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The Battle of Argoed Lwyfein
Book of Taliesin XXXV

There was a great battle Saturday morning
From when the sun rose until it grew dark.
The fourfold hosts of Fflamddwyn invaded.
Goddau and rheged gathered in arms,
Summoned from Argoed as far as Arfynydd--
They might not delay by so much as a day.

With a great swaggering din, Fflamddwyn shouted,
"Are these the hostages come? Are they ready?"
To him them Owain, scourge of the eastlands,
"They've not come, no! They're not, nor shall they be ready!
And a whelp of Coel would indeed be afflicted
Did he have to give any man as a hostage!"

And Urien, lord of Erechwydd, shouted,
"If they would neet us now for our kinsfolk,
high on the hilltop let's raise our ramparts,
Carry our faces over the shield rims,
Raise up our spears, men, over our heads,
And set upon Fflamddwyn in the midst of his hosts
And slaughter him, ay, and all that go with him!"

There was many a corpse beside Argoed Llwyfain;
From warriors ravens grew red,
And with their leader a host attacked.
For a whole year I shall sing to their triumph.

And when I'm grown old
With death hard upon me,
I'll not be happy
Save to praise Urien.


One of the "historical" or authentic poems attributed to Taliesin. It tells of a successful battle of the Britons against the Saxon invaders. Here, the Britons are lead by Owain and his father Urien, historical figures later made part of the Arthurian mythology.

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