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Title: Some Specimens of the Poetry of the Ancient Welsh Bards
Author: Evans, Evan
Language: English
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Transcribed from the [1862] John Pryse, Llanidloes edition by David
Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

                         SPECIMENS OF THE POETRY
                         THE ANCIENT WELSH BARDS.

                         Translated into English,


                                  BY THE
                  REV. EVAN EVANS, (IEUAN PRYDYDD HIR.)

    “Vos quoque, qui fortes animas belloque peremptas
    Laudibus in longum, Vates, dimittitis ævum,
    Plurima securi fudistis carmina Bardi.”


    —“Si quid mea carmina possunt
    Aonio statuam sublimes vertice Bardos,
    Bardos Pieridum cultores atque canentis
    Phœbi delicias, quibus est data cura perennis
    Dicere nobilium clarissima facta virorum,
    Aureaque excelsam famam super astra locare.”

                                           LELANDUS in Assertione Arturii.


                                * * * * *

                       AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.


Representative of the County, Lord Lieutenant, and Lieutenant Colonel of
the Militia of Flintshire.


I hope you will pardon my presumption in prefixing your name to the
following small collection of British poems, to which you have a just
claim, as being lineally descended from those heroes they celebrate, and
retain in an eminent manner the worth and generous principles of your
renowned ancestors.  The British Bards were received by the nobility and
gentry with distinguished marks of esteem, in every part of Wales, and
particularly at Gloddaith and Mostyn, where their works are still
preserved in your curious libraries.  I hope, therefore, an attempt to
give the public a small specimen of their works will not fail of your
approbation, which the editor flatters himself with, from the generous
manner with which you treated him, particularly by lending him some of
your valuable books and manuscripts.

That you may long continue to be an ornament to your country, and a
pattern of virtuous actions, and a generous patron of learning, is the
sincere wish, of,

                                                              Your obliged
                                                           Humble Servant,
                                                               EVAN EVANS.


As there is a natural curiosity in most people to be brought acquainted
with the works of men, whose names have been conveyed down to us with
applause from very early antiquity, I have been induced to think, that a
translation of some of the Welsh Bards would be no unacceptable present
to the public.  It is true they lived in times when all Europe was
enveloped with the dark cloud of bigotry and ignorance; yet, even under
these disadvantageous circumstances, a late instance may convince us,
that poetry shone forth with a light, that seems astonishing to many
readers.  They who have perused the works of Ossian, as translated by Mr.
Macpherson, will, I believe, be of my opinion.

I mean not to set the following poems in competition with those just
mentioned; nor did the success which they have met with from the world,
put me upon this undertaking.  It was first thought of, and encouraged
some years before the name of Ossian was known in England.  I had long
been convinced, that no nation in Europe possesses greater remains of
ancient and genuine pieces of this kind than the Welsh; and therefore was
inclined, in honour to my country, to give a specimen of them in the
English language.

As to the genuineness of these poems, I think there can be no doubt; but
though we may vie with the Scottish nation in this particular, yet there
is another point, in which we must yield to them undoubtedly.  The
language of their oldest poets, it seems, is still perfectly
intelligible, which is by no means our case.

The works of Taliesin, Llywarch Hên, Aneurin Gwawdrydd, Myrddin Wyllt,
Avan Verddig, who all flourished about the year 560, a considerable time
after Ossian, are hardly understood by the best critics and antiquarians
in Wales, though our language has not undergone more changes than the
Erse.  Nay, the Bards that wrote a long while after, from the time of
William the Conquerer to the death of Prince Llewelyn, are not so easy to
be understood; but that whoever goes about to translate them, will find
numerous obsolete words, not to be found in any Dictionary or Glossary,
either in print or manuscript.

What this difference is owing to, I leave to be determined by others, who
are better acquainted, than I am, with such circumstances of the Scottish
Highlands, as might prove more favourable towards keeping up the perfect
knowledge of their language for so many generations.  But, be that as it
may, it is not my intent to enter into the dispute, which has arisen in
relation to the antiquity of Ossian’s poems.  My concern is only about
the opinion the world may entertain of the intrinsic value of those which
I offer.  They seem to me, though not so methodical and regular in their
composition as many poems of other nations, yet not to be wanting in
poetical merit; and if I am not totally deceived in my judgment, I shall
have no reason to repent of the pains I have taken to draw them out of
that state of obscurity, in which they have hitherto been buried, and in
which they run great risk of mouldering away.

It might perhaps be expected, that I should say something of the Bards in
general on this occasion; but as I have treated that subject in my Latin
Dissertation, which I shall annex to these translations, it will be
sufficient to observe here, that the usual subjects of their poems were
the brave feats of their warriors in the field, their hospitality and
generosity, with other commendable qualities in domestic life, and
elegies upon their great men, which were sung to the harp at their
feasts, before a numerous audience of their friends and relations.  This
is the account that the Greek and Roman writers have given of them, as I
have shown at large in the above-mentioned treatise, which I intend to

The following poems, from among many others of greater length, and of
equal merit, were taken from a manuscript of the learned Dr. Davies,
author of the Dictionary, which he had transcribed from an ancient vellom
MS. which was wrote, partly in Edward the Second and Third’s time, and
partly in Henry the Fifth’s, containing the works of all the Bards from
the Conquest to the death of Llewelyn, the last prince of the British
line.  This is a noble treasure, and very rare to be met with; for Edward
the First ordered all our Bards, and their works, to be destroyed, as is
attested by Sir John Wynne of Gwydir, in the history he compiled of his
ancestors at Carnarvon.  What remained of their works were conveyed in
his time to the Exchequer, where he complains they lay in great
confusion, when he had occasion to consult them.

As to the translation, I have endeavoured to render the sense of the
Bards faithfully, without confining myself to too servile a version; nor
have I, on the other hand, taken liberty to wander much from the
originals; unless where I saw it absolutely necessary, on account of the
different phraseology and idiom of language.

If this small collection has the good fortune to merit the attention of
the public, I may, in some future time, if God permit me life and health,
proceed to translate other select pieces from the same manuscript.  The
poems, in the original, have great merit; and if there is none in the
translation of this specimen, it must be owing entirely to my inability
to do the Bards justice.  I am not the only person who admires them: men
of the greatest sense and learning in Wales do the same.

It must be owned, that it is an arduous task to bring them to make any
tolerable figure in a prose translation; but those who have any candour,
will make allowances.  What was said of poetry in general by one of the
wits, that _it is but Prose run mad_, may very justly be applied to our
Bards in particular: for there are not such extravagant flights in any
poetic compositions, except it be in the Eastern, to which, as far as I
can judge by the few translated specimens I have seen, they bear a great

I have added a few Notes, to illustrate some historical facts alluded to
in the poems, and a short account of each poem, and the occasion it was
written upon, as far as it could be traced from our ancient manuscripts.

I have been obliged to leave blanks in some places, where I did not
understand the meaning in the original, as I had but one copy by me,
which might be faulty.  When I have an opportunity to collate it with
other copies, I may clear these obscure passages.


_A_ POEM _composed by Owain Cyveiliog_, _prince of Powys_, _entitled by
him_ HIRLAS, _from a large drinking horn so called_, _used at feasts in
his palace_.  _He was driven out of his country by Owain Gwynedd_,
_prince of North Wales_, _and Rhys-ap-Griffydd-ap-Rhys-ap-Tewdwr_,
_prince of South Wales_, A.D. 1167, _and recovered it_, _by the help of
the Normans and English_, _under Henry the second_.  _He flourished
about_ A.D. 1160, _in the time of Owain Gwynedd and his son David_.
_This poem was composed on account of a battle fought with the English at
Maelor_, _which is a part of the counties of Denbigh and Flint_,
_according to the modern division_.

When the dawn arose, the shout was given; the enemy gave an ominous
presage; our men were stained with blood, after a hard contest; and the
borders of Maelor Drefred were beheld with wonder and astonishment.
Strangers have I driven away undaunted from the field with bloody arms.
He that provokes the brave man, ought to dread his resentment.

Fill, cup-bearer, fill with alacrity the horn of Rhys, in the generous
prince’s hall; for Owain’s hall was ever supported by spoils taken from
the enemy; and in it thou hearest of the relief of thousands.  There the
gates are ever open.

O cup-bearer, who, with patience, mindest thy duty, forsake us not; fetch
the horn, that we may drink together, whose gloss is like the wave of the
sea; whose green handles shew the skill of the artist, and are tipped
with gold.  Bring the best meath, and put it in Gwgan Draws’s hand, for
the noble feats which he hath achieved: the offspring of Gronwy, who
valiantly fought in the midst of dangers; a race of heroes for worthy
acts renowned: and men, who, in every hardship they undergo, deserve a
reward; who are in the battle foremost: the guardians of Sabrina.  Their
friends exult, when they hear their voice.  The festal shout will cease
when they are gone.

Fill thou the yellow-tipped horn, badge of honour and mirth, full of
frothing meath; and if thou art desirous to have thy life prolonged to
the year’s end, stop not the reward due to his virtue, for it is unjust;
and bring it to Griffydd, with the crimson lance.  Bring wine in the
transparent horn; for he is the guardian of Arwystli, {10a} the defence
of its borders; a dragon of Owain the generous, whose descent is from
Cynvyn; a dragon he was from the beginning, that never was terrified in
the battle; his brave actions shall follow him.  The warriors went to
purchase renown, flushed with liquor, and armed like Edwin; they paid for
their mead, like Belyn’s {10b} men, in the days of yore.  And as long as
men exist, their valour shall be the common theme of Bards.

Fill thou the horn; for it is my inclination, that we may converse in
mirth and festivity with our brave general; put it in the hand of the
worthy Ednyfed, with his spear broken to pieces, and his shield pierced

Like the bursting of a hurricane upon the smooth sea . . . in the
conflict of battle, they would soon break in pieces the sides of a
golden-bordered shield: their lances were besmeared with gore, after
piercing the heads of their enemies; they were vigorous and active in the
defence of delightful Garthan. {11a}  Heard ye in Maelor the noise of
war, the horrid din of arms, their furious onset, loud as in the battle
of Bangor, {11b} where fire flashed out of their spears?  There two
princes engaged, when the carousing of Morach Vorvran {11c} happened.

Fill thou the horn; for it is my delight, in the place where the
defenders of our country drink mead, and give it to Selyf the fearless,
the defence of Gwygyr; {11d} woe to the wretch that offends him,
eagle-hearted hero: and to the son of Madoc, the famous and generous
Tudur, like a wolf when he seizes his prey, is his assault in the onset.
Two heroes, who were sage in their counsels, but active in the field, the
two sons of Ynyr, who, on the day of battle, were ready for the attack,
heedless of danger, famous for their exploits; their assault was like
that of strong lions, and they pierced their enemies like brave warriors;
they were lords of the battle, and rushed foremost with their crimson
lances; the weight of their attack was not to be withstood; their shields
were broke asunder with much force, as the high-sounding wind on the
beach of the green sea, and the encroaching of the furious waves on the
coast of Talgarth. {12a}

Fill, cup-bearer, as thou regardest thy life; fill the horn, badge of
honour at feasts, the hirlas {12b} drinking-horn, which is a token of
distinction, whose tip is adorned with silver, and it’s cover of the same
metal; and bring it to Tudur, the eagle of battles, filled with the best
wine; and if thou dost not bring us the best of all, thy head shall fly
off: give it in the hand of Moreiddig, encourager of songs, whose praise
in battle is celebrated; they were brethren of a distant clime, of an
undaunted heart, and their valour was observable in their countenance.
Can I forget their services? . . . Impetuous warriors, wolves of the
battle, their lances are besmeared with gore; they were the heroes of the
chief of Mochnant, {12c} in the region of Powys.  Their honour was soon
purchased by them both; they seized every occasion to defend their
country, in the time of need, with their bloody arms, and they kept their
borders from hostile invasion.  Their lot is praise; it is like a
mournful elegy to me to lose them both!  O Christ! how pensive am I for
the loss of Moreiddig, which is irreparable.

Pour thou out the horn, though they desire it not, the drinking horn,
hirlas, with cheerfulness, and deliver it into the hand of Morgant, one
who deserves to be celebrated with distinguished praise.  It was like
poison to me, to be deprived of him, and that he was pierced - - - - by
the keen sword.

Pour, cup-bearer, from a silver vessel, an honourable gift, badge of
distinction.  On the large plains of Gwestun {13a} I have seen a miracle;
to stop the impetuosity of Gronwy, was more than a task for an hundred
men.  The warriors pointed their lances, courted the battle, and were
profuse of life; they met their enemies in the conflict, and their
chieftain was consumed by fire near the surges of the sea. {13b}  They
rescued a noble prisoner, Meurig the son of Griffydd, of renowned valour;
they were all of them covered with blood when they returned, and the high
hills and the dales enjoyed the sun equally. {13c}

Pour the horn to the warriors, Owain’s noble heroes, who were equally
active and brave.  They assembled in that renowned place, where the
shining steel glittered.  Madoc and Meilir were men accustomed to
violence, and maintained each other in the injuries they did to their
enemies; they were the shields of our army, and the teachers of warlike
attack.  Hear ye, by drinking mead, how the lord of Cattraeth went with
his warriors in defence of his just cause, the guards of Mynyddawc {13d}
about their distinguished chief.  They have been celebrated for their
bravery, and their speedy march.  But nobody has ever performed so noble
an exploit as my warriors, in the tough land of Maelor, in rescuing the

Pour out, cup-bearer, sweet and well strained mead, (the thrust of the
spear is red in the time of need,) from the horns of wild oxen, covered
with gold, for the honour, and the reward of the souls of those departed
heroes.  Of the numerous cares that surround princes, no one is conscious
here but God and myself.  The man who neither gives nor takes quarter,
and cannot be forced by his enemies to abide to his word, Daniel the
valiant and beautiful: O cup-bearer, great is the task to entreat him;
his men will not cease dealing death around them, till he is mollified.
Cup-bearer, our shares of mead are to be given us equally before the
bright shining tapers.  Cup-bearer, hadst thou seen the action in the
land of Llidwm, {14a} the men whom I honour have but what is their just
reward.  Cup-bearer, hadst thou seen the armed chiefs, encompassing
Owain, who were his shield against the violence of his foes, when Cawres
{14b} was invaded with great fury.  Cup-bearer, slight not my commands:
may we all be admitted into Paradise by the King of kings; and long may
the liberty and happiness of my heroes continue, where the truth is to be
discerned distinctly.


_To Myfanwy Fechan_ {15a} _of Castell Dinas Bran_, {15b} _composed by
Howel-ap-Einion Lygliw_, {15c} _a Bard who flourished about A.D._ 1390.

I am without spirit, O thou that hast enchanted me, as Creirwy {15d}
enchanted Garwy. {15e}  In whatever part of the world I am, I lament my
absence from the marble castle of Myfanwy.  Love is the heaviest burden,
O thou that shinest like the heavens, and a greater punishment cannot be
inflicted than thy displeasure, O beautiful Myfanwy.  I who am plunged
deeper and deeper in love, can expect no other ease, O gentle fair
Myfanwy with the jet eyebrows, than to lose my life upon thy account.  I
sung in golden verse thy praises, O Myfanwy; this is the happiness of thy
lover, but the happiness is a misfortune.  The well-fed steed carried me
pensive like Trystan, {15f} and great was his speed to reach the golden
summit of Bran.  Daily I turn my eyes, and see thee, O thou that shinest
like the waves of Caswennan. {15g}  Charming sight to gaze on thee in the
spacious royal palace of Bran.  I have rode hard, mounted on a fine
high-bred steed, upon thy account, O thou with the countenance of
cherry-flower bloom.  The speed was with eagerness, and the strong
long-ham’d steed of Alban {16a} reached the summit of the highland of
Bran.  I have composed, with great study and pains, thy praise, O thou
that shinest like the new-fallen snow on the brow of Aran. {16b}  O thou
beautiful flower descended from Trefor. {16c}  Hear my sorrowful
complaint.  I am wounded, and the great love I bear thee will not suffer
me to sleep, unless thou givest me a kind answer.  I, thy pensive Bard,
am in as woeful plight as Rhun {16d} by thy palace, beautiful maid.  I
recite, without either flattery or guile, thy praise, O thou that shinest
like the meridian sun, with thy stately steps.  Should’st thou, who art
the luminary of many countries, demand my two eyes, I would part with
them on thy account, such is the pain I suffer.  They pain me while I
look on the glossy walls of thy fine habitation, and see thee beautiful
as the morning sun.  I have meditated thy praise, and made all countries
resound with it, and every singer was pleased in chanting it.  So
affecting are the subjects of my mournful tale, O Myfanwy, {16e} that
lookest like flakes of driven snow.  My loving heart sinks with grief
without thy support, O thou that hast the whiteness of the curling waves.
Heaven has decreed, that I should suffer tormenting pain, and wisdom and
reason were given in vain to guard against love.  When I saw thy fine
shape in scarlet robes, thou daughter of a generous chief, I was so
affected, that life and death were equal to me.  I sunk away, and scarce
had time to make my confession.  Alas! my labour in celebrating thy
praises, O thou that shinest like the fine spider’s webs on the grass in
a summer’s day, is vain.  It would be a hard task for any man to guess
how great my pain is.  It is so afflicting, thou bright luminary of
maids, that my colour is gone.  I know that this pain will avail me
nothing towards obtaining thy love, O thou whose countenance is as bright
as the flowers of the haw-thorn.  O how well didst thou succeed in making
me to languish, and despair.  For heaven’s sake, pity my distressed
condition, and soften the penance of thy Bard.  I am a Bard, who, though
wounded by thee, sing thy praises in well sounding verse, thou gentle
maid of slender shape, who hinderest me to sleep by thy charms.  I bring
thy praises, bright maid, to thy neat palace at Dinbrain; {17} many are
the songs that I rehearse to celebrate thy beautiful form.


