Davydd ab Gwilym


THOU Summer! father of delight,

With thy dense spray and thickets deep;

Gemmed monarch, with thy rapturous light

Rousing thy subject glens from sleep!

Proud has thy march of triumph been,

Thou prophet, prince of forest green!

Artificer of wood and tree,

Thou painter of unrivalled skill,

Who ever scattered gems like thee,

And gorgeous webs on park and hill?

Till vale and hill with radiant dyes,

Became another Paradise!

And thou hast sprinkled leaves and flowers,

And goodly chains of leafy bowers,

And bid thy youthful warblers sing

On oak and knoll the song of spring,

And blackbird’s note of ecstasy

Burst loudly from the woodbine tree,

Till all the world is thronged with gladness,

Her multitudes have done with sadness!

O summer, do I ask in vain?

Thus in thy glory wilt thou deign

  My messenger to be?

Hence from the bowels of the land

Of wild, wild Gwyneth to the strand

Of fair Glamorgan,—ocean’s band,

  Sweet margin of the sea!

To dear Glamorgan, when we part,

O, boar a thousand times my heart!

My blessing give a thousand times,

And crown with joy her glowing climes!

Take on her lovely vales thy stand,

And tread and trample round the land,

The beauteous shore whose harvest lies

All sheltered from inclement skies!

Radiant with corn and vineyards sweet,

And lakes of fish and mansions neat,

With halls of stone where kindness dwells,

And where each hospitable lord

Heaps for the stranger guest his board,

And where the generous wine-cup swells;

With trees that bear the luscious pear,

So thickly clustering everywhere,

That the fair country of my love

Looks dense as one continuous grove!—

Her lofty woods with warblers teem,

Her fields with flowers that love the stream,

Her valleys varied crops display,

Eight kinds of corn, and three of hay;

Bright parlor, with her trefoiled floor!

Sweet garden spread on ocean’s shore!

Glamorgan’s bounteous knights award

Bright mead and burnished gold to me;

Glamorgan boasts of many a bard,

Well skilled in harp and vocal glee;

The districts round her border spread,

From her have drawn their daily bread;

Her milk, her wheat, her varied stores,

Have been the life of distant shores!

And court and hamlet food have found

From the rich soil of Britain’s southern bound.

  And wilt thou then obey my power,

Thou Summer, in thy brightest hour?

To her thy glorious hues unfold

In one rich embassy of gold!

Her morns with bliss and splendor light,

And fondly kiss her mansions white;

Fling wealth and verdure o’er her bowers,

And for her gather all thy flowers!

Glance o’er her castles, white with lime,

With genial glimmering sublime;

Plant on the verdant coast thy feet,

Her lofty hills, her woodlands sweet;

O, lavish blossoms with thy hand

O’er all the forests of the land,

And let thy gifts like floods descending

O’er every hill and glen be blending;

Let orchard, garden, vine, express

Thy fulness and thy fruitfulness,—

O’er all the land of beauty fling

The costly traces of thy wing!

  And thus mid all thy radiant flowers,

Thy thickening leaves and glossy bowers,

The poet’s task shall be to glean

Roses and flowers that softly bloom,

(The jewels of the forest’s gloom!)

And trefoils wove in pavement green,

With sad humility to grace

His golden Ivor’s resting-place.