Dafydd ap Gwilym's Second Debate Poem
The parish scribe, his craft bends him,
one who aims his weapons carefully, stuttering Gruffudd,
confirmation for me, the black man,
4 he sings well, no guilt in his mind.
A fair greeting, if he wished it,
and a kind word he could have from me;
but if he doesn't wish it, false obstruction,
8 I will do as I wish.
God knows that I have not, clear bright voice,
denied the word which I uttered,
that I needed, peaceful destiny,
12 an example of his poetry: he's a clueless man.
Here's the evidence, where the accusation is,
endlessly shameful, in his own poetry.
Previously in our presence
16 long-backed Tudur ap Cyfnerth definitely sang
to me, and the wooden horse, a bright-toothed stag,
and to the organ, the harmony of saints,
a bit of poetry before the time for reciting,
20 the fierce pup, before he sang it.
Why did he then, blameless habit,
pure his strength, instead of paying for the value of a poem,
the brave cocky lad, go cadging
24 from Tudur, the majestic man?
Let the lad insist on being recognised,
good modesty, a pattern of praise poetry,
and let him not insist, he conceals a gift,
28 hide himself in satire.
It is a ridiculous thing of a lad of an honourable life
to send really nasty presents
from Anglesey, he makes demands for sustenance,
32 to me in Pryderi's land.
My land is called Bro Gadell,
its men are famous, this is better.
A shot grows from his tongue,
36 a piece of rough flannel, if he is angry with me,
let us come together, it would be a good thing,
hand to hand between the two powerful retinues,
we shall test, where we are, as high poets,
40 without delay, wonderful thrusts,
with two surly poems, blameless talk,
and two healthy bodies,
and two tongues, the test of the weakest poem,
44 and two iron blades, and two hands.
A solid ram on lovely mighty feet,
and the one who runs from war, let him go.
Let him leave me alone, to wait angrily,
48 and a noose for me if I leave him alone.
A blow doesn't freely land [on him]
from his father, because of the minstrel's long wandering.
If he doesn't sulk, powerful shout,
52 and is without an argument, I'll be glad;
but if he does sulk, where he gives a Gascon horse,
if I care at all, let Gwyn ap Nudd seize me.