_Of David Benvras_, _to Llewelyn the Great_, _Prince of Wales_, _A.D._

He who created the glorious sun, and that cold pale luminary the moon,
grant that I attain the heights of poetry, and be inspired with the
genius of Myrddin; {18a} that I may extol the praise of heroes, like
Aneurin, {18b} in the day he sung his celebrated Gododin; that I may set
forth the happiness of the inhabitants of Venedotia, the noble and
prosperous prince of Gwynedd, the stay and prop of his fair and pleasant
country.  He is manly and heroic in the battle, his fame overspreadeth
the country about the mountain of Breiddin. {18c}  Since God created the
first man, there never was his equal in the front of battle.  Llewelyn
the generous, of the race of princes, has struck terror and astonishment
in the heart of kings.  When he strove for superiority with Loegria’s
king, when he was wasting the country of Erbin, {18d} his troops were
valiant and numerous.  Great was the confusion when the shout was given,
his sword was bathed in blood; proud were his nobles to see his army;
when they heard the clashing of swords, then was felt the agony of wounds
{18e} - - - - - Many were the gashes in the conflict of war.  Great was
the confusion of the Saxons about the ditch of Knocking. {19a}  The sword
was broke in the hand of the warrior.  Heads were covered with wounds,
and the flood of human gore gushed in streams down the knees.

Llewelyn’s empire is wide extended, he is renowned as far as Porth
Ysgewin. {19b}  Constantine was not his equal in undergoing hardships.
Had I arrived to the height of prophecy, and the great gift of ancient
poesy, I could not relate his prowess in action; no, Taliesin {19c}
himself was unequal to the task.  Before he finishes his course in this
world, after he has lived a long life on earth, ere he goes to the deep
and bone-bestrewed grave, ere the green herb grows over his tomb, may He
that turned the water into wine, grant that he may have the Almighty’s
protection, and that for every sin, with which he hath been stained, he
may receive remission.  May Llewelyn, the noble and generous, never be
confounded or ashamed when he arrives at that period; and may he be under
the protection of the saints.


_To Llewelyn the Great_, _composed by Einion the son of Gwgan_, _about_

I invoke the assistance of the God of Heaven, Christ our Saviour, whom to
neglect is impious.  That gift is true which descendeth from above.  The
gifts that are given me are immortal, to discern, according to the great
apostle, _what is right and decent_; and, among other grand subjects, to
celebrate my prince, who avoids not the battle nor its danger; Llewelyn
the generous, the maintainer of Bards.  He is the dispenser of happiness
to his subjects, his noble deeds cannot be sufficiently extolled.  His
spear flashes in a hand accustomed to martial deeds.  It kills and puts
its enemies to flight by the palace of Rheidiol. {20a}  I have seen, and
it was my heart’s delight, the guards of Lleision {20b} about its grand
buildings; numberless troops of warriors mounted on white steeds.  They
encompassed our eagle: Llewelyn the magnanimous hero, whose armour
glistened; the maintainer of his rights.  He defended the borders of
Powys, a country renowned for its bravery; he defended its steep passes,
and supported the privileges of its prince.  Obstinate was his resistance
to the treacherous English.  In Rhuddlan he was like the ruddy fire
flaming with destructive light.  There have I seen Llewelyn the brave
gaining immortal glory.  I have seen him gallantly ploughing the waves of
Deva, when the tide was at its height.  I have seen him furious in the
conflict of Chester, where he doubly repaid his enemies the injuries he
suffered from them.  It is but just that he should enjoy the praise due
to his valour.  I will extol thee, and the task is delightful.  Thou art
like the eagle amongst the nobles of Britain.  Thy form is majestic and
terrible, when thou pursuest thy foes.  When thou invadest thy enemies,
where Owain thy predecessor invaded them in former times; full proud was
thy heart in dividing the spoils, it happened as in the battles of
Kulwydd and Llwyvein. {21a}  Thy beautiful steeds were fatigued with the
labour of the day, where the troops wallowed in gore, and were thrown in
confusion.  The bow was full bent before the mangled corse, the spear
aimed at the breast in the country of Eurgain. {21b}  The army at Offa’s
Dike panted for glory, the troops of Venedotia, and the men of London,
were as the alternate motion of the waves on the sea-shore, where the
sea-mew screams; great was our happiness to put the Normans to fear and
consternation.  Llewelyn the terrible with his brave warriors effected
it; the prince of glorious and happy Mona.  He is its ornament and
distinguished chief.

The lord of Demetia {21c} mustered his troops, and out of envy met his
prince in the field.  The inhabitants of Stone-walled Carmarthen were
hewn to pieces in the conflict.  Nor fort, nor castle, could withstand
him: and before the gates the English were trampled under foot.  Its
chief was sad, the unsheathed sword shone bright, and hundreds of hands
were engaged in the onset at Llan Huadain. {22a}  In Cilgeran {22b} they
purchased glory and honour . . . In Aber Teivi the hovering crows were
numberless . . . thick were the spears besmeared with gore.  The ravens
croaked, they were greedy to suck the prostrate carcases.  Llewelyn, may
such fate attend thy foes.  Mayest thou be more prosperous than the noble
Llywarch {22c} with his bloody lance.  Thy glory shall not be obscured.
There is none that exceedeth thee in bestowing gifts on the days of
solemnity.  In battle thy sword is conspicuous.  Wherever thou goest to
war, to whatever distant clime, glory follows thee from the rising to the
setting sun.  I have a generous and noble prince, the lord of a large
territory.  He is renowned for his coolness and conduct.  Whole troops
fall before him; he defendeth his men like an eagle.  My prince’s brave
actions will be celebrated in the country by Tanad. {22d}  He is valorous
as a lion, who can resist his lance?  He is charitable to the needy, and
his relief is not sought in vain.  My prince is dressed in fine purple
robes.  He is like generous Nudd {22e} in bestowing presents.  Like
valiant Huail {22f} in defying his enemy.  He is like Rhydderch {22g} in
distributing his gold.  Let his praise resound in every country.  He
possesses a large territory and immense riches wherever you turn your
eyes.  In wealth he is equal to Mordaf; like him he opens his liberal
hand to the Bard.  He is like warlike Rhun {23a} in bestowing his
favours.  He is the subject of my meditation.  I am to him as an hand or
an eye. {23b}  He is not descended from a base degenerate stock; and I
myself am descended from his father’s courtiers.  His fury in battle is
like lightning when he attacks the foe: his heart glows with ardour in
the field like magnanimous Gwriad. {23c} His enemies are scattered as
leaves on the side of hills drove by tempestuous hurricanes.  He is the
honourable support and owner of Hunydd. {23d}  He is the grace, the
ornament of Arvon. {23e}  Llewelyn, terror of thy enemy, death issued out
of thy hand in the South.  Thou art to us like an anchor in the time of
storm.  Protector of our country, may the shield of God protect thee.
Britain, fearless of her enemies, glories in being ruled by him, by a
chief who has numerous troops to defend her; by Llewelyn, who defies his
enemies from shore to shore.  He is the joy of armies, and like a lion in
danger.  He is the emperor and sovereign of sea and land.  He is a
warrior that may be compared to a deluge, to the surge on the beach that
covereth the wild salmons.  His noise is like the roaring wave that
rusheth to the shore, that can neither be stopped or appeased.  He puts
numerous troops of his enemies to flight like a mighty wind.  Warriors
crowded about him, zealous to defend his just cause; their shields shone
bright on their arms.  His Bards make the vales resound with his praises;
the justice of his cause, and his bravery in maintaining it, are
deservedly celebrated.  His valour is the theme of every tongue.  The
glory of his victories is heard in distant climes.  His men exult about
their eagle.  To yield or die is the fate of his enemies—they have
experienced his force by the shivering of his lance.  In the day of
battle no danger can turn him from his purpose.  He is conspicuous above
the rest, with a large, strong, crimson lance.  He is the honour of his
country, great is his generosity, and a suit is not made to him in vain.
Llewelyn is a tender-hearted prince.  He can nobly spread the feast, yet
is he not enervated by luxury.  May he that bestowed on us a share of his
heavenly revelation, grant him the blessed habitation of the saints above
the stars.


_Upon Owain Gwynedd_, _Prince of North Wales_, _by Gwalchmai_, _the son
of Meilir_, _in the year_ 1157.

I will extol the generous hero descended from the race of Roderic, {25a}
the bulwark of his country, a prince eminent for his good qualities, the
glory of Britain, Owain the brave and expert in arms, a prince that
neither hoardeth nor coveteth riches.—Three fleets arrived, vessels of
the main, three powerful fleets of the first rate, furiously to attack
him on a sudden.  One from Iwerddon, {25b} the other full of well-armed
Lochlynians, {25c} making a grand appearance on the floods, the third
from the transmarine Normans, {25d} which was attended with an immense,
though successless toil.

The Dragon of Mona’s sons {26a} were so brave in action, that there was a
great tumult on their furious attack, and before the prince himself,
there was vast confusion, havoc, conflict, honourable death, bloody
battle, horrible consternation, and upon Tal Moelvre a thousand banners.
There was an outrageous carnage, {26b} and the rage of spears, and hasty
signs of violent indignation.  Blood raised the tide of the Menai, and
the crimson of human gore stained the brine.  There were glittering
cuirasses, and the agony of gashing wounds, and mangled warriors
prostrate before the chief, distinguished by his crimson lance.  Lloegria
was put into confusion, the contest and confusion was great, and the
glory of our prince’s wide-wasting sword shall be celebrated in an
hundred languages to give him his merited praise.


_To Nest_, {27a} _the daughter of Howel_, _by Einion_, _the son of
Gwalchmai_, _about the year_ 1240.

The spring returns, the trees are in their bloom, and the forest in its
beauty, the birds chaunt, the sea is smooth, the gently-rising tide
sounds hollow, the wind is still.  The best armour against misfortune is
prayer.  But I cannot hide nor conceal my grief, nor can I be still and
silent.  I have heard the waves raging furiously towards the confines of
the land of the sons of Beli. {27b}  The sea flowed with force, and
conveyed a hoarse complaining noise, on account of a gentle maiden.  I
have passed the deep waters of the Teivi {27c} with slow steps.  I sung
the praise of Nest ere she died.  Thousands have resounded her name, like
that of Elivri. {27d}  But now I must with a pensive and sorrowful heart
compose her elegy, a subject fraught with misery.  The bright luminary of
Cadvan {27e} was arrayed in silk, how beautiful did she shine on the
banks of Dysynni, {27f} how great was her innocence and simplicity,
joined with consummate prudence: she was above the base arts of
dissimulation.  Now the ruddy earth covers her in silence.  How great was
our grief, when she was laid in her stony habitation.  The burying of
Nest was an irreparable loss.  Her eye was as sharp as the hawk, which
argued her descended from noble ancestors.  She added to her native
beauty by her goodness and virtue.  She was the ornament of Venedotia,
and her pride.  She rewarded the Bard generously.  Never was pain equal
to what I suffer for her loss.  Oh death, I feel thy sting, thou hast
undone me.  No man upon earth regreteth her loss like me; but hard fate
regardeth not the importunity of prayers, whenever mankind are destined
to undergo its power.  O generous Nest, thou liest in thy safe retreat, I
am pensive and melancholy like Pryderi. {28a}  I store my sorrow in my
breast, and cannot discharge the heavy burden.  The dark, lonesome,
dreary veil, which covereth thy face, is ever before me, which covereth a
face that shone like the pearly dew on Eryri. {28b}  I make my humble
petition to the great Creator of heaven and earth, and my petition will
not be denied, that he grant, that this beautiful maid, who glittered
like pearls, may, through the intercession of Holy Dewi, {28c} be
received to his mercy, that she may converse with the prophets, that she
may come into the inheritance of the All-wise God, with Mary and the
Martyrs.  And in her behalf I will profer my prayer, which will fly to
the throne of Heaven.  My love and affection knew no bounds.  May she
never suffer.  Saint Peter be her protector.  God himself will not suffer
her to be an exile from the mansions of bliss.  Heaven be her lot.


_To Llewelyn-ap-Iorwerth_, _or Llewelyn the Great_; _in which many of his
victories are celebrated_.

_Composed by Llywarch Brydydd y Moch_, _a Bard_, _who_, _according to Mr.
Edward Llwyd of the Museum’s Catalogue of the British writers_,
_flourished about the year_ 1240; _but this poem is certainly of more
ancient date_, _for prince Llewelyn died in the year_ 1240.  _However
that be_, _the original was taken from Llyfr Coch o Hergest_, _or the Red
book of Hergest_, _kept in the Archives of Jesus College_, _Oxon_.  _I
have no apology to make for the Bards’ method of beginning or concluding
their poems_, _but that it was their general custom ever since the
introduction of Christianity to this island_, _which was very early_.
_We have no poems that I know of before that period_, _but some few
remains of the Druids in that kind of verse called Englyn Milwr_.  _It
was the custom of the heathen poets themselves to begin their poems with
an invocation of the Supreme Being_.  _As for instance_, _Theocritus in
the beginning of his Idyllium in praise of Ptolemœus Philadelphus_,

    Έκ Διὸς αρχώμιθα, κι εις Δία λπyετε, Μοισαι.

_But I shall not here enter into a critical dissertation of their merits
or defects_; _my business_, _as a translator_, _being to give as faithful
a version from the original as I possibly could at this distance of
time_; _when many of the matters of fact_, _the manners of the age_, _and
other circumstances_, _alluded to in their poems_, _must remain obscure
to those that are best versed in the records of antiquity_.

May Christ, the Creator and Governor of the hosts of heaven and earth,
defend me from all disasters; may I, through his assistance, be prudent
and discreet ere I come to my narrow habitation in the grave.  Christ,
the son of God, will give me the gift of song to extol my prince, who
giveth the warlike shout with joy.  Christ who hath formed me of the four
elements, and hath endowed me with the deep and wonderful gift of
poetry—Llewelyn is the ruler of Britain and her armour.  He is a
lion-like brave prince, unmoved in action, the son of Iorwerth, {30a} our
strength and true friend, a descendant of Owain {30b} the destroyer,
whose abilities appeared in his youth.  He came to be a leader of forces,
dressed in blue, neat and handsome.  In the conflicts of battle, in the
clang of arms, he was an heroic youth.  When ten years old he
successfully attacked his kinsman. {30c}  In Aber Conwy, ere my prince,
the brave Llewelyn, got his right, he contested with David, {30d} who was
a bloody chief, like Julius Cæsar.  A chief without blemish, not
insulting his foes in distress, but in war impetuous and fierce, like the
points of flaming fire burning in their rage.  It is a general loss to
the Bards, that he is covered with earth.  We grieve for him.—Llewelyn
was our prince ere the furious contest happened, and the spoils were
amassed with eagerness. {30e}  The purple gore ran over the snow-white
breasts of the warriors, and there was an universal havoc and carnage
after the shout.  The parti-coloured waves flowed over the broken spear,
and the warriors were silent.  The briny wave came with force, and
another met it mixed with blood, when we went to Porth Aethwy on the
steeds of the main over the great roaring of the floods.  The spear raged
with relentless fury, and the tide of blood rushed with force.  Our
attack was sudden and fierce.  Death displayed itself in all its horrors:
so that it was a doubt whether any of us should die of old age.  Noble
troops, in the fatal hour, trampled on the dead like prancing steeds.
Before Rhodri was brought to submission, the church-yards were like
fallow grounds.  When Llewelyn the successful prince overcame near the
Alun {31a} with his warriors of the bright arms, ten thousand were
killed, and the crows made a noise, and a thousand were taken prisoners.
Llewelyn, though in battle he killed with fury, though he burnt like
outrageous fire, yet he was a mild prince when the mead-horns were
distributed - - - - - - he gave generously under his waving banners to
his numerous Bards gold and silver, which he regardeth not, and Gasgony
prancing steeds, with rich trappings, and great scarlet cloaks, shining
like the ruddy flame: warlike, strong, well-made destroying steeds, with
streams of foam issuing out of their mouths.  He generously bestoweth,
like brave Arthur, snow-white steeds by hundreds, whose speed is fleeter
than birds.

