Daughter of Llŷr
Bendigeidfran son of Llŷr was the crowned king of this Island, and exalted
with the crown of London. One afternoon he was at
Harlech in Ardudwy, a court of his. Seated on the rock
of Harlech above the ocean were [Bendigeidfran]
with his brother Manawydan son of Llŷr; his two
half brothers from his mother's side (Nisien and Efnisien);
and such noblemen about them as was befitting around
a king. His two maternal half-brothers were the sons
of Euroswydd by his mother Penarddun daughter of
Beli son of Mynogan. One of these young men was
a good young man: he would make peace between two hosts,
even when they were at their most incensed - that was
Nisien. The other one would provoke conflict between
two brothers, [even] while they were at their most
As they were seated thus,
they could see thirteen ships, coming [up] from the
South of Ireland, heading towards them with a swift
and ardent motion, the wind behind them, drawing towards
'I see ships yonder,'
said the king 'brazenly coming to land. Tell the men
of the court to arm themselves., and go and see what
their intention is.'
The men armed themselves
and went down to them. When they could see the ships
at close quarters, it was clear to them they had never
seen vessels in more perfect condition than those.
Banners of brocaded silk - bold, seemly and beautiful
- were upon them.
Then, lo! one of the ships
came out ahead of the others, and they could see a
shield raised above the deck - the point of the shield
turned upwards as a sign of peace. The men went out
towards them, so they might hear each other's conversation.
For their part, [the ships] put out boats [which] made
for land, and they greeted the king.
The king could hear them
from the place where he was, on the rock high above.
'God give well to you,'
he said 'and may you be welcome. To whom does this
fleet of ships belong, and who is their captain?'
'Lord,' said they 'Matholwch
king of Ireland is here: and it is to him that these
'What is his desire?'
asked the king 'Does he wish to come to land?'
'He has a petition for
you, my Lord' said they 'he does not wish to land unless
he can have his petition satisfied.'
'What kind of petition
does he have?' asked the king.
'He wishes to ally himself
by marriage to you, my lord' said they 'To ask
Branwen daughter of Llŷr he has come, and - if it is
agreeable to you - he wishes to bind the Isle of the
Mighty and Ireland together, so that they [both]
'Aye,' he replied 'Let
him come to land and we will take council on this.'
(That answer went [out]
'I will go [to land],
gladly' he responded.
He came to land, and there
was a joy at his coming, and there was a great throng
in the court that night with both his host and the
host of the court.
First thing the next day,
they took council. The decision they made was the
giving of Branwen to Matholwch. She was one of the
three High Matriarchs of this Island, and the most
beautiful maiden in the world. He was to sleep with
her at Aberffraw, and they set out thence. The
retinues also set off towards Aberffraw - Matholwch
and his retinues by ship, Bendigeidfran and his host
by land - until they reached Aberffraw.
In Aberffraw the feast
and the gathering began. This is how they were
seated: the king of the Island of the Mighty with Manawydan
son of Llŷ on one side and Matholwch on the other,
with Branwen daughter of Llŷr next to him. They were
not in a house, but rather in pavilions - Bendigeidfran
had never been contained within a house.
So they began the festivities.
They continued feasting and conversing until sleep
seemed more attractive than continuing drinking - then
they went to sleep. That night Matholwch slept with
The following day, the
entire host of the court arose. The stewards began
to discuss the billeting of the horses and the servants.
They were quartered in every place as far as the sea.
Then one day, lo, there
was Efnisien - that quarrelsome man we spoke of above,
coming across the billets of the horses of Matholwch.
He asked to whom the horses belonged.
'These are the horses
of Matholwch king of Ireland' they said.
'What are they doing here?'
'The king of Ireland is
here, and he has slept with your sister Branwen. These
are his horses.'
'So this is what they
have done with a girl as good as her, my own sister
- giving her away without my consent! They could not
have insulted me more!'
