Saturday, August 11, 2007

XII by Dafydd ap Gwilym

I was sighing deeply for last night that was so short. I and my love of brilliant beauty .... we put a week into that one night my dear. A judge would certainly hold one night too short with Gwen. Last night I knew all things . . . shining snow lit by heaven's candles ... paid for my waking as often as I took her dearly in my arms.

Then when my grasp of her was strong
est and I was at the pitch of ecstasy (. . . her dark hair tumbling on her forehead ...) the edge of the restless veil of dawn appeared ... O God! There was the morning light.

"Get up!" cried Gwen, veiled in loveliness herself, "And hide yourself", and
quickly embracing me, "What a bitter tear your love is! Go now in God . . . see there is the daylight!"

"Neither is true my lovely creature: the moon that God gave us is shining and the stars are in their courses still: I tell you this light is supposition, this day is your imagination."

"Then why is there a crow croaking
high in the air?"

"Her fleas are biting her, annoying her, killing her."

"The dogs are barking and fighting below in the village."

"They can have caught the scent of a fox, and dogs are always disturbing the night."

"Stop your excuses now, my poet: 'A
fool's wisdom brings great trouble.' For Christ's sake now get up quietly and open the heavy door outside and run to the wood with your longest strides, for the dogs are savage when they're roused."

"O we're not so far from the wood, and I can run faster than a dog. If there's no cunning spy watching, I'll not be caught this time by God's grace."

"Tell me, my dear poet, if God's willing will you come again . . .?"

"My lady, I am your nightingale, and when the night comes I shall come."