Gathering of Leaves II – Lament for Princess Gwenllian Op 37

Lament for Princess Gwenllian / Galarnad am Dywysoges Gwenllian

Instrumentation: Picc/2alto/2/Cor/2/Bass/2/Contra/4/2/2/Harp/Piano/Perc(5)/Timp(2)/Solo Vl/Sopranos(3)/Strings

The soprano voices are to be amplified in this composition, discreetly, to give an aural aura to the vocal lines.

Duration: 24 minutes

Date of Composition: 2014

Programme Note, further details of this work, and samples of pages of the music, are all available from the score. 

Memorial to Princess Gwenllian at Sempringham

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(ar ôl ei gweld fel lleian gwflog yn ei charreg goffa grai yn Sempringham)

(after seeing her, imaged as a hooded nun, in her sculptured memorial stone at Sempringham)

                                                                                                T James Jones



Ein hangof a’i caethiwodd                                          We forgot, and confined her

i fynwent ei chwfaint                                                  to the convent yard,

a’i dirwest.                                                                  and chastity’s grave.


Ein hangof a’i tynghedodd                                         We forgot, and ordained her

i rythu a rhythu ar furiau                                             to stare at stone walls

heb fenest.                                                                   down windowless days.


Ein hangof a wadodd iddi                                           We forgot, we barred and withered

wrth gloi a chrino’i chroth                                          her womb, denied her the ardor

gynnwrf un don.                                                         of one white-tipped wave.


Ein hangof a’i halltudiodd                                          We forgot, and expelled her

i fro heb ben mynydd                                                  to a place where no mountain,

na haul ar fron.                                                            or hill, breasts the sun.


Ein hangof a’i condemniodd                                      We forgot, and condemned her

i farw heb ei geni’n fam                                             to die a loving mother

i’n hanwylo.                                                                languishing  unborn.


Fe’i rhyddhawn o’i hirbell                                          We will free her from remoteness

pan fynnwn allwedd                                                   when we claim the key

i agor ein hatgof.                                                         that lets remembrance in.


                                                                                    Translated by John Dressel

Yn Sempringham               In Sempringham  

                                                                        Mererid Hopwood


Atat ti down, Gwenllian,                                To you we come, Gwenllian,

down â’th iaith, a down â thân                       we bring our language, and we bring the fire

dy aelwyd i dawelwch                                    of your hearth to the quietness

y lle hwn, lle mae holl lwch                           of this place, where there is all the dust

dy hannes, lle mae d’enw’n                            of your story, where your name

torri’n waedd tros eu tir nhw,                         bursts out in a loud cry across their land,

lle buost ti Gwenllian                                     where you, Gwenllian, were

yn fud – down yn ôl i’r fan.                            silent – we come back to the place.


Doli glwt ein cenedl glaf.                               The rag doll of our wounded race.

Oet ein harwr tyneraf,                                     You are our gentlest hero,

ein baban gwan, ein mam gaeth,                    our helpless baby, our captive mother,

yn ifanc dy hynafiaeth,                                   young in your antiquity,

ac atat ti, Gwenllian,                                       and to you, Gwenllian,

y down o’th wlad, eneth lân,                          we come from your land, blameless girl,

dod eto i’r gwastatir                                        come again to the flat lands

heddi i fan dy ddioddef hir.                            today to the place of your long suffering.


Am fod cur ym miaguro’r                              Because there is pain in the blossoming of the 

gwanwyn, am fod cwyn mewn co’,                spring, because there is lamentation in memory,

dyma pam mae’r fam na fu                            this is why the mother who never was

a’i had yn dal i waedu,                                    and her seed still bleed,

a’r chwaer a fu’n garcharor                            and the sister who was prisoner

yn dal ar y daith ddi-dor                                 is still on the unbroken journey                      

tua’r lle y tyr ei llais                                       to the place where her voice breaks out

a’i hanadlu’n ein hadlais.                               and her breath in our echo.


Ynom ni mae Gwenllian,                                Within us is Gwenllian,

hi yw’r gerdd a nodau’r gân,                          she is the poem and the notes of the song,

a chaiff hi eto’i choffhau.                               and she will still be commemorated.


Yma heddiw,                                                  Here today,

rhaid maddau.                                                 there is need of forgiveness.


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