"'Pais Dinogad' is the earliest Welsh language nursery rhyme... written in around 650AD. It's 1,363 years old. Welsh of course is the oldest surviving language in Europe."
Some modern renditions of this song repeat the first four lines over and over again.
Peis dinogat e vreith vreith
O grwyn balaot ban wreith
Chwit chwit chwidogeith
Gochanwn gochenyn wythgeith
Pan elei dy dat ty e helya
Llath ar y ysgwyd llory eny law
Ef gelwi gwn gogyhwc
Giff gaff dhaly dhaly dhwg dhwg
Ef lledi bysc yng corwc
Mal ban llad llew llywywg
Pan elei dy dat ty e vynyd
Dydygai ef penn ywrch penn gwythwch pen hyd
Penn grugyar vreith o venyd
Penn pysc o rayadyr derwennyd
Or sawl yt gyrhaedei dydat ty ae gicwein
O wythwch a llewyn a llwyuein
Nyt anghei oll ny vei oradein.
Dinogad's coat was spotted and speckled,
From the skin of the pine it was made
'Ye! Ye!' whistle.
Let's shout to them- the eight in chains.
When thy father went hunting-
A Javelin on his shoulder, a club in his hand-
He called on the ultra-fast dog,
'Giff! Gaff! Hold, hold! Bring, bring!'
The fish he slay from his coracle*
As a lion kills small animals!
When thy father went to the mountain
He came with one roe, one tree mole, one stag,
One mountain spotted grouse,
A fish of the Derwent waterfall.
Whatever your father arrived with, his lance-
Whether it's a hog, tree cat, fox-
There was no escape unless they had mighty wings.
*A Coracle is a small, lightweight "row" boat traditionally used in Wales.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Selwyn Lloyd-Jones for contributing this rhyme with the translation!
Diolch ÿn fawr!