Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Praise of St David's Day Showing the reason why the Welch-men Honour the leeke on this day

Today as has become traditional I mark St David's Day/ Dydd Dewi Sant. Saint David is the patron saint of Wales. This day was chosen to  commemorate St David's death on this day around 589 AD. It has been celebrated as a national day within Wales since the 18th century.
The Praise of St David's Day is reprinted from They look at Wales (1941) from an early black-letter broadside  in the British Museum library. It refers to the original Trojan  of the  Welsh  people. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth in the twelfth century, Brutus of Troy conquered Britain and fathered  the British people. Disputed by English scholars in the nineteenth century, this view of history remained gospel for patriotic Welshmen 'till the eighteenth century.

Who list to reade the deeds
   by valiant Welch-men done,
Shall find them worthy men of Armes,
  as breathes beneath the sunne;
They are of valiant hearts,
  of nature kind and  meeke,
An  honour on St David's Day;
   it is to wear a leeke.

The Welch most ancient is
   of this famous land,
Who were the first that conquered  it,
  by force and warlike hand.
From Troy stout Brute did come,
 this kingdome for  to seeke;
Which was possessed by savage men,
 then honoured be the Leeke.

He having won the same,
  and  put them to the sword :
Of Brute did Britaine first take name,
 as Chronicles record
The Welch true Brittaines are,
  whose swords in blood did reeke,
Of Pagan men being heathenish,
  then honoured by the Leeke.

And know if you would know,
  why they the Leeked do weare;
In honour of St David's day,
  it plainly shall appeare.
Upon St David's day,
  And first of March that weeke,
The Welch-men with their foes did joyne,
  then honoured by the Leeke.

And being in the field,
  their valour they did try;
Where thousands on both sides  being slaine,
  within their bloods did lye.
And they not knowing how
  their friends from foe to seeke;
Into a Gardem they did go,
  where each one pulld a Leeke :

And wore it in his hat,
  their Countrymen to know ;
And  then most valiantly they did
  o'ercome their warlike foe.
Then were noe colours knowne,
  or any feathers eeke;
The feathers first  originall,
  it was the Welch-mans Leeke.

And ever since that time,
  the Leek they use to weare,
In honour of St David's day,
  They doe that Trophy beare.
A Reverend Bishop was
  St David mild and meeke,
And 'tis an honour that same day,
  for them to wear a Leeke.

All the best on this day, heddwch/peace
happy St David's day/ Dydd Dewi Sant.

No comments:

Post a Comment