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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Fate of Hoel, Son of the Great Cian

By Aneirin (fl. Sixth Century)

  • [From various expressions used by Aneirin in different parts of his great poem, it is evident that the warriors of whom he sang fortified themselves, before entering the field of battle, with unstinted libations of that favorite intoxicant of those days, sweet mead. He mentions the condition of the warriors as they started for the fray, and tells of Hoel’s fate. This son of Cian had married the daughter of one of the Bryneish. His marriage caused no abatement of a feud existing between the tribes to which the husband and wife respectively belonged. He repudiated her family, disdained to take her away, and was sought and slain by her insulted father.]

  • THE WARRIORS marched to Cattræth, full of mead;

    Drunken, but firm of array: great the shame,

    But greater the valor no bard can defame.

    The war-dogs fought fiercely, red swords seemed to bleed.

    Flesh and soul, I had slain thee, myself, had I thought,

    Son of Cian, my friend, that thy faith had been bought

    By a bribe from the tribe of the Bryneish! But no;

    He scorned to take dowry from hands of the foe,

    And I, all unhurt, lost a friend in the fight,

    Whom the wrath of a father felled down for the slight.