Uther Pendragon’s Death Song


This is by far my most favourite poem ever written, it was written by King Uther Pendragon of Britain ( King Rigotomos father ) on his death bed encapsulating his life. Historians believe King Rigotomos was the King that King Arthur was based on. This manuscript is over 1,400 years old ( original image above ), the translation is pretty good. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Am I not with hosts making a din?
I would not cease, between two hosts, without gore.
Am I not he that is called Gorlassar?
My belt was a rainbow to my foe.
Am I not a prince, in darkness,
(To him) that takes my appearance with my two chief baskets?
Am I not, like Cawyl, ploughing?
I would not cease without gore between two hosts.
Is it not I that will defend my sanctuary?
In separating with the friends of wrath.
Have I not been accustomed to blood about the wrathful,
A sword-stroke daring against the sons of Cawrnur?
I shared my shelter,
a ninth share in Arthur’s valour.
I broke a hundred forts.
I slew a hundred stewards.
I bestowed a hundred mantles.
I cut off a hundred heads.
I gave to an old chief
very great swords of protection.
Is it not I that performed the rights of purification,
When Hayarndor went to the top of the mountain?
To my deprivation, to my sorrow, sinew was brave.
The world would not be if not for my offspring.
I am a bard to be praised. The unskilful
May he be possessed by the ravens and eagle and bird of wrath.
Avagddu came to him with his equal,
When the bands of four men feed between two plains.
Abiding in heaven was he, my desire,
Against the eagle, against the fear of the unskilful.
I am a bard, and I am a harper,
I am a piper, and I am a crowder.
Of seven score musicians the very great enchanter.
There was of the enamelled honor the privilege.
Hu of the expanded wings.
Thy son, thy barded proclamation,
Thy steward, of a gifted father.
My tongue to recite my death-song.
If of stone-work the opposing wall of the world.
May the countenance of Prydain be bright for my guidance.
Sovereign of heaven, let my messages not be rejected


6 thoughts on “Uther Pendragon’s Death Song

    1. it blows my socks off every time I read it, he says “I’m a bard to be praised, the unskillful” but it couldn’t be less true

    1. You’re welcome, I’m on a mission to get connected to people who post poetry 🙂 so far so good. looking forward to seeing some inspiring writings from people to brighten my day.

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