THE RUIN - Dafydd ap Gwilym Poems


Poems » dafydd ap gwilym » the ruin

Nothing but a ruin now
Between moorland and meadow,
Once the owners saw in you
A comely cottage, bright, new,
Now roof, rafters, ridge-pole, all
Broken down by a broken wall.

A day of delight was once there
For me, long ago, no care
When I had a glimpse of her
Fair in an ingle-corner.
Beside each other we lay
In the delight of that day.

Her forearm, snowflake-lovely,
Softly white, pillowing me,
Proffered a pleasant pattern
For me to give in my turn,
And that was our blessing for
The new-cut lintel and door.

Now the wild wind, wailing by,
Crashes with curse and with cry
Against my stones, a tempest
Born and bred in the East,
Or south ram-batterers break
The shelter that folk forsake.

Life is illusion and grief;
A tile whirls off, as a leaf
Or a lath goes sailing, high
In the keening of kite-kill cry.
Could it be our couch once stood
Sturdily under that wood?
Pillar and post, it would seem
Now are less than a dream.
Are you that, or only the lost
Wreck of a fiddle, rune-ghost?

"Dafydd, the cross on their graves
Marks what little it saves,
Says, They did well in their lives."