With that he [started]
striking up at the horses. He sliced their lips back
to their teeth, and their ears back to their heads,
and their tails to their backs - and wherever he could
get a grip on their eyelids, he would cut these back
to the bone. And the horses were mutilated thus, to
the extent that no further use could be got from the
The news came to Matholwch
like this: he was told how his horses had been mutilated,
how they had been ruined to the extent that there was
no longer any joy to be had from them.
'Aye Lord' said one 'your
humiliation has been wrought. And that is the intention
of whoever did this to you.'
'God knows, it seems strange
to me - if they wanted to insult me - that they should
give me a girl as good as her, and of such high rank
and so beloved to her kindred, as the one they gave
'Lord,' said another 'its
obvious. There is nothing you can do except go back
to your ships.'
With that they made for
The news came to Bendigeidfran
that Matholwch was leaving the court, without asking
or taking his leave. Messengers went back to ask him
why this was. The messengers that went were Idic son
of Anarawd and Hefeydd Hir. These men overtook him
and asked him what he intending, and why he was going
'God knows,' he replied
'if I had known [what would happen] I would never have
come here. I have been thoroughly insulted. Never
did anyone come out as badly as I have done here. And
a strange thing has befallen me.'
'What is that?' they asked.
'Branwen daughter of Llŷr
was given to me, one of the High Matriarchs of this
Isle, and a daughter of the king of Island of the Mighty,
I slept with her - and after [all] this I'm insulted.
It seems strange to me that it wasn't prior to such
a great maiden as her being given to me, that the insult
which was done to me was committed."
'God knows, my Lord,'
they replied 'it was not [through] the will of him
who ruled the court, nor that of any of his council,
that this insult should be put upon you. And though
it may be that you have been insulted by that, greater
is the insult to Bendigeidfran than to you from this
'Aye,' conceded Matholwch
'I suppose so, [but] he will never be able [to do anything
about] the dishonour that has left me with.'
Those men returned with
that answer to the place where Bendigeidfran was, and
asked him the reply that Matholwch had spoken.
'Aye,' said the King 'there
is no advantage in him leaving in a quarrelsome mood,
and we will not allow it.'
'Aye, Lord,' said they
'send messengers after him!'
'I will send [them],'
he replied 'arise Manawydan son of Llŷr, Hefydd the
Tall and Unig Strong Shoulder, and go after him. Tell
him he will get a healthy horse for each on of his
that are ruined; and together with that, as an honour
payment, he will get a silver rod as thick <as his little finger> and as tall as himself and a gold plate as broad as his face. Tell to him
the kind of man it was that did this, and [that] it
was against my will that it was - [that] it was my
[own] half-brother who committed that [atrocity] and
[that] it is not easy for me to kill or destroy him.
Let him come and meet me,' he continued 'and I will
make peace on [whatever] terms he might desire.'
The messengers went after
Matholwch and politely relayed that conversation to
him, and he listened to them.
'Men,' he said 'let us
And [so] he went into
council. What the council resolved was this: if they
refused, they would be more likely to incur greater
shame than get a better compensation. He settled on
that council and came to the court in peace. Tents
and pavilions were arranged for them, in the style
of a hall - and they went to eat.
Matholwch and Bendigeidfran
started making conversation and, lo! the conversation
he was getting from Matholwch seemed [so] dreary and
sad to Bendigeidfran, from one who had always been
constantly cheerful before that. He wondered if the
chieftain was in bad spirits over the meagreness of
the compensation he had received for his injury.
'Man', ventured Bendigeidfran
'you are not such a good talker as you were the other
night. If it seems to you that the compensation was
too small, you will get it increased to your liking,
and tomorrow your horses will be paid.'
'Lord,' replied the other
'God repay you.'
'I'll augment your compensation
further,' Bendigeidfran continued 'I will give you
this cauldron, and the peculiarity of the cauldron
is this: a man who is killed today and thrown in the
cauldron, by the next day he will be as good as he
was at his best, except he will not be able to talk.'
