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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Thomas Love Peacock 1785–1866

The War-Song of Dinas Vawr


THE MOUNTAIN sheep are sweeter,

But the valley sheep are fatter;

We therefore deem’d it meeter

To carry off the latter.

We made an expedition;

We met an host and quell’d it;

We forced a strong position

And kill’d the men who held it.

On Dyfed’s richest valley,

Where herds of kine were browsing,

We made a mighty sally,

To furnish our carousing.

Fierce warriors rush’d to meet us;

We met them, and o’erthrew them:

They struggled hard to beat us,

But we conquer’d them, and slew them.

As we drove our prize at leisure,

The king march’d forth to catch us:

His rage surpass’d all measure,

But his people could not match us.

He fled to his hall-pillars;

And, ere our force we led off,

Some sack’d his house and cellars,

While others cut his head off.

We there, in strife bewildering,

Spilt blood enough to swim in:

We orphan’d many children

And widow’d many women.

The eagles and the ravens

We glutted with our foemen:

The heroes and the cravens,

The spearmen and the bowmen.

We brought away from battle,

And much their land bemoan’d them,

Two thousand head of cattle

And the head of him who own’d them:

Ednyfed, King of Dyfed,

His head was borne before us;

His wine and beasts supplied our feasts,

And his overthrow, our chorus.