The Girls of Llanbadarn (or The Last Unlaid Minstrel)

(freely translated from Merched Llanbadarn by Dafydd ap Gwylim, 14th Century)


Frustrated passion bends me double
A plague on girls, they're too much trouble!
Because I never get a lay
from any one in any way.
No sweet young thing, no cheeky bitch
No naughty wife nor ugly witch

What nastiness, what sinful traits
Make me so crap at finding mates?
Yet no fair lass e'er deems it good
To take me to some thick, dark wood.
No shame for her if there we fled
To roll upon a leafy bed

Throughout my life I always loved
(So clinging has my ardour proved:
More than the guys down Garwy way!)
One or two girls every day
Yet even so I never scored
With one I fancied ~ or abhorred.

In Llanbadarn no Sunday passed
(Now pious folks will be aghast)
But I'd be eying up some broad
With just my neck turned to the Lord.
And after I had long surveyed
The parish beauties, thus arrayed,
You'd hear one bright, fresh little chit
Say to her friend, who's known for wit:

'That pale lad with the sneaky face
And girlish hair all o'er the place ~
He's got bad things on his mind
His ways are of the evil kind!"

"So that's the nature of his lies,"
The other sexy minx replies,
"Do it with him? Ha! What a farce!
"The stupid twat can kiss my arse!"

It's rough for me but beauty's curse
Repays me with a meagre purse
No recompense my ardour wins
But sticks me with frustration's pins.

Somehow I'll have to cut this noose,
If all I'm left is self-abuse
Poor wretch I'll run from all this strife
And go and live a hermit's life
And meditate on lessons learned
From too much looking, rearward turned.

So I, whose verses folks call great,
Yet shuffle off without a mate.


(13/6/2009)