Welsh - Branwen uerch Lyr

Branwen, the daughter of Llyr: Efnysien shows his true colours

Ac yna, guedy daruot y tangneued, galw o Uendigeiduran y mab attaw. Y gan Uendigeiduran y kyrchawd y mab at Uanawydan, a phawb o’r a’e guelei yn y garu. E gan Uanawydan y gelwis Nyssyen uab Eurosswyd y mab attaw. Y mab a aeth attaw yn diryon.

‘Paham,’ heb yr Efnissyen, ‘na daw uy nei uab uy chwaer attaf i? Kyn ny bei urenhin ar Iwerdon, da oed genhyf i ymtiryoni a’r mab.’

‘Aet yn llawen,’ heb y Bendigeiduran. Y mab a aeth attaw yn llawen.

‘Y Duw y dygaf uyg kyffes,’ heb ynteu yn y uedwl, ‘ys anhebic a gyflauan gan y tylwyth y wneuthur, a wnaf i yr awr honn.’ A chyuodi y uynyd, a chymryt y mab erwyd y traet, a heb ohir, na chael o dyn yn y ty gauael arnaw, yny want y mab yn wysc y benn yn y gynneu. A fan welas Uranwen y mab yn boeth yn y tan, hi gynsynwys uwrw neit yn y tan, o’r lle yd oed yn eisted rwng y deu uroder. A chael o Uendigeiduran hi yn y neill law, a’y tarean yn y llaw arall. Ac yna, ymgyuot o bawb ar hyt y ty. A llyna y godwrw mwyhaf a uu gan yniuer un ty, pawb yn kymryt y arueu. Ac yna y dywot Mordwyd Tyllyon, ‘Guern gwn gwchuiwch Uordwyt Tyllyon.’ Ac yn yd aeth pawb ym pen yr arueu, y kynhelis Bendigeiduran Uranwen y rwng y taryan a’y yscwyd.

Ac yna y dechrewis y Gwydyl kynneu tan dan y peir dadeni. Ac yna y byrywyt y kalaned yn y peir, yny uei yn llawn, ac y kyuodyn tranoeth y bore yn wyr ymlad kystal a chynt, eithyr na ellynt dywedut. Ac yna pan welas Efnissyen y calaned heb enni yn un lle o wyr Ynys y Kedyrn, y dywot yn y uedwl, ‘Oy a Duw,’ heb ef, ‘guae ui uy mot yn achaws y’r wydwic honn o wyr Ynys y Kedyrn; a meuyl ymi,’ heb ef, ‘ony cheissaf i waret rac hynn.’

Ac ymedyryaw ymlith calaned y Gwydyl, a dyuot deu Wydel uonllwm idaw, a’y uwrw yn y peir yn rith Gwydel. Emystynnu idaw ynteu yn y peir, yny dyrr y peir yn pedwar dryll, ac yny dyrr y galon ynteu. Ac o hynny y bu y meint goruot a uu y wyr Ynys y Kedyrn. Ny bu oruot o hynny eithyr diang seithwyr, a brathu Bendigeiduran yn y troet a guenwynwaew.

Text from: D. S. Thomson (ed.), Branwen Uerch Llyr (Dublin, 1976), ll. 354–85

Then, when peace had been made, Bendigeidfran called the boy to him. The boy went from Bendigeidfran to Manawydan, and every­one who saw him loved him. From Manawydan, Nysien son of Euroswydd called the boy to him. The boy went to him graciously.

‘Why does my nephew, my sister’s son, not come to me?’ said Efnysien. ‘Even if he were not king of Ireland, I would still like to make friends with the boy.’

‘Let him go, gladly,’ said Bendigeidfran. The boy went to him cheerfully.

‘I confess to God,’ said Efnysien to himself, ‘the outrage I shall now commit is one the household will never expect.’ And he gets up, and takes the boy by the feet, and immediately, before anyone in the house can lay a hand on him, he hurls the boy head-first into the fire. When Branwen sees her son burning in the fire she tries to jump into the fire from where she is sitting between her two brothers. But Bendigeidfran seizes her with one hand, and seizes his shield with the other. Then everyone in the house leaps up. And that was the greatest uproar ever by a crowd in one house, as each one took up arms. Then Morddwyd Tyllion said, ‘Hounds of Gwern, beware of Morddwyd Tyllion.’ As each went for his weapons, Bendigeidfran held Branwen between his shield and his shoulder.

The Irish began to kindle a fire under the Cauldron of Rebirth. Then they threw the corpses into the cauldron until it was full, and they would get up the next morning fighting as well as before except that they could not talk. When Efnysien saw the corpses, and no room anywhere for the men of the Island of the Mighty, he said to himself, ‘Oh God,’ he said, ‘woe is me that I am the cause of this mountain of the men of the Island of Mighty; and shame on me,’ he said, ‘unless I try to save them from this.’

He creeps in among the corpses of the Irish, and two bare-backed Irishmen come up to him and throw him into the cauldron, as if he were an Irishman. He stretches himself out in the cauldron so that the cauldron breaks into four pieces, and his own heart breaks too. And because of that, such victory as there was went to the men of the Island of the Mighty. There was no real victory except that seven men escaped, and Bendigeidfran was wounded in the foot with a poisoned spear.

Translation from: Sioned Davies, The Mabinogion (Oxford, 2007), pp. 31–2.


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