databas cerddi guto'r glyn


Black cloth imported from the city of Lierre in Brabant became extremely popular. This is called du o Lir or blac o Lir in the poetry (borrowed from the English black-a-lyre). Lierre was famous for making all sorts of fine fabrics, not just black ones, and was known for its cloth production from the fourteenth century onwards. In the poetry, the poets often use du o Lir to describe something very black. Guto, for example, compares Dafydd Cyffin’s hair to cloth from Lierre:

Da lliwiwyd y du llawen, 
Du o lir yw, da ei lên. 
Well was the black, joyful man coloured,
he is black like the cloth from Liere, of goodly learning.

(poem 94.63-4)

He also compares the hair and clothing of Henry Griffith to black-a-lyre:

Y du hydr o’r Deheudir, 
Da ei lun mewn du o lir, 
Llew du fal dy ddillad wyd, 
Lliw nid êl llai no dulwyd! 
O bold black-haired man from south Wales
whose figure looks fine clothed in black-a-lyre,
you are a black-maned lion to match your clothing,
may the colour never fade lighter than greyish black!

(poem 35.1-4)

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