The Celtic Literature Collective

Maenwyn, When I Was Your Age
Red Book of Hergest XIII

Maenwyn, when I was of thy age, 
My garment should not be trodden under foot, 
My land should not be ploughed without blood.

Maenwyn, when I was opposed to thee, 
With youth attendant on me,
The foe would not break my boundary.

Maenwyn, while I was in pursuit of thee, 
Following my youth, 
The foe loved not the fury of my resentment.

Maenwyn, while I was young and plump, 
Addicted to fierce slaughter, 
I would perform the acts of a man, though I was but a youth.

Maenwyn, take thy aim discreetly;
There is need of advice on him who is in error:
Let Maelgwn provide another mayor.

My choice is a portion, with its sheath on it, 
And sharp-pointed as a thorn;
It is not labour lost for me to whet a stone.

A present was bestowed on me from the vale
Of Mewyrniawn, concealed in a bucket,
A sharp iron projecting from the hand.

Blessed be the solitary hag,
That said from the door of her cell, 
“Maenwyn, do not deliver up thy knife.”