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Wales and the French Revolution Series
(Welsh Poems)

A cywydd invoking peace (selection)

by Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg; 1747–1829)

Location: Welsh Poetry of the French Revolution 1789–1805, rhif / no. 24

SCROLL DOWN FOR ENGLISH TRANSLATION


Os cân o lwys anian serch,
Hedd dyner, a faidd d’annerch,
Erglyw di’n llef o’th nefoedd,
Erglyw’n cwyn a’n galar coedd:
Blin yw ’mhob cwr, cyflwr caeth,
Ein byd gan anwybodaeth;
Gwyniau’r gethern uffernawl
A’u gwaith yn erbyn ein gwawl;
Oer adwyth, pob direidi,
A thost ymwrthod â thi.
Drwg ei dras dewisasom,
Ar ddaioni ffroeni’n ffrom,
Dewis, nid golau diwall
O naws dydd, ond y nos dall;
Ac angau, tâl gwyniau gwŷd,
Llwyra’ bai, yn lle’r bywyd.

Rhyfel yn gawr sy’n rhwyfaw
Fal tonnau’r aig, fal draig draw;
O! Dduw, cylchynu’r ddaear
Mae ag anrhaith, yn faith fâr;
Cawn ddirwyllt fab cynddaredd
Hyd ein gwlad yn dwyn ei gledd.
...
Gorchest cethin brenhinoedd
Yw’r cyfan i’w gân ar goedd:
Eu balchder, dyfnder eu dig,
A’u hathrylith gythreulig.
Gwroli’n ei wŷn greulon
Mae’r coronog, difiog dôn,
A’i ddefawd iddo’n ddifyr,
Bod dros ei draed mewn gwaed gwŷr;
Lladd oll fo’n lluddio’i ’wyllys
Y cais ef, i’w lef o’i lys;
Hyll olwg! a’i holl elwch
Yw griddfan y truan trwch.
...
Rhyfel, ellyllaidd rhwyfwyllt,
A fawdd dyn ym mhob gwŷn gwyllt;
Cawn i’w lid (ceir cŵn ei lu),
Yn agwrdd ysgyrnygu,
Yn poeri tân, peri twrf,
Ac ennyn drwy’r byd gynnwrf;
Gweiddi, gorchymyn goddaith,
Ym mhob tir gwelir y gwaith.
...
O! ryfoli rhyfelwr
Ymchwydda’n gerth, anferth ŵr,
A gwawl cydwybod fe gyll,
Yn y diwedd â’n dywyll.
Dan y nef ni ŵyr ef rin
O fudd ond gwaedgar fyddin;
Nid gwychder, ond blyngder blaidd
Ym mryd y gŵr Nimrodaidd:
Y gerdd feunyddiol a gâr,
Y cun gwael, yw cwyn galar;
Ei fwydfaeth yw llef adfyd,
Lledu’r bâr, trallodi’r byd;
Mewn gwlad lle bydd e’n gadarn
Pob gwir a sengir yn sarn;
Rhaid enwi pwyll yn dwyll dyn,
A diawl y neb a’i dilyn.
...
Gwêl, frenin gerwin, pa gur
A ddylif, a pha ddolur,
O’th ryfyg; nid myg, nid mad,
Y du fâr sy’n dy fwriad:
Gweddwon, mae’n deg, a’th regant,
Ac, o’u plith, cei reg eu plant;
Hwy’th regant a ddiblantwyd,
Rheg a’th ddilyn, adyn wyd.
O’th ranc, hanfodol i’th ryw,
Y daw’r adwyth, dir ydyw.
Un didduw, ’n annedwyddyd,
Tân i bawb wyt ti’n y byd.
...
Duw Dad! ‘O! deued y dydd!’
Yw llafurwaith lleferydd
Bydoedd, pob llwybr o’r wybren,
Lle bloedd eu miloedd, ‘Amen!’

