the 'Hanes Taliesin' riddle-poem
translated by Lady Charlotte Guest
he translation of the riddle-poem "Hanes Taliesin" below is reproduced exactly as printed in the book "The White Goddess" by Robert Graves. All spellings and use of upper and lower cases are as they appear in the book, which must rank as one of the most important contributions to our understanding of 'the triple goddess' concept that was a central feature of the beliefs of many ancient cultures. In archaic times this seems to have been a global phenomena, as attested to by the abundance of 'earth goddess' artifacts discovered all over the world. In many areas, where evidence of hurriedly abandoned settlement has shown the existence of past civilisation, some of these figurines would have been treasured possessions.
She was the personification of the Earth at its different seasons, and the various names of the 'the triple goddess' commonly used in many ancient cultures are names that are descritptive of the Earth at those seasons. The interaction between the 'Earth Mother' and the 'Sky Father' throughout the course of the natural (solar) year was a matter of great concern to ancient peoples all over the world, and was the focus of their cosmologies, which governed their science and religion. It is not surprising therefore that their oral traditions are steeped in sky lore, which, when de-coded, is increasingly proving to contain the accurate observations of ancient skywatchers, as is evident in the riddle-poem below.
"Primary chief bard am I to Elphin,
5. I was with my Lord in the highest sphere,
10. I was in Canaan when Absalom was slain;
15. I have been loquacious prior to being gifted with speech;
20. I have been in Asia with Noah in the Ark,
25. I strenghtened Moses through the waters of Jordan;
30. For a year and a day in stocks and fetters,
35. I shall be until the day of doom on the face of the earth;
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