Matholwch, for his part,
thanked him for that and was greatly cheered by it.
The next day, the horses were paid to him [to be kept]
as long as tame horses last - until the tally was complete
in his eyes. And they journeyed with him into another
commote, and this commote was thereafter known as the
On the second night they
sat down together.
'Lord' asked Matholwch
'where did that cauldron you gave to me [originally]
'It came to me from a
man who was from your land, ' replied [Bendigeidfran]
' and for all I know he may have acquired it there'
'[And] who was that?'
'Llasar Llaes Gyfewid" said
the other 'he came here from Ireland and his wife Cymidei
Kymeinvoll together with him, and they had escaped
from the Iron House in Ireland, when it had been made
white hot around them, and they had escaped thence.
I find it strange that you know nothing about this.'
'I do know [something],
my Lord,' he replied 'and what I know I'll tell you:
'One day, while hunting
[back] in Ireland, I was on top of a tumulus above
a lake in Ireland, called "The Lake of the Cauldron". Then I saw a large, reddish-yellow [haired] man coming out of the lake with
a cauldron on his back. Furthermore, the man was large
and monstrous with an evil, anorles look about
him, and [he had] a woman following after him. And
large as he was - twice as big as him was the woman.
They made their way towards me and greeted me.
' "Aye," said
I "how goes it with you?"
' "This is
how it goes with us, Lord" said he "this woman, at the end of a month and a fortnight will become pregnant: and the
boy that will be born from that wombful - after a month
and fortnight - will be a fully-armed fighting-man"
'For my part I took them
in and maintained them: they were with me for a year.
For a year they were no problem, but after that it
became a disgrace for me. Four months later they had
caused themselves to be hated and unwelcome throughout
the land: by committing insults, and pestering and
injuring the noble men and women. After that my people
rose up around me to bid me to part with them and presented
me with a choice: my country or them.
'I placed [the matter
of] what should be done about them to the council of
my people: they would not go of their own accord, nor
did they have any cause to leave against their will
by force. Then, from this compromised position, they
decided to forge a solid iron chamber; and once
the chamber had been prepared, all the smiths in Ireland
were summoned - all of those who were in possession
of tongs and a hammer - and they piled charcoal up
to the roof of the chamber. They had them - the man,
the woman and their children - abundantly served with
food and drink. And once it was clear that they were
drunk, [the smiths] began to light a fire from
the charcoal around the chamber and bellows were blown
from every side of the house, a pair of bellows for
every man: and they kept blowing the bellows until
the house was white hot around them. Then there was
a council among them, in the middle of the floor of
the chamber, and he [the man] waited until a panel
of the chamber was white [hot]. And because of its
extremely great heat he charged it with his shoulder and broke his way out, and
his wife came after him. And none of them escaped except
for him and his wife. And then, I suppose, they came
over to you, lord.'
'[It was] then, God knows,'
he replied 'they came here and gave the cauldron to
'In what manner did you
accommodate them, Lord?'
'They were quartered in
every corner of the kingdom, and became numerous: raising
up every area, and strengthening every place that they
happened to be with men and arms that were the best
that had ever been seen.'
They made conversation
that night, as long as they pleased, and [indulged
in] song and carousal. And when they could see it was
more beneficial to sleep than to stay up any longer,
they went to bed. Thus they spent that feast in good
spirits. At the end of it, Matholwch, together with
Branwen, set out for Ireland. For that, the thirteen
ships set out from Aber Menei, and came to Ireland.
In Ireland, there was great joy at their arrival. Not
one great man or noble lady would come to visit Branwen
to whom she would not give a clasp, a ring or a royal
jewel to them: which was matchless to see as it was
given away. In the meantime, that year brought
her great fame, and she prospered with honour and friends.
After that, it came to pass that she fell pregnant.