Thou that feedest the fowls of the air like Caeawg {31b} the hero, the
valiant ruler of all Britain, the numerous forces of England tumble and
wallow in the field before thee.  He bravely achieved above Deudraeth
Dryfan, {31c} the feats of the renowned Ogrfan. {31d}  Men fall silently
in the field, and are deprived of the rites of sepulture.  Thou hast
defeated two numerous armies, one on the banks of Alun of the rich soil,
where the Normans were destroyed, as the adversaries of Arthur in the
battle of Camlan. {32a}  The second in Arfon, near the sea shore - - - -
- - And two ruling chiefs, flushed with success, encouraged us like
lions, and one superior to them both, a stern hero, the ravage of
battles, like a man that conquers in all places.  Llewelyn with the
broken blade of the gilt sword, the waster of Lloegr, a wolf covered with
red, with his warriors about Rhuddlan.  His forces carry the standard
before him waving in the air.  Thou art possessed of the valour of
Cadwallon, {32b} the son of Cadfan.  He is for recovering the government
of all Britain.  He kindly stretched his hand to us, while his enemies
fled to the sea shore, to embark to avoid the imminent destruction, with
despair in their looks, and no place of refuge remained, and the crimson
lance whizzed dreadfully over their brows.  We the Bards of Britain, whom
our prince entertaineth on the first of January, shall every one of us,
in our rank and station, enjoy mirth and jollity, and receive gold and
silver for our reward - - - - - - - Caer Lleon, {32c} the chief of Môn,
has brought thee to a low condition.  Llewelyn has wasted thy land, thy
men are killed by the sea - - - - He has entirely subdued Gwyddgrug,
{33a} where the English ran away, with a precipitate flight, full of
horror and consternation.  Thy fields are miserably wasted, thy cloister,
and thy neat houses, are ashes.  The palace of Elsmere {33b} was with
rage and fury burnt by fire.  Ye all now enjoy peace by submitting to our
prince, for wherever he goeth with his forces, whether it be hill or
dale, it is the possession of one sole proprietor.  Our lion has brought
to Trallwng three armies that will never turn their backs, the residence
of our enemies ever to be abhorred.  The numerous Bards receive divers
favours from him.  He took Gwyddgrug.  See you who succeeds in Mochnant
{33c} when he victoriously marches through your country.  On its borders
the enemy were routed, and the Argoedwys {33d} were furiously attacked,
and covered with blood.  We have two palaces now in our possession.  Let
Powys {33e} see who is the valiant king of her people, whether it argueth
prudence to act treacherously.  Whether a Norman chief be preferable to a
conquering Cymro.  We have a prince, consider it, who, though silent
about his own merit, putteth Lloegr to flight, and is fully bent to
conquer the land that was formerly in the possession of Cadwallon, the
son of Cadfan, the son of Iago - - - - - A noble lion, the governor of
Britain, and her defence, Llewelyn, numerous are thy battles, thou brave
prince of the mighty, that puttest the enemy to flight.  Mayest thou my
friend and benefactor overcome in every hardship.  He is a prince with
terrible looks who will conquer in foreign countries, as well as in Môn
the mother of all Wales.  His army has made its way broad thro’ the
ocean, and filled the hills, promontories, and dales.  The blood flowed
about their feet when the maimed warriors fought.  In the battle of Coed
Aneu, {34a} thou supporter of Bards, didst overthrow thy enemies.  The
other hard battle was fought at Dygen Ddyfnant, {34b} where thousands
behaved themselves with manly valour.  The next contest, where noble
feats were achieved, was on the hill of Bryn yr Erw, {34c} where they saw
thee like a lion foremost in piercing thy enemies, like a strong eagle, a
safeguard to thy people.  Upon this account they will no longer dispute
with thee.  They vanish before thee like the ghosts of Celyddon. {34d}
Thou hast taken Gwyddgrug and Dyfnant by force, and Rhuddlan with its red
borders, and thousands of thy men overthrew Dinbych, {34e} Foelas, {34f}
and Gronant; {34g} and the men of Carnarvon, thy friends, were busy in
action, and Dinas Emreis {34h} strove bravely in thy cause, and they
vanquished with the renowned Morgant {34i} at their head all that stood
before them.  Thy pledges know not where to turn their faces, they cannot
enjoy mirth or rest.  Thou wert honourably covered with blood, and thy
wound is a glory to thee.  When thou didst resist manfully the attack of
the enemy, thou wert honoured by thy sword, with thy buckler on thy
shoulders.  Thou didst bravely lead thy forces, the astonishment of
Lloegr, to the borders of Mechain {35a} and Mochnant.  Happy was the
mother who bore thee, who art wise and noble, and freely distributest
rich suits of garments, thy gold and silver.  And thy Bards celebrate
thee for presenting them thy bred steeds, when they sit at thy tables.
And I myself am rewarded for my gift of poetry, with gold and
distinguished respect.  And should I desire of my prince the moon as a
present, he would certainly bestow it on me.  Thy praise reacheth as far
as Lliwelydd, {35b} and Llywarch is the man who celebrates with his songs
- - - - - - My praises are not extravagant to thee the prodigy of our
age, thou art a prince firm in battle like an elephant.  When thou
arrivest at the period of thy glory, when thy praises cease to be
celebrated by the Bard and the harp, my brave prince, ere thou comest,
before thy last hour approaches, to confess thy sins, after thou hast
through thy prowess vanquished thy enemies, mayest thou at last become a
glorious saint.


_To Llewelyn_, _the son of Griffydd_, _last prince of Wales of the
British line_, _composed by Llygad Gwr_, _about the year_ 1270.

                              IN FIVE PARTS.


I address myself to God, the source of joy, the fountain of all good
gifts, of transcendent majesty.  Let the song proceed to pay its tribute
of praise, to extol my hero, the prince of Arllechwedd, {36a} who is
stained with blood, a prince descended from renowned kings.  Like Julius
Cæsar is the rapid progress of the arms of Griffydd’s heir.  His valour
and bravery are matchless, his crimson lance is stained with gore.  It is
natural to him to invade the lands of his enemies.  He is generous, the
pillar of princes.  I never return empty-handed from the North.  My
successful and glorious prince, I would not exchange on any conditions.
I have a renowned prince, who lays England waste, descended from noble
ancestors.  Llewelyn the destroyer of thy foes, the mild and prosperous
governor of Gwynedd, Britain’s honour in the field, with thy sceptered
hand extended on the throne, and thy gilt sword by thy side.  The lion of
Cemmaes, {36b} fierce in the onset, when the army rusheth to be covered
with red.  Our defence who slighteth alliance with strangers, who with
violence maketh his way through the midst of his enemy’s country.  His
just cause will be prosperous at last.  About Tyganwy {37a} he has
extended his dominion, and his enemies fly from him with maimed limbs,
and the blood flows over the soles of men’s feet.  Thou dragon of Arfon
{37b} of resistless fury, with thy beautiful well-made steeds, no
Englishman shall get one foot of thy country.  There is no Cymro thy


There is none equal to my prince with his numerous troops in the conflict
of war.  He is a generous Cymro descended from Beli Hir, {37c} if you
enquire about his lineage.  He generously distributeth gold and riches.
An heroic wolf from Eryri. {37d}  An eagle among his nobles of matchless
prowess; it is our duty to extol him.  He is clad in a golden vest in the
army, and setteth castles on fire.  He is the bulwark of the battle with
Greidiawl’s {37e} courage.  He is a hero that with fury breaketh whole
ranks, and fighteth manfully.  His violence is rapid, his generosity
overflowing.  He is the strength of armies arrayed in gold.  He is a
brave prince whose territories extend as far as the Teivi, {37f} whom
nobody dares to punish.  Llewelyn the vanquisher of England is a noble
lion descended from the race of kings.  Thou art the king of the mighty,
the entertainer and encourager of Bards.  Thou makest the crows rejoice,
and the Bryneich {38a} to vomit blood, they feasted on their carcases.
He never avoided danger in the storm of battle, he was undaunted in the
midst of hardships.  The Bards {38b} prophecy that he shall have the
government and sovereign power; every prediction is at last to be
fulfilled.  The shields of his men were stained with red in brave actions
from Pwlffordd {38c} to the farthest bounds of Cydweli. {38d}  May he
find endless joys, and be reconciled to the Son of God, and enjoy Heaven
by his side.


We have a prudent prince, his lance is crimson, his shield is shivered to
pieces; a prince furious in action, his palace is open to his friends,
but woe is the lot of his enemies.  Llewelyn the vanquisher of his
adversaries is furious in battle like an outrageous dragon; to be guarded
against him availeth not, when he cometh hand to hand to dispute the
hardy contest.  May he that made him the happy governor of Gwynedd and
its towns, strengthen him for length of years to defend his country from
hostile invasion.  It is our joy and happiness that we have a brave
warrior with prancing steeds, that we have a noble Cymro, descended from
Cambrian ancestors, to rule our country and its borders.  He is the best
prince that the Almighty made of the four elements.  He is the best of
governors, and the most generous.  The eagle of Snowdon, and the bulwark
of battle.  He pitched a battle where there was a furious contest to
obtain his patrimony on Cefn Gelorwydd; {39a} such a battle never
happened since the celebrated action of Arderydd. {39b}

He is the brave lion of Mona, the kind-hearted Venedotian, the valiant
supporter of his troops in Bryn Derwen.  He did not repent of the day in
which he assaulted his adversaries: it was like the assault of a hero
descended from undaunted ancestors.  I saw a hero disputing with hosts of
men like a man of honour in avoiding disgrace.  He that saw Llewelyn like
an ardent dragon in the conflict of Arfon and Eiddionydd, {39c} would
have observed that it was a difficult task to withstand his furious
attack by Drws Daufynydd. {39d}  No man has ever compelled him to submit:
may the Son of God never put him to confusion.


Like the roaring of a furious lion in the search of prey, is thy thirst
of praise, like the sound of a mighty hurricane over the desert main,
thou warlike prince of Aberffraw. {39e}  Thy ravage is furious, thy
impetuosity irresistible, thy troops are enterprising in brave actions,
they are fierce and furious like a conflagration.  Thou art the warlike
prince of Dinefwr, {40a} the defence of thy people, the divider of
spoils.  Thy forces are comely and neat, and of one language.  Thy proud
Toledo sword is gilt with gold and its edge broke in war.  Thou prince of
Mathrafal, {40b} extensive are the bounds of thy dominions, thou rulest
people of four languages.  He staid undaunted in battle against a foreign
nation, and its strange language.  May the great King of heaven defend
the just cause of the warlike prince of the three provinces.


I make my address to God, the source of praise, in the best manner I am
able, that I may extol with suitable words the chief of men, who rageth
like fire from the flashes of lightning, who exchangeth thrusts with the
burnished steel.  I stand in armour by the side of my prince with the red
spear in the conflict of war, he is a brave fighter, and the foremost in
action.  Llewelyn, thy qualities are noble, I will valiantly make my path
broad with the edge of my sword.  May the prints of the hoofs of my
prince’s steeds be seen as far as Cornwall.  Numerous are the persons
that congratulate him upon this success, for he is a sure friend.  The
lion of Gwynedd, and its extensive territories, the governor of the men
of Powys, and the South, who hath a general assembly of his armed troops
at Chester, who ravageth Lloegr to amass spoils.  In battle his success
is certain, in killing, burning, and in overthrowing castles.  In Rhos,
and Penfro, {40c} and in contests with the Normans, his impetuosity
prevaileth.  The offspring of Griffydd, of worthy qualities, generous in
distributing rewards for songs.  His shield shines, and the strong lances
quickly meet the streams of gushing gore.  He extorteth taxes from his
enemies, and claimeth another country as a sovereign prince.  His noble
birth is an ornament to him.  He besiegeth fortified towns, and his
furious attacks like those of Fflamddwyn {41} reach far.  He is a
prosperous chief with princely qualities, his Bards are comely about his
tables.  I have seen him generously distributing his wealth, and his
mead-horns filled with generous liquors.  Long may he live to defend his
borders with the sharp sword, like Arthur with the lance of steel.  May
he who is lawful king of Cymru, endued with princely qualities, have his
share of happiness at the right hand of God.


_Entitled the Ode of the Months_, _composed by Gwilym Ddu of Arfon_, _to
Sir John Griffydd Llwyd_, _of Tregarnedd and Dinorwig_.

Why the Bard called this piece the “Ode of the Months” I cannot guess;
but by what he intimates in the poem, which is that when all nature
revives, and the whole animal and vegetable creation are in their full
bloom and vigour, he mourned and pined for the decayed state of his
country.  The hero he celebrates made a brave but successless attempt to
rescue it from slavery.  It will not be amiss to give a short account of
the inhuman massacre of the Bards made by that cruel tyrant Edward the
first, which gave occasion to a very fine Ode by Mr. Gray.  Sir John
Wynne, of Gwydir, a descendant in a direct line from Owain Gwynedd,
mentions this particular, and says he searched all the records in the
Exchequer at Carnarvon, and in the Tower of London, for the antiquities
of his country in general, and of his own family in particular.  I shall
set down his own words, as I find them in a very fair copy of that
history lent me by Sir Roger Mostyn, of Gloddaeth and Mostyn, Bart., a
person no less eminent for his generous communicative temper, than for
many other public and private virtues.

    “This is the most ancient song (i.e. one of Rhys Goch of Eryri’s, a
    Bard who flourished A.D. 1400) I can find extant of my ancestors
    since the reign of Edward the first, who caused our Bards all to be
    hanged by martial law, as stirrers of the people to sedition; whose
    example being followed by the governors of Wales until Henry the
    Fourth’s time, was the utter destruction of that sort of men; and
    since then that kind of people were at some further liberty to sing,
    and to keep pedigrees, as in ancient time they were wont; since which
    time we have some light of antiquity by their songs and writings,”

The following is taken from an old British grammar, written in English,
by William Salesbury, printed at London, 1567.  I have transcribed it
faithfully according to the old orthography.  “Howbeit when the whole
Isle was commonlye called Brytayne, the dwellers Brytons, and accordingly
their language Brytishe, I will not refell nor greatly deny; neither can
I justly gainsaye, but their tongue then was as copious of syt woordes,
and all manner of proper vocables, and as well adornated with woorshipful
sciences and honourable knowledge as any other of the barbarous tongues
were.  And so still continued (though their sceptre declined, and their
kingdom decayed, and they also by God’s hand were driven into the most
unfertyl region, barenest country, and most desart province of all the
isle) untyll the conquest of Wales.  For then, as they say, the nobles
and the greatest men beyng captives and brought prysoners to the tower of
London, there to remayne during their lyves, desired of a common request,
that they might have with them all such bokes of their tongue, as they
most delited in, and so their petition was heard, and for the lightness
soon granted, and thus brought with them all the principallest and
chiefest books, as well of their own as of other their friends, of whom
they could obtain anye to serve for their purpose.  Whose mind was none
other but to pass the time, and their predestinate perpetual captivitie
in the amenous varietie of over reading and revoluting many volumes and
sundry books of divers sciences and strange matters.

