(from the Welsh of G. J. Williams)
It was an old white-friar who wrote
on yellowing parchment amongst tales
of the Welsh princes these words:
‘That year was buried Gwaldus Ddu.’
What was it made a brother
in his cell insert this in his story?
Did he taste heaven once in seeing
the sun brighten the darkness of Gwaldus Ddu?
And I, too, by my fireside remembered,
seeing Eryri’s cover white as wool,
that seven hundred winters had grizzled it
since summer basked in the hair of Gwladus Ddu.
Just now behind the manuscript’s account
of old, bold knights I saw a face
bloodless and unsmiling and the words:
‘That year was buried Gwladus Ddu.’
by R. S. Thomas
from No Truce With The Furies (1995)