A wandering saint in London: St Catroe and the great fire of c. 945

London is a city full of people on the move: immigrants, tourists, students and commuters enter and leave the city every day. Many people assume that in the middle ages, things were much more static. In fact, medieval London was a hub for travellers.

Today I want to look at the life of one wandering miracle worker who passed through late Anglo-Saxon London: St Catroe.

The young Catroe:

Catroe was from an aristocratic family in Scotland: one of those for whom the destiny of every member is mapped out for them, before they were even born.

This was very literally true for poor little Catroe: on the day of his conception, an angel appeared to his parents to tell them: ‘God has commanded that you shall conceive, and bear a son, Catroe by name, a future light of the church’, (Life of Catroe, p. 432). When his parents came to pick a nanny for the young child, Catroe’s mother was guided by a vision that a hawk landed on the lady’s shoulder, (Life, p. 432-3).

When his parents were deciding how best to educate young Catroe, a cousin named Bean of Iona burst into the room and declared that God had spoken to him and told him that the boy must become a priest. Catroe’s parents were a bit put out: their only son was ‘the staff of his parents’ age’, they said, the one who would support them as they got old. But immediately afterwards, they conceived a brother for Catroe despite their great age, (Life, p. 433-4). God had spoken. Catroe was going to holy orders.

The remains of the monastery of Iona, home to Bean of Iona. Commons licence, Ray Jones: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Abbey_on_the_Isle_of_Iona_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1459438.jpg

Many saints’ lives include heavenly signs and prophecies which point the holy man on to the right path. Most saints accept them gladly. Catroe though was a different sort of boy. He had a rebellious streak. He resented the way that Bean was moulding his life and telling him what he could be.

One day, news came to Catroe that his old nanny and her husband had been seized by Vikings. Catroe ran away from the monastery and armed himself. He pulled together a fleet of boats and pursued vengeance.

A Viking fleet, from a twelfth century manuscript. Public domain: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikinger.jpg

But Bean tracked the vengeful warrior down and told him: this isn’t God’s will. Catroe wouldn’t listen. Bean produced a copy of the gospels and opened it at a random verse: it read ‘If anyone take from thee what is thine, seek in not again’. The decision belonged to God, not Catroe, (Life, pp. 435-6).

Wandering mind, wandering spirit:

Catroe stayed with the church and worked hard. He was a natural prodigy:

‘all that poet has sung or orator spoken, all that philosopher has imagined, he learned; nothing escaped him. He exhausted everything that has been discovered by any one through number, measure and weight, through touch and hearing; lastly, the hidden movements and courses of the stars he described with compasses more learnedly than Eginus, than whom I doubt if any is more distinguished in the hierarchy of the sky’

Life of Catroe, p. 437).

Catroe established himself as a teacher of teachers: a sort of proto-professor, long before universities existed. His mind wandered far, but his body remained rooted firmly in place.

Armagh Cathedral: Catroe undertook much of his education at Armagh. Commons licence: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Armagh_Cathedral_(Church_of_Ireland).jpg

One night, whilst Catroe was praying, a voice spoke to him: ‘Depart from your land and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, and come into the land which I shall show you’, (Life, p. 438-9). Catroe immediately began to prepare for a pilgrimage.

Unfortunately, half of Scotland was set on stopping him. A mighty throng of people came forward and caught him at the monastery of St Brigit. It was led by Constantine, King of Alba (d. 952), who begged Catroe to stay for the good of the nation. It also included ‘a crowd of nobles and peasants’, who begged him not to leave. Catroe tried to reassure them: ‘I shall not forsake you since, wherever I am I shall keep you in my remembrance’. This wasn’t enough for them. They picked up the holy relics of the church and demanded that he yield to them. But Catroe could not be convinced.

The Book of Kells, which is thought to have been produced at Iona. Iona is one of the places where Catroe would have been educated, and may have taught. Public domain: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KellsFol032vChristEnthroned.jpg

The crowd still had one more trick up their sleeves. From the back of the church emerged Catroe’s own parents. They were not happy that he was leaving. ‘If we cannot prevail with prayers, we shall restrain you with imprisonment and iron chains!’ his father cried.

‘This is in your power’, Catroe replied, ‘but so long as I am in chains, I will by no means drink or eat’.

