The Lament for Urien

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The Lament for Urien

by: Ernest Rhys (Author)
from: Welsh Ballads and Other Poems (Pp. 92 - 93)  1898

From the Red Book of Hergest
                           I.

A head I bear;—the Eagle of Gál,
Whose wing once brushed the mountain wall;
The Pillar of Prydain has come by a fall.

A head I bear by the side of my thigh:
He was the shield of his own country:
A wheel in battle; a sword borne high.

The Pillar of Prydain is fallen down:
Urien, Prince of our houses, is gone:
His heart was a castle, a walléd town.

A head I bear and hold in my hand,
That late was the Prince of Prydain's land,
That harried the host, as the sea the strand.

A head I bear, from the Riw to the wood:
His lips are closed on a foam of blood;
Woe to Reged! Let Urien be rued!

                           II.

The delicate white body will be buried to-day:
The delicate white body, be hidden away
Deep in the earth, and the stones, and the clay.

The delicate white body will be covered to-night,
Under earth and blue stones, from the eye of light:
The nettles shall cover it out of sight.

The delicate white body will be covered to-day,
The tumulus be reared, the green sod give way:
And there, oh Cynvarch, thy son they will lay.

The delicate white body will be covered to-night:
Oh Eurdyl, be sad: no more thy delight,
Thy brother shall rise from his sleep in might.