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Torfrith in a Tavern


I came to my choice town,

followed by my trustworthy pet hound.

Fine merry expense, an excellent place for dinner,

I took to a pretty dignified mead hall,

I was a fine young man,

and I had some mead.

I spotted a fair slender maid

in the house, my one fair sweetheart.

I set my mind entirely upon

my slender darling, colour of the rising sun,

I bought roast and expensive mead,

for me and the beauty over there.

Us young men love playing games,

I called the girl, a mead maid, to the bench,

and we had a very grand dinner,

greater than a wedding feast.

I whispered,

two alluring words.

After the obstacle was cleared,

With some more whispering,

we made an agreement!

To come to the lovely girl

when the crowds had gone

to sleep; she was a blonde browed beauty.


When everyone but me and the girl

had gone to sleep,

I tried most skillfully to make my way

to the girl’s bed, but.. it turned out disastrously.

I had a nasty fall making a commotion,

there was no good accomplishment..

I hurt my shin -

I didn’t jump high enough - above the ankle,

on the edge of a stupid oaken stool,

Left there by the inn-keeper.

I hit my forehead,

Where I ended up after my tumble,

utterly confused with my wild crashing

on the end of the long table,

where there was an empty basin now

and a noisy iron pan.

The table fell, a heavy piece,

and the two trestles and all the utensils.

The pan let out a clang,

which could be heard a long way from it.

The basin boomed and the dogs barked.


It’s easier to get up awkwardly

than swiftly.

I came up

by thick walls where there were

three Riding men in one stinking bed

worrying about their three packs,

Éorlor and Ethelin and Eorack.

The blonde haired slobber-chops

hissed to the other two.


‘There’s a Snake, causing deceitful commotion,

roaming around here most cunningly;

he’s a thief, if we allow it,

watch out, keep clear of him’


The inn-keeper roused up all the host,

and it was a woeful tale.

Nine at a time they searched for me

scowling all around me,

whilst I, covered in painful bruises,

kept quiet in the darkness.

I begged, not in pitiful fashion,

in hiding, like one afraid,

and through the power of dear sincere hope,

and through the grace of Béma,

I got back without any gain to my own lair.

I escaped, I thank Béma for forgiveness.





An edited version of the poem 'Trafferth mewn Tafarn' by Dafydd ap Gwilym