“And that is the common answer of the Welshe Bardes (for so they call
their country poets) when a man shall object or cast in their teeth the
foolysh uncertainty and the phantasticall vanities of their prophecies
(which they call BRUTS) or the doubtful race and kinde of their
uncanonized saynctes: whom that notwithstanding they both invocate and
worship wyth the most hyghe honoure and lowliest reverence.  Adding and
allegying in excuse thereof, that the reliques and residue of the books
and monuments, as well as the saynctes lyves, as of their Brutysh
prophecies and other sciences (which perished not in the tower, for
there, they say, certain were burned) at the commotion of OWAIN GLYNDWR,
were in like manner destroyed, and utterly devastat, or at the least wyse
that there escaped not one, that was not uncurablye maymed, and
irrecuperably torn and mangled.

    “‘Llyfrau Cymru au llofrudd
    Ir twr Gwyn aethant ar gudd
    Ysceler oedd Yscolan
    Fwrw’r twrr lyfrau ir tan.’

                                                 Gutto’r Glyn.  A.D. 1450.

“The books of Cymru and their remains went to the White Tower, where they
were hid.  Cursed was Ysgolan’s act in throwing them in heaps into the

It is not improbable that our Bard might have been one of those who
suffered in the cause of his country, though he had the good luck to
escape Edward’s fury.  I wish I may be so happy as to convey some faint
idea of his merit to the English reader.  The original has such touches,
as none but a person in the Bard’s condition could have expressed so
naturally.  However not to anticipate the judicious reader’s opinion, to
which I submit mine with all deference, I shall now produce some account
of this great man, taken from that skilful and candid antiquary Mr.
Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt’s notes on Dr. Powel’s history of Wales,
printed at Oxford, 1663.

    “Sir John Griffydd Llwyd, knight, the son of Rhys ap Griffydd ap
    Ednyfed Fychan, was a valiant gentleman, but unfortunate, ‘magnæ
    quidem, sed calamitosæ virtutis,’ as Lucius Florus saith of
    Sertorius.  He was knighted by king Edward, when he brought him the
    first news of his queen’s safe delivery of a son at Carnarvon Castle;
    the king was then at Rhuddlan, at his parliament held there.  This
    Sir Griffydd afterwards taking notice of the extreme oppression and
    tyranny exercised by the English officers, especially Sir Roger
    Mortimer, lord of Chirk, and justice of North Wales, towards his
    countrymen the Welsh, became so far discontented, that he broke into
    open rebellion, verifying that saying of Solomon, ‘Oppression maketh
    a wise man mad.’  He treated with Sir Edward Bruce, brother to
    Robert, then king of Scotland, who had conquered Ireland, to bring or
    send over men to assist him in his design against the English; but
    Bruce’s terms being conceived too unreasonable, the treaty came to
    nought; however being desperate, he gathered all the forces he could,
    and, in an instant, like a candle that gives a sudden blaze before it
    is out, overran all North Wales and the Marches, taking all the
    castles and holds; but to little purpose, for soon after he was met
    with, his party discomfited, and himself taken prisoner.  This was in
    the year of our Lord 1322.”

I thought so much by way of introduction necessary to commemorate so
gallant a person; what became of him afterwards is not mentioned by our
historians.  However the following poem remains not only as a monument of
the hero’s bravery, but of the Bard’s genius.

                                * * * * *

Before the beginning of May I lived in pomp and grandeur, but now, alas!
I am deprived of daily support, the time is as disastrous as when our
Saviour Christ was taken and betrayed.  How naked and forlorn is our
condition!  We are exposed to anxious toils and cares.  O how heavy is
the Almighty’s punishment, that the crimson sword cannot be drawn!  I
remember how great its size was, and how wide its havoc; numerous are now
the oppressed captives who languish in gnashing indignation.  Our native
Bards are excluded from their accustomed entertainments.  How great a
stop is put to generosity since a munificent hero, like Nudd, {46a} is
confined in prison.  The valorous hawk of Griffydd, {46b} so renowned for
ravaging and destroying his enemies, is deplored by the expert Bards, who
have lost their festivity and mirth in the place where mead was drunk.  I
cannot bear to think of his injurious treatment.  His hospitality has fed
thousands.  He is, alas! in a forlorn prison, such is the unjust
oppression of the land of the Angles. {46c}  Years of sorrow have
overwhelmed me.  I reckon not what becomes of the affairs of this world.
The Bards of two hundred regions lament that they have now no protector.
This is a certain, but a sad truth.  Though the unthinking vulgar do not
reflect as I do on the time when my eagle shone in his majesty.  I am
pierced by the lance of despair.  Hard is the fate of my protector,
Gwynedd {47a} is in a heavy melancholy mood, its inhabitants are
oppressed because of their transgressions.  Long has the bright sword,
that shone like a torch, been laid aside, and the brave courage of the
dauntless Achilles been stopped.  The whole pleasant season of May is
spent in dismal sorrow; and June is comfortless and cheerless.  It
increaseth my tribulation, that Griffydd with the red lance is not at
liberty.  I am covered with chilly damps.  My whole fabric shakes for the
loss of my chief.  I find no intermission to my pain.  May I sink, O
Christ! my Saviour, into the grave, where I can have repose; for now,
alas! the office of the Bard is but a vain and empty name.  I am
surprised that my despair has not burst my heart, and that it is not rent
through the midst in twain.  The heavy stroke of care assails my memory,
when I think of his confinement, who was endowed with the valour of Urien
{47b} in battle.  My meditation on past misfortunes is like that of the
skilful Cywryd, {47c} the Bard of Dunawd. {47d}  My praise to the worthy
hero is without vicious flattery, and my song no less affecting than his.
My panegyric is like the fruitful genius of Afan Ferddig {48a} in
celebrating Cadwallon {48b} of royal enterprise.  I can no more sing of
the lance, in well-laboured verse.  Since thou doest not live, what
avails it that the world has any further continuance?  Every region
proclaims thy generosity.  The world droops since thou art lost.  There
are no entertainments or mirth, Bards are no longer honoured: the palaces
are no longer open, strangers are neglected, there are no caparizoned
steeds, no trusty endearing friendship.  No, our country mourns, and
wears the aspect of Lent.  There is no virtue, goodness, or any thing
commendable left among us, but vice, dissoluteness, and cowardice bear
the sway.  The great and towering strength of Môn {48c} is become an
empty shadow, and the inhabitants of Arfon {48d} are become insignificant
below the ford of Rheon. {48e}  The lofty land of Gwynedd is become weak.
The heavy blow of care strikes her down.  We must now renounce all
consolation.  We are confined in a close prison by a merciless
unrelenting enemy; and what avails a bloody and brave contest for

                                * * * * *

_Having finished the present small collection of the British Bards_, _I
take this opportunity to acquaint the reader_, _that the time in which
they flourished is not accurately set down by Dr. Davies_, _at the end of
his Dictionary_, _nor by Mr. Llwyd_, _of the Museum_, _in his Catalogue
of British Writers_, _in the Archæologia Britannica.  Indeed it is
impossible to be so exact_, _as to fix the year when the Bards wrote
their several pieces_, _unless the actions they celebrate are mentioned
in our Annals_, _because some of them_ _lived under several princes_.
_This I thought proper to mention_, _lest any should blame the translator
for his inaccuracy_, _in settling the Chronology of the Poems_.


_The Chief of Bards_, _and Elphin_, _the son of Gwyddno Goranhir_, _his

Gwyddno Goranhir, was a petty king of Cantre’r Gwaelod, whose country was
drowned by the sea, in a great inundation that happened about the year
560, through the carelessness of the person into whose care the dams were
committed, as appears from a poem of Taliesin upon that sad catastrophe.
In his time the famous Taliesin lived, whose birth and education is thus
related in our ancient manuscripts.  He was found exposed in a wear
belonging to Gwyddno, the profit of which he had granted to his son,
Prince Elphin, who being an extravagant youth, and not finding the usual
success, grew melancholy; and his fishermen attributed his misfortune to
his riotous irregular life.  When the prodigal Elphin was thus bewailing
his misfortune, the fishermen espied a coracle with a child in it,
enwrapped in a leathern bag, whom they brought to the young prince, who
ordered care to be taken of him, and when he grew up gave him the best
education, upon which he became the most celebrated Bard of his time.
The accomplished Taliesin was introduced by Elphin to his father
Gwyddno’s court, where he delivered him a poem, giving an account of
himself, entitled, Hanes Taliesin, or Taliesin’s History; and at the same
time another to his patron and benefactor Elphin to console him upon his
past misfortune, and to exhort him to put his trust in Divine Providence.
This is a fine moral piece, and very artfully addressed by the Bard, who
introduces himself in the person and character of an exposed infant.  As
it is probable that the prince’s affairs took another turn since that
period, this was done with great propriety.  Sir John Pryse mentions the
poem that Taliesin delivered to king Gwyddno, in his Historiæ Britannicæ
defensio.  “Taliesinus quidem in odula, quam de suis erroribus composuit,
sic inscripta Britannicè (Hanes Taliesin) videlicet errores Taliesini,
ait se tandem divertisse ad reliquias Trojæ;

    “‘Mi a ddaethum yma at Weddillion Troia;’

“neque dubitandum est hoc fuesse opus Taliesini: nam præter innumeros
codices vetustissimos, qui inscriptionem hujusmodi attestentur, nullo
reclamante, nullus est recentiorum qui vel phrasin illius tam antiquam,
carminisve majestatem assequi potuit.  Et ideo summus ille vates inter
Britannos censetur et nominatur.”  I never could procure a perfect nor
correct copy of this poem of Taliesin, otherwise I would gratify the
curious with a translation of it.  It is certain from his history, that
he was a very learned man for his time, and seems to have been well
versed in the doctrine of the Druids, particularly the μετεμψύχωσις,
which accounts for the extravagant flights frequent in his poems.  I have
now in my possession above fifty of them; but they are so difficult to be
understood, on account of their great antiquity, and numerous obsolete
words, and negligence of transcribers, that it is too great a task for
any man at this distance of time to go about a translation of them.
However I have selected this ode, as a specimen of his manner of writing,
not as it is the best in the collection, but as it is the only one I
could thoroughly understand.  There are many spurious pieces fathered
upon this Bard, in a great many hands in North Wales; but these are all
forged either by the monks, to answer the purposes of the church of Rome,
or by the British Bards, in the time of the latter princes of Wales, to
spirit up their countrymen against the English, which anybody versed in
the language may easily find by the style and matter.  It has been my
luck to meet with a manuscript of all his genuine pieces now extant,
which was transcribed by the learned Dr. Davies, of Mallwyd, from an old
manuscript on vellum of the great antiquary Mr. R. Vaughan, of Hengwrt.
This transcript I have shewn to the best antiquaries and critics in the
Welsh language now living.  They all confess that they do not understand
above one half of any of his poems.  The famous Dr. Davies could not, as
is plain from the many obsolete words he has left without any
interpretation in his dictionary.  This should be a caveat to the English
reader concerning the great antiquity of the poems that go under the name
of Ossian, the son of Fingal, lately published by Mr. Macpherson.  It is
a great pity Taliesin is so obscure, for there are many particulars in
his poems that would throw great light on the history, notions, and
manners of the Ancient Britons, especially of the Druids, a great part of
whose learning it is certain he had imbibed.  This celebrated Bard was in
great favour with all the great men of his time, particularly with
Maelgwn Gwynedd, the warlike and victorious king of all Britain, with
Elphin his patron, whom he redeemed with his songs from the castle of
Tyganwy, where he was upon some account confined by his uncle Maelgwn.
He likewise celebrated the victories of Urien Reged, king of Cumbria, and
a great part of Scotland, as far as the river Clyde.  In short, he was
held in so great esteem by posterity, that the Bards mentioned him with
the greatest honour in their works.  In his poem entitled Anrheg Urien,
or Urien’s Present, he says that his habitation was by Llyn Geirionnydd,
in the parish of Llan Rhychwyn, in Carnarvonshire, and mentions therein
his cotemporary, the famous Aneurin Gwawdrydd, author of the Gododin, an
heroic poem on the battle of Cattraeth, of which some account is given in
the Dissertatio de Bardis.

    A wn ni enw Aneurin Gwawdrydd Awenydd
    A minnau Daliesin o lann Llyn Geirionnydd.

i.e. I know the fame of that celebrated genius Aneurin Gwawdrydd, who am
Taliesin, whose habitation is by the pool Geirionnydd.—

Having finished this short account of our author, I shall now proceed to
his poem, entitled, Dyhuddiant Elphin, or Elphin’s Consolation, which I
offer now to the public.

Dr. John David Rhys quotes it at length in his Linguæ Cymraecæ
Institutiones Accuratæ; which, to save further trouble, I shall beg leave
to transcribe here in his own words.  “Cæterum nunc et propter eorum
authoritatem, et quod huic loco inter alia maxime quadrant, non pigebit
quædem antiquissima Taliesini Cambro-Britannica Carmina subjungere,” &c.

I have nothing more to acquaint the reader with, but that I have used two
copies in my translation, one in print by the said Dr. John David Rhys,
the other in manuscript by Dr. Thomas Williams.  I have followed the copy
I thought most correct, and have given the different reading of the
manuscript in the margin.


_To Elphin_, _the son of Gwyddno Goranhir_, _king of Cantre’r Gwaelod_,
_to comfort him upon his ill success at the Wear_; _and to exhort him to
trust in Divine providence_.


Fair Elphin, cease to weep, let no man be discontented with his fortune;
to despair avails nothing.  It is not that which man sees that supports
him.  Cynllo’s prayer will not be ineffectual.  God will never break his
promise.  There never was in Gwyddno’s Wear such good luck as to-night.


Fair Elphin, wipe the tears from thy face!  Pensive melancholy will never
profit thee; though thou thinkest thou hast no gain; certainly too much
sorrow will do thee no good; doubt not of the great Creator’s wonders;
though I am but little, yet am I endowed with great gifts.  From the seas
and mountains, and from the bottom of rivers, God sends wealth to the
good and happy man.


Elphin with the lovely qualities, thy behaviour is unmanly, thou oughtest
not to be over pensive.  To trust in God is better than to forebode evil.
Though I am but small and slender on the beach of the foaming main, I
shall do thee more good in the day of distress than three hundred


Elphin with the noble qualities, murmur not at thy misfortune: though I
am but weak on my leathern couch, there dwelleth a gift on my tongue.
While I continue to be thy protection, thou needest not fear any
disaster.  If thou desirest the assistance of the ever blessed Trinity,
nothing can do thee hurt.


                          BREVITER DISCUTIUNTUR.

                             STUDIO ET OPERA

                        EVANI EVANS, CERETICENSIS.

                                * * * * *

          Si quid mea carmina possunt,
    Aonio statuam sublimeis vertice Bardos;
    Bardos Pieridum cultores, atque canentis
    Phœbi delicias, quibus est data cura perennis
    Dicere nobilium clarissima facta virorum,
    Aureaque excelsam famam super astra locare.

                                      JOH. LELANDUS in Assertione ARTURII.

                              _Insigni Viro_

                            _GVLIELMO VAVGHAN_

                       _De Cors y Gedol Armigero_,


                          _In Senatu Britannico_

           _Pro Comitatu_ Meirionnydd _Delegato_, _Provinciae_

                    _Praefeeto_, _Rotulorum Custodi_,

           _Societatis_ Cymmrodorion _Londini Praesidi Summo_,

                _Caeterisque Ejusdem Societatis Membris_,

                     _Hanc De Bardis Dissertationem_,

              _Summa_, _Qua Par Est_, _Observantia D. D. D._

                             _Evanus Evans_.


Quum per multos annos non sine summa voluptate Bardos Britannos horis
subsicivis evolverem, et quum hac ætate fere in desuetudinem abiere
ejusmodi studia, et quicquid est Britannicae antiquitatis nostrorum
pereat incuriâ, non potui quin hanc qualem qualem rudi Minerva
dissertatiunculam in vulgus emitterem, quo exteris melius innotescat,
quantum in his olim profecêre nostrates.

Bardi apud Celtas originem habuerunt; et Graeci, qui eorurn meminerunt,
mira omnino de illis produnt, quae eo magis fidem merentur quod non
solebant laudes suas in Barbaros effusè impendere.  Cum alibi gentium
hodie nulla eorum maneant vestigia nisi apud Cambro-Britannos et
Hibernos, Celtarum posteros; è re fore duxi, si aliquid de antiquioribus
qui apud nos extant, praelibarem, praemissis de iis in genere ex
Scriptoribus Graecis et Latinis elogii, quò augustius in scenam prodeant;
et inde venerandae antiquitatis auctoritatem sibi vindicent.

