An englyn is a form of Welsh or Cornish verse, with a reputation of being hard to master. It has several different variants, all of which are governed by strict rules. This week, we’ll look at the englyn toddaid, which is a cross between the toddaid form and the englyn.
The englyn toddaid consists of a verse at least four-lines long. The first line has 10 syllables, the second has 7, and the remaining two or more lines have ten syllables each. The rhyme is introduced in the seventh, eighth or ninth syllable of the first line, and repeated at the end of the remaining lines. The fourth syllable of the second lines uses rhyme or consonance to echo the last syllable of the first line.
Furious, the dragon marred the blue skies.
I saw him fly, far too soon.
I saw him setting fire, felt fear anew.
I saw his shadow and knew what to do.
Who had stirred his angry heart to war
raided his stores, golden art,
and fled, the dragon’s vengeance, war to start?
Now wizards we must call to do their part.
And when we the culprits hunt down and find
then we will bind those who clown
with dragon’s horde, thus reaping dragon’s frown
for ev’ry man who dwells within this town.
And thus the dragon’s peace we seek to earn
—winter is bleak when crops burn—
and wizards will with dragon speak to learn
what must be done, the great beast’s wrath to turn.
Why don’t you give it a try? Try writing at least one englyn toddaid for each day of the week.
You can find out more about how to write englyns from the following sites: