The Girls of Llanbadarn

I am one of passion's asses,

Plague on all these parish lasses!

Though I long for them like mad,

Not one female have I had,

Not a one in all my life,

Virgin, damsel, hag, or wife.

What maliciousness, what lack,

What does make them turn their back?

Would it be a shame to be

In a bower of leaves with me?

No one's ever been so bitched,

So bewildered, so bewitched

Saving Garwy's lunatics

By their foul fantastic tricks.

So I fall in love, I do,

Every day, with one or two,

Get no closer, any day,

Than an arrow's length away.

Every single Sunday, I,

Llanbadarn can testify,

Go to church and take my stand

With my plumed hat in my hand,

Make my reverence to the altar,

Find the right page in my psalter,

Turn my back on holy God,

Face the girls, and wink, and nod

For a long, long time, and look

Over feather, at the folk.

Suddenly, what do I hear?

A stage whisper, all too clear,

A girl's voice, and her companion

Isn't slow at catching on.

" See that simple fellow there,

Pale and with his sister's hair

Giving me those leering looks

Wickeder than any crook's?"

" Don't you think that he's sincere?"

Asks the other in her ear.

" All I'll give him is Get out!

Let the Devil take the lout!"

Pretty payment, in return

For the love with which I burn.

Burn for what? The bright girl's gift

Offers me the shortest shrift.

I must give them up, resign

These fear-troubled hopes of mine:

Better be a hermit, thief,

Anything, to bring relief.

Oh, strange lesson, that I must

Go companionless and lost,

Go because I looked too long,

I, who loved the power of song.

Author of original: 
Dafydd ap Gwilym
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