Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Feast of St David!

St David, of course, is a Catholic saint, not a Celtic saint as some like to proclaim and today, March 1st is his feastday.

I am uncertain as to any hymns to St David but this very beautiful Welsh Carol will stand in his honour.

It was brought to world prominence by the film, Empire of the Son, starring Christian Bale who, incidentally, was born in Pembrokeshire.

In this clip the young Bale out sings the Japanese Kamikaze pilots who are about to set out on their mission.

So, today is the day to eat Welshcakes, Bara Brith and Cawl* and to have a sip or two of Reverend James - (not for me, it's Lent!)

* Bara Brith is a highly addictive fruit loaf while Cawl is a broth made with Lamb and vegetables, often eaten with a chunk of cheese.



       Huna blentyn ar fy mynwes
       Clyd a chynnes ydyw hon;
Breichiau mam sy'n dynn amdanat,
Cariad mam sy dan fy mron;
Ni cha' dim amharu'th gyntun,
Ni wna undyn â thi gam;
Huna'n dawel, annwyl blentyn,
Huna'n fwyn ar fron dy fam.
Huna'n dawel, heno, huna,
Huna'n fwyn, y tlws ei lun;
Pam yr wyt yn awr yn gwenu,
Gwenu'n dirion yn dy hun?
Ai angylion fry sy'n gwenu,
Arnat ti yn gwenu'n llon,
Tithau'n gwenu'n ôl dan huno,
Huno'n dawel ar fy mron?
Paid ag ofni, dim ond deilen
Gura, gura ar y ddôr;
Paid ag ofni, ton fach unig
Sua, sua ar lan y môr;
Huna blentyn, nid oes yma
Ddim i roddi iti fraw;
Gwena'n dawel yn fy mynwes
Ar yr engyl gwynion draw.
        Sleep my baby, at my breast,
’Tis a mother’s arms round you.
Make yourself a snug, warm nest.
Feel my love forever new.
Harm will not meet you in sleep,
Hurt will always pass you by.
Child beloved, always you’ll keep,
In sleep gentle, mother’s breast nigh.
Sleep in peace tonight, sleep,
O sleep gently, what a sight.
A smile I see in slumber deep,
What visions make your face bright?
Are the angels above smiling,
At you in your peaceful rest?
Are you beaming back while in
Peaceful slumber on mother’s breast?
Do not fear the sound, it’s a breeze
Brushing leaves against the door.
Do not dread the murmuring seas,
Lonely waves washing the shore.
Sleep child mine, there’s nothing here,
While in slumber at my breast,
Angels smiling, have no fear,
Holy angels guard your rest
                        ST DAVID, PATRON OF WALES - ORA PRO NOBIS!


  1. Hymn to St David (from the Divine Office):

    O great St. David, still we hear thee call us
    Unto a life that knows no fear of death;
    Yea, down the ages will thy words enthral us,
    Strong, happy words; “Be joyful, keep the faith.”

    On Cambria’s land stretch out thy hands in blessing:
    For all Welsh folk, thy help we now implore,
    Lead us to God, with humble hearts confessing
    Jesus, Lord and king for evermore.

    Christ was the centre rock of all thy teaching,
    God’s holy will — the splendour of its theme.
    His grace informed, his love inflamed thy preaching;
    Christ’s sway on earth, the substance of thy dream.

    In early childhood, choosing Jesus only,
    Thy fervour showed his yoke was light and sweet.
    And thus for thee, life’s journey was not lonely —
    The path made plain by prints of wounded feet.

    O glorious saint, we wander in the dark;
    With thee we seek our trusted guide in Rome.
    Help him to steer on earth Saint Peter’s barque,
    That we may safely reach our heavenly home.

  2. Thanks Mark. I was sure there would be one, trouble is, I've never found a congregation that has sung it! A Happy Feast to you!

  3. I am fairly reliably informed that, owing to this being a solemnity in Wales, the Lenten discipline may be relaxed- in Wales.

  4. Richard,
    A Happy St. Davids Day to You and ALL your readers! You have-A Jarrow Dispensation to have a pint of The Rev James but i rather you had a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale!



  5. And nary a daffodil in my garden. They are very late this year. A happy St. David's Day to you notwithstanding!

  6. Happy St David's Day, Richard!!!

    God bless.

  7. Thank you Michael, a bottle of NB would go down a treat.

    Patricius - I agree with your estimation, I'll have a small drink in honour of this great saint.

    Genty - you must live in the Arctic! All in bloom here, God bless.

    Sonia - Good to hear from you and a Happy Feastday to you and your daughter.