Arthur Machen: A Novelist of Ecstasy and Sin/The Remembrance of the Bard


In the darkness of old age let not my memory fail:
Let me not forget to celebrate the beloved land of Gwent.
If they imprison me in a deep place, in a house of pestilence,
Still shall I be free, remembering the sunshine upon Mynydd Maen.
There have I listened to the song of the lark, my soul has ascended with the song of the little bird:
The great white clouds were the ships of my spirit, sailing to the haven of the Almighty.
Equally to be held in honour is the site of the Great Mountain.
Adorned with the gushing of many waters—sweet is the shade of its hazel thickets.
There a treasure is preserved which I will not celebrate;
It is glorious and deeply concealed.

If Teils should return, if happiness were restored to the Cymri,
Dewi and Dyfrig should serve his Mass; then a great marvel would be made visible.
O blessed and miraculous work! then should my bliss be as the joy of angels.
I had rather behold this offering than kiss the twin lips of dark Gwenllian.
Dear my land of Gwent: O quam dilecta tabernacula.
Thy rivers are like precious golden streams of Paradise, thy hills are as the Mount Syon.
Better a grave on Twyn Barlwm than a throne in the palace of the Saxons at Caer-Ludd.

Arthur Machen