Constantine II, king of Alba; a portrait of an obviously much later date. Public domain: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Constantine_II_of_Scotland.jpg

Finally, the abbot of the monastery stepped forwards to mediate. Catroe would go but he would take some of the people with him. The king and the nobles would provide him with all that he could need: gold, silver, horses and men. Finally, Catroe could leave!

Catroe in London:

Catroe and his retinue headed south, to London. London must have come as a shock to a man raised in rural Scotland: it would have been far larger and more intimidating than any settlement he had ever seen before.

He stopped over in London with a man called Ecgfrith: the story is rather vague about who he was, beyond that he was powerful and had a hall large enough to host Catroe and his men.

A reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon interior. A workshop from the West Stow Anglo-Saxon village. Commons licence by Midnightblueowl, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:West_Stow_workshop_interior.jpg

During the night, Catroe would have been awoken by shouts and yells, and by the distant sound of roaring and of collapsing wood. The greatest of all of the urban hazzards had struck: a fire! Our storyteller says:

‘By carelessness, that city was set on fire, and the larger part of it was already consumed; triumphant flame was licking what remained. Then God chose to declare what merit Catroe had in him. He was asked by the old man to rescue by prayer those who were perishing.

Trusting in the Lord, Catroe ran between the fire and the remnants of the city. Turning to the Lord, he said: “Lord, everything that exists obeys you. Bid then the terrors of the raging flames to cease!”.

This he said, briefly, and he raised his hand and commanded the flames to die down. Then one might see the flame bent back as by the force of the wind and, gradually subsiding, die out. Thus, the city was delivered, to the joy of all’.

Life of Catroe, p. 441-2).
An Anglo-Saxon house on fire: detail from the Bayeux tapestry. Public domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BayeuxTapestryScene47.jpg

Catroe the wanderer:

Catroe had performed his first true miracle! His fame spread and he was quickly brought to meet the king and the archbishop of Canterbury. They lent him all of the assistance that they he asked for and Catroe was soon ready to set sail.

But at the coast, something strange happened. Catroe loaded all of his men and horses and goods onto ships and set out to sea. But the winds turned against them and drove them back to shore. The heavens were cursing the mission!

‘All were disturbed, but Catroe was attacked by grief’, his biographer tells us (Life, p. 442). He set about fasting until he collapsed, exhausted. As he lay weakly on the couch a voice spoke to him: ‘All those that are with you shall not be able to cross the see, lest they prevent you in God’s way that you have entered. Persuade therefore your men to return; and then, after crossing the see, you shall rejoicing be reach the father shore’, (Life, p. 443).

An image of a ship caught in a storm. Here, St Claudius intervenes and saves the sailors. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Book_of_Hours_of_Simon_de_Varie_-_KB_74_G37a_-_folio_010v.jpg

Catroe was a noble at birth: always surrounded by others, always with a retinue. He always had a powerful relative, telling him what his destiny was. But on that day, he dismissed his men. He stood alone on the beach and looked out at the wider world. He set sail on a voyage into the unknown. And he was alone.

Postscript:

Catroe would go on to travel across Europe. He would become a wandering monk and a miracle worker. Eventually he would settle at Metz in modern day Germany where he became abbot and teacher until his death in 971. At Metz he made a very significant impression on one of his pupils, Reimann, who would later go on to write a biography of his old teacher.

It is thanks to this biography that we know anything at all about Catroe’s adventures. Saints’ lives are an odd genre: the Life of Catroe is a mixture of convincingly realistic social and psychological detail, with some very odd visions and magical happenings.

Gorze Abbey, near Metz: one of the monastries at which Catroe served as a monk. Public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eglise_de_Gorze.JPG

Even amongst the medieval weirdness, I think there are some things that can speak through the ages. Many modern migrants would recognise Cathoe’s story of wanderlust. They can recognise both the pain of leaving behind their old life, and the promise that comes from striking out on your own. They can recognise his determination to make his name on his own, and on his own terms.

Catroe was only briefly in London, but I think his story can still speak to many Londoners today.

For further reading:

Alan Macquarrie, ‘Catroe’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, https://ezproxy-prd.bodleian.ox.ac.uk:4563/10.1093/ref:odnb/4312 (2004).

