) echoes the frequent use of the phrase ‘God said’ in the first chapters of Genesis (cf. 1.3, 6, 9) but not in the context of creating Adam. Furthermore, there is nothing in Genesis that corresponds to the mention of God ‘naming’ Adam (l. 53 enwi), only that Adam gave the name Eve to his wife in Genesis 3.20. Cf. also the famous passage on the Word of God in John 1.

66 i’n cadw The verb cadw ‘to keep’, in all likelihood, but the noun cadw ‘flock, herd’ is also possible, cf. i’n bagad ‘to our herd’ in the next l.; see GPC Ar Lein s.v. cadw1.

67 Ll. 57–8. See John 10.11–16 ‘I am the good shepherd … I know my own sheep, and they know me, as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.’

68 Ll. 59–60. See Matthew 25.31–2 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.’ Thus ieithoedd is interpreted as ‘nations’, but ‘languages’ is also possible as a reference to the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.1–9, see GPC Ar Lein s.v. iaith.

69 Ll. 61–4. The object of the verb (namely the pronouns ’i and ef) in l. 61 is the [d]yn ‘man’ in the next l., namely Peter, to whom Jesus gave ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven’, see Matthew 16.17–19. The ritual in which the Pope opened the Holy Doors of the basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican was an integral part of the jubilee celebrations in Rome by 1499, but seems to have been practised as early as 1450, see Olson 2008: 31.

70 Nad â ’nglŷn eneidiau ’ngwlad Huw Cae Llwyd did not wish for his fellow-countrymen to become stuck in hell.

1 cadw Although the manuscript reading, kad, is possible (i’n cad, y’n cad), amending to cadw yields better sense, see the explanatory note on this l. Considering the non-syllabic w, kad could be interpreted as a variant form of cadw, but omission of the non-syllabic w from the text is more likely. It seems that Huw Cae Llwyd had a tendency to leave out single letters occasionally, cf. ll. 58n, 64n; entv for entru in his poem to the saints of Rome, MWPSS 16.4n; bed⁠ for Bedr⁠ in his poem of longing for Ieuan ap Gwilym when he was in Rome, HCLl XXX.9. However, further analysis of the text shows that there may be an abbreviation mark at the end of the word in the manuscript, namely a small vertical l. tailing off from the letter -d. Similar marks often appear after -d at the end of lines, such as at the end of ydoedd in l. 54, but this example seems more intentional. If it is, in fact, an abbreviation mark, it may be unique. No other examples were found in Huw’s hand in this manuscript.

2 bugail The manuscript reading, bgail, is amended.

3 ymdrwsiwn ni The manuscript reading, ym drỽssywn i, is possible, that is, the 1 singular imperfect form, but the plural forms in ll. 57, 58 and 63 suggest that a plural form is likely here too, and that n- was lost under the influence of the previous word.