May 10, 2020

The Leader of Heaven Has Left the Nation Without a Roof

The Death of King Arthur, by James Archer

Here is a translation from the funeral ode Marwnad Uthyr Pendragon which can be found in Rodney Castleden's The Element Encyclopedia of the Celts

The entry tells us that, although this was at one time thought to be instead an ode to King Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon, the word "uter" can actually be an adjective that can mean either "Terrible" or "Wonderful."

"Pendragon," on the other hand, was a Celtic title for the dux bellorum or High King (the titles are also mentioned in my previous post on King Arthur).

Which means that the following excerpt of the funeral ode could be for none other than King Arthur instead:

They crave with longing for a portion of your cause
And for refuge in the manliness of Arthur.
They long for your coming in a hundred fortresses.
A hundred manors long for your assurances.
They long for your coming in a hundred schools.
A hundred chieftains long for your coming:
The great and mighty sword that supported them. 
They look for your best judgments of merit,
The restoration of principalities.
Your sayings are remembered, soothing the aggressive.
...
The Leader of Heaven has left the nation without a roof.


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