Damh the Bard - Ceridwen and Taliesin
Ceridwen and Taliesin
Silver moonlight dances,
From the mist of Tegid’s1 shore.
A lady looks upon her son,
Like many times before,
And she touches his face,
Fingers wet with the tears falling.
Her daughter stands beside her,
The fairest in the land,
How her son became so cursed,
She cannot understand.
But this mother’s love is as strong,
As her heart is beating.
And she calls to the Earth,
And the Earth hears her calling.
High up in the mountains,
Dinas Afferaon2 stands tall.
All magic and all mysteries,
Are held within these walls.
So she walks to the door,
As she does the door it opens.
"Teach to me the mystery,
Of the Cauldron’s Brew.
Let Utter Darkness3 give way to light,
And be reborn anew.
Then the Awen4 will shine,
From the brow of the Eagle of the Sea.
And all will know his name, a
From this land to the People of the Sidhe5."
The lady sets the cauldron’s fire,
Tended by the hand,
Of Gwion Bach the innocent,
And Morda the blind man,
Who reached out his hand:
Place more wood,
Keep the cauldron boiling.
Then Morda he fell asleep,
Alas he din’t see,
Wood upon wood was added,
The inferno was the key,
To unlock the doors,
Of the Awen’s greatest mystery.
Three drops, burning skin,
And it’s Gwion who gained the power to see.
The cauldron cracks, the poison creeps,
Slowly across the land,
To kill the horses of Garanhir6,
by the lake shore where they stand,
Drinking, not knowing their fate,
As a hare runs fast across the land.
Lady of the Cauldron,
Come see what they have done!
Stolen your Cauldron’s power,
And betrayed your only son!
Your eyes wide, lips curled,
Anger on your face!
Change your shape now, lady!
Be the hound, begin the chase!
"I shall be a running hare,
With sorrow and with mickle care."
"Then I shall be a greyhound bitch,
And tear you from your skin!"
"Then I shall be a flying wren,
The King of Birds, the King of Men."
"So I shall be a falcon grey,
And tear you from your skin!"
"Then I shall be a salmon sleek,
Darting through a shallow creek."
"So I shall be an otter bitch,
And wrest you from your skin!"
"I shall be a grain beneath the sun,
And you will never know which one."
"Then I shall be a great black hen,
And take you deep within!"
Now you may be forgiven to think,
My tale is over and done.
But nine moons later,
She gave birth to a son,
That she wanted to kill,
But she placed in a coracle on the sea.
Garanhir’s salmon weir,
A catch was guaranteed.
But on this day a baby boy,
Cried out to be freed.
A radiant brow,
Shining bright for all to plainly see.
Taliesin is your name,
The greatest Bard that this land will ever see!
- 1. Tegid is Ceridwen's husband: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tegid_Foel
- 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinas_Emrys#Dinas_Affaraon.2FFfaraon
- 3. referring to Ceridwen's son
- 4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awen
- 5. deities or magical people (like faeries, for example) in Ancient Irish and Scottish mythology
- 6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwyddno_Garanhir
Translations of "Ceridwen and ..."