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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 Slaying of Owain

By Aneirin (fl. Sixth Century)

  • [During the battle a conference was held, at which the British leaders demanded as a condition of peace that part of the land of Gododin be restored. In reply, the Saxons killed Owain, one of the greatest of the Cymric bards. Aneirin thus pictures him:—]

  • A MAN in thought, a boy in form,

    He stoutly fought, and sought the storm

    Of flashing war that thundered far.

    His courser, lank and swift, thick-maned,

    Bore on his flank, as on he strained,

    The light-brown shield, as on he sped,

    With golden spur, in cloak of fur,

    His blue sword gleaming. Be there said

    No word of mine that does not hold thee dear!

    Before thy youth had tasted bridal cheer,

    The red death was thy bride! The ravens feed

    On thee yet straining to the front, to lead.

    Owain, the friend I loved, is dead!

    Woe is it that on him the ravens feed!