The Dream (Y Breuddwyd)

As I dozed deep in my den,
Fast asleep and fast hidden,
There came a dream with the dawn,
A daybreak dream, dawn’s vision.
I was hunting, in my hands
The leashes of lithe greyhounds,
When I found at the forest-side
A lord’s mansion, a man’s pride.
Straightway I slipped them loose,
My silk hounds, my sweet chasers,
And heard from the hiding trees
The hunt’s cries, their hot voices.
A white hind out of hiding
Cantered into the clearing.
As one hunting animal
My tall hounds were on her trail.
They coursed her, they took her track,
Hunted her on the hill’s back,
Harried her on the bare height,
Turned her, and formed her flight,
Until, tamed by her terror,
She asked me to protect her.
I felt her white breath ask it —
Then woke hungry in my hut.
Beneath a brisk morning sun
I searched for the wise woman.
I told her as I knew it
The narrative of my night.
“Old woman, so much I saw.
Unless you can tell me more
I’ll carry a hundred wounds,
Without hope till the world ends.”
“Young man, prove you are a man
And I’ll cure you of your pain.
The candid hounds at your hand
Are sweet words at your command,
Your runners of the right course,
Your lissom love-messengers;
The white doe—sing her praises—
A girl dazzling as heat-haze.
The good Lord’s your guardian.
She will come to your keeping.”
—Leslie Norris (from the Welsh of Dafydd ap Gwilym ,fl. 1340)