For a while, from the 13th to 15th centuries, the king of England possessed a military tool that no other nation appeared to be able to imitate. The argument is whether it had any lasting impact of why England is as she is.
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Welsh heroic poetry is something of which I know almost nothing. Except that it is rather magnificent. I cannot read Welsh sadly, so here’s one small extract in English translation – it’s from Y Gododdin. Difficult to now from when maybe as early as the 7th century.
He was a man in mind, in years a youth,
And gallant in the din of war;
Fleet, thick-maned chargers
Were ridden by the illustrious hero;
A shield, light and broad,
Hung on the flank of his swift and slender steed;
His sword was blue and gleaming,
His spurs were of gold, his raiment was woollen.
It will not be my part
To speak of thee reproachfully,
A more choice act of mine will be
To celebrate thy praise in song;
Thou hast gone to a bloody bier,
Sooner than to a nuptial feast;
Thou hast become a meal for ravens,
Ere thou didst reach the front of conflict.
Alas, Owain! my beloved friend;
It is not meet that he should be devoured by ravens!
There is swelling sorrow in the plain,
Where fell in death the only son of Marro.