I am the ragged hedgerow glistening with rain,
the rank tussock in the tumbled field,
the rough gold of the rampant gorse:
the random dotted sheep,
the hawk before the wind.
I am the sheer stone of the mountain:
I am the still waters of the lake.
I am the shrouded upland
and the chapeled valley:
I am the lonely farm against the hill.
I am the green pillow under the head of the hero
and the soil that gathers his life’s blood;
the crimson that remains in women’s minds.
A stained and naked blade, I am.
I am the head on the spear,
the neck in the gallows,
the accused on the writ,
the son disinherited,
the singer forbidden to sing;
the bow bent and the lives rent
in the armies of the diaspora.
I am the waste land and the wasted years.
I am she who hurled down the gates
of the west, and he
who unfurled the blood-red banner
in the east:
I am the child beneath the yoke.
I am the toiler on the green slope,
the spinner of molten steel,
the delver in black dust.
The proud slave among dark stacks am I –
aye, and the dancing scarlet on the field.
I am the name inked in the Book
and incised upon the stone.
The image on the wall,
the lock in the pendant,
the laugh and the cry
and the curve of the pen-stroke.
The winding ages made me.
I am the quiescent resolution of your soul,
the still word that gathers,
the just fire that waits.
The axe and the flame of the mind.
From ‘Welsh Past and Present’