Al Khansa: Could I only have died of sadness!
Ben Jonson: On my first sonne

Goronwy Owen: Elegy for his daughter Ellen

Too sad is the grief in my heart! down my cheeks run salt streams. I have lost my Ellen of the hue of fair weather, my bright-braided merry daughter.

Elin_nelly_2My darling, bright-shaped, beautiful, my warm-smiling angel; a golden speech was the infant talk of her lips, the girl of the colour of the stars (what profit now to speak?), whose form was delicate, whose voice was soft, with a happy cry to welcome her father, that orphaned man. Orphaned is her father, with a crushing wound in his pierced and broken heart, in inconsolable distress-- how well I know, bound down with my yearning for her!

Since I lost my neat slender girl, all the time I mourn her sadly and ponder on her ways. When I think of her, anguish springs up and wretched affliction in my breast, my heart is faint for her and broken because of her; it is a pang to speak of her, my trim daughter, of the dear gentle words she uttered, and of her delicate pale white hands.

Farewell, my soul, my joyful gay princess, farewell again, my Nelly, pure of heart, farewell  my pretty little merry daughter, my angel, resting in the midst of the graveyard at Walton, until the far assembly of the white Saints and the cry of the clamour of the unfailing Messengers. When the earth shall give up its meek and innocent, when the throngs shall be summoned from the mighty oceans, you shall get, my soul, you too, a fine gold crown and a place in the light of the host of angels.

    --Goronwy Owen (1723-1769), translated by Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson. Thanks to Martha  for the Welsh text.

Mae cystudd rhy brudd i'm bron - 'rhyd f' wyneb
Rhed afon ydd heilltion;
Collais Elin, liw hinon,
Fy ngeneth oleubleth lon!

Anwylyd, olenbryd lân,
Angyles, gynnes ei gwên,
Oedd euriaith mabiaith o'i min,
Eneth liw ser (ni thal son:)
Oedd fwyn llais, adfain ei llun,
I'w thad, ys ymddiafd ddyn!
Ymddifad ei thad a thwn
Archoll yn ei friwdoll fron,
Ynghur digysur, da gwn,
Yn gaeth o'm hiraeth am hon.

Er pan gollais feinais fanwl,
Gnawd yw erddi ganiad awrddwl,
A meddwl am ei moddion;
I'an gofiwyf poen a gyfyd,
A dyfryd gur i'm dyfron,
A golyth yw y galon
Erddi ac am dani 'n donn,
A aseth yw son,
Eneth union.
Am anwyl eirian mwynion - a ddywaid,
A'i heiddil gannaid ddwylo gwynnion.

Yn iach, f' ennaid, hoenwych fanon,
Neli, 'n iach eilwaith, lân ei chalon,
Yn iach, fy merch lwysfach lon - f' anglyes,
Gorphwys ym mynwes monwent Walton.
Nes hwnt dy gynnull at saint gwynnion,
Gan lef dolef dilyth genhadon;
Pan roddo'r ddacar ei gwâr gwirion,
Pan gyrcher lluoedd moroedd mawrion,
Cai, f' enaid, deg euaid goron - dithau,
A lle yngolau llu angylion.

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