HANES TALIESIN, OR THE HISTORY OF TALIESIN1

[Extracted from Old English Chronicles, ed. J. A. Giles, Appendix 2, p. 501.]



The primary domestic bard
Am I to Elphin,
And my original country
Is the region of Cherubims.
Joannes the divine
Called me Merddin,
At length every king
Will call me Taliesin.
I was full nine months
In the womb of mother Cyridwen;2
I was little Gwion heretofore,
Taliesin am I now.
I was with my Lord
In the superior state,
When Lucifer did fall
To the infernal deep.
I have borne a banner
Before Alexander:
I know the names of the stars
From the north to Auster.
I have been in the circle of Gwdion
Tetragammaton;3
I conducted Hean4
To the depth of Ebron vale,
I was in Canaan
When Absalom was slain,
I was in the Court of Don5
Before Gwdion was born,
I was an attendant
On Eli and Enoc;
I was on the cross-devoting sentence
Of the Son of the merciful God.
I have been chief keeper
Of the work of Nimrod's tower;
I have been three revolutions
In the circle of Arianrod.6
I was in the Ark
With Noah and Alpha;
I beheld the destruction
Of Sodoma and Gomorra;
I was in Africa
Before Rome was built:
I am come here
To the remnants of Troia.
I was with my Lord
In the manger of the she-ass;
I strengthened Moses
Through the Jordan water.
I have been in the firmament
With Mary Magdalen;
I have been gifted with genius
From the Cauldron of Cyridwen,
I have been bard of the harp
To the Teon of Lochlyn;7
I have endured hunger
For the son of the Virgin.
I have been in the White Hill8
In the court of Cynvelyn,
In stocks and fetters,
For a year and a day.
I have had my abode
In the kingdom of the Trinity;
It is not known what is my body,
Whether flesh or fish.
I have been an instructor
To the whole universe;
I shall remain till the day of doom
On the face of the earth,
I have been in an agitated seat
Above the circle of Sidin,9
And that continues revolving
Between three elements:
Is it not a wonder to the world,
That it reflects not a splendour?


NOTES

1 From Meyrick's History of Cardiganshire, p. 65, 2 vols. London, 1806.
2 Venus.
3 The Galaxy.
4 The Divine Spirit.
5 Or Llys Don, i. e. Cassiopeia.
6 The Northern Crown.
7 Denmark.
8 Tower of London.
9 Perhaps Caer Sidin, or the Zodiac.