Taliesin is the son of Cerridwen, and god of the bards. The tale of his birth is an interesting one – Cerridwen brews up a potion in her magical cauldron to give to her son Afagddu (Morfran), and puts the young servant Gwion in charge of guarding the cauldron. Three drops of the brew fall upon his finger, blessing him with the knowledge held within. Cerridwen pursues Gwion through a cycle of seasons until, in the form of a hen, she swallows Gwion, disguised as an ear of corn. Nine months later, she gives birth to Taliesin, the greatest of all the Welsh poets. Cerridwen contemplates killing the infant but changes her mind; instead she throws him into the sea, where he is rescued by a Celtic prince, Elffin (alternately Elphin).
This poem, translated by John Mathews, speaks to us about going within, finding answers, and sharing with others what we learn. Everyone should offer the diverse strands of their wisdom because we are all traveling upon the path of truth and enlightenment. When we discover our truth, it touches our soul in the darkest corners: and it leads us to our brightest horizons. I hope you enjoy it.
Taliesin and the Lake of Vision
In the high places of the land,
the song of the Poet continues.
offering its unequalled orisons
to all who listen, beating down
on the mirrored lake of dreams.
Here, the King’s Poet,
Taliesin of the Radiant Brow,
utters a new blessing:
that all who seek, find;
that all who find, offer
the diverse strands of their wisdom-
whether found at the Cauldron’s rim
or the inward beating heart-
to all who seek in turn.
The Poet’s message rings in the soul’s cage
like a bright bird, caught
in the chiming moment;
offers a truth that echoes
in the darkest corners-
in the highest spires-
of the blessed land.
With him, we come to the edge;
remembering all we have given,
we descend to a place
of newly turned earth,
where the fires are banked
and the Cauldron feeds
both heart, mind and soul.