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Famous Welsh Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Welsh poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous welsh poems. These examples illustrate what a famous welsh poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Burns, Robert
...ason under.

In either wing two champions fought;
Redoubted Staig, who set at nought
 The wildest savage Tory;
And Welsh who ne’er yet flinch’d his ground,
High-wav’d his magnum-bonum round
 With Cyclopeian fury.

Miller brought up th’ artillery ranks,
The many-pounders of the Banks,
 Resistless desolation!
While Maxwelton, that baron bold,
’Mid Lawson’s port entrench’d his hold,
 And threaten’d worse damnation.

To these what Tory hosts oppos’d
With these what...Read More

by Thomas, Dylan
...a-green birds. Hardboileds, toffee, fudge and allsorts, crunches,
cracknels, humbugs, glaciers, marzipan, and butterwelsh for the Welsh. And troops of bright tin soldiers who,
if they could not fight, could always run. And Snakes-and-Families and Happy Ladders. And Easy Hobbi-Games for
Little Engineers, complete with instructions. Oh, easy for Leonardo! And a whistle to make the dogs bark to
wake up the old man next door to make him beat on the wall with h...Read More

by Thomas, Dylan

Perhaps it would be best if you
Created something very new,
A dirty novel done in Erse
Or written backwards in Welsh verse,
Or paintings on the backs of vests,
Or Sanskrit psalms on lepers' chests.
But if this proved imposs-i-ble
Perhaps it would be just as well,
For you could then write what you please,
And modern verse is done with ease.

Do not forget that 'limpet' rhymes
With 'strumpet' in these troubled times,
And commas are the worst of crimes;
Few unde...Read More

by Thomas, R S
...Iago Prytherch his name, though, be it allowed,
Just an ordinary man of the bald Welsh hills,
Who pens a few sheep in a gap of cloud.
Docking mangels, chipping the green skin
From the yellow bones with a half-witted grin
Of satisfaction, or churning the crude earth
To a stiff sea of clods that glint in the wind—
So are his days spent, his spittled mirth
Rarer than the sun that cracks the cheeks
Of the gaunt sky perhaps once in a week...Read More

by Thomas, R S
...All right, I was Welsh. Does it matter?
I spoke a tongue that was passed on
To me in the place I happened to be,
A place huddled between grey walls
Of cloud for at least half the year.
My word for heaven was not yours.
The word for hell had a sharp edge
Put on it by the hand of the wind
Honing, honing with a shrill sound
Day and night. Nothing that Glyn Dwr
K...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...lishment means nothing
And they never heard of Wales,
Do they read it all in Hansard --
With a crib to read it with --
"Welsh Tithes: Dr. Clifford answered."
Really, Smith?

In the lands where Christians were,
F. E. Smith,
In the little lands laid bare,
Smith, O Smith!
Where the Turkish bands are busy
And the Tory name is blessed
Since they hailed the Cross of Dizzy
On the banners from the West!
Men don't think it half so hard if
Islam burns their kin and kith...Read More

by Tebb, Barry Free

At sixty I need a fire and slippers, -4 outside just isn’t me.

Sorry, Chris Torrance, I can’t make your Welsh eyrie

Just spelling Gymmercher Isaf Pontneathvaughan quite fazes me.

Sorry, Seamus Famous, your hide away in Dublin Bay

No doubt is bloody grand but I can’t face the journey to a far off foreign land.

Sorry James Kirkup, your Andorran niche

Is just too complicated for me to ever reach.

Apologies especially to Emily Bronte’s ghost ...Read More

by Seeger, Alan's flanks; 
High in the air, even to the topmost banks 
Of crudded cloud, uprose the flying horse, 
And now above the Welsh, and now the Manx, 
And now across the sea he shaped his course, 
Till gleaming far below lay Erin's emerald shores. 

There round Hibernia's fabled realm he coasted, 
Where the old saint had left the holy cave, 
Sought for the famous virtue that it boasted 
To purge the sinful visitor and save. 
Thence back returning over land and wave, 
Rugg...Read More

by Thomas, Dylan
...and dive
The dingle furred deer dead!
Huloo, on plumbed bryns,
O my ruffled ring dove
in the hooting, nearly dark
With Welsh and reverent rook,
Coo rooning the woods' praise,
who moons her blue notes from her nest
Down to the curlew herd!
Ho, hullaballoing clan
Agape, with woe
In your beaks, on the gabbing capes!
Heigh, on horseback hill, jack
Whisking hare! who
Hears, there, this fox light, my flood ship's
Clangour as I hew and smite
(A clash of anvils for my
Hubbub and fid...Read More

by Raine, Craig
...he wagon
with a far away clip-clopping sound,

and Roger spat into the fire,
leaned back and watched his phlegm

like a Welsh rarebit
bubbling on the brands. . . 