‘Life of St Catroe’, ed. and tr. A.O. Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History, A.D. 500 to 1286, pp. 431-443 https://archive.org/details/cu31924028144313/page/n589

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A pub crawl with Tudor poets, part 2: two gatherings of gossips

This is part two of a short series. We are doing a pub crawl through Tudor London, using poetry. You can find part one here.

                Song of the Gossips, (Balliol College, MS. 354)    

I much more artful and interesting poem is the ‘Song of the Gossips’. This one was collected by a London merchant and grocer called Richard Hill, who kept a personal notebook of fun poems and trivia from about 1509 to about 1536. Hill’s notebook is a great source, which I’m sure I’ll come back to often in this blog. His tastes in poems and literature were wide-ranging: we can use him with equal authority on religion, sex, beer brewing recipes, and even occult practices!

One of Hill’s appointments was as panter – a sort of party planner – to the city. This meant that some of his livelier poems might have been performed publicly at merchant booze-ups in the city. I can fully imagine that the “Song of the Gossips” might have gone down well at a party. It has a bouncy rhythm and there is a nice, simple, singalong chorus:

                How, Gossip mine, gossip mine?

                When will we go to the wine?

                Good gossips mine!

I like to imagine a whole tavern singing along. Sadly, no tune survives. Perhaps a modern folksinger can resurrect it? Anyway, lets get on to the poem:

I shall you tell a full good sport:

How gossips gather with those of their sort,

and they seek their bodies to comfort.

When they meet,

In lane or street.

Good gossip mine!

But I dare not, for their displeasure,

Tell of these matters half the substance!

But yet, somewhat of their governance (i.e. how they rule themselves)

As far as I dare,

I will declare.

Good gossips mine

The story proper starts with a group of ‘gossips’ who meet in the street. They challenge each other to show where the best wine is, and they shortly end up in a tavern. There, they summon all of their gossip friends and instruct them to order up a feast:

“Call forth our gossips, by and by!

 Eleanor, Joan and Margery,

Margret, Alice and Cecily,

For they will come,

Both all and some,

Good gossips mine!

And each of them will some food bring:

Goose or pig, or capon wing,

Pastes of pigeon, or some other thing!

For we must eat,

Some manner of meat.

Good gossip mine!

[…]

Now we be in the tavern set,

A draught of the best wine let them fetch,

To bring our husbands out of debt!

For we will spend,

Till God more sends!

Good gossips mine!

When we compare to ‘A talk of ten wives on their husband’s ware’, it is quite noticeable how much better developed these characters are. On a basic level, they have names! There is also some fun to be had out of a general sense of female companionship, and of eating and drinking together. They seem to have pre-existing relationships with each other, for example in one verse a woman sighs:

 “I wish Anne were here.

She would make us cheer”.

Anne never shows up – it is just a bit of unnecessary back story and characterisation which helps make the women feel a bit more real.

Satire-laced realism is also on display near the end of the poem, when a woman leaves without paying her part of the bill:

One cast down her shot, and went a way

“Gossip”, said Eleanor, “What, did she pay?”

Replied she, “Not a penny! Lo! Therefor I say

Now she shall not

Be one of our lot

Good gossips mine!”

The poem’s attention to society and reality has a darker side: it comes out through domestic violence.

Several women express fear that their husbands will beat them for having been in the pub. One of the women suggests that she need to sneak home and work out where her husband is: she fears that she will be beaten if her husband finds out that she was at the tavern. When they exit the pub at the end of the poem, they agree to walk around town and split up so that they don’t look like they’ve come from the pub: (“Turn down the street, when you come out/ And we will compass round about”).

In another verse a woman named Evis explains why she is sad:

                For my husband is so foul,

                He beats me like the devil of hell

                And the more I cry

                The less mercy”

Thankfully, this poor woman has two supportive friends. There is Alice, who curses men; and Margaret, who fights them:

                Alice, with a loud voice spoke then:

                “Evis”, she said, “Little good he can

                do that beats or strikes any woman,

                And especially his wife.

                God give him a short life!

                Good gossips mine.

                Meek Margret said: “So may I thrive,

                I know of no man who is alive,

                Who can give me two strokes, but he gets five!

