The Celtic Literature Collective

Bright Are the Ash-Tops
Red Book of Hergest IX

Bright are the ash-tops; tall and white will they be
When they grow in the upper part of the dingle;
The languid heart, longing is her complaint.

Bright is the top of the cliff at the long mid night hour;
Every ingenious person will be honoured.
It is the duty of the fair one to afford sleep to him in pain.

Bright are the willow-tops; playful the fish
In the lake; the wind whistles over the tops of the branches;
Nature is superior to learning.

Bright the tops of the furze; have confidence
In the wise; and to the unwise be repulsive;
Except God, there is none that divines.

Bright the tops of the clover; the timid has no heart;
Jealous ones weary themselves out;
Usual is care upon the weak.

Bright the tops of reed-grass; furious is the jealous, 
And he can hardly be satisfied;
It is the act of the wise to love with sincerity.

Bright the mountain-tops; from the bluster of winter, 
Withered and drooping is the tall grass; 
Against famine there is no bashfulness.

Bright the mountain-tops; intruding is the cold of
Winter; brittle are the reeds; rime is over the grave;
Imprudence committed violence in banishment.

Bright the tops of the oak; bitter the ash-branches;
Sweet the cow-parsnip, the wave keeps laughing;
The cheek will not conceal the anguish of the heart.

Bright the tops of the dogrose; hardship has no formality;
Let every one preserve his purity of life.
The greatest blemish is ill-manners.

Bright the tops of the broom; let the lover make assignations;
Very yellow are the clustered branches;
Shallow ford; the contented is apt to enjoy sleep.

Bright the tops of the apple-tree; circumspect is
Every prudent one, a chider of another;
And after loving, indiscretion leaving it.

Bright the tops of the apple-tree; circumspect is
Every prudent one; in the long day a stagnant pool is malarious;
Thick is the veil on the light of the blind prisoner.

Bright the hazel-tops by the hill of Digoll;
Unafflicted will be every squabby one;
It is an act of the mighty to keep a treaty.

Bright the tops of reeds; it is usual for the sluggish
To be heavy, and the young to be a learner;
None but the foolish will break the faith.

Bright the tops of the lily; let every bold one be a servitor;
The word of a family will prevail;
Usual with the faithless, a broken word.

Bright the tops of the heath; usual is miscarriage 
To the timid; water will be intrusive in front of the shore
Usual with the faithful, an unbroken word.

Bright the tops of rushes; cows are profitable, 
Running are my tears this day; 
Comfort for the miserable there is not.

Bright the tops of fern, yellow
The charlock; how reproachless [sic] are the blind;
How apt to run about are youngsters!

Bright the tops of the service-tree; accustomed to care, 
Is the aged one, and bees to the wilds; 
Except God, there is no avenger.

Bright the tops of the oak; incessant is the tempest;
The bees are high; brittle the dry brushwood;
Usual for the wanton to laugh excessively.

Bright the tops of the grove; constantly the trees
And the oak-leaves are falling;
Happy is he who sees the one he loves.

Bright the tops of the oaks; coldly puxls the stream;
Let the cattle be fetched to the birch-enclosed area;
Abruptly goes the arrow of the haughty to give pain.

Bright the tops of the hard holly, and others; let gold be distributed;
When all fall asleep on the rampart, 
God will not sleep when He gives deliverance.

Bright the tops of the willows; inherently bold 
Will the war-horse be in the long day, when leaves are abounding; 
Those that have mutual friendship will not despise one another.

Bright the tops of rushes; prickly will they be
When spread under the pillow;
The wanton mind will be haughty.

Bright the tops of the hawthorn; confident is the sight of the steed;
it is usual for a lover to be a pursuer; 
May the diligent messenger do good.

Bright the tops of cresses; warlike is the steed; 
Trees are fair ornaments for the ground; 
Joyful the soul with what it loves.

Bright is the top of the bush; valuable the steed;
It is good to have discretion with strength; 
Let the unskilful [sic] be made powerless.

Bright are the tops of the brakes; gay the plumage 
Of birds; the long day is the gift of the light; 
Mercifully has the most beneficent God made them.

Bright the tops of the meadow sweet; and music
In the grove; bold the wind, the trees shake;
Interceding with the obdurate will not avail

Bright the tops of the elder-trees; bold is the solitary songster;
Accustomed is the violent to oppress;
Woe to him who takes a reward from the hand.