Dangos dy ben ysblennydd
O’th nef, O! dangnef i’n dydd!
Gwaedd gadarn sy’n galw arnad
Yn glaer o bob cwr o’n gwlad!
Dyred! Mae’r doeth yn d’aros
Mal claf am yr haf a’i ros;
Ir yw’n serch i’r ynys hon,
O! dyred! Brysia’n dirion!
...
Er maint ein gwae, mae i’n mysg
A gâr hedd a gair addysg;
Rhai tystion gwychion i’r gwir,
A’i wawl i’n plith a welir;
Taer eu llais, er maint yw’r llid,
A’r amledd, a’u mawr ymlid.
...
Duw! hyd atad, Tad wyt Ti,
O ing addoer mae ’ngweddi:
Darostwng a bair dristyd,
Bâr creulon beilchion y byd;
...
Yn lle gwaith blin ein trin trwch,
O Dad hyddawn! dod heddwch;
Iôn wyd, er difa’n adwyth,
Bydd Frenin pob llin a llwyth.

TRANSLATION
If, gentle peace, a song born of beautiful love
dares to address you,
hear our call from your place in heaven,
hear our public complaint and grief:
every corner of our world is wretched (captive condition)
because of ignorance;
the lusts and works of the hellish host
go against our light;
it is a cold misfortune, every wickedness,
and grievous to reject you.
We chose what derives from evil,
and turned our noses up angrily at goodness,
we chose, not the blameless light
of day, but the blind night;
and we chose death (the price of sin’s lusts
and the greatest vice) instead of life.

The giant, war, has dominion over us
like the ocean’s waves, like a dragon yonder;
Oh! God, he encircles the world
with destruction, great voracity;
we will find the furious son of rage
bearing his sword throughout our country.
...
The savage exploits of kings
is all war proclaims:
their pride, the depth of their wrath,
and their demonic genius.
The crowned one, vicious melody,
takes heart from war’s cruel passion,
and its custom is his amusement,
that his feet are covered in men’s blood;
he attempts to kill all who hinder his will
by his cry from his court;
ugly vision! and derives all his merriment
from the moaning of the pitiful wretch.
...
War, fiendish wild course,
immerses man in every savage passion;
we find that his anger (his host is like a pack of dogs)
snarls mightily,
it spits fire, causes tumult,
and incites agitation throughout the world;
shouting, ordering a conflagration,
his work is seen in every land.
...
Oh! to praise a soldier excessively
makes him swell with pride, repugnant man,
and he loses the light of conscience,
and, in the end, is filled with darkness.
He knows of no useful virtue under the sun
except that of the bloodthirsty army;
there is no splendour, only wolf-like anger
in the Nimrodian man’s nature:
the daily song that he loves
(the vile tyrant) is the lament of mourning;
his nourishment is the cry of adversity,
spreading misery, and afflicting the world;
in a country where he is strong
every truth is utterly trampled underfoot;
reason must be called man’s deceit,
and who follows it must be called a devil.
...
See, harsh king, what affliction
flows, what pain,
from your arrogance; the dark hostility you intend
is not holy, is not good:
widows, it is fair, curse you,
and, from their midst, their children curse you;
those who have lost children curse you,
a curse follows you, you are a scoundrel.
The evil comes from your rank,
essential to your kind, it is certain.
Godless one, you are the cause of our unhappiness,
you are a destructive fire for everyone in the world.
...
God the Father! ‘Oh! may the day come!’
is the burden of the utterance
of the worlds, of every path in the heavens,
where thousands shout, ‘Amen!’
From your heaven, show your splendid head
Oh, peace in our time!
A steadfast cry calls on you
clearly from every corner of our country!
Come! The wise await you
like a sick man awaiting the summer and its roses;
our love in this island is fruitful,
Oh! come! Hurry gently!
...
Despite our woe, there are in our midst
those who love peace and words of learning;
some excellent witnesses of the truth
and its light are seen in our midst;
their voice is ardent
despite their frequent savage persecution.
...
God! You are our Father, I send
my prayer to You which stems from my sad anguish:
subdue those who cause sadness
and the cruel wickedness of the proud ones of this world;
...
instead of the angry work of our evil battles,
Oh! most generous Father, bring peace
(You are the Lord) in order to rid us of our affliction,
be the King of every kindred and tribe.


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