                I am not affeared,

                Though he have a beard!

                Good gossips mine!

In “A talk of ten wives on their husband’s ware”, some fairly tame criticisms are hurled at mankind. But in the “Song of the Gossips”, the satire has a much more savage bite. The poem very directly faces up to the everyday violence that many women faced.

The poem ends on a lighter note:

This is the plan that gossips take:

Once in a week, merry will they make,

And all small drinks they will forsake.

But wine of the best,

Shall have no rest.

Good gossips mine!

Some be at the tavern thrice in the week,
And some be there every day, each!

Or else they will groan and make themselves sick.

For things used,

Will not be refused,

Good gossips mine!

One thing that I really like about this poem is the way that it really focuses on the women, their relationships and their conversations. It is a satirical and over the top portrait of tavern life.

The conversation topics for the women feel very familiar: food! drink! money! married partners! friends who haven’t come out tonight! Plans for after the pub! Husbands are only one of the many topics.

It still probably represents a man’s eye view of these things – note for instance that all of the women are said to be spending their husband’s money. In fact many women in medieval London earned their own money from spinning or brewing. It is quite likely that many of the women would have been spending their own money. Our poet doesn’t seem to have thought of that.

If you want to read more of this poem then you can find it in Songs, carols and other Miscellaneous Poems, Ed. Roman Dyboski, (London, 1907), here.

You can see Richard Hill’s manuscript here

                Samuel Rowlands, ‘Tis Merry when Gossips meet, (London, 1609)

The latest of our texts is also by far the longest at about 20 pages. It is also unique because we know the name of its author. Like the ‘Song of the Gossips’, this poem sees several ‘Gossips’ gather in the tavern and talk somewhat broadly about life. However, in this instance there are only three. They have titles rather than names: Widow, Wife and Maid.

Widow and wife are cousins, but Maid’s connections are a bit less clear: if we read this literally then this poem presents us with a family trip to the pub. However, this isn’t just a family reunion. The poet has assembled three women to represent the three stages of a woman’s life: childhood, adulthood and old age. There is an allegory about age hanging over this poem which means that it is not just satirising pub culture and daily life.

Widow acts as the ringleader, and draws the other two women to the pub:

                Widow:                Here’s widow, wife and maid: In faith, lets drink!

                                                A parting pint, and so good make us even.

                                                Slip in, good cousin, you are net to the door.

                                                One pint of kindness and away, no more!

                Wife:                     No, in good faith: I say I must away,

                                                My husband is forth, our shop must be tended.

                Maid:                    My mothers gone to church, I cannot stay.

                                                If I be found from home, she’ll be offended

                Widow:                I’ll lead the way myself: Lord here’s a life!

                                                I know these shifts, since I was Maid and wife. (Page 10)

Wife suggests that they take a quick pint standing at the pub’s street hatch. The crafty old woman doesn’t want to drink in the street. She cajoles them upstairs, where they procure a private room.

Widow relishes her freedom, but wants to spend it away from the company of men. She explains that you couldn’t pay her to drink in front of men, but she will act as she likes around women:

                Widow:                No lovers nor suitors here that sees it,

                                                We have good time and liquor, lets not lose it. (Page 12)

Despite this, the widow can’t secure a female only retreat in the way that she’d like. The room keeps being invaded by men.

At one point it is a fiddler, who plays for money:

“Shut the door pray cousin, after that base groom

We’ll have no fiddling knave disgrace our room!”.

Another unwelcome male invasion is more insidious: tobacco smoke seeps out from the male parts of the pub. Tobacco was a new fad that was becoming popular as England was establishing its first Virginia colonies. The three women are less than impressed: The widow remarks “Fou! what a filthy smell? / As sure as death I am even likely to choke”. The wife remarks that she has forbidden her husband to smoke, and summons juniper to clear the air, (page 28).

A third unwelcome male intervention comes in the form of a laughing serving boy. The widow immediately assumes that his laugher is a personal insult to her dignity. She upbraids him fiercely, demands don’t you know who I am???, and threatens to boycott the pub.

The real joy of this poem isn’t really in its observations about pub culture though. They mostly come from having three female characters at different stages of life talk about themselves.

