Peis Dinogat





    Peis Dinogat                                      Dinogat’s Smock

.Peis Dinogat, e vreith, vreith,
o grwyn | balaot ban | wreith.
Chwit, chwit, chwidogeith,
gochanwn | gochenyn | wythgeith.
Dinogad’s smock, speckled, speckled,I made from the skins of martens.Whistle, whistle, whistly we sing, the eight slaves sing.
Pan elei | dy dad ty | e helya,
llath ar y ysgwyd, | llory en y law
ef gelwi gwn gogyhwc,
‘Giff, Gaff, dhaly, dhaly, dhwc, dhwc!’,
ef lledi bysg yng corwg,
mal ban llad llew llywywc.
When your father used to go to hunt,
with his shaft on his shoulder and his club in his hand,
he would call his speedy dogs,
‘Giff, Gaff, catch, catch, fetch, fetch!’,
he would kill a fish in a coracle,
as a lion kills an animal.
Pan elei | dy dat ty | e vynyd,
dydygei ef penn ywrch, | penn gwythwch, penn hydd,
penn grugyar vreith o venyd,
penn pysc | o rayadyr | Derwennyd
When your father used to go to the mountain,
he would bring back a roebuck, a wild pig, a stag,
a speckled grouse from the mountain,
a fish from the waterfall of Derwennyd
Or sawl yt gyrhaedei | dy dat ty ae gicwein,
o wythwch | a llewyn | a llwy[n]ein,
nyt anghei | oll ny vei | oradein.
Whatever your father would hit with his spit,
whether wild pig or lynx or fox,
nothing that was without wings would escape.

.Welsh edition from G. R. Isaac, ‘Mydr a Pherfformiad yr Hengerdd ‘, Dwned 7, (2001). English translation by Dr. Isaac.


Welsh poetry of this period has no stress save a light, upward, melodic stress at the ends of phrases and this feature is reflected in the contour of the melody. The lines may be a simple unit, divide into two or into three phrases (see Dr. Isaac’s indications in the poem above).

Dr. Isaac divides the poem into four parts and Bragod assigns each of the first three parts a different tetrachord taken from the hexachord – CDEFGA:         1. DEFG, 2. EFGA, 3. CDEF. The fourth part uses all the tetrachords together, 4. CDEFGA.

In the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries the poet, lyre-player and singer would probably have been the same person. This poem is not part of ‘The Gododdin’ and possibly of later date but one of the scribes of The Book of Aneirin wrote it in a blank space. It is a poem commemorating a fallen hero, written by a professional poet, possibly in the voice of Dinogat’s mother.

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