Men of Harlech

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Men of Harlech (1830s) 
by John Jones
"Men of Harlech" or "The March of the Men of Harlech" (in Welsh: Rhyfelgyrch Gwŷr Harlech) is a song and military march which is traditionally said to describe events during the seven year long siege of Harlech Castle between 1461 and 1468. The music was first published without words in 1794 as Gorhoffedd Gwŷr Harlech—March of the Men of Harlech in the second edition of The Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards but it is said to be a much earlier folk air. The earliest version of the tune to appear with lyrics, found thus far, comes from a Broadside printed around c1830.

Excerpted from Men of Harlech on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Lyrics written by John Guard[edit]

Verse 1[edit]

Tongues of fire on Idris flaring,
News of foemen near declaring,
To heroic deeds of daring,
Call you, Harlech men.
Groans of wounded peasants dying,
Wails of wives and children flying,
For the distant succour crying,
Call you, Harlech Men.
Shall the voice of wailing,
Now be unavailing,
You to rouse, who never yet
In battle's hour were failing?
This our answer, crowds down pouring,
Swift as winter torrents roaring.
Not in vain the voice imploring,
Calls on Harlech men.

Verse 2[edit]

Loud the martial pipes are sounding,
Every manly heart is bounding,
As our trusted chief surrounding,
March we, Harlech men.
Short the sleep the foe is taking;
Ere the morrow's morn is breaking,
They shall have a rude awakening,
Roused by Harlech Men.
Mothers, cease your weeping,
Calm may be your sleeping,
You and yours in safety now,
The Harlech men are keeping.
Ere the sun is high in heaven,
They you fear, by panic riven,
Shall, like frightened sheep, be driven,
Far, by Harlech men.

"Talhaiarn" version[edit]

Verse 1[edit]

Glyndwr, see thy comet flaming,
Hear a heavenly voice declaiming,
To the world below proclaiming,
Cambria shall be free:
While thy star on high is beaming,
Soldiers from the mountains teeming,
With their spears and lances gleaming,
Come to follow thee.
Hear the trumpet sounding
While the steeds are bounding,
On the gale from hill and dale,
The war-cry is resounding:
Warriors famed in song and story,
Coming from the mountains hoary,
Rushing to the fields of glory,
Eager for the fray:
To the valley wending,
Hearths and homes defending,
With their proud and valiant prince,
From ancient kings descending;
See the mighty host advancing,
Sunbeams on their helmets dancing,
On his gallant charger prancing,
Glyndwr leads the way.

Verse 2[edit]

Now to battle they are going,
Every heart with courage glowing,
Pride and passion overflowing
In the furious strife:
Lo! the din of war enrages,
Vengeance crowns the hate of ages,
Sternly foe with foe engages,
Feeding Death with Life:
Hear the trumpets braying,
And the horses neighing,
Hot the strife while fiery foes
Are one another slaying;
Arrows fly as swift as lightning,
Shout on shout the tumult height'ning,
Conquest's ruddy wing is bright'ning,
Helmet, sword, and shield;
With their lances flashing,
Warriors wild are crashing,
Through the tyrant's serried ranks
Whilst onward they are dashing:
Now the enemy is flying,
Trampling on the dead and dying;
Victory aloft is crying,
"Cambria wins the field!"

Welsh Version by Talhaiarn[edit]

Henffych well, i wlad fy nghalon,
Llwyddiant i ti Cymru dirion;
Bendith i dy feibion dewrion,
A dy ferched glân;
Peraidd yw dy hynod hanes,
I wresogi serch fy mynwes;
Tra bo 'ngwaed yn llifo'n gynnes,
Caraf wlad y gan.
Anwyl-wlad fy nhadau,
Caraf dy fynyddau;
Creigiau gleision uwch y nant
Ymwelant a'r cymylau,
Dolydd a dyffrynoedd ffrwythlon,
Ffrydiau clir a llynau llawnion,
Adlewyrchant flodau tlysion
Yn ei dyfroedd glân:
Hiraeth sydd i'm llethu,
Am anwylion Cymru,
Ow! na chawn fy mhwrs yn llawn,
A chred a dawn i'm denu,
Adre'n ol i blith fy nheulu,
A chyfeillion i'm croesawu:
Yn olynawl gwnawn foliannu
Cymru, gwlad y gân.

Lyrics written by George Thompson[edit]

Verse 1[edit]

Dauntless sons of Celtic sires
Whose souls the love of freedom fires,
Hark! ev'ry harp to war inspires
On Cader Idris side.
See the brave advancing,
See the brave advancing,
Each well-tried spear
Which Saxons fear,
In warlike splendour glancing.
Proud Harlech from her frowning tow'rs
Pours forth her never failing pow'rs.
Rouse, heroes, glory shall be ours,
March on, your country's pride!

Verse 2[edit]

Shall heart-rending sound of woe
Be heard where Conway's waters flow?
Or shall a rude and ruthless foe
Find here one willing slave?
From mountain and from valley,
From mountain and from valley,
From Snowdon, from
Plinlimmon's brow
Around your prince ye rally.
Let cowards kiss th'oppressor's scourge,
Home to his heart your weapons urge,
O'erwhelm him in th'avenging surge;
To victory, ye brave!

Royal Canadian Hussars Version[edit]

Verse 1[edit]

Hark! I hear the foe advancing,
Barb'd steeds are proudly prancing;
Helmets in the sunbeams glancing,
Glitter through the trees.
Men of Har-lech, lie ye dreaming?
See ye not their falchions gleaming,
While their pennons gaily streaming
Flutter in the breeze?
From the rocks rebounding
Let the war cry sounding
Summon all at Cambria's call,
The haughty foe surrounding.
Men of Harlech, on to glory!
See, your banner fam'd in story
Waves these burning words before ye,
"DEATH before we yield!"

Lyrics written for the movie Zulu[edit]

Verse 1[edit]

Men of Harlech stop your dreaming
Can't you see their spear points gleaming
See their warrior's pennants streaming
To this battle field
Men of Harlech stand ye steady
It cannot be ever said ye
For the battle were not ready
Stand and never yield
From the hills rebounding
Let this war cry sounding
Summon all at Cambria's call
The mighty force surrounding
Men of Harlech onto glory
This shall ever be your story
Keep these fighting words before ye
Cambria (Welshmen never) will not yield

This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.


This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.