For Veteran's Day, a poem from Storyteller Songs:
twice-nine score of shining shields,
twice-nine score of piercing spear-points
followed Rhun through Lleyn’s dark fields—
moonlight bright upon their shields.
Silent as the gray hunt riding,
silent in the mist and rain,
silently to win their vengeance
Rhun’s men rode to deal death’s pain—
strike the raiders down in shame.
Twenty score of reavers sleeping,
twenty score of red-tusked boars,
twenty score with blood-lust sated
snored unknowing by the shore—
they would see their homes no more!
Swords flashed silver in the moonlight,
swords rang bright in fight with foe,
sword-blades blood-red blazed by firelight—
burning ships gave brighter glow,
till they sank the waves below!
Fierce our warriors cleaving shields there,
fierce their spear-thrusts, pangs of pain,
fierce great Rhun, red wolf of battle
reaping men like Irish grain—
sowing bones about the plain!
Praise King Rhun whose wisdom led us,
praise all men who did great deeds,
praise those most who fell in battle
paying blood-price for their mead—
let all bards proclaim their deeds!
Gwyn the Strong sits not at table,
Ifor Goch no more will fight,
Cynan Hir dines with his fathers,
Dinfael knows no more the light—
these and more have left our sight.
Twice-nine score rode forth to battle,
twice-nine score to kill or die,
twice-nine score did mighty slaughter—
for the fallen praise I cry—
not forgotten will they lie!
- from The Ash Spear