Unde Bardi nomen sunt sortiti, nondum mihi constat; ANNII enim
VITERBIENSIS regem Bardum, uti et omnia ejus hujuscemodi commenta,
penitus rejicio.  Non omnino abludit vox _Bâr_ furor, modo sit ille
poeticus quo se agitari fingebant Bardi.  Si ea fuerit vocis origo,
necesse est ut primitùs scriberetur _Barydd_.  Utcunque sit, nos a multis
retrò Seculis furorem illum poeticum voce AWEN designamus, quae deduci
potest a Gwên, _risus_ vel _lætitia_: Poetae enim munus est ut homines
cantu exhilaret.  Non multum ergo contendimus an ea sit vocis origo, cum
vocabulorum antiquorum, cujusmodi sunt hominum, officiorum, urbium,
montium et fluviorum sit admodum obscura significatio.

His de Bardorum origine praemissis, ad eorum pergamus munus, prout
Scriptores Graeci et Latini tradiderunt.  Primus sit DIODORUS SICULUS,
qui haec scribit.  Εισι και παρ' αυτοις και ποιηται μελων, ους ΒΑΡΔΟΥΣ
ονομάζουσι, ουτοι δε μετ' ορyάνων ταις λύραις ομοίων αδοντες, ους μεν
υμνουσι, ους δε βλασφηουσι {60a} Non multum dissimile est quod de illis
prodit AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS.  “Bardi (inquit ille) fortia virorum
illustrium facta heroicis composita versibus cum dulcibus lyrae modulis
cantitarunt.”  His POSSIDONII apud ATHENAEUM verba addere lubet, qui
eorum munus graphicè depingit.  Κελτοι πειάyονται μεζ' εαυτων, και
πολεμουντες συμξιωτας ους καλονσι παρασιτους.  ουτοι δε εyκώμια άυτων,
και προς αθρόους λέyουσιν ανθρώπους συνειςωτας, και προς εκατον των καrα
μέρος εκείνων ακροωμένων.  τα δε ακόυσματα αυτων εισιν οι καλόυμενοι
ΒΑΡΔΟΙ.  ποιηrαι δε ουτοι rυyχάνουσι yετ ωδης επαίνοις λέyοντες. {60b}
Hinc manifesto liquet eorum præcipuum munus fuisse Heroum laudes in cœlum
evehere.  Sed quum nulla Celticorum vel Gallicorum extent Bardorum opera,
ex quibus quam dignè munus gesserint evincatur, operæ pretium est, alium
ex eodem ATHENAEO locum adducere, ex quo patebit haudquaquam iis defuisse
sublime dicendi genus, quod Græci υψος vocant.  Posidonius, Luernii, qui
Bittitis pater fuit à Romanis profligati, opes cùm enarrat, tradit eum
popularem gratiam ancupantem, per agros curru vehi solitum, aurúmque et
argentum in turbas Celtarum innumeras eum prosequentes spargere; quin et
septum eundem quadratum stadiorum duodecim aliquando cinxisse, in quo
potione sumptuosa et exquisita pleni lacus essant, paratáque cibariorum
copia, ut complusculis diebus liceret iis quibus placeret, ingredi,
fruíque illo apparatu, cum assiduis ministrorum officiis.  Epularum diem
aliquando cùm ille constituisset, ac præfiniisset, barbarum quendam
Poetam tardius caeteris eo commeantem illi occurrisse, ac canentem laudes
ejus, excellentésque virtutes celebrasse, vicem verò suam doluisse, ac
deflevise, quòd serius adventasset: illum cantu delectatum auri sacculum
poposcisse, et accurrenti cantori projecisse: quo sublato, poëtam ejus
rursum laudes iterantem praedicasse currûs, quo vehebatur, impressa in
terram vestigia aurum et beneficia procreare mortalibus.  Sed praestat
ipsa Athenaei verba apponere.  Ἔτι ὁ Ηοσειδώνιος διηγούγενος κὶ τὀν
Λουερνίου του Βιτύιτος πατρὀς πλουτον, του ὑπὸ Ῥωμαίων καθαιρεθέντος,
φησὶ, δημαγωγουντα αὐτόν τὀυς ὄχλους ἐν ἅρμάτι φέρεσθαι διὰ τῶν πεδίων,
κὶ σπείρειν χρυσὸν, κὶ ἄργυρον τοῖς ἀκολουθόυσαις τῶν Κελτῶν μυριάσι,
φράγμα τε ποιεῖν δωδεκασάδιον τετράγωνον, ἐν ᾦ πληρὂυν ληνὸυς πολυτελοῦς
πόματος, παρασκενάζειν τε τοσὂυτο βοωμάτων πλῆθος, ὥστε ἐφ᾽ ἡμἑρας
πλειονας ἐξεῖναι τοῖς βουλομένοις τῶν παρασκευασζέντων ἀπολαύειν,
ἀδιαλείπτως διακονουμένοις.  Άφορίσαντος δ' αὐτοῦ προζεσμίαν ποτε τῆς
θοινῆς, αφυςερήσαντά τινα τῶν Βαρβἀρων ποιητἠν αφικέσθαι, καἰ
συναντήσαντα μετ' ᾠδῆς ὑμνεῖν ἀυτου τἠν ὐπεροχἠν, εαυτὀν δ' ὐποθρήνειν
ὅτι ύσέρηκε τὀν δἐ τεφθέντα θυλἀκιον αἰτῆσαι χρυσίου, καἰ ῥίψαι ἀυτῶ
παρατρέχοντι, ἀνελόμενον δ' ἐκεῖνον πάλιν ὑμνεῖν, λέγοντα, ΔΙΟΤΙ ΤΑ ΙΧΝΗ

Haec sunt quae (ut pote cui ad Bibliothecas aditus non patet) de antiquis
illis in medium proferre licuit.  Ad nostros jam venio in quibus non
desunt veri et genuini υψους exempla.  Nequaquam suo genere Graecis et
Latinis poetis cedunt nostri Bardi, quamvis ad eorum normam carmina non
texerunt.  Quid enim nobis cum exteris?  An eorum modulo et pede nostra
poemata metenda sunt?  Quid, ut taceam de Arabicis et Brachmanicis, et in
Europa boreali Scaldis? quid fiet, inquam, de antiquioribus illis
Sacrosanctis poetis? quid fiet de JOBO; DAVIDE, et siqui alii θεοδιδακτοι
poetae?  Sed haec a proposito nostro aliena sunt.

Quum res Britonum, ingruentibus Pictis, Scotis, et Saxonibus, laberentur,
dici non potest, quantam libris et veteribus nostrorum monumentis stragem
ediderint: adeo ut Bardi et historici verè antiqui, sint admodum rari.  E
nostris historicis qui Bardorum meminit, primus est GILDAS NENNIUS, qui
scripsit, uti ipse narrat, anno 858, et quarto MERVINI regis.  Sed is
locus in nonnullis exemplaribus deest, et ejus auctor clarissimo
VAUGHANO, NENNIO antiquior esse videtur, qui eum “vetustum
Saxonicægenealogiae autorem” nominat.  Sive verò is fuerit NENNIUS, quod
mihi videtur, sive, uti ille mavult, aliquis eo vetustior, omnia quae ibi
narrantur quam verissima sunt, quamvis scribentium oscitantia quam
fœdissime sint depravata.  Nec mendas castigarunt editores GALE et
BERTRAM.  Quæ ad Bardos sic se habent.  “Item TALHAIARN TATANGEN in
poemate claruit, et NUEVIN, et TALIESIN, et BLUCHBAR, et _Cian_ qui
vocatur _Gweinchgwant_, simul uno tempore in poemate Britannico
claruerunt.”  Qui locus sic restitui debet.  “Item _Talhaiarn Tatangwn_
claruit, et _Aneurin_, et _Taliesin_, et _Llywarch_, et _Cian_ qui
vocatur _Gwyngwn_ simul uno tempore in poemate Britannico claruerunt.”
Ex iis quos hic nominat _Nennius_ tres tantum extant, nempe _Aneurin_,
_Taliesin_, et _Llywarch_ cognomento _Hen_.  Meminit tamen _Talhaiarni
Taliesinus_ in poemate cui titulus _Angar Cyfyndawd_, i.e. Concordia

    _Trwy iaith_ TALHAIARN,
    _Bedydd bi ddydd farn_.

    “EX TALHAIARNI sententia
    Expiato erit per baptisum in die supremo.”

Uti et CIANI in eodem poemate.

    CIAN _pan ddarfu_
    _Lliaws gyfolu_.

    “Quando CIANUS multos carmine celebratet.”

Meminit et ejudem ANEURINUS in suo poemate Heroico, cui nomen _Gododin_.

    _Un maban y Gian o faen Gwyngwn_.

    “Unicus CIANI filius ex valido _Gwyngwm_ ortus.”

Sed quum eorum opera aboleverit ætas, nihil ultra de iis dicere possumus.
Hoc saltem constat, si NENNIO fides adhibenda sit, eos suo seculo Bardos
fuisse eximios.  ANEURINUS, TALIESINUS et LLYWARCH HEN habent multa
notatu digna, et quæ rei istius seculi historicæ multum lucis adferunt.
Sed quum eorum sint rarissima exemplaria, intellectu sunt quam
difficillima, quod sit partim ob scribentium oscitantiam, partìm ob
linguam vetustam et obsoletam, quæ in nullo Lexico vel glossario inveniri
potest.  Unde fit, ut saepe _non plus dimidio_ vel a peritissimo
intelligatur.  TALIESINUS quem nostrates _Pen Beirdd_; i.e. Bardorum
Coryphaeum appellavere, in aulis Britanniae principum vixit, et ibi clara
eorum in bello facinora cantavit.  Patronos habuit MAELGWYN GWYNEDD, eum
scilicet quem GILDAS MAGLOCUNUM vocat, et URIENUM Regedensem Cumbriae
principem et ELPHINUM filium GWYDDNO GARANIR Dominum _Cantref Gwaelod_,
cujus regio a mari absorpta est circa annum 540.  Floruerunt TALIESINUS
et ANEURIN GWAWDRYDD _Mychdeyrn Beirdd_, i.e. Bardorum Monarcha, eodem
tempore, circa annum 570.  ANEURINUS, in suo poemate cui titulus
_Gododin_, refert se in bello juxta _Cattraeth_ sub auspiciis MYNYDDAWC
EIDDIN, bellum adversus Saxones gessisse, et ibi omnes, tribus exceptis,
inter quos erat ANEURINUS, bello occubuisse.  Fuerunt sub hoc principe in
hac expeditione trecenti et sexaginta tres viri nobiles, qui eum ad
bellum juxta _Cattraeth_ sunt secuti.  Fit hujus exercitus mentio libro
_Triadum_ in hunc modum.  Teir gosgordd addwyn Ynys _Prydain_.  Gosgordd
MYNYDDAWC EIDDIN Yng _Cattraeth_; a gosgordd MELYN a CHYNFELYN; a
gosgordd DRYWON mab NUDD yn _Rhodwydd Arderydd_.  i.e. Tres fuere nobiles
exercitus Insulae Britannicae.  Exercitus MYNYDDAWC EIDDIN juxta
_Cattraeth_; Exercitus MELYN et CYNFELYN: et Exercitus DRYWON filii NUDD
juxta _Rhodwydd Arderydd_.

PLACUIT hic nonnulla ex ANEURINI _Gododinio_ excerpere, quae licet ob
vetustatem et dialecti varietatem sint admodum obscura (fuit enim si non
Pictorum lingua, saltem Britannorum septentrionalium dialectus, et ideo
hodiernis Cambro-Britannis minus facilis intellectu) attamen lectori baud
injucunda fore judicavi, eo quod salvis Græcis et Latinis sit forsan
antiquissimum in Europâ poema.  Interpretationem in multis claudicare
nullus dubito.  Ii quibus plura exemplaria videre contigerit, ea felicius
enucleabunt.  Ego non nisi unum vidi a THOMA GULIELMO Medico practico
scriptum, in quo quae sequuntur sic se habebant.

    CAEAWG CYNHORAWG myn ydd elai,
    Diphun ym mlaen bun medd a dalai,
    Twll tal i rodawr yn i clywai awr,
    Ni roddai nawd maint dilynai,
    Ni chilia o gamawn, yn i ferai
    Waed mal brwyn, gomynei wyr nid elai,
    Nis adrawdd Gododin ar llawr MORDAI,
    Rhag pebyll MADOG pan atcorei
    Namyn un gwr o gant yn y ddelai.


    “CAEAWG CYNHORAWG ubicunque ivit,
    - - - hydro meli dedit,
    Scutum ejus fuit perforatum, ubicunque audivit
    Clamorem, hostibus non pepercit, et eos insecutus est:
    Nec prius a bello destitit, quam sanguis effusè fluxerit,
    Et eos qui non discedebant securi percussit;
    Adeo ut non possit Gododin celebrare facta in aula _Mordai_
    Ex _Madoci_ castris quum domum profectus est
    Unus tantum ex centum rediit.”

    _Caeawg Cynhorawg_ arfawg yngawr,
    _Cyno_ diwygwr gwrdd yngwyawr,
    Cynran yn rhagwan rhag byddinawr,
    Cwyddai bum pumwnt rhag eu llafnawr,
    O wyr _Deifr_ a _Bryneich_ dychrawr,
    Ugeincant eu difant yn unawr,
    Cynt i gig i fleidd nog yt i neithiawr,
    Cynt e fydd i fran, nog yt i elawr,
    Cyn noe argyfrein e waed i lawr,
    Gwerth medd ynghyntedd gan _Liweddawr_,
    _Hyfeidd Hir_ ermygir tra fo Cerddawr.


    “_Caeawg Cynhorawg_ vir in bello armatus,
    Et _Cyno_ qui se strenuum gessit in dimicando,
    Ceciderunt numerus ingens eorum hastis transfixi.
    Prius lupo parabatur caro, quam nuptiali convivio;
    Et corvo prius commodum fuit, quam Libitinæ.
    Prius quam humi fluebat ejus sanguis
    In aula _Lliweddawr_ mulsum bibit;
    Et _Hyfeidd Hir_ celebrabitur, donec erit Cantor.”

    Gwyr a aeth _Gattraeth_ feddfaeth feddwn,
    Ffurf ffrwythlawn, oedd cam nas cymhwyllwn,
    I am lafnawr coch, gorfawr, gwrmwn,
    Dwys dyngyn ydd ymleddyn aergwn,
    Ar deulu _Bryneich_ be ich barnaswn,
    Diluw, dyn yn fyw nis gadawswn,
    Cyfeillt a gollais, difflais oeddwn,
    Rhugl yn ymwrthryn, rhyn rhiadwn.
    Ni mynnws gwrawl gwaddawl chwegrwn,
    Maban y _Gian_ o faen _Gwyngwn_.


    “Viri festinabant _Cattraeth_, quibus mulsum erat potus,
    Formâ eximii, quibus ingratus essem, si non meminerim.
    Hastis armati turmatim rubris, magnis et incurvatis,
    Pugnabant impetuosi bellatores.
    Si mihi liceret {66} sententiam de _Deirorum_ populo ferre,
    Æque ac diluvium omnes una strage prostrarem;
    Amicum enim amisi incautus,
    Qui in resistendo firmus erat - - -
    Non petiit magnanimus dotem a socero,
    Filius _Ciani_ ex strenuo _Cwyngwn_ ortus.”

    Yfeis i o win a medd y _Mordai_,
    Mawr maint i wewyr,
    Ynghyfarfod gwyr,
    Bwyd i eryr erysmygai.
    Pan gryssiei _Gydywal_ cyfddwyreai
    Awr, gan wyrdd wawr cyn i dodai,
    Aessawr ddellt am bellt a adawai,
    Parrau ryn rwygiad, dygymmynai
    Ynghat blaen bragat briwai.


    “Ego bibi ex vino et Mulso MORDAI,
    Cujus hasta fuit immanis magnitudinis.
    In belli congressu,
    Victum aquilis paravit.
    Quando CYDYWAL festinavit, exortus est clamor
    Ante croceam auroram, cum signum dedit,
    Scutum in asseres comminutos fregit,
    Et hastis lacerantibus percussit,
    Et in bello eos qui primam stationem sunt nacti vulneravit.”

    Gwyr a aeth _Gattraeth_ buant enwawd;
    Gwin a medd o aur fu eu gwirawd,
    Blwyddyn yn erbyn wrdyn ddefawd,
    Trywyr a thriugaint a thrichant eurdorchawd,
    O’r sawl yt gryssiassant uch gormant wirawd,
    Ni ddiengis namyn tri o wrhydri ffossawd,
    Dau gatci _Aeron_, a CHYNON DAEARAWD
    A minnau o’m gwaedffreu gwerth fy ngwenwawd.


