What passes and Endures

Still the mighty mountains stand
And the great winds about them roar;
And all around we hear at dawn
The shepherds’ old‑time songs
And daisies growing in cleft and rock
Still thrust and grow and thrive
‘Tis only the shepherds who are new
Among these timeless, mighty hills.

Year succeeds year; the customs change
Old gives place to new.
The generations come and go
Some with gladness, others tears
Freed from storm and stress,
Alun Mabon finds his rest
Yet the old tongue lives on
And the old songs endure.

A translation by Alfred Percival Graves of the classic poem, Aros Mae’r Mynyddoedd Mawr.

by John ‘Ceiriog’ Hughes, 1832 – 1887

This is another version:

The Grand Old Mountains Still Remain

The grand old mountains still remain,
Howling o’er them goes the gale;
And at the dawn one yet may hear
The song of shepherds like yesteryear.
And still the little daisies strew
Around the foot of rock and hill,
And though the shepherds they are new
They guard the grand old mountains still.

To the olden ways of Wales
Change it comes from age to age;
One generation on it sails
And another leaves the stage.
After his long tempestuous stand
Our Alun Mabon is no more,
But the old tongue is in the land
And all the tunes they heard of yore.

Translation: Barry Tobin.


A superb unaccompanied sung version of this great poem in Welsh may be found on the CD: Ffynnon ‑ Celtic music from Wales.



Gorgysylltiadau i’r Gymraeg / Nascanna don Bhreatnais / Links to Welsh.

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