Tuesday, July 01, 2008

XIII by Dafydd ap Gwilym

Sitting - no, not under a birch - under this hazel, listening to the late afternoon's silence I thought it would be nice to welcome July with another poem by Dafydd ap Gwilym.

I have learned to carry on my nimble love boldly in secret, not in public like a boor: but now is the time to celebrate my secret love with fitting words.

The man who languishes and loves in secret loves best of all: when she and I (vain couple!) walked among crowds we talked so pleasantly together but none guessed our answers. For a long while we embraced and played at being outlaws for a joke, but now we must move with strictest secrecy because of evil tales and a foul tongue that destroys us with such stories, putting a slanderous stain on our innocent names with his words. We were proud of our care in keeping our love hidden, and I believed and worshipped under the young leaves where my golden love was. There was sweet opportunity and a pleasant life for us under the leaves of the young birch-trees.

Pleasant it was to keep our secret, hid
ing and adoring in the wood; to wander on the shore of the sea, or stay within the boundaries of the wood; to plant birch-trees, or weave the plumage of the wood in patterns; to tell my love to the slim girl or stand with her and look out over solitary meadows.

Going to the woods with her lover is a
fine way for a girl to pass the day, there to sit silent or suddenly smiling, laugh lip to lip. So we took our pleasure together in the groves of the wood, avoiding all people, sharing our complaints or drinking mead together, or making love or lying still .... keeping our love hidden. That was a perfect time .... more than "perfect" I can say nothing.


  1. I thought it would be nice to welcome July with another poem by Dafydd ap Gwilym.

    Well, who wouldn't, Sean.

  2. Welcome, Madame Pensive,
    yes, and sometimes, goes the saying, its golden. Only this morning, Tetrapilotomos said 'Sic tacuisses, Sean, ...', and whistling left the room.

    perhaps the few who'd not know he existed? :)

    the poet would be glad to learn you appreciate his words. :)

  3. I would say to Tetrapilotomos, "Sua cuique voluptas. Mine are words." A whistler can be enervating...

  4. Well, being friends in meanwhile two millennia, I have learned to live with the tiny deficiencies in T's character. And I can't deny he has also this and that positive quality.
    Still, yes, at times he can be most enervating.

  5. Excellent Eminence ... hm ... eminent Excellency ... err ...
    Dear Cherrypie,
    the photographer is glad he does not have his dwelling six feet under yet, and thus unlike the Welsh bard can personally thank you for your kindness. :)