    “Viri ibant ad CATTRAETH, et fuere insignes,
    Vinum et mulsum ex auries poculis erat eorum potus,
    - - - - - - - - -
    Trecenti et sexaginta tres auries torquibus insigniti erant,
    Ex iis autem qui nimio potu madidi ad bellum properabant,
    Non evasere nisi tres, qui sibi gladiis viam muniebant,
    Sc. bellator de _Aeron_ et CONANVS DAEARAWD,
    Et egomet ipse (sc. Bardus Aneurinus) sanguine rubens,
    Aliter ad hoc carmen compingendum non superstes fuissem.’

    Pan gryssiei GARADAWG i gad,
    Mab baedd coed, trychwn, trychiad,
    Tarw byddin yn nhrin gymmyniad,
    Ef llithiai wydd gwn oi angad,
    Ys fy nhyst EWEIN fab EULAD,
    O _Gattraeth_ o gymmynad,
    O _Fryn Hydwn_ cyn caffad,
    Gwedi medd gloyw ar angad,
    Ni weles WRIEN ei dad.


    “Quando ad bellum properabat CARADOCUS,
    Filius apri sylvestris qui truncando mutilavit hostes,
    Taurus aciei in pugnæ conflictu,
    Is lignum (i.e. hastam) ex manu contorsit,
    Cujus rei sunt testes EWEIN filius EULAD.
    Ex _Cattraeth_ et congressu ibi,
    Ex _Bryn Hydwn_ ubi prius habitavit, oriundus,
    Postquam mulsum lucidum in manu tenuerat,
    Non vidit patrem suum GWRIENUS.”

    Cyfwyrein cetwyr cyfarfuant,
    Ynghyt, yn unfryt yt gyrchassant,
    Byrr eu hoedl, hir eu hoed ar eu carant,
    Seith gymmaint o Loegrwys a laddassant,
    O gyfryssedd gwragedd gwych a wnaethant,
    Llawer mam a’i deigr ar ei hamrant.


    “Laudo bellatores qui congressi sunt omnes,
    Et uno animo hostes adorti sunt,
    Fuit eorum vita brevis, et longum amicis desiderium reliquerunt,
    Occiderunt tamen ex Saxonibus plus scepties
    Ex {68} aemulatione mulierum egregiè egerunt.
    Et plurima mater lacrymas pofudit.”

    Arddyledawc canu, cymman o fri,
    Twrf tân, a tharan, a rhyferthi,
    Gwryd ardderchawg marchawg mysgi,
    RHUDD FEDEL rhyfel a eidduni,
    Gwr gwnedd, difuddiawg, digymmyni ynghat,
    O’r meint gwlad yt glywi.


    “Debitus est tibi cantus, qui honorem assecutus es maximum,
    Qui eras instar ignis, tonitrui et tempestatis,
    Viribus eximie, eques bellicose
    RHUDD FEDEL, bellum meditaris.
    Licet vir strenuus adoriatur, eum superabis in bello
    Ex quacunque regione eum advenisse audieris.”

    Arddyledawc canu claer orchorddion,
    A gwedi dyrraith dyleinw afon,
    Dimcones loflen ben eryron llwyd,
    Ef gorau bwyd i ysglyfion.
    Or a aeth _Gattraeth_ o aurdorchogion,
    Ar neges MYNYDDAWG mynawg Maon,
    Ni ddoeth yn ddiwarth o barth Frython,
    _Ododin_ wr bell well no CHYNON.


    “Carmine debent celebrari nobiles proceres,
    Qui post conflictum amnes ripas superare fecerunt. {69}
    Ejus manus satiavit aquilarum fuscarum gulas,
    Is et optime cibum paravit avibus rapacibus,
    Ex omnibus enim eis qui ibant ad _Cattraeth_ aureis torquibus
    Qui partem MYNYDDAWG in bello defendebant clari satellites,
    Nullus ex Britonibus melius suum egit munus
    In _Gododin_, (ex iis qui ex longinquo venerunt) quam CONANUS.”

    Truan yw gennyf i gwedi lludded
    Goddef gloes angau trwy anghyffred
    Ag eil trwm truan gennyf fi, gweled
    Dygwyddaw an gwyr ni pen o dräed
    Ac uchenaid hir ac eilywed
    Yn ol gwyr pybyr tymyr tudwed
    Gwyr gorsaf gwriaf gwrdd ynghaled
    Ys deupo eu henaid hwy wedi trined
    Cynnwys yngwlad nef addef afreued


    “Me maximè dolet post laborem amicos nostros
    Subire mortis angorem more inassueto;
    Et iterum me maximè dolet quod ipse vidi
    Viros nostros in bello gradatim cadentes.
    Gemitus est longus et opprobrium
    Post homines alacres patriæ decus,
    Viri qui erant sustentacula (belli sc.) fortissimi et in angustiis
    Ascendant eorum animæ post pugnam
    In regnum cœlorum ubi habitatio est sine ullo desiderio.”

       Hæc de ANEURINO sufficiant.

Floruere eodem seculo et multi alii Bardi inter quos eminet MYRDDIN
WYLLT, id est, MERLINUS Sylvestris, qui poema composuit cui titulus
_Afallennau_, id est, pomarium, in quo patroni sui GWENDDOLAU filii
CEIDIO munificentiam prædicat.”

    Afellen beren bren y sydd fad
    Nid bychan dy lwyth sydd ffrwyth arnad
    A minnau wyf ofnawg amgelawg am danad
    Rhag dyfod y coedwyr coed gymmynad
    I gladdu dy wraidd a llygru dy hâd
    Fal na thyfo byth afal arnad
    A minnau wyf gwyllt gerthrychiad
    Im cathrid cythrudd nim cudd dillad
    Neum rhoddes GWENDDOLAU tlysau yn rhad
    Ac yntau heddyw fal na buad.


    “O arbos pomifera, dulcis et bona,
    Non parvum fers onus fructuum;
    Ego tui causa anxius et solicitus sum
    Ne lignatores arbores ad cædendas veniant,
    Et effodiant tuam radicem, et semen corrumpant,
    Ita ut nunquam postea pomum feras:
    Ego sum ferus, hominibus spectaculum,
    Me occupat horor, et vestes me non amiciunt.
    GWENDDOLAU dedit mihi gratis jocularia,
    Et ipse est hodie non uti olim fuit.”

Fuit MERLINUS MORFRYNII filius et _Albania_ oriundus, et alter fuit a
MERLINO AMBROSIO qui vixit tempore VORTIGERNI, et eò quod nepotem causu
interfecerit in insaniam incidit et in _Caledoniam_ recessit sylvam feri
instar, ubi, cum animi compos esset, sortem suam carminibus deploravit.

Floruit hoc seculo et LLYWARCH-HEN, i.e. longævus, URIENI _Cumbriæ_
principis consobrinus.  Extant ab eo scripta poemata in quibus narrat se
a Saxonibus in _Povisiam_ pulsum fuisse, et sibi fuisse viginti quatuor
filios auries torquibus insignitos, et omnes patriam defendendo bello
occubuisse.  Qui plura de hoc viro nobili et Bardo desiderat Cl. LLWYDII
Archaeologiam Britannicam consulat p. 259.

Vixerunt eodem tempore alii Bardi, sed cum eorum non extent opera, nomina
tantum interserere sufficat TRISTFARDD, Bardd URIEN REGED.  DYGYNNELW,
Bardd CADWALADR FENDIGAID.  Sunt in iis qui extant multa quae historico
Britannico usui esse possunt: fuere enim Bardi rerum gestarum fidi
narratores.  Fuit eorum praecipuum munus principum et magnatum laudes, et
egregia in bello acta carminibus celebrare, quod et olim de iis
observavit LUCANUS.

    Vos quoque, qui fortes animas belloque peremptas
    Laudibus in longum vates dimittis aevum,
    Plurima securi fudistis carmina BARDI.  Lib.

“Bardi (inquit Lelandus in Assertione ARTURII) soli musicis numeris, et
illustri nobilium memoriæ conservandæ studebant, canebant illi ad lyram
heroum inclyta facta, profuit hoc studium mirificè cognitioni, tanquam
per manus posteritati traditae.  Unde quoque contigit ut ARTURII maximi
nomen, fama, gloria utcunque conserventur.”  Inventus est enim ejus
sepulchrum in monasterio _Glastoniensi_ juxta id quod Bardus cecinerat
coram HENRICO Secundo, quod satis demonstrat illos historicorum fidorum
aequè ac poetarum munus egisse.

Habemus praeter hos quos supra citavimus Bardos, nonnulla carmina anonyma
pervetusta, quae Druidum esse existimavit EDVARDUS LLUYD, cujusmodi sunt
_Englynion yr Eiry_, _y bidiau_, _y gorwynnion_.  Moris fuisse Druidis
carmina almunos docere notavit CAESAR: “Magnum ubi versuum numerum
edicere dicuntur.  Itaque nonnulli annos vicenos in disciplina permanent,
neque fas esse existimant ea litteris mandare, quum in reliquis fere
rebus publicis privatisque rationibus, Graecis litteris utuntur.  Id mihi
duabus de causis instituisse videntur; quod neque in vulgus disciplinam
efferri velint, neque eos qui discunt litteris confisos minus memoriae
studere, quod feré plerisque accidit ut praesidio litterarum diligentiam
in discendo ac memoriam remittant.”  Genus carminis quo in his usi sunt
fuit _Englyn Milwr_.

Haec de antiquissimis quae nunc extant Bardis Britannicis dicere
sufficiat, ad illos nunc accedo qui durante Principum Cambriæ gubernaculo
floruerunt.  A seculo sexto ad decimum nihil quod novi extat scriptum,
saltem non vidi, neque quid causæ esse potuit augurari possum, nisi
frequens bellorum strages et Britannorum inter dissidia.  In HOELI BONI,
nostris HYWEL DDA, legibus fit Bardi aulici mentio, et quænam fuerit ejus
ibi conditio, quæ, {73} temporis ratione habitâ, fuit perhonesta.  Circa
annum 1170 GRUFFYDD AP CONAN Cambriæ princeps legem Bardis praescripsit,
in qua cautum erat ut nullam praeter suam exercerent artem, in qua et
dona et pœnas constituit.  Eos autem in tres classes divisit, _Prydydd_,
_Teuluwr_, et _Clerwr_; et fixum unicuique secundum ordinem statuit
stipendium.  Eorum electio fieri solebat in solenni principum et procerum
concessu, ubi unicuique secundum meritum assignatus est locus.  Ille vero
qui praecelliat, sellâ donatus est aureâ vel argentea, unde et
_Cadeirfardd_ dictus, i.e. Bardus qui sellam assecutus est.

Ab eo tempore multi eximii floruerunt Bardi, et a principibus admodum
fovebantur.  MEILIR qui fuit GRUFFINI filii CONANI Bardus, fuit et
ejusdem miles et legatus uti et ipse in ejus epicedio refert.

    Yfeis gan deyrn o gyrn eurawg
    Arfod faedd feiddiad angad weiniawg
    Yn llys _Aberffraw_ er ffaw ffodiawg
    Bum o du Gwledig yn lleithawg
    Eilwaith ydd eithum yn negessawg
    O leufer lliw camawn iawn dywyssawg
    Bu fedd aur gylchwy yn fodrwyawg
    Torresid gormes yn llynghessawg
    Gwedi tonnau gwyrdd gorewynnawg
    Dyphuthynt eu seirch meirch rhygyngawg.


    “Dedit mihi potum ex cornu deaurato princeps,
    Cujus impetus erat instar apri ferocis in bello, cujus
    Manus erat liberalis
    In aula _Aberffraw_, quod mihi decus et felicitas fuit.
    Ex domini mei parte miles fui,
    Et iterum legationem obii.
    Quum a bello cruento discederet princeps egregius.
    Mulsum ex poculo aureo bibebatur in circulo,
    Hostium enim invasionem navalem repulimus,
    Et post refluxum undarum viridium perspumosarum
    Portabant phaleras in littore sicco equi gestientes.”

Nec dedignati sunt ipsi principes hanc artem, animi relaxandi causa,
colere, ut testantur OWENI CYFEILIOG principis _Provisiæ_ et HOELI filii
OWENI _Venedotiæ_ principis opera, quibus addere licet LLEWELLINUM
ultimum Cambriae principem.  De eo enim sic MATT. WEST. circa natale
domini LLEWELLINUS accessit ad regem misericordiam non justitiam
petiturus—et paulo post—Rex EDWARDUS vocalem principem diligenter
instructum ad partes Walliae redire permisit. {74}  Poematum argumenta
erant egregia in bello facinora, libertas, hospitalitas et munificentia,
et si quae alia virtus, quae homines domi ornat, et foris hostibus
tremendos reddit.  Et fuit eorum in accendendis hominum ad clara incepta
animis tanta vis, ut nihil aeque sonaret TYRTAEI musa quum suos ad
honestam mortem oppetendam hortaretur.  Et quaenam, quaeso, reipublicae
tam utilis virtus, quum hostibus utrinque premeretur, et cum sola spes,
salus et libertas esset in armis, quam magnanimus periculorum contemptus,
et ad ea adeunda ardor egregius?  Sed præstat GIRALDUM CAMBRENSEM audire
qui iis vixit temporibus, et fuit eorum quæ hic narrantur oculatus
testis.  “Nec ullo prorsus nisi martio labore vexantur, patriæ tamen
tutelæ student et libertatis: pro patria pugnant, pro libertate laborant;
pro quibus non solum ferro dimicare, verum etiam vitam dare dulce
videtur.  Unde et in thoro turpe, in bello mori decus putant.  Ac illud
poetæ dixerunt—_procul hinc avertite pacem_, _nobilitas cum pace perit_,
nec mirum si non degenerant.  Quorum enim hi reliquiae sunt Æneadae in
ferrum pro libertate ruebant.  De his igitur spectabile, quod nudi
multoties cum ferro vestitis, inermes cum armatis, pedites cum equitibus
congredi non verentur, in quo plerumque conflictu sola fiunt agilitate,
et animositate victrices.  Illis quorum poeta sic meminit, sicut situ sic
natura non dissimiles.”

    — Populus quos despicit arctos
    Felices errore suo, quos ille timorum
    Maximus haud urget leti metus, inde ruendi
    In ferrum mens prona viris, animaeque capaces
    Mortis, et ignavum rediturae parcere vitae.

Et nonnullis interjectis—“Illud in hoc loco notandum videtur, quod
Anglorum Rex _Henricus_ Secundus nostris diebus imperatori
Constantinoplitano _Emmanueli_ super insulae Britannicae situ ac natura,
magisque notabilibus litteris et nunciis inquirenti: inter caetera hoc
quasi praecipue notabile rescripsit.  In quadam insulae parte sunt gentes
quae Wallenses dicuntur, tantae audaciae et ferocitatis ut nudi cum
armatis congredi non vereantur, adeo ut sanguinem pro patria fundere
promptissime, vitamque velint pro laude pacisci.”  Hactenus GIRALDUS.

Non immerito Bardis tantus fuit habitus honor; ii enim heroum inclyta
canentes acta, et majorum illustria proponentas exempla suos ad ardua
incitabant, unde et patriae salutem, principibus et proceribus gloriam
conciliabant; nec solum illustria aliorum canebant facta, verum ipsi in
bello eodem quo in cantibus ardore incitati, multa praeclara fortitudinis
exhibebant documenta. GWALCHMAI filius MEILIR se Cambriae fines adversus
Anglos defendisse gloriatur in poemate cui titulus _Gorhoffedd_
GWALCHMAI, i.e. _ejus Deliciæ_.  Stationem ejus juxta fluvium _Efurnwy_
fuisse docet non pocul ab agro _Salopiensi_.  Sunt multa in hoc poemate
tam heroe quam Bardo digna.  Postquam enim excubias per noctem totam
egisset GWALCHMAI, ad lucem diei appropinquantis laetus, loci et rerum
circumjacentium pulchritudine delectatus, omnem curam et solicitudinem
amovit, et philomelae cantui, et aquae juxta labantis murmuri, et arborum
herbarumque virori attendit, imminens ab hoste periculum contemnens,
Marti aeque ac Mercurio paratus, firmum mehercle et generosum pectus!

Poema in hunc modum incipit.