And after the passing of the due period of time, a
boy was born to her. This is the name that was given
to the boy: Gwern son of Matholwch. The boy was
placed in fosterage in the very best place for men
Then, in the second year,
there was a murmuring in Ireland about the humiliation
Matholwch had received in Wales, and the shameful thing
he had suffered on account of his horses. [About] that,
his foster brothers and men closest to him [started]
to mock him openly. And lo! [there was] such a throng
in Ireland that he would get no peace until he would
revenge that insult.
The revenge they took
was this: driving Branwen out of the room she shared
with [the king], and forcing her to bake in the court:
and having the butcher - after he had been tearing
up meat - to come and box her ears every day. In this
way her punishment was wrought.
'Aye, Lord,' said the
men close to Matholwch 'Order an embargo of ships,
small boats and coracles - so that nothing might go
to Wales; and any that come here from Wales: imprison
them so they cannot return, in case they find out about
this.' And on that [decision] they settled.
No less than three years
did they spend like this. In the meantime, what she
did was rear a starling-bird on the edge of her kneading
trough. She taught it speech and described her brother
to the bird. And she submitted in a letter the
punishments and disgrace which she was enduring. This
letter was tied around the base of the bird's wing
and sent to Wales - and the bird came to this Island.
The place where it found Bendigeidfran was in Caer
Seint in Arfon, at an assembly of his one day. It alighted
on his shoulders and ruffled its feathers until the
letter could be seen, and it was realised that the
bird was reared among dwellings.
The letter was then taken
and examined. When the letter was read, he was
aggrieved on hearing about the punishment that was
being endured by Branwen. Then he had messengers sent
to muster the Island. (Then) he ordered the bringing
together of the full levy of the seven-score and fourteen
districts, and personally declaimed before it about
the punishment that was upon his sister. Then they
took council. The decision they made was this: to attack
Ireland, and leave seven men as elders here: with
Cradawg son of Bran as their chief, with his seven
riders. These were the men that were left in Edeirnon:
and hence the name 'Seven Riders' was given to the
township. The seven riders were: Caradog son of Bran,
Hefydd the Tall, Unig Strong- Shoulder, Idig son of
Anarawd Walltgewm, Fodor son of Erfyll, Ulch Bone-Lip
and Lashar son of Llayssar Llaesgygwyt - with Pendaran
Dyfed as a serving-boy to them. These seven remained
as the seven governing elders over these Islands, and
Caradog son of Bran as the chief elder among them.
Bendigeidfran, and the
aforementioned hosting sailed towards Ireland. The
ocean was not extensive [back] then: he went by wading.
There used to be nothing except two rivers called the
Lli and the Archen. And after that the ocean spread
out, and the sea flooded the kingdoms. Then he advanced,
carrying all the string-minstrels on his back, making
for the land of Ireland.
Some swineherds of Matholwch
were on the shore of the ocean one day, doing the rounds
with their pigs. Because of the sight they saw on the
ocean, they came to Matholwch.
'Lord' said they 'may
'And may God give kindly
to you,' he replied. 'Do you have tidings?'
'Lord,' said they 'we
have some strange tidings: we have seen a forest on
the ocean, where we had never [before] seen a single
'That is a peculiar thing,'
said he 'could you see anything other than that?'
'Lord,' they replied 'a
great mountain beside the forest, and that was moving;
and a soaring ridge on the mountain, and a lake on
each side of the ridge; and the forest, and the mountain
and all of that was moving.'
'Well,' said [Matholwch]
'there is no-one here who's going to know anything
about this, if Branwen doesn't know. Ask her.'
Messengers went to Branwen.
'Lady,' said they 'what
do you suppose this is?'
'Although a lady I am
not,' she answered ' I know what this is. The men of
the Island of the Mighty are coming over: having heard
about my punishments and my dishonour.'
'What is the forest that
was seen on the ocean?' they asked.
'The alder-masts of the
ships and the sail trees' said she.
'Aye,' said they 'what
is the mountain that was seen alongside the ships?'
