Home

Resources

Wales and the French Revolution Series
(Newspapers and periodicals)

An anti-war poem

by Dafydd Saunders

PUBLISHER, Lampeter, Oct.. 7, 1796.
IF you wish to furnish your Treasury with items I have carved, behold the following for your selection. My repository will be open again. Farewell,
I am Your Well-wisher,
DAFYDD SAUNDERS.
A LOOK AT THE PRESENT WAR; AND AT THE EMIGRATION OF MEN TO AMERICA, TOGETHER WITH THE ADVANTAGE OF GOING THERE.

Location: Marion Löffler, Welsh Responses to the French Revolution: Press and Public Discourse (2012), doc 9.9

SCROLL DOWN FOR ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Ar diroedd a moroedd,
Rhyw filain ryfeloedd
A mawr iawn gwyn hir-faith,
Yn nawr ymgynhyrfodd:
Pwy goll, ’n enw’r Gallu,
Sy’n tynnu’r Brytaniaid,
Rai fu Duw’n eu llwyddo,
Nawr fyned yn lleiddiaid?
A ddaeth yspryd celwyddog,
Fel llidiog hyll Hediad,
At Sïor a’i Gynghorwyr,
Trwy sarrug anghariad;
Gan wneud pob rhyw ffwdan
I hudo’r prophwydi:
Attebwch, y dynion,
Beth dybiwch am dani?

Pwy’r ŵan all ddangos
Yr achos goruchel
O’r cynnwrf, yn rhywfodd,
Amcanodd y rhyfel?
A oedd rhai yn dyfod
O’r Frangcod i’n difa,
Er braw in’ bryd hynny,
O’r bron, yn Brytania?
A ddaethant i’r golwg,
Er amlwg wir ymladd;
Ag wyneb hiraethlon,
Am gynnyg i Borthladd?
Neu ynte, mewn trefn,
Mi fentraf i ofyn,
A fu rhyw fygwthiad,
Pan fwrwyd mor gethin?

Pe sylw’em ni beunydd,
Pa sawl un ddibènwyd,
’R hyn sy olwg erchyllaf,
A sawl un archollwyd;
Ebrwydd y tystiem,
Gan brudded y testun,
Mae enbyd i feddwl
Yw bod yn y fyddin:
Heb ddim ond creulondeb
Fyth yn cael ei wrando,
Yr hyn sy’n hyll ofyd,
A’r einioes yn llifo;
A lluoedd yn digwydd
Fod yn lladdedigion,
I’w troedio’n gelanedd,
Rhwng traed eu gelynion!

Ni glywn etto’n fynych, –
“Mae’r Gilotîn finiog,
Mewn purion awenydd,
Yn para’n newynog.
Pwy sydd yma draetha,
O’r sawl fu draw weithiau,
Am hon trwy ddibènion,
Faint dorrodd hi o bènau!
Er syndod, ac arswyd,
Mae’r Sandir yn gorsog
(Och! on’d yw’n erchyll?)
Gan waedach tywarchog!”
Pa fodd ’r w’i’n dymuno,
Clywch etto, rhowch atteb,
Na chlywn i, wrth wrando,
Pa le’r aeth Tiriondeb?

’Rwy fi’n barnu’n fynych,
O’m rhan i fy hunan,
Wrth ganfod y drefn,
I hwn fyn’d i ryw fàn,
’R hyd wyneb y dyfn-for:
’R ydwyf fi’n ofnus,
Ei fyn’d ymhell enbyd
’R hyd llwybr Columbus,
At Washington anwyl,
’R hwn sy, on’ tê, ’n hynod
I ’mddiffyn Tiriondeb,
A’i hoffi trwy Undod?
O mor hoff yw’r elw,
Ymrown i ffarwèlo –
Mwy, wyr da, tan ganu,
Mordwywn tu ag yno!
(I’w orphen yn y nesaf.)

Y Geirgrawn: Neu Drysorfa Gwybodaeth. Am Hydref, 1796. Rhif. IX (The Magazine: Or Treasury of Knowledge. For October, 1796. No. IX), 286–7.


ENGLISH TRANSLATION
On land and on sea,
such savage wars
and a very great grievous wrath
were bestirring:
what insanity motivates the Britons,
whom God used to bless,
to now turn into slayers
in the name of the Almighty?
Did a lying spirit,
like a fierce, hideous creature,
fly to George and his Councillors,
with scowling hatred;
making all effort
to beguile the prophets:
answer, you men,
what think you of this?

Who can now explain
the higher cause
of the discord, which somehow
the war brought about?
Did some of the French,
to our alarm at that time,
come to destroy us
in Britannia altogether?
Did they come into view
in order to fight openly for real;
with lustful faces,
making for a Harbour?
Or rather, I venture to ask
in the circumstance,
was there really any threat
when one struck out so hard?

If we observed daily
how many were killed,
it is the most terrible sight,
and how many were wounded;
we would immediately testify,
so grave is the subject
that it fills us with fear to imagine
being in the army:
with naught but cruelty
ever to be heard,
which means dreadful sorrow,
while life ebbs away;
and armies being routed
and slaughtered,
to be trampled as corpses
under the feet of their enemies!

Again we often hear that, –
“The sharp Guillotine,
in fine fettle,
remains hungry.
Of those who’ve been over there,
who is here to recount
how many heads it cut off
by design!
To our horror and dread,
the Sands are sodden
(Oh! is this not terrible?)
with blood-soaked clods!”
How I desire,
listen, give an answer,
I do not hear, listening out,
where Humanity went?

I often judge,
on my own part,
in beholding the order,
that it went somewhere,
over the face of the ocean:
I am fearful
that it went awfully far
on the path of Columbus,
to dear Washington,
he who is remarkable, is he not,
defending Humanity
and celebrating it through Unity?
Oh, so marvellous is the gain,
let us say farewell –
now, good men, while singing,
let’s voyage over yonder!
(To be finished in the next number)


Y Geirgrawn: Neu Drysorfa Gwybodaeth. Am Hydref, 1796. Rhif. IX (The Magazine: Or Treasury of Knowledge. For October, 1796. No. IX), 286–7.


Previous article: A prayer for liberty .
List all Newspapers and periodicals