When Baby died, they sewed her
in a scrap of carpet and prayed,

with milk still darkening
Isabella's grubby button-through.

Makololo was sick next day
and still the Helmores didn't come.

The outspanned oxen moved away
at night in search of water,

were caught and goaded on
to Matabele water-h...Read More

by Masters, Edgar Lee
...You would not believe, would you
That I came from good Welsh stock?
That I was purer blooded than the white trash here?
And of more direct lineage than the New Englanders
And Virginians of Spoon River?
You would not believe that I had been to school
And read some books.
You saw me only as a run-down man,
With matted hair and beard
And ragged clothes.
Sometimes a man's life turns into a cancer
From being ...Read More

by Hill, Geoffrey
...chitect of the historic rampart and ditch, the citadel at
Tamworth, the summer hermitage in Holy Cross: guardian of the Welsh
Bridge and the Iron Bridge: contractor to the desirable new estates:
saltmaster: money-changer: commissioner for oaths: martyrologist: the
friend of Charlemagne.

'I liked that,' said Offa, 'sing it again.'...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...desolation of mankind.) 

Now airs antique and medieval fill me! 
I see and hear old harpers with their harps, at Welsh festivals:
I hear the minnesingers, singing their lays of love, 
I hear the minstrels, gleemen, troubadours, of the feudal ages. 

Now the great organ sounds, 
Tremulous—while underneath, (as the hid footholds of the earth, 
On which arising, rest, and leaping forth, depend,
All shapes of beauty, grace and strength—all hues we know, 
Green blades...Read More

by Masefield, John
And others come and spread a tale 
Of cut-throats out of Gloucester jail, 
And how we needed extra cops 
With all them Welsh come picking hops: 
With drunken Welsh in all our sheds 
We might be murdered in our beds.

By all accounts, both men and wives 
Had had the scare up of their lives.

I ate and drank and gathered strength, 
And stretched along the bench full length, 
Or crossed to window seat to pat 
Black Silas Jones's little cat. 
At four I called, "You d...Read More

by Graves, Robert
...g Prussians from the soft 
Scented hay of father’s loft, 
And stop young Slavs from cutting bows 
And bendy spears from Welsh hedgerows. 
Another War soon gets begun,
A dirtier, a more glorious one; 
Then, boys, you’ll have to play, all in; 
It’s the cruellest team will win. 
So hold your nose against the stink 
And never stop too long to think.
Wars don’t change except in name; 
The next one must go just the same, 
And new foul tricks unguessed before 
Will win a...Read More

by Graves, Robert
...(from the Welsh)

May they stumble, stage by stage
On an endless Pilgrimage
Dawn and dusk, mile after mile
At each and every step a stile
At each and every step withal
May they catch their feet and fall
At each and every fall they take
May a bone within them break
And may the bone that breaks within
Not be, for variations sake
Now rib, now thigh, now arm, now shin
but...Read More

by Housman, A E
...High the vanes of Shrewsbury gleam 
Islanded in Severn stream; 
The bridges from the steepled crest 
Cross the water east and west. 

The flag of morn in conqueror's state 
Enters at the English gate: 
The vanquished eve, as night prevails, 
Bleeds upon the road to Wales. 

Ages since the vanquished bled 
Round my mother's marriage-bed; 
There the ...Read More

by Gregory, Rg
...of the valley
of the afon cothi
reading a poem by taliesin
from the sixth century
(the first poem in the oxford book
of welsh poetry in english)
which begins
  there was a great battle saturday morning
and i have just reached the line
 and when i'm grown old with my death hard upon me
when my youngest son
charges up the bank
and attacks me with his plastic sword
and sticks it in my heart
then sits down by my side
to succour me...Read More

by Graves, Robert>'
'What were they, then?'
 'All sorts of ***** things,
Things never seen or heard or written about,
Very strange, un-Welsh, utterly peculiar
Things. Oh, solid enough they seemed to touch,
Had anyone dared it. Marvellous creation,
All various shapes and sizes, and no sizes,
All new, each perfectly unlike his neighbour,
Though all came moving slowly out together.'
'Describe just one of them.'
 'I am unable.'
'What were their colours?'
 'Mostly nameless co...Read More

by Thomas, R S
...To live in Wales is to be conscious
At dusk of the spilled blood
That went into the making of the wild sky,
Dyeing the immaculate rivers
In all their courses.
It is to be aware,
Above the noisy tractor
And hum of the machine
Of strife in the strung woods,
Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present,
At least not in Wales.
There is ...Read More

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