'That was Bendigeidfran
my brother,' said she 'coming by wading. There is no
boat that can contain him inside.'
'What is the soaring ridge
and the lake on either side of the ridge?'
'He' she said 'is looking
at the Island, and is angry. His two eyes on either
side of his nose are the two lakes on either side of
Then there was a mustering
of all the fighting men of Ireland and all the coastlands
in haste, and council was taken.
'Lord,' said the nobles
to Matholwch 'there is no other council but to withdraw
across the Llinon (a river that was in Ireland), and
let the Llinon be between you and him, and destroy
the bridge that's on the river. And there are loadstones
at the bottom of the river: neither boat nor vessel
can go over them.'
They retreated across
the river and destroyed the bridge.
Bendigeidfran came to
land, and the fleet with him, near the bank of the
'Lord,' said his nobles
'you know the peculiarity of this river - it is not
possible for anyone to cross it; and nor is there a
bridge over it. What is your council concerning the
bridge?' they asked.
'Nothing,' he replied
'expect whoever would be head, let him be [the] bridge.
I myself will be [the] bridge.'
And that was the first
time those words were [ever] said, and it is still
used as a proverb [today].
He then lay himself across
the river, and hurdles were flung over him, and his
warbands went across him to the other side.
At that, even as he arose
- there was Matholwch's messengers coming towards him:
greeting him and offering him salutations from Matholwch
his kinsmen, and telling him that it was his will that
nothing but good should come his way.
'And Matholwch will give
the sovereignty of Ireland to Gwern son of Matholwch,
your nephew, son of your sister, and he will bestow
it your presence, in compensation for the hurt and
injury that was done to Branwen. Wherever you yourself
desire, either here or in the Island of the Mighty:
make provision with Matholwch.'
'Aye,' responded Bendigeidfran
' unless I can take the kingship for myself, perhaps
I should take council about your message. Until I hear
some different terms, you will not get an answer
'Aye,' they responded
'the best answer we can get for you, we will come to
you with it - wait for our tidings.'
'I will wait,' he replied
'if you come quickly [enough].'
The messengers went on
ahead, and to Matholwch they came.
'Lord,' said they '[you
must] prepare an answer that is better for Bendigeidfran.
He will not listern to any of the answer that came
to him from us [before].'
'Men,' said Matholwch
'what is your council?'
'Lord,' said they 'there
is for you no council but one. Never before has he
been contained in a house. Make a house in his honour,'
they continued 'which can contain him and the men of
the Island of the Mighty in one side of the house,
and you and your host in the other. And give him your
sovereignty to his will, and pay him homage. And
from the honour of making the house - something he
has never had: a house that can contain him, he will
make peace with you.'
And the messengers came
to Bendigeidfran and with them that message - and he
[also] took council. The decision that was taken was
to accept [Matholwch's offer]. It was all through Branwen's
counsel - to prevent further damage to the country,
that was her [advice].
The peace was arranged,
and the house was built: large and spacious. But the
Irish laid a trap. The trap they laid was to put
a hook on each side of every one of the hundred columns
that were in the house, and put a crane skin-bag
on each peg, and an armed fighting man in every one
Efnisien came in ahead
of the host of the Isle of the Mighty, casting fierce,
ruthless glances around the house. And straight away
he caught sight of the bags in front of the posts.
'What is in this bag?'
he demanded to one of the Irish
'Flour, friend' he
What he did was this,
feeling around till he found the [the hiding warrior's]
head, and squeezing his head until he could feel his
fingers sink into the brain through the bone. He
then leaves that, puts his hand on the next one and
'What is in here?'
'Flour,' replied the Irishman.
And played the same trick
on each one of them until there was just one man left
from all the two hundred men (expect one). And he went
up to that one and asked:
'What is in here?'
