The Mabinogi

Translation of Branch 2: Branwen, Daughter of Llŷr


Branwen, 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 amicable.

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 them swiftly.

'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 ships belong.'

'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] become stronger.'

'Aye,' he replied 'Let him come to land and we will take council on this.'

(That answer went [out] to him).

'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 Branwen.

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?' he demanded.

'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 horses.

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 me.'

'Lord,' said another 'its obvious. There is nothing you can do except go back to your ships.'

With that they made for their ships.

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 away.

'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 mockery.'

'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 take council.'

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 Tal Ebolyon.

On the second night they sat down together.

'Lord' asked Matholwch 'where did that cauldron you gave to me [originally] come from?'

'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?' he asked.

'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 me.'

'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 in Ireland.

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 you prosper'.

'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 tree.'

'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 the ridge.'

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 river.

'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 from me.'

'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 of those.

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 replied

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 asks:

'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?'

'Flour, friend.'

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,

Conquerors, defenders, 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 other side.'


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 Alaw.

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?' asked Manawydan.

'We have none,' said they 'except that Caswallawn son of Beli has overrun the Island of Britain, and is now [the] Crowned King in London.'

'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,' said they.

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 to Ireland).

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 | Linc allanol: Agorir mewn ffenestr newydd

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