From Canu Aneirin
The poem, Canu Anerien, was passed down in oral tradition for centuries before finally being recorded in the thirteenth century. The poet Aneirin, a survivor of the Battle of Catraeth, most likely composed it around 600. He was a contemporary of the fallen heroes and eulogized them in this poem. The lines below represent what may be the earliest representation of Arthur. Aneirin depicted Arthur as an ideal warrior, beginning the tradition. The warrior compared to Arthur, Gwawrddur, likely merited the comparison because of both his prowess in battle and the similarity in their names. In the Welsh, Gwarwddur would be pronounced as "gworthir."
|He pierced over three hundred of the finest.
He struck at both the center and the flank.
He was worthy in the front of a most generous army.
He gave out gifts from his drove of steeds in the winter.
He fed black ravens [killed many of the enemy] on the wall of the
fortress, though he was not Arthur.
He gave support in battle.
In the van, an alder shield-wall was Gwawrddur.
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