What he did was this:
he felt around until he found his head, and just as
he had squeezed the heads of all the others, he squeezed
that [one's] head. He could feel armour around that
one's head. [But] he didn't leave that one until he
had killed him. Then he sang an englyn:
In this bag there is flour
of a kind,
descenders to the grind
Facing fighting men ready
for the hour
At that the hosts came
into the house. The men of the Island of Ireland came
to the house from one side, and the men of the Island
of the Mighty from the other. As soon as they had sat
down there was accord between them - and sovereignty
was bestowed upon the boy. And then, once peace had
been concluded, Bendigeidfran called the boy to him.
From Bendigeidfran, the boy went over to Manawydan,
and all could see that he liked him. From Manawydan,
Nissien son of Euroswydd called the boy over to him.
The boy went to him in friendship.
'Why doesn't my nephew
- my sister's son - come to me?' asked Efnisien 'Even
if he weren't the king of Ireland I would still like
to show affection to the boy.'
'Let him go, gladly,'
said Bendigeidfran. And the boy went to him gladly.
'To God I make my confession,'
he said in his mind 'it is an unspeakable crime against
the kindred, what I'm about to do this [very] hour.'
He rises up and takes
the boy by his feet and without delay, before any man
in the house catches him, he thrusts the boy headlong
into the blaze. When Branwen saw her boy being burnt
on the fire, she tried to leap into the fire [after
him] from where she was sitting next to her two brothers.
And Bendigeidfran seized her with one hand and his
shield with the other. At that, everyone in the house
arose. Lo! there was the greatest uproar there had
ever been from a host in a single house, as everyone
reached for his weapons.
That was when Mordwyt
Tyllion said 'Dogs of Gwen, beware Mordwyt Tyllion!'
And as everyone went for
their weapons, Bendigeidfran held Branwen between his
shield and his shoulder.
Then the Irish began to
kindle a fire under the Cauldron of Rebirth. (And then)
the dead were thrown into the cauldron, until it was
full. They would rise up the next day - fighting men
as good as before, except they would not be able to
talk. And then, when Efnissiyen saw the dead bodies,
without room being made anywhere for the men of the
Island of the Mighty, and said in his mind 'Alas God,
woe to me - being the cause of this carnage of the
men of the Island of the Mighty' he thought 'and shame
on me if I don't seek deliverance from this.'
He crawls in amongst the
corpses of the Irishmen, and two bare-bottomed Irishmen
come to him and throw him in the cauldron, along with
the others. He stretches himself out in the cauldron,
until the cauldron breaks into four pieces, and his
heart breaks [as well].
And that was how victory,
such as it was, was [won] to the men of the Island
of the Mighty. [But] the victory from that
was no more than the escape of seven men, [along] with
Bendigeidfran wounded in his foot with a poisoned spear.
These were the seven men who escaped: Pryderi, Manawydan,
Glifieu Eil Taran, Taliesin and Ynawg, Gruddieu son
of Muriel and Heilyn son of Gwyn the Old.
And then Bendigeidfran
ordered the severing of his head.
'Take the head' said he
'and bring it to the White Hill in London, and bury
it with its face towards France. And you will be on
the road a long time. In Harlech you will be seven
years in feasting, the birds of Rhiannon singing to
you. The head will be as good company to you as it
was at its best when it was ever on me. And you will
be at Gwales in Penfro for eighty years. Until you
open the door facing Aber Henvelen on the side facing
Cornwall, you will be able to abide there, along with
the head with you uncorrupted. But when you open that
door, you will not be able to remain there. You will
make for London and bury the head. Cross over to the
Then they cut off his
head and with the head they set out to the other side:
these seven men with Branwen
with them as the eighth. At Aber Alaw in Talebolion,
they came to land. Then they sat and rested. She
glances over to Ireland, and at the Island of the
Mighty, what she could see of them.
'Alas son of God,' she
exclaimed 'Woe to me that I was ever born. Two good
islands have been ruined because of me.' She gives
a great sigh, and with that breaks her heart. A four-sided
grave was made for her, and she is buried at Glan
At that, the seven men
made for Harlech, and the head with them. As they were
journeying, suddenly there was a crowd coming towards
them, of men and women.