    Mochddwyreawg Huan haf dyffestin
    Maws llafar adar, mygr, hyar hin.
    Mi ydwyf eurddeddf ddiofn yn nhrin
    Mi wyf llew rhag llu; lluch fy ngorddin
    Gorwyliais nos yn achadw ffin
    Gorloes rydau dwfr _Dygen Freiddin_ {77}
    Gorlas gwellt didryf, dwfr neud jessin
    Gwyrlain yn gware ar wely lliant
    Lleithrion eu pluawr, pleidiau eddrin.


    “O sol æstive, cito oriens propera,
    Suavis est cantus avium, et cælum sudum et serenum est.
    Ego sum bona indole præditus, et in bello intrepidus,
    Sum leo strenuus in fronte exercitus, et meus impetus est violentus,
    Totam noctem pervigilavi fines tutando
    Ubi sunt vada translucida juxta _Dygen Freiddin_
    Ubi herba in loco solitario crescens perviridis est, et aqua limpida
    Mergi ludunt in fluctuum lecto,
    Quorum plumæ fulgent, et ipsi inter se certant.”

Non pigebit hic de alio Bardo, scilicet CYNDDELW Brydydd MAWR, i.e.
CONDELAO vate eximio, nonnulla ex OWENI _Venedotiæ_ principis epicedio
excerpere; fuit enim ille, uti ex historia constat, patriæ propugnator,
et in bello fere semper victor.  Vixit CYNDDELW in _Povisia_, et fuit
MADOCI filii MAREDUDD, illius regionis principis, Bardus aulicus.

    Gwersyll torfoedd tew llew lladdai,
    Gorsaf tarf, taerfalch fal GWALCHMAI,
    Gorfaran GWRFAN gorfyddai,
    Gwr yn aer yn aros gwaedd fai,
    Bryd EROF gryd, arf greu a ddodai,
    Brwydr eurgrwydr, eurgrawn ni guddiai,
    Bradog waith gwynniaith gwynnygai,
    Brys briwgad, brig bragad briwiai,
    Brwysc lafneu ynghreu yngrhai celanedd,
    Cymminedd cymmynai,
    Gwyrdd heli _Teivi_ tewychai,
    Gwaedlan gwyr, a llyr ai llanwai,
    Gwyrach rudd gorfudd goralwai,
    Ar donniar gwyar gonofiai,
    Gwyddfeirch tonn torrynt yn ertrai,
    Gwythur naws fal traws au treifiai,
    Gwyddfid _Eingl_ ynghladd au trychai,
    Gwyddgwn coed colled au porthai,
    Gwyddwal dyfneual dyfnasai fy modd,
    Fy meddiant a gaffaei.
    Colleis Arglwydd call nim collai,
    Corf eurdorf, eurdal am rhoddai,
    Cof cadflawdd am cawdd, a’m carai,
    Car cerddawr, cerddau ai cyrchai,
    Gryd wascar, llachar, a’m llochai,
    Grym dilludd DILLUS fab ERFAI,
    Greddf _Greidwyr_, a _Chywyr a Chai_
    Glew ddefawd glyw oesdrawd aesdrai,
    Ystre hynt, wastad, westrei gwinfydig
    Gwyn ei fyd bieufei.
    Gwyth escor tra mor, tra _Menai_,
    Gwlydd elfydd elwais o honai,
    Tra fu OWAIN mawr ai meddai,
    Medd a gwin a gwirawd fyddai,
    _Gwynedd_ wen Gwyndyd len ledpai,
    Gwedi gwawr, cad fawr ai cadwai,
    Pa wladwr, arwr arwyndai,
    Pa wledig a wledych arnai?


    “Densas turmas in conflictu occidit leo
    Qui fuit instar GWALCHMAI acris ad fugandum hostes,
    Superavit magnas copias GWRVANNI.
    Fuit in bello vir qui tubam expectabat,
    Similis EROF bellicoso, qui telum cruentum duxit.
    Ex bello rediens, in quo aurum nactus est, thesaurum non recondit;
    In hostes dolosos certans magnâ excanduit irâ;
    Hastæ in bello furiosæ erant in cadaveribus occisorum
    Et acies (gladiorum) se invicem contriverunt.
    Viridis aqua _Teivii_ pinguis facta fuit.
    Fluxus virorum sanguinis et maris eum ripas superare fecit,
    Et rubra {79} avis aquatilis, pro nagno hebebat emolumento,
    Et per fluvios cruoris natabat,
    Et alti marini equi (i.e. fluctus) plangebant in littore.
    Magnanimus ille princeps eos instar tyranni oppressit,
    Et Anglorum cumulos in fossa truncavit.
    Sylvestres canes amiserunt opsonatorem,
    Quibus in densis vepribus assolebat esse victus, neque meo assensu,
    Neque auxilio indigebat.
    Perdidi dominum prudentem, qui me non neglexit,
    Cujus corpus erat auro amictum, quique mihi aurum dedit
    Cujus memoria (mortui) me lædit: qui me dilexit:
    Amicus enim erat Bardo, et eum apetebant carmina
    Ille qui homines in bello dissipare fecit, et cujus impetus erat
    violentus me fovit,
    Cujus robur erat ineluctabile instar DILLUS filii ERFAI,
    Et cujus ingenium erat simile GREIDWYR, CYWYR et CAI
    Herois instar hastam gessit comminutam
    Domi autem vitæ cursus erat tranquillus, hospes enim erat munificus
    Et ad summam felicitatem pervenit.
    Ille victorias reportavit violentus trans sestuarium _Menai_
    Ubi terra est benigna, ex qua beneficium sum nactus:
    Donec extitit OWENUS magnus qui _Monam_ possesit,
    Mulsum, vinum et _gwirawd_ {80} bibimus.
    O _Venedotia_ olim beata, Venedotorum tutatem asperum,
    Post Heroem bellicosum qui te defendet!
    Quis ex nostratibus heros in aedibus vivens magnificis,
    Quis princeps te gubernare aequo ac ille valebit?”

Sed non semper in bellatorum laudes effusi erant Bardi; saepe etiam
principum et magnatum fata indigna lugubriter canebant.  Sed infinitum
esset haec singulatim recensere.  Unum sat est adducere exemplum, ex quo
de aliis facile judicari potest.  LEOLINO GRUFFINI filio, ultimo Cambriae
principe, juxta _Buellt_ dolo sublato, dici non potest quanto id Bardos
dolore affecit.  Inter quos GRUFFYDD AP YR YNAD COCH haec texuit admodum

    Llawer llef druan, fal pan fu _Gamlan_,
    Llawer deigr dros rann gwedi gronniaw,
    O leas gwanas gwanar eurllaw,
    O laith LLEWELYN cof dyn nim daw,
    Oerfelog calon, dan fron o fraw,
    Rhewydd, fal crinwydd y sy’n crinaw,
    Poni welwch chwi hynt y gwynt ar glaw?
    Poni welwch chwi’r deri yn ymdaraw?
    Poni welwch chwi’r mor yn merwino’r tir?
    Poni welwch chwi’r gwir yn ymg’weiriaw?
    Poni welwch chwi’r haul yn hwylio’r awyr?
    Poni welwch chwi syr wedi syrthiaw?
    Poni chredwch i Dduw ddyniadon ynfyd
    Poni welwch chwi’r byd wedi bydiaw?
    Och hyd attat di Dduw na ddaw mor tros dir
    Pa beth in gedir i ohiriaw?
    Nid oes le i cyrcher rhag carchar braw
    Nid oes le i triger och! o’r trigaw,
    Nid oes na chyngor, na chlo nag agor,
    Na ffordd i esgor brwyn gyngor braw!


    “Frequens est vox lugubris, veluti olim in _Camlan_,
    Multae lacrymae in genis accumulantur,
    Eo quod occidit Cambriae sustentaculum, et ejus dominus munificus.
    Ex quo occidit LEOLINUS de caeteris non curo;
    Cor frigidum est sub pectore ob horrorem,
    Et is qui prius hilaris erat, jam marcescit.
    Nonne videtis venti et imbris cursum?
    Nonne videtis quercus in se invicem ruentes?
    Nonne videtis mare terram vastans?
    Nonne videtis solem ex cursu aerio deflectentem?
    Nonne videtis astra ex orbibus corruisse?
    Cur Deo non creditis homines, vesani?
    Nonne videtis mundi finem adesse?
    Exclamabo usque ad te, o Deus, cur terram non absorbet mare,
    Et cur diutius relinquimur in angore languere?
    Nullus est locus, quem petamus aegri,
    Nullus locus, in quo habitemus miseri,
    Nullum restat consilium, nullum effugium,
    Nulla via, qua evitemus fatum luctuosum.”

Floruere a tempore GRUFFINI CONANI filii ad hunc LEOLINUM et multi alii
Bardi insignes, inter quos eminet LLYWARCH cognomine Prydydd y Moch, qui
LEOLINI Magni, nostris LLEWELYN AP IORWERTH, victorias multis celebravit

Floruit eodem tempore in _Ceretia_ PHYLYP BRYDYDD, qui Bardus fuit RHYS
GEYG et RHYS IEUANC ex familia RHYS AP TEWDWR oriundus.

Longum esset singulos recensere; de praestantioribus pauca praelibasse
sufficit.  Cum Cambriam in suam potestatem redegerat EDWARDUS primus, in
Bardos saeviit tyranni instar, et multos suspendi fecit.  Quid mirum, cum
ipsum LEOLINUM principem et DAVIDEM fratrem tam inhumaniter tractaverit?
Sed EDWARDUS a LEOLINO olim in fugum pulsus, noluit illi nec asseclis
ignoscere.  Hinc illae lacrymae.  Bardis objiciebatur quod cives in
seditionem excitarunt, id est revera, quod eos ad vindicandum libertatem
pristinam majorum more hortarentur.  Bardi enim fuere _Cambris_ idem quod
olim _Atheniensibus_ oratores, quos ut Graeciam in servitutem redigeret,
sibi tradi voluit PHILIPPUS Macedo.  Regum Angliae justiciarii post
_Edwardum_ in Cambria ejus exemplum secuti, Bardos legibus iniquis
obnoxios ubique sustulerunt; unde fit ut admodum sint rari ab eo tempore
usque ad annum 1400, quo, Anglorum excusso servitutis jugo, sub OWENI
GLYNDWR auspiciis, se in libertatem priscam vindicarunt Cambri.  Hoc aevo
multi claruere Bardi, inter quos IOLO GOCH OWENI magnificentiam et
victorias ad sydera tulit.  Fuit enim OWENUS Bardorum fautor et Maecenas,
et eos undiquaque ad aulam liberalitate provocabat.  Eo tempore floruit
DAFYDD AP GWILYM Bardorum longe venustissimus e _Ceretia_ oriundus.
Avunculum habuit LLEWELYN AP GWILYM de _Cryngae_ et _Dôl Goch_, qui eum
liberaliter educabat.  Patronus ejus fuit IFOR HAEL de _Bassaleg_, cujus
munificentiam et magnanimitatem multis prosequitur laudibus.  Cum OWENI
retro laberentur res, Cambros more inaudito oppressit HENRICUS IV. et
patriae fatum subiere Bardi.  Lege enim cautum erat ne annuam
peragrationem et conventus, nostris _Clera_ et _Cymhortha_ celebrarent.
Haec fuit causa cur multi hoc saeculo tam obscure scripserint: multis
enim cantibus _Cywydd Brut_, _i.e. Carminis fatidici_ nomen indidere;
quod et fecere postea cum inter _Eboracenses_ et _Lancastrenses_
grassaretur factio.  HENRICUS V. multum a paterna remisit in Cambros
saevitia.  Ab eo tempore longa floruit Bardorum series, et in magnatum
aedibus alebantur, ubi eorum genealogias et signa gentilitia texebant,
eorumque virtutes, scilicet magnanimitatem, hospitalitatem et alias animi
atque corporis ingenuas et honestas dotes debita prosequebantur laude.
Mos enim fuit Britannis olim, uti et nunc Cambris, ut longam majorum
seriem producerent, et Bardi qui hoc munere sunt functi _Arwyddfeirdd_
sunt appellati, et carmen texuere “parasematicum, quod cum prosapia
generisve serie, etiam et παρασήματα, id est insignia nobilium et
generosorum describit ea, quae in vestibus et vexillis et hujusmodi aliis
insignita conspiciuutur, quaeque fiunt aut feruntur, ita ab iis discreta
ut nosci possint quorum sint, sive ad quos pertineant, more antiquorum
bene meritis tributa, et tanquam ornamenta laudis et gloriae, vel ob
propriam vel suorum majorum virtutem comparata.”—Vide JOHANNIS DAVIDIS
RHESI Linguae Cymraecae Institutiones accuratas pag. 146.  Ex quo et haec
de hujuscemodi Bardo transtulimus p. 303.  “_Pwy bynnag a ddywetto ei fod
yn Arwyddfardd_, _gwybydded achoedd Brenhinoedd a Thywyssogion_, _a
chyfarwyddyd oddiwrth y tri Phrifardd ynys Prydain_, _nid amgen_, MYRDDIN
voluerit esse Bardus parasematicus, necesse est ut sciat regum et
principum stemmata, et sit bene versatus in operibus MERLINI MORFRYNII
filii, MERLINI AMBROSII et TALIESINI summi Bardi.”  Et hoc fuisse
antiquitus Bardorum munus annotavit GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS.  “Hoc mihi
notandum videtur, quod Bardi Cambrenses et cantores seu recitatores
genealogias habent prædictorum principum in libris eorum antiquis et
autenticis, eandemque memoriter tenent a RODERICO Magno usque ad BELINUM
Magnum, et inde usque ad SYLVIUM, ASCANIUM et ÆNEAM, et ab ea usque ad
ADAM generationem linealiter producunt.”

Non abs re fore judicavi hic monumentum vetus inserere; quod in
manuscripto JOH. DAV. RHESI propria manu exarato inveni.  Quod quidem
manuscriptum dignum est omnino quod prelo mandetur: nostram enim linguam
poesin, et alia vetusta monumenta adversus ignarum quendam calumniatorem,
quorum messem innumeram hæc aeque ac superior aetas tulit, strenue
vindicat.  Hic tractatus in lingua Britannica eleganter scriptus est, et
talium nebulonum inscitiam protervam facile retundit.  Videtur vir
doctissimus hoc monumentum ex vetusto aliquo scriptore nunc deperdito
excerpsisse.  Utcunque sit, id ego ex ejus autographo hic fideliter
exscribere curavi.  “BLETHINUS filius CYNVINI patri in principatu
_Povisiæ_ successit.  Hic templa, castra et maneria renovari fecit, leges
HOWELI observavit.  Inter tres principes, videlicet, GRUFFINUM filium
CONANI principem _Venedotiæ_, BLETHINUM filium CYNVINI principem POVISIÆ,
et RHESUM filium TEWDWR principem _Suth-walliæ_ inquisitio magna fuit de
armis et de regali sanguine antiquorum Britonum.  Quibus conquisitis in
ditione sapientium Walliæ; repertæ fuerunt tres lineæ regales, et
quindecim lineæ de sanguine nobilium senatorum Britanniæ.  Hic BLETHINUS
primus omnium principum _Povisiæ_, in armis usus est leone rubeo in
sulphure.  Hic castrum de _Dol y Forwyn_ fundavit, et apud _Mifod_
sepultus est.”

