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Dyfnwal Frych is the name under which Domnall Brecc, the seventh century king of Dal Riada, is known in Welsh. 'Dyfnwal' being the Welsh, and 'Domnall' the Goidelic variants of the modern 'Donald'; 'Frych' or 'Brecc' meaning freckled

It is also the title of poem, whose authorship is ascribed to one Aneirin. It records a genuine historic event, that of the battle of Strathcarron of the year 642 when Owain map Beli, king of Strathclyde, defeated and killed Domnall Brecc king of Dal Riada. It is a very short work of only six lines which is a very model of poetic succinctness; the image of Domnall Brecc's being eaten by crows really says it all.

Rendered into modern Welsh by AOH Jarman as follows;

Gwelais i ddull o Bentir a ddoyn,
A berth am goelcerth a ymddygyn.
Gwelais i ddau og eu tre re rygwyddyn,
O air wyr Nwython rygodesyn.
Gwelais i wyr tyllfawr gan wawr a ddoyn,
A phen Dyfnwal Frych brain a'i cnoyn.

Translated into the English1 as;

I saw a host that came from Pentir2,
And bore themselves splendidly around the conflagration.
I saw a second one, rapidly descending from their township,
Who had risen at the word of the grandson of Nwython3.
I saw great sturdy men who came with the dawn,
And crows gnawed the head of Domnall Brecc

Or translated into the Scots by Steve Sweeney-Turner4;

A seen a host aat cam frae Kintyre,
An brawly aroond the stramash thai bore.
A seen a secont frae thir hametoun hailtearan,
Risen it the ward o the granson o Nwython.
A seen stalwart men whae cam wi the gloamin,
An the heid o Domnall Brecc scartit be craws.


1 The English translation was found at both,

so goodness knows if any one claims copyright over it.

2 The Welsh 'Pentir' is literally 'headland', rendered into the Gaelic as 'Kintyre'; as good an example as any of the difference between P-celtic and Q-celtic. Kintyre is of course in north-west Scotlandand one of the core territories of Dal Riada.

3 Nwythyon or Neithion was ruler of Strathclyde who succeeded Rhydderch Hael and reigned between the years 612 and 621, and whose grandson was the Owain map Beli responsible for the defeat of Domnall Brecc.

4 And Copyright © 1993 and 1999 by Steve Sweeney-Turner

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