'Do you have any tidings?'
'We have none,' said they
'except that Caswallawn son of Beli has overrun
the Island of Britain, and is now [the] Crowned King
'What has happened to
Cradawg son of Bran?' they asked 'and the seven men
who were left with him in this Island?'
'Caswallawn ambushed them,
and killed six men and from that Cradawg broke his
heart, out of bewilderment at seeing a sword kill the
men, and not knowing who killed them. Caswallawn had
gone about clothing himself in a magical cloak, and
no-one could see him kill the men - only the sword.
Caswallawn had not wished to kill him as he was his
nephew and kinsman. And he was the third person who
broke his heart with bewilderment. Pendaran Dyfed,
who was a serving boy with the seven, fled to the forest,'
And then they made for
Harlech, and they began a feast, and the indulgence
in food and drink was begun. And [as soon as] they
began to eat and drink there came three birds, which
began to sing a kind of song to them; and when they
heard that song, every other [tune] seemed unlovely
beside it. It seemed a distant sight, what they
could see far above the ocean yet it was as clear as
if they had been right next to them. And they were
at that feast for seven years.
And at the end of the
seventh year, they made for Gwales in Penfro. And
there at their disposal was a beautiful kingly place
[high] above the ocean - and a great hall it was. They
went into the hall. They saw two open doors - the third
door was closed, and that [was the one] facing Cornwall.
'Look over there,' said
Manawydan ' the door which we must never open.'
And that night they were
there, lacking nothing - and were completely free of
care. Of all the grief that they had witnessed or experienced
themselves - there was no longer any memory, or
any of the sorrow in the world. Eighty years they passed
there, having never enjoyed a period of time as carefree
or light-hearted as that. It was no more irksome
to them - they didn't realise from their companions
how long it had been since they came there. And
it was no more irksome for them having the head there,
than it had been when Bendigeidfran had been alive
with them. And because of that it was known as the
'Assembly of The Wondrous Head'. (The Assembly
of Branwen and Matholwch was the one where they went
This is what Heilyn son
of Gwyn did one day:
'Shame on my beard,' said
he 'if I don't open the door and find out whether it
is true what is said about it. [So] he opened the door,
and looked out to Cornwall and over Aber Henvelen.
And when he looked, suddenly everything they had ever
lost - loved ones and companions, and all the bad things
that had ever happened to them; and most of all the
loss of their king - became as clear as if it had been
rushing in towards them. And from that moment,
they were not able to rest unless they were making
for London with the head. However long they were on
the road, they came to London, and they buried the
head in The White Hill.
And that was one of the
Three Fortunate concealments when it was buried, and
one of the Three Unfortunate Disclosures when it was
unearthed: since no affliction would ever came to this
Island from across the sea, as long as the head was
in that concealment. That is what this tradition
says. Their adventure 'The men who set out to Ireland',
is [the name of] that [tale].
In Ireland, there was
no person left alive, except five pregnant women in
a cave in the wilderness of Ireland. And to those five
women, after the same amount of time, were born five
sons. They raised those five boys until they were fully-grown
youths, and they thought about women and desired to
take them. And then, each sleeps willy-nilly with
the mother of his companion, and rules the country
and inhabits it, and divides it between the five of
them. And because of that division, the 'Five Parts
of Ireland' are still so called. And they searched
the country, wherever there had been fighting - and
found gold and silver, until they became wealthy.
Thus ends this Branch
of the Mabinogi: [which tells] of the reason for the
Beating of Branwen - (this was) one of the Three
Grievous Beatings of this Island; and of the Assemblyof
Bran (when five and seven-score districts came to Ireland
to revenge the beating of Branwen), and about the feasting
in Harlech for seven years; and (about) the Singing
of the Birds of Rhiannon; and about the Assembly of
the Head for four-score years.
This translation is Copyright © Will Parker | www.mabinogi.net