Woe that I live in times so sick
When God is setting like a sun
And in his place, as serf and king,
Man stands to raise his ugly throne.
When he believed that God was gone
He faced his brother with the sword.
Now death is roaring in our ears,
Shadowing the shanties of the poor.
The old and silenced harps are hung
On yonder willow trees again.
The screams of boys are on the wind.
Their blood is blended in the rain.
by Hedd Wyn
Gwae fi fy myw mewn oes mor ddreng
A Duw ar drai ar orwel pell;
O'i ôl mae dyn, yn deyrn a gwreng,
Yn codi ei awdurdod hell.
Pan deimlodd fyned ymaith Dduw
Cyfododd gledd i ladd ei frawd;
Mae swn yr ymladd ar ein clyw,
A'i gysgod ar fythynnod tlawd.
Mae'r hen delynau genid gynt
Ynghrog ar gangau'r helyg draw,
A gwaedd y bechgyn lond y gwynt,
A'u gwaed yn gymysg efo'r glaw.
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Hedd Wyn, born Ellis Humphrey Evans, (13 January 1887 – 31 July 1917) was a Welsh language poet of World War I. He was posthumously awarded the Chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod, having been killed at the Battle of Passchendaele.
A.Z. Foreman is a freelance translator and a recent graduate of the University of Chicago where he majored in linguistics. He divides his time between language acquisition, food, sleep and his blog which can be found at poemsintranslation.blogspot.com