Text: Eternal greetings to Newborough

Dafydd ap Gwilym (c.1315/1320–c.1350/1370) is considered the greatest of Welsh poets and one of the greatest poets of medieval Europe. This poem in honour of Newborough is the first in Welsh to praise a specific site (in fact, it is so much earlier than other examples that some scholars express some doubt that Dafydd actually composed it).77 Dafydd’s poetry contains several allusions to the Welsh tales known as the Mabinogi, such as the cauldron of rebirth in this poem.

The following text is taken from the edition and translation on the online Dafydd ap Gwilym archive.


§ 1. Eternal greetings to the radiant town of Newborough, whose buildings are a source of true hope, and its beautiful church and its grey towers, and its wine and its common people and its burgesses, and its ale and its mead and its love, and its generous townsfolk freely sharing their wealth.

§ 2. Rhosyr is a cosy corner, a enclosure for people to play, renowned streets of a regal place, great crowds from all parts praise it: a profitable place for minstrelsy, where all men are honest, where goods are to be had; where poets go freely, where tables are open to all, it’s the place for me upon my word; most celebrated tower, wheel of prosperity, it is a village of blessings under heaven; an open pantry belonging to faultless people, hearth, baby pen for poets; payment to maintain the five ages, I know that their wisdom and courtesy is far-reaching; stronghold keeping all the land from flight, yonder town is cousin to heaven; prosperous chancel full of faithful generous ones, refuge, burial place of all the mead of Anglesey; of all towns this one is the most like heaven, castle and mead-house for me; orchard of the praise of liquors, cauldron of rebirth of every free lord; honour of all city folk, headland of bright fresh mead.

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