THE poem Hanes Ail Fordaith y Brig Albion i America tells the story of the journey made by the fast sailing brig, the Albion from Cardigan crossing the Atlantic in 1819 carrying 27 families from the Teifi Valley and surrounding area to a new life in New Brunswick, Canada.

The authorship of the poem is uncertain but it is thought to have been originally published after the ship’s return to Wales in 1819. It was printed in the Tivyside sometime in the 1890s.

The extracts printed here come from a transcript held in the National Library from a sailor's commonplace book and has been translated into English for the Albion commemoration week currently being staged in Cardigan by Richard 'Oernant' Jones.

April 2019 marks the bicentenary of this historic journey.

The poem gives a unique insight into the conditions on board the Albion, the hopes and fears of the emigrants and what they encountered when they arrived. After introducing the ship and gallant Captain the poem records the farewell service at the quayside

1) O Gwrandewch fy mwyn gyfeillion

Hawddgar, tirion, annwyl iawn,

Mi rof hanner cywir, cynes,

O’n mordaith foreu a nawn;

Yn yr Albion hwylus hynod,

Cadpan Davies oedd ein pen;

Ffarwel row’d yn Aberteifi,

Nes cwrddyd yn y nefoedd wen.

2) Ar y nawfed dydd o Ebrill.

Ymgasglodd tyrfa fawr ynghyd

Lle ‘roedd cyfarfod wedi’ bennu

Yn Mhwll Castell ar y pryd

Lle roedd Eben Morris ddawnus

Yno’n rhoi cynghorion dwys

Morgan Jones Trelech canlynai,

D’wedai’n odiaeth gyda phwys

1) Please now listen fair companion,

Who’s so gentle loved and gay.

I shall give you a warm story,

Of the journey through each day.

So amazing was the Albion,

Captain Davies at the helm;

To Cardigan we said fair well,

Till we meet in heaven’s realm.

2) It was the ninth day of April,

There had gathered a large crowd;

Where a meeting had just finished,

At Castle Pool below the clouds.

There the gifted Eben Morris,

Gave advice profound and grave,

Morgan Jones, Trelech did follow,

Fine wise words is what he gave.

It describes the storms the Albion faced and withstood at sea:

22) ‘R Albion lew – a safai fynu

Er terfysgu lawer pryd;

Weithiau obry yn y cwmmydd

A’r tonnau yn ei chuddio gyd,

Etto coda’i phen er hynny

Yn ddihangol fynnu fry

Trwy fod llaw alluog gadarn

Yn rymmus weithio gyda hi.

22) The brave Albion did all withstand;

Despite the rage she’d befall,

Sometimes down in the deep valleys,

And the waves did hide her all.

But again her heads she lifted,

And rise once more to break free,

But a Hand strong and able,

Worked with her so rigorously.

There are words of praise for the land to which they travelled and the opportunity that awaited them:

65) Gallaf ddweyd am Brunswick Newydd

Sy’n llawn coedydd nawr o’r bron.

Nid wi’n meddwl yn yr holl fyd

Ffeindiwch ardal well na hon;

Dweyd yr oe’ch fod yma dlodion,

Rwyf yn ammau hyny’n llwyr

Gwelswn rai, pe bu’sent yma,

Wrth drafaelu foreu a hwyr.

65) I can say about New Brunswick,

Which has great trees all around,

In the whole world I don’t believe,

A better place can be found.

You’ve been told of poor people,

Dispute this, I truly say,

If there were we would have noticed,

As we travelled, night and day.

67) Ona ddeuai merched Cymru

Trosodd atom gyda brys,

Hwy gaent yna mewn gwasanaeth

Mwy nag ugain swllt y mis;

Doed y bechgyn mwynaidd tirion

At y ddaear hyfryd hon,

Gallant gael mewn mis o amser,

Ddeugain swllt yn nhre’ St. John

67) If the girls of Wales would journey,

Quickly over here to stay,

Receive they would for their service,

Twenty shillings, a months pay.

If young men so sweet and gentle,

To this land would come along,

Every month they could be earning,

Forty shillings in St John.

All presented in the terms of the pious Christian faith of the predominantly Baptist families that made the journey.

72) I’r Albion mwy b’och chwithau’n debyg

A’r holl stores i gyd yn hon,

Llyw, a chwmpas, hwyl bren, angor,

A llawer rhagor sydd yn hon;

Ffydd a gobaith, Cariad perffaith,

Yn helaeth ceisiwch yn eich oes,

Ac yna cewch eich cynnorthwyo

Gan y Gŵr fu ar y groes.

Diwedd y gân.

72) You will likely board the Albion,

With all the stores that she holds,

Helm and compass, mast and anchor,

And much more to behold.

Faith and hope and love so perfect,

Search in life, to come across,

Then you will be surely aided,

By the man who bore the cross.

This poem has provided the inspiration for many of the Albion bicentenary events which will continue throughout this week.

Extracts from the poem are also available to view in Stiwdio 3 where Cardigan Art Society are holding an exhibition, ‘The Life and Land the Emigrants Left Behind’.

Extracts will also form part of ‘The Albion Experience’ in the coal-yard at Pizza Tipi where Coleg Ceredigion students, under the guidance of their tutor Ben James, have constructed a mock-up of the interior of the ship to give a feel for what cabin conditions might have been like with input from Nick Newland and the crew at Fforest.

The coal-yard will be open 12-6pm every day from Thursday, April 18 to Saturday, April 27.

The mock-up will also be featured in a promenade performance on April 22 led by Cyfaill who will introduce a cast of characters including Captain Tom Davies the ship’s owner, Captain Llywelyn Davies his nephew and able pilot, a family of would be emigrants and their ministers as they make their way through Cardigan, taking in the sights and sounds of the town, before boarding the Albion and making for New Brunswick where they’ll found a new Cardigan for a new world.

Stations of the Albion/Gorsafoedd yr Albion will take place at various locations in Cardigan starting at the Quayside at 6.45pm and culminating at the Quay around 8.30pm.

For more information about events see leaflets around town or log on to Cardigan Aberteifi Society's Facebook Page: