Dyn a oedd yn mynd i Gaerlleon ar neges

This short stanza, written in the englyn metre, is of a common type of humorous occasional verse, composed to be delivered aloud to a listening audience. The point of the poem is to make fun of the authority of Chester and its mayor. A knife was the sort of gift that a poet might expect from a patron in exchange for praise-poetry; the suggestion is that the mayor of Chester is too mean, or too unappreciative of poetry, to give such a gift. The reference to the ‘cross’ may well signify the holy relic in the church of St John the Baptist, and may be used here as a metonymy for Chester’s wealth and status in the region.

Author: Unknown (15th-16th c.)

Metre: Englyn


1Od ai di i Gaer, arch i’r maer roi imi gyllell;
  O gollwng ddim i ti,
    I ddiawl geniog;
  Ni feddai groes i ymgroesi
   5Pe cawn Caer a’r maer i mi.