… The stone at rest that watches the place
in the thrashing rain and the wind
Two years ago, I wrote about the poet William Williams Crwys, and his much-loved poem Melin Trefin. See my original article Trefin Mill which was prompted by the visit of fellow poet Chris Hemingway to Trefin in 2016. This May, I had the pleasure of visiting the Pembrokeshire village of Trefin myself … and the mill that inspired the reverend-bard-archdruid Crwys to write the poem … in 1918. It seemed an even more meaningful occasion, therefore, in this the 100th anniversary year of the poem.
Here is a photographic record of my visit, with excerpts from the poem in Cymraeg, together with my translation:
Nid yw’r Felin heno’n malu
Yn Nhrefin ym min y môr,
Trodd y merlyn olaf adref
Dan ei bwn o drothwy’r ddôr,
Ac mae’r rhod fu gynt yn chwyrnu
Ac yn rhygnu drwy y fro,
Er pan farw’r hen felinydd
Wedi rhoi ei holaf dro.
The mill is not grinding tonight
in Trefin at the edge of the sea.
The last pony, from beneath its burden,
turned from the threshold towards home
and the wheel that used to rumble
and grumble through the area
has, since the old miller died,
made its last turn.
Rhed y ffrwd garedig eto
Gyda thalcen noeth y ty,
Ond ddaw ned i’r fal ai farlys,
A’r hen olwyn fawr ni thry,
Lle doi gwenith gwyn Llanrhiain
Derfyn haf yn llwythi cras,
Ni cheir mwy on tres o wymon
Gydag ambell frwynen las.
The kindly stream still runs on
past the bare forehead of the house
but it no longer comes to mill the barley
and the big old wheel won’t turn again.
Where the wheat of Llanrhiain
lay at summer’s end
now there’s only a trace of seaweed
and a few green reeds.
Looking towards the fields of neighbouring Llanrhian parish, from the village of Trefin. Cereal crops grown in the fields will have been harvested and carted from there to Trefin for grinding into flour.
Segur faen sy’n gwylio’r fangre
Yn y curlaw mawr a’r gwynt,
Di-lythyren garreg goffa
O’r amseroedd difyr gynt,
Ond’ does yma neb yn malu,
Namyn amser swrth a’r hin
Wrthi’n chwalu ac yn malu,
Malu’r felin yn Nhrefin.
The stone at rest that watches the place
in the thrashing rain and the wind
is a letterless memorial
to the jollity of former times.
Nobody is milling here now.
It is a time of dereliction
– the grinding down
of the mill at Trefin.
8 thoughts on “Melin Trefin … centenary”
i am so glad you found the mill and its magic really can take you to another place and all so thank you for all the hard work you put ln. diolch o galon .howellwilliams
Diolch Howell. Mwynheuais i ymweld â’r pentre … ac y felin, wrth gwrs. Awyrgylch anhygoel yn yr holl ardal. Thank you, Howell. I enjoyed visiting the village … and the mill, of course. An amazing atmosphere in the whole area.
Annwyl Sharon rydwif yn falch fod rhwyin arall gyda fi yn meddwl fod rhiwbeth arall yn yr ardal galw i fe magic
HELLO AGAIN IF YOU GO INTO GOOGLE MAPS AND SEARCH FOR ABERCASTLE YOU WILL .FIND YOUR SECOND VERSE OF MELIN TREFIN WHICH WILL BE READ BY VERY MANY PEOPLE AND WELL DESERVED TOO. WITH FOND REGARDS, .HOWELL.
Thank you for posting this. Crwys was my Great Great Uncle. His Sister Margareta was my Grand Father’s Mother. As a family we are very proud of him. My children have gone through Welsh Medium Education and I have always been surprised that he has not been recognised in the curriculum. Thank you again.
Hello Karen. Lovely to hear from you, and I’m honoured to be in contact with a member of the family of such a wonderful poet. (I do hope my translation is OK; I’ve learnt Welsh as an adult and am not immune from making mistakes. Do let me know if anything doesn’t seem right!) It’s wonderful to hear that your children have gone through Welsh medium education … so heartening to know that the commitment to Welsh language and culture remains strong, and secured for the future. Hoping that Crwys will soon be included in the curriculum. Warm regards, cofion cynnes. Sharon.
Hi Sharon, regrettably I don’t speak Welsh so am unable to check your translation. I’m sure someone will let you know though if they see anything that needs changing. Thanks again, Karen