The widow is the dominant character. She has wealth, and no man to tell her what to do. She clearly relishes the freedom that this gives her. The widow has strong views on men and their beauty: she has a lingering hatred for gingers, but declares “I love a black man, cousin, with my soul” (22). I think she means black hair, but frankly it isn’t totally clear. She tells us that she is being courted by a kind and handsome man, though also one who has “prettie lands” (page 19). She is wily and knows all the tricks in the book, and has been feigning illness in order to test how interested he is. The widow is by turns scandalous, cynical and skilful. She is fully able to live without a man; and if she does live with one, can bend and manipulate him to her will. She is, in short, the worst nightmare of many of the male readers of this text!

The widow is highly nostalgic and has a tendency to reminisce about past times. She has clearly always had an active social life. At one point, a woman called Jane is mentioned, who Widow used to party with. Jane and Widow used to live in Bucklersbury together, a central street just of Cheapside. Now however Jane has married a man called Roger and moved out to London Wall, far from the heart of the city:

                Widow:                Lord, the pranks that we mad wenches played!

                                                My mistress got my master to consent

                                                One midsummer, she being very ill,

                                                to leave the city and go lie in Kent.

                                                By which good hap, we had the house at will:

                                                There Roger, Jane and I met every night…

                                                No music in the evening we did lack,

                                                Such dancing, cousin, you would hardly think it;

                                                Whole pottles of the daintiest burned sack,

                                                It would doo a wench good at the heart to drink it

                                                Such a store of tickling galliards, I do vow,

                                                Not an old dance, but “John Come kiss me now”. (page 13)

By contrast, the wife is more sober and conservative. The Widow represents a “radical” position of being able to live without a man. By contrast the wife is much more dependent. She voices strong support for the idea that every woman should be married off. She also supports the idea that marriage should be as young as possible, to save girls from teenage lechery. She is very proud of her husband and a bit defensive of him. But she also declares that she doesn’t care if he knows she has been to the pub. She boasts of her ability to use feigned sicknesses to manipulate him.

Her youth appears to have been conservative and conventional:

                Yet trust me cousin, when I was a girl,

                For tavern, no young man could get me to it.

                Neither love, gold, precious stones, or pearl.

                My tongue denied, when my hard inclined to do it.

                For, by my faith, I ever loved good wine,

                But often refrained, I was so maiden fine. (Page 25)

The Maid is young and inexperienced, aged only 15. After only one cup, she remarks “Good Lord, I am become a mighty drinker!” (Page 12), so she is clearly something of a lightweight. She is in general the quietest member of the group, and is often happy to ask questions rather than say much. She states that she will only marry a handsome man, and expresses wishes to marry for love: “A fig for wealth, ‘tis person I affect” (26).

Most of their conversation however ends up being about men and age: specifically, is it better to be a maid, a wife or a widow? It is a long argument and I’m not going to repeat it all. They don’t quite come to a conclusion, but I’d suggest that the Widow often seems to have the best of it. Ultimately, it is an interesting slice of pub culture, but is perhaps more noticable for its attempts to satire women and their relationship with men.

If you want to read more, you can find a nineteenth century edition here.

Summing up

Our three poems have strong similarities. They all start with a group of women meeting by chance in the street and heading to be pub. They all show groups of women who start to talk about things that they couldn’t if men were present. They all carry with them a sense of scandal, satire and naughty fun.

Beyond this, they take some noticeably different routes. “A talk of ten wives on their husband’s ware” takes a highly bawdy route that will scandalise and titillate its readers. “Tis merry when Gossips meet” mixes scandal and satire of social relationships with a more thoughtful discussion of age and social status amongst women. Meanwhile the “Song of the Gossips” is an ode to female friendships and the importance of female relationships, with a good dose of humour and satire thrown in.

Each of the poems is about satirising and mocking drunken women. But in each of them, the women gain a sort of power through companionship and time spent away from men. The poems are not totally comfortable reading for men. “A talk of ten wives on their husband’s ware mocks male inadequacy right where it hurts. The “Song of the Gossips” raises the idea that many men are tyrants. Even when women come together in the pub for jollity and fun, their steps home have to be guided by a fear about male violence. In “Tis Merry When Gossips Meet”, the widow raises the frightening (to Tudor men at least) prospect of a woman who is not dependent on men, nor is supervised by them. The Tudors used pub songs to talk about these fears, inadequacies and insecurities. Even in their laughter, there is sometimes something dark and a bit painful.

