Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Took some Italian friends to see Kidwelly Castle this week and in one of the rooms we found a bronze statue of a wolf-hound which I presume to be Gelert.

Some time ago I wrote a poem dedicated to Prince Llewelyn and Gelert, seeing the bronze brought it back to mind, here it is:

Gelert’s return (A Welsh Prince's death-bed plea for forgiveness.)

Curse my anger for it was quick; my sword was even quicker,
when blood I spied upon your flank, and o'er the baby's wicker.
Oh stabbing blade that found your heart containing but affection,
be sheathed now in tearful sorrow, cast-off in sad reflection.

Now my turn has come oh faithful friend to join you in the chase,
for time has won the battle-royal and Death has shown his face.
So I lie here as a child once more, too weak to raise a hand,
and dwell upon our hunting days when we both ruled the land.

No finer friend to Prince or man could I ask for or be given.
And as I close my eyes, for the final sleep, I beg to be forgiven.
My son you saved, I knew it thereon, your courage I did not discern.
'Twas not his blood, but the wolf you killed, too late I was to learn.

Many years have passed; I bear them all, a weight upon my shoulders.
The heavier burden is within my heart, the shame forever smoulders.
If only I had stayed my hand which drew your life that day
I'd welcome death contentedly, and follow him on his way.

Oh Gelert! You come once more to my side, you lick my fevered brow.
Though night has fallen I feel you close, my soul is lightened now.
At peace, I may now seek to slumber, with your head upon my chest,
and we’ll hunt together once again, when I awaken from my rest.