The Dragons of Dinas Emrys


Gwrtheyrn, Vortigern, traitor king of Britain,
Fleeing savage Saxon soldiers, mercinaries
He hired to harrass Picts and Scots on the coast,
To the ruin of us all.

Flee to Gwynedd, scoundrel king
Build a fortress to protect from your sins.
But the towers won’t stand,
Battlements built in the day,
Lay in rubble by the morn.

“The foundations will not hold,”
The sorry king is told
Wise men try to suss the reason why
Else thier crafty king will surely die.

Wise men, such as they are,
Suggest slaughtering a fatherless child,
Blood soaked foundation stones, they say
Will stand strong against Saxon spears.

Emrys, a boy, is found fatherless in faraway Moridunon,
Birthplace of Madman Myrddin, who some say he is,
Though born of Morfryn the sylvan seer was.
Emrys Wledig he was, others say,
Though that Emrys’ father the Royal Roman purple wore.

Die the boy did not, no matter his father’s fate,
He saw true, a visionary he was, the cause of the king’s grief:

Under the hill where the fort was built,
A pool containing two vases, together stuck.
Within the vases a tent, within the tent
Two dragons of old, placed here for safety
By old king Lludd in bygone days.
For the warmth of the tent two dragons faught,
Fighting disturbed the dirt above,
Weakened the foundation, toppled the walls.

“The red dragon is Briton and ours,
The white dragon is Saxon and thiers,”
Young prophet Emrys did advise,
“The tent is your kingdom,
Fight for it they do, fight for it you must,
But not here and not now.
This land is mine.”


Pronunciation Key:
Emrys = Em-riss
Gwrtheyrn = Gwerth-eye-urn
Gwynedd = Gwin-eth
Myrddin = Mer-thin
Morfryn = Mor-Frin
Wledig = W-led-ig
Lludd = H-looth

Image:Illumination of a 15th century manuscript of Historia Regum Britanniae showing king of the Britons Vortigern and Ambros watching the fight between two dragons. Via WikiMedia Commons