An Address To The Summer
of Llanbadarn Fawr, Cardiganshire, and was born about the year 1340. The
bard was of illustrious lineage, and of handsome person. His poetical
talent and personal beauty procured him the favourable notice of the fair
sex; which, however, occasioned him much misfortune. His attachments
were numerous, and one to Morvydd, the daughter of Madog Lawgam, of
Niwbwrch, in Anglesea, a Welsh chieftain, caused the bard to be
prisoned. This lady was the subject of a great portion of the bard's
poems. Dafydd ap Gwilym has been styled the Petrarch of Wales. He
composed some 260 poems, most of which are sprightly, figurative, and
pathetic. The late lamented Arthur James Johnes, Esquire, translated the
poems of Dafydd ap Gwilym into English. They are very beautiful, and
were published by Hooper, Pall Mall, in 1834. The bard, after leading a
desultory life, died in or about the year 1400.]
Thou summer! so lovely and gay,
Ah! whither so soon art thou gone?
The world will attend to my lay
While thy absence I sadly bemoan:
With flow'rs hast thou cherish'd the glade,
The fair orchard with opening buds,--
The hedge-rows with darkening shade,
And with verdure the meadows and woods.
How calm in the vale by the brook--
How blithe o'er the lawn didst thou rove,
To prepare the fresh bow'r in the nook
For the damsel whose wishes were love:
When, smiling with heaven's bright beam,
Thou didst paint every hillock and field,
And reflect, in the smooth limpid stream,
All the elegance nature could yield.
Perfuming the rose on the bush,
And arching the eglantine spray,
Thou wast seen by the blackbird and thrush,
And they chanted the rapturous lay:
By yon river that bends o'er the plain,
With alders and willows o'erhung,
Each warbler perceiv'd the glad strain,
And join'd in the numerous song.
Here the nightingale perch'd on the throne,
The poet and prince of the grove,
Inviting the lingering morn,
Taught the bard the sweet descant of love:
And there, from the brake by the rill,
When night's sober steps have retir'd,
Ten thousand gay choristers thrill
Sweet confusion with rapture inspir'd.
Then the maiden, conducted by May,
Persuasive adviser of love,
With smiles that would rival the ray,
Nimbly trips to the bow'r in the grove;
Where sweetly I warble the song
Which beauty's soft glances inspire;
And, while melody flows from my tongue,
My soul is enrapt with desire.
But how sadly revers'd is the strain!
How doleful! since thou art away;
Every copse, every hillock and plain,
Has been mourning for many a day:
My bow'r, on the verge of the glade,
Where I sported in rapturous ease,
Once the haunt of the delicate maid--
She forsakes it, and--how can it please?
Nor blame I the damsel who flies,
When winter with threatening gale,
Loudly howls through the dark frozen skies,
And scatters the leaves o'er the vale:
In vain to the thicket I look
For the birds that enchanted the fair,
Or gaze on the wide-spreading oak;
No shelter, no music, is there.
But tempests, with hideous yell,
Chase the mist o'er the brow of the hill,
And grey torrents in every dell
Deform the soft murmuring rill:
And the hail, or the sleet, or the snow,
On winter's hard mandate attends:
To banishment, hence may they go--
Earth's tyrants, and destiny's friend!
But thou, glorious summer, return,
And visit the destitute plains;
Nor suffer thy poet to mourn,
Unheeded, in languishing strains:
O! come on the wings of the breeze,
And open the bloom of the thorn;
Display thy green robe o'er the trees,
And all nature with beauty adorn.
'Midst the bow'rs of the fresh blooming May,
Where the odours of violets float,
Each bird, on his quivering spray,
Will remember his sprightliest note:
Then the golden hair'd lass, with a song,
Will deign to revisit the grove;
Then, too, my harp shall be strung,
To welcome the season of love.