English translations of passages in Welsh


Although English has been the main medium of the Society in these islands through the years, it should be recognised that part of its life has been, and is, expressed through other languages, and in Wales also through the medium of Welsh. Our Society’s tradition, our history and our witness are demeaned if that is ignored. Some Welsh speakers have been made, unwittingly, to feel marginalised. The rightful place of the Welsh language in the work and activities of the yearly meeting in Wales should be secured.

Dwyfor Meeting, 1994


In Two Fields

Where did the sea of light roll from
Onto Flower Meadow Field and Flower Field?
After I’d searched for long in the dark land,
The one that was always, whence did he come?
Who, O who was the marksman, the sudden enlightener? The
roller of the sea was the field’s living hunter.
From above bright-billed whistlers, prudent scurry of lapwings,
The great quiet he brought me.

Excitement he gave me, where only
The sun’s thought stirred to lyrics of warmth,
Crackle of gorse that was ripe on escarpments,
Hosting of rushes in their dream of blue sky.
When the imagination wakens, who calls
Rise up and walk, dance, look at the world?
Who is it hiding in the midst of the words
That were there on Flower Meadow Field and Flower Field?

And when the big clouds, the fugitive pilgrims,
Were red with the sunset of stormy November,
Down where the ashtrees and maples divided the fields,
The song of the wind was deep like deep silence.
Who, in the midst of the pomp, the super-abundance,
Stands there inviting, containing it all?
Each witness’s witness, each memory’s memory, life of each life,
Quiet calmer of the troubled self.

Till at last the whole world came into the stillness
And on the two fields his people walked,
And through, and between, and about them, goodwill widened
And rose out of hiding, to make them all one,
As when the few of us forayed with pitchforks
Or from heavy meadows lugged thatching of rush,
How close we came then, one to another –
The quiet huntsman so cast his net round us!

Ages of the blood on the grass and the light of grief
Who whistled through them? Who heard but the heart?
The cheater of pride and every trail’s tracker,
Escaper from the armies, hey, there’s his whistling –
Knowledge of us, knowledge, till at last we do know him! Great
was the leaping of hearts, after their ice age.
The fountains burst up towards heaven, till,
Falling back, their tears were like leaves of a tree.

Day broods on all this beneath sun and cloud,
And Night through the cells of her wide-branching brain –
How quiet they are, and she breathing freely
Over Flower Meadow Field and Flower Field –
Keeps a grip on their object, the fields full of folk.
Surely these things must come. What hour will it be
That the outlaw comes, the hunter, the claimant to the breach,
That the Exiled King cometh, and the rushes part in his way?

Translation by Tony Conran


By emphasising the Inner Light, we do not humanise religion too much. It is not our light – we receive it. As we are in the midst of experiences with our fellow beings, a light will come that causes those experiences to look changed. We say, in a clumsy way, that it is the Inner Light that has caused the transformation and we believe that it came from God. How do we know that we are not deceiving ourselves? In the end, we have nothing but our own experience to rely upon. In the end, even the one who accepts the most traditional religion has nothing but his own experience to rely on.