verse beg. Fechid diristan ochiwod

  • Middle Welsh
  • verse

Two englynion in the Black Book of Carmarthen which appear to allude to a version of the Tristan legend. Mention is made of Tristan (Diristan), Mark (March) and Cyheig. The englynion have often been treated together with the awdl preceding them in the manuscript (beg. Kyd karhwiu e morva cassaau e mor), because both name a figure called Cyheig and because there has been an assumption, though now contested, that they are united through a narrative background in the Tristan legend.

In Jarman’s diplomatic edition, the englynion and the preceding poem are headed Dau ddarn o chwedl Trystan (‘Two fragments from the legend of Tristan’) and distinguished under subheadings (a) and (b).
First words (verse)
  • Fechid diristan ochiwod
  • Middle Welsh
verse (primary)
englyn milwr
    Number of stanzas
    2 englynion
    Textual relationships
    Related: Kyd karhwiu e morva cassaau e morKyd karhwiu e morva cassaau e mor

    An awdl of 16 lines in the Black Book of Carmarthen, in which a repentant speaker expresses hope for reconciliation and conjures images of the sea. The narrative background remains obscure. Bromwich argued that the two subsequent englynion in the manuscript belong to the same poem and that the full poem alludes to a version of the Tristan legend. Rowland has been more sceptical of this view and has suggested instead that it is a court poem in which a bardic poet seeks reconciliation with his patron.



    Tragic hero of the Tristan and Iseult (W. Trystan ac Esyllt) legend.
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    Mark of CornwallMark of Cornwall
    (supp. fl. c.6th century)
    (time-frame ass. with Arthurian literature)
    An early king of Cornwall in the Tristan legend, according to which he was Iseult’s husband and Tristan’s uncle.
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    Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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    Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

    [ed.] [tr.] Rowland, Jenny, Early Welsh saga poetry: a study and edition of the englynion, Cambridge: Brewer, 1990.  

    Contents : Part I. Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Chapter 1. The Llywarch Hen poems -- Appendix: early Welsh genealogical tracts -- Chapter 2. The Urien Rheged poems -- Chapter 3. Canu Heledd : I. The historical background, II. The poems -- Appendix: edition and text of Marwnad Cynddylan -- Chapter 4. Claf Abercuawg and penitential lyrics -- Chapter 5. Miscellaneous saga poems and the performance of the saga englynion -- Chapter 6. Other genres using the three-line englyn metres -- Chapter 7. Metrics, authorship, language, dating. -- Part II: Edition and translation of the texts -- The manuscripts of the saga englynion -- Editorial note -- Texts: Canu Llywarch -- Canu Heledd: Prologue, [etc.] ... [incl.] ‘Englynion Cadwallon’ -- ‘Claf Abercuawg’ and ‘Kyntaw geir’ -- Miscellaneous saga poems: Llym awel -- Geraint fab Erbin -- Gwyn ap Nudd -- Mi a wum -- Taliesin and Ugnach -- Seithennin -- Gwallawg -- Ysgolan -- Trystan fragments -- The three Juvencus englynion -- Miscellaneous stanzas. -- Translations -- Notes -- Abbreviations -- Bibliography -- General index -- Index to the textual notes.

    466 (text); 510 (translation); 248, 252–254, 260–262, 265–266 (discussion)
    [dipl. ed.] Jarman, A. O. H. [ed.], Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin, Cardiff: National University of Wales, 1982.
    74 [id. 35. ‘Dau ddarn o chwedl Trystan (b)’]
    [ed.] [tr.] Loth, Joseph, “Contributions à l’étude des romans de la Table Ronde”, Revue Celtique 33 (1912): 249–310, 403–413, 414–416 (add. et corr.).
    Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link>

    Secondary sources (select)

    Rowland, Jenny, “Trystan and Esyllt”, in: Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, and Erich Poppe (eds), Arthur in the Celtic languages: the Arthurian legend in Celtic literatures and traditions, 9, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2019. 51–63.
    Bromwich, Rachel, “The ‘Tristan’ poem in the Black Book of Carmarthen”, Studia Celtica 14–15 (1979–1980): 54–65.
    Dennis Groenewegen
    Page created
    May 2022, last updated: October 2022