A Pub crawl with Tudor Poets, part 1: A bawdy ballad of the 1400s

This is part one of a two part blog. You can find part two here

The pub today is at the centre of the social lives of many English communities. It’s a centre of community life, fun and sociability. You can often learn a lot about a local area and its people from its pubs.

So one way that we might try to get to know Tudor London is by visiting one of its pubs. In this blog I want to look at some of the poetry and literature that came out of Tudor England that celebrated the pub and pub culture. By looking at how Londoners had fun and relaxed, I hope we can see humanise the past a bit.

One thing that is surprising about Tudor pub literature is that an awful lot of it focuses on one topic: women! Many modern pubs remain quite manly spaces. This might well have been true for the Tudors too: female pubgoers are portrayed as massive cliques of raucous women, much like modern hen parties. This invasion of a manly space by large groups of women was, of course, ripe for comedy.

So for today’s blog we are going to go on a sort of literary pub crawl with three city poets. Each of them describes a group of women in the pub. All are satirical and humorous; sometimes they are dirty, other times surprisingly sad. Whether they reflect real pub culture or not, they give us an insight into the sort of things that readers in Tudor London found funny.

A talk of ten wives on their husband’s ware (National Library of Wales, MS. Porkington 10, a manuscript of the late 1400s)

The oldest of our three poems is also the one that puts city men’s insecurities most obviously on show.

This poem, rather like the Canterbury Tales, starts with an assembly of people in the pub. In this case though this assembly consists of ten women. As with the Canterbury Tales, our heroines decide to create a competition in which everyone present should tell a tale.

                Leave off, and listen to me

                Two words or three

                And harken to my song

                And I shall tell you a tale

                How ten wives sat at Ale

                with no man them among.

                [The first said:] “Since we have no other song

                For to sing us among

                Tales let us tell

                Of our husband’s ware

                Which of them most worthy are

                Today to bear the bell. (i.e. to win the competition)

Husband’s “ware” here could mean their goods, perhaps suggesting that their husbands are merchants. However, it is also a euphemism. She has actually challenged everyone to tell a tale about their husbands’ penises.

If this poem is to be believed – (hint: it isn’t) – then one thing united wives in the late 1400s: they all had tales of woe to tell about their husband’s penises. Here is a representative example:

                The third wife was full of woe

                And said, “I too have one of those

                That does nothing at time of need

                Our sir’s breech, when it is ajar,

                His pentil peeps out before

                Like a worm’s head.

                It grows all within the hair!

                Such a one saw I never

                Standing upon a groin!

                Yet the shrew is hoodless

                And in all things is useless!

                For that, Christ give him care!

The poem is, as you can see, not very high brow. In fact, it is often both crude and artless. Our poet had a clear taste for “gross-out” humour. Each woman’s woes are pretty similar and overall the poem feels a bit repetitive.

Most of the wives either complain about small penises, or about impotence:

                The ninth wife sat them night

                And held her sausage up high

                The length of a foot:

                “Here is a pentil of fair length;

                But it bears a sorry strength.

                God do him good!

                I bow him, I bend him,

                I stroke him, I wend him;

                The devil may him starve!

                But be he hot, be he cold,

                Though I could tear him twofold

                Yet he may not serve”

By the end of the poem, the wives (and the poet) have quite forgotten that this was a competition and there was meant to be a winner. Then again, the wives probably believe that no husband was worthy to win it. If you take this poem at face value – (and again, you shouldn’t do that) – then married women were having a pretty miserable time in the late 1400s. No wonder they turned to drink!

Men may not come off very well in this poem, but I still think that this is quite a man’s poem. It is built wholly around a penis joke and there is no attempt to characterise the women or show their friendships. When women are left alone, they have nothing to talk about but men and their penises! It strikes me as something that would go down well as a private joke between men in the 1400s, but probably not as a great sample of real tavern talk

If you want to know more about this poem, you can find an edition here

You can see the original poem in its manuscript context on the website of the National Library of Wales. Our poem starts on image 114, here

This is part one of a two part blog. You can find part two here