Sunt in istis genealogiis multa quæ antiquario Britannico usui esse
possunt; nihil enim apud nostrates vel antiquius vel magis autenticum
extat, et nihil quod magis nostram illustrat et confirmat historiam.
Nonnulli enim ex Bardis non solum rei poeticae, verum etiam historicae
mentem appulerunt.  Erat in monasteriis uber historiarum, genealogiarum
et poeseos collectio.  Bardi enim ab abbatibus maxime fovebantur, et
erant in festis solennibus ab iis laute excepti: uti constat ex operibus
in nobiliorum ædibus innumera Epicedia, quæ nostrates _Cywyddau Marwnad_
nuncupavere: fuit enim Bardi domestici munus, cum aliquis e familia
obierit, ejus Epicedium concinnare, quod post exequias ad cognatos fuit
delatum et coram iis a Rhapsodis quos nostrates _Datceiniaid_ nominavere
recitatum.  Inter alia quæ in defuncti honorem sunt narrata, ejus
genealogiam memorare tenebatur, ex quibus nobilibus ortus fuerit
familiis, et quæ præclara fecerint ejus majores facinora.  Hujuscemodi
poematum multa vidi exemplaria pulchre exarata.  Ab ELIZABETHAE Reginæ
tempore nullus fuit Bardorum legitimus consessus: unde fit ut nil sit
deinceps accurate et secundum prosodiæ regulas scriptum: eousque ut
jamdudum Bardorum et historicorum opera (ex quibus solis vera et genuina
Britanniæ historia petenda est) in maximo sint periculo ne funditus
pereant.  Quod multas ob causas in seculo tam docto et sagaci maxime est
deplorandum, sunt quidem hoc ævo qui hæc studia velint rediviva, et qui
plus ipsi possint in re poetica atque historica quam quos superior tulit
aetas.  Inter quos societas _Cymmrodorion_ Londini, patriae atque
maternae linguae amore instigata, inter alia laude digna instituta,
nonnulla veterum et recentiorum melioris notae Bardorum poemata typis
mandare meditatur.  Opus profecto omnibus Cambris ingenuis gratissimum et
longe desideratissimum.  Optandum est potius quam expectandum, ut ii qui
habent aliquid in poesi vel historia notatu dignum in privatis
bibliothecis reconditum, id in vulgus emittant, aut saltem ab iis qui
hujusmodi rebus operam navant perlegi permittant.  Sic enim suae famae et
patriae commodo melius consulent quam vermibus et muribus committere.

Ego autem in Cambriae montibus degens a bibliothecis et museis procul,
quod potui feci; utinam ii qui plus possint, et materiam uberiorem sunt
nacti de Bardis, et caeteris Britannicae antiquitatis reliquiis, meliora


Er mwyn dangos ansawdd ein Prydyddiaeth i wyr cywraint, dysgedig,
anghyfiaith: â nodau byrrion, i eglurhau enwau Dynion, a Lleoedd, a
grybwyllir ynddynt; a hanes byrr o honynt, wedi ei gasglu allan o
_Drioedd Ynys Prydain_, a hen Goffadwriaeth eraill; er dywenydd i’r oes
hon, ac er adfer ei haeddedigawl barch i’r hen famiaith _Gymraeg_, ac i’n
Gwlad; a’u dyledus glod i’w thrigolion dewrwych gynt.

                                * * * * *

    Αιει τουτο Διος κόυραις μέλει, άιεν άοιδοις
    Υμνειν αθανάτως, υμνειν αyαθων κλέα ανδρων.

                                                    THEOCRITUS Idyll, xvi.

                                * * * * *


Ni bum yn hir yn myfyrio i bwy i cyflwynwn yr ychydig Awdlau sydd yn
canlyn, canys ni adwaen i neb heddyw ag sydd yn eu deall cystal â chwi,
na neb chwaith sydd yn coledd ac yn mawrhau ein iaith mor anwylgu
Frutannaidd.  I mae ein gwlad ni yn rhwymedig i bob un o honoch: i chwi y
_Llywydd_, yn enwedig, am y gofal a gymmerasoch yn golygu argraffiad
diweddaf y _Bibl Cyssegrlan_, er lles tragwyddol eneidiau ein cydwladwyr.
Ef a dâl Duw i chwi am y gorchwyl elusengar yma, pan i bo’r byd hwn, a’i
holl fawredd a’i wychder, wedi llwyr ddiflannu.  Ac i mae’r wlad a’r
iaith yn dra rhwymedig i’r _Gwr o Benbryn_, am gasglu cymmaint o
_Hanesion ynghylch ein Hynafiaid_, na chlywodd y _Saeson_ braidd son
erioed am danynt.  Ef a ddelwent ddilynwyr _Camden_, pei gwelynt fal i
mae yn argyhoeddi ac yn ceryddu eu beiau, a’u tuedd gwyrgam, yn bychanu
ac yn distadlu y pethau nad ydynt yn eu deall; ac o wir wenwyn yn taeru
mai dychymmygion diweddar ydynt.  Gobeithio i cawn ni weled y trysor
mawrwerthiog yma ar gyhoedd; i beri gosteg, ac i dorri rhwysg y cyfryw
oganwyr ein hen hanesion.  Nid bychan o les i mae _y Gwr o Gaergybi_
ynteu yn ei wneuthur, trwy gasglu _Gwaith yr hen Feirdd_ godidog gynt; ac
ir wyf yn cyfaddef mai o’i lyfrau ef i cefais i y rhan fwyaf o’r odlau
sydd yn canlyn.  Ni fedrwn lai na dywedyd hyn am eich ewyllys da i’ch
gwlad a’ch iaith; cynneddfau sydd, ysywaeth, mor brin ac anaml yn yr oes
hon.  Ef a ddichon hyn beri i’n gwlad agor ei llygaid, a defnyddio yn
well rhagllaw yr hen ysgrifenadau sydd heb fyned ar goll.  Ac os na wna
hi hyny, i mae yn rhaid addef i chwi eich trioedd wneuthur eich rhan yn
odiaeth.  Hyn a’m hannogodd i roddi blaenffrwyth fy llafur, er nad yw ond
bychan, dan eich nodded; a gobeithio nad ydyw Iwyr annheilwng i’w
gyhoeddi, ag i daw rhywun cywreiniach i ddiwygio yr hyn sydd
ammherffaith, ac i osod allan pethau eraill godidoccach.  Nid oedd genyfi
ond torri’r garw, gobeitho i daw eraill i lyfnhau a gwastattau y balciau.
Yn ddiau ni fuaswn i yn cymmeryd yr orchest yma arnaf, ond darfod edliw
o’r _Saeson_, nad oes genym ddim mewn Prydyddiaeth a dâl ei ddangos i’r
byd: a bod un o drigolion yr _Uch Alban_ gwedi cyfieithu swrn o waith hen
fardd; neu yn hytrach wedi addurno a thacclu rhyw waith diweddar, a’i
osod allan yn ei enw ef.  Chwi a wyddoch yn dda, oddiwrth waith ein hen
feirdd awduraidd ni, sydd eto i’w gweled, nad ydyw ddim tebygol fod y
bardd gogleddig mor henaidd: ond nid af i i ymyrryd ag ef ym mhellach yr
awron.  Y mae yn ddigon genyfi roddi hyn o brawf o’n hen feirdd ein
hunain i’r byd; ac os darfu i mi wneuthur cyfiawnder iddynt, dyna fi wedi
cyrraedd fy amcan.  Pa fodd bynnag i digwyddo, i mae’n llawen genyf gael
odfa i dystiolaethu fy mod yn mawrygu yn ddirfawr eich cariad a’ch
traserch chwi at eich gwlad a’ch iaith; yn yr hyn i damunwn, yn ol fy
ngallu, eich canlyn; a datcan, yngwydd yr holl fyd, fy mod, frodyr

Eich Gwasanaethwr rhwymedig, gostyngeiddiaf,

                                                               EVAN EVANS.


Pan welais fod un o _Ysgodogion Ucheldir Alban_, ac hefyd _Sais_
dysgedig, wedi cyfieithu gwaith eu hen Feirdd i’r _Saesoneg_, mi a
dybygais mai nid gweddus i ni, y _Cymry_, y rhai sydd genym Gerddi
awduraidd, gorhenaidd, o’r einom, fod yn llwyr ddiymdro yn y cyngaws
hwnnw: o herwydd, hyd i gwn i, dyna’r unig ragorgamp celfyddyd a adawodd
ein hynafiaid ini, sydd heb ei cholli.  I mae _gwaith y Derwyddon_, od
oedd dim gwiwgof ganddynt wedi ei ysgrifennu, wedi myned ar ddifancoll;
ac nid oes dim wedi dyfod i’n hoes ni oddiwrthynt, ond y Brydyddiaeth yn
unig.  I mae ein hen _Fusic_ wedi ei llwyr ebargofio: nid yw’r cyweiriau
cwynfanus sydd genym yr awron ond dychymmygion diweddar, pan oedd y
_Cymry_ yn griddfan tan iau galed y _Saeson_.  Am gelfyddydau eraill, od
oedd dim mewn perffeithrwydd, i mae gwedi ei lwyr golli.  Nid oes genym
ddim hanes am ein hynafiaid o’n hawduron ein hunain, ond oddiwrth y
Beirdd yn unig, o flaen _Gildas ap Caw_; yr hwn sydd yn ein goganu, ac yn
ein llurginio, yn hytrach nag ysgrifennu cywir hanes am danom; ond fo wyr
hanesyddion yr achos: heblaw hyn, i mae ei waith ef wedi myned drwy
ddwylo’r _Meneich_; gwŷr a fedrai yn dda ddigon dylino pob peth i’w
dibenion eu hunain.—Y Beirdd, fal i tystia _Giraldus_, Arch-diacon
_Brycheiniog_, oeddynt yn cadw achau y Brenhinoedd, ac yn coffau eu
gweithredoedd ardderchog; ac oddiwrthynt hwy yn ddiammau i deryw i
_Dysilio_ fab _Brochwel Ysgythrog_, tywysog _Powys_, ysgrifennu’r _hanes_
sydd yr awron yn myned tan enw BRUT Y BRENHINOEDD, yr hwn a ddarfu i
_Galfrid ap Arthur_, o Aber Mynwy, ei gyfieithu o iaith _Llydaw_ i’r
_Lladin_, ac oddiyno yn _Gymraeg_; fel i mae ef ei hunan yn cyfaddef mewn
amryw hen gopiau ar femrwn, sydd etto i’w gweled yng Nghymru; ond
ysywaith, e ddarfu iddo chwanegu amryw chwedlau at hanes _Tysilio_:
_Flamines_ ac _Archiflamines_, a phrophwydoliaeth _Myrddin Emrys_, a
phethau eraill a fuasai harddach eu gadael heibio.  Ped fuasai yn dilyn y
Beirdd, e fuasai genym gywirach hanes nag sydd genym yr awron: ond fel ag
i mae, ni haeddai yn gwbl mo’r gogan i mae’r _Saeson_, o amser _Camden_,
yn ei rhoi iddi; o herwydd i mae _Nennius_, yr hwn a ysgrifennodd
drychant o flynyddoedd o’i flaen, yn rhoddi yr un hanes am ein dechreuad.
Ir wyf yn amcanu, os Duw a rydd im’ hoedl ac iechyd, osod allan yr awdur
hwn a nodau helaeth arno, gyd ag amddiffyniad o’r hanes; o herwydd efe
yw’r hanesydd hynaf a feddwn yn _Lladin_, oddigerth y _Gildas_ uchod, yr
hwn nid yw deilwng ei gyfrif yn hanesydd; o herwydd nid dyna ei gyngyd
na’i fympwy, yn ei _Epistolæ de excidio Britanniæ_.  Ir wyf yn methu a
chaffael copi iawn o _Nennius_, ac ir wyf yn meddwl nad oes un yng
Nghymru a dâl ddim, ond yn _Hengwrt_: da iawn er lles y wlad a
hanesyddion _Prydain_, i gwnai ei berchennog adael i ryw wr dysgedig ei
gymharu.  I mae genyfi ddau gopi, ond i maent yn dra ammherffaith; felly
hefyd i mae’r rhai printiedig, o eiddo’r Dr. _Gale_ a _Bertram_.  Ni wiw
i _Sais_, na neb dieithr, bydded mor ddysgedig ag i mynno, oni ddeall ef
Gymraeg yn iawn, ac oni chaiff hefyd weled ein hen ysgrifenadau a’n
Beirdd ni, gytcam a’r fath waith.  Nid yw _Camden_, er dysgedicced,
diwytted, a manyled gwr ydoedd, ond ymleferydd am lawer o bethau yn ei
_Britannia_; a hyny yn unig, o achos nad oedd yn medru yr iaith yn well.
A gresyn yw, nad oedd y _Saeson_, y rhai oeddynt yn ddiau (rai o naddunt)
yn chwilio pethau yn dêg, ac yn ddiduedd dros ben, y cyfryw ag ydoedd
_Leland_, _Usher_, a _Selden_, yn deall ein iaith, a medru gwneuthur
defnydd o’n hen lyfrau: o herwydd hyn, nid oeddynt, er cymaint eu dysg
a’u dawn, ddim i’w cyffelybu ag _Wmffre_ _Llwyd_ o _Ddinbych_, a _Rhobert
Fychan_ o’r _Hengwrt_, fel i mae eu gwaith yn eglur ddangos.  Ac yn
ddiau, mae yn ammhosibl i undyn, bydded mor gywreinied ag i myno,
wneuthur dim â ffrwyth ynddo, heb gaffael gweled yr hen ysgrifenadau,
sydd yn gadwedig yn llyfr-gelloedd y boneddigion yng _Nghymru_; yn
enwedig yn _Hengwrt_, a _Llan Fordaf_.  Myfi a welais, ac a gefais
fenthyg amryw lyfrau o waith llaw, yn llyfrgrawn yr anrhydeddus _Robert
Davies_, ysgr. o _Lannerch_ yn Swydd _Dinbych_; a Sir _Roger Mostyn_ yng
_Ngloddaith_, seneddwr dros Swydd _Flint_; a chan yr anrhydeddus _William
Fychan_, ysgr. o _Gors y Gedol_, seneddwr dros Swydd _Feirionydd_; yr hyn
ni fedraf lai nâ’i fynegu yma yngwydd y byd, er coffau eu cymmwynas a’u
hewyllys da i’n gwlad a’n iaith, ac i minnau hefyd; yn ol arfer
canmoladwy, a haelioni yr hen _Frython_ gynt.

Ond i ddyfod weithion at y Beirdd, yr rhai a adawsom ar ol.  Ef a ddarfu
imi gyfieithu ychydig odlau o’u gwaith, trwy annogaeth gwyr dysgedig o
_Loegr_; ac mi a ewyllysiwn wneuthur o honof hynny er clod iddynt; ond i
mae yn rhaid im’ adael hynny ym marn y darllenyddion: ac nid oes genyfi
ddim i’w ddywedyd, os drwg yw’r cyfieithiad, nad arnaf i yn llwyr i mae’r
bai yn sefyll; o herwydd i maent y Beirdd yn ddiammau yn orchestol
odiaeth; ond i mae’n rhaid addef hefyd eu bod yn anhawdd afrifed eu
deongli, o herwydd eu bod yn llawn o eiriau sydd yr awron wedi myned ar
gyfrgoll: ac nid ydynt wedi eu heglurhau mewn un Geiriadur argraffedig
nac ysgrifenedig a welais i.  Ir oedd yr Athraw hynod o _Fallwyd_, yr hwn
a astudiodd yr iaith er lles cyffredin y wlad, dros holl ddyddiau ei
einioes, yn methu eu deongli.  Ac ni wnaeth y dysgedig Mr. _Edward Llwyd_
o’r _Musæum_, gamp yn y byd yn y perwyl yma, er ei fod yn gydnabyddus â
holl geinciau prifiaith _Prydain_.  Ac yn ddiau o’r achos yma, nid oedd
genyfi ddim ond ymbalfalu am ystyr a synwyr y Beirdd, mewn llawer man,
oddiwrth flaen ac ol.  Ir wyf yn rhyfeddu’n ddirfawr am rai o’r _Cymry_
sydd yn haeru fod gwaith _Taliesin_, a’i gydoesiaid _Aneurin Gwawdrydd_,
_Llywarch Hen_, a _Merddin Wyllt_, yn hawdd eu deall.  Yn ddiau nid wyf i
yn deall mo honynt, ac i mae’r rhai dysgediccaf yn yr iaith, y to heddyw,
yn addef yr un peth.  I mae’r Beirdd, hir oesoedd gwedi hyny, sef ar ol
dyfodiad _Gwilym Fasdardd_, hyd farwolaeth, _Llywelyn ap Gruffydd_, yn
dywyll iawn; fal i gellwch weled oddiwrth yr odlau sydd yn canlyn.  Hyn a
barodd i mi beidio â chyfieithu chwaneg o honynt y tro yma, rhag ofn imi,
trwy fy anwybodaeth, wneuthur cam â hwynt.  Ond gan i’r _Saeson_ daeru,
na feddwn ddim mewn prydyddiaeth a dâl ei ddangos; mi a wnaethum fy
ng’orau er cyfieithu y Casgliad bychan yma, i fwrw heibio, os yw bossibl,
y gogan hwnnw: ac yn ddiau, os na wyddodd genyf wneuthur hyny, i mae yn
rhaid i’r Beirdd, a’m cydwladwyr, faddeu imi; a gobeithio i derbyniant fy
ewyllys da, herwydd na ddichon neb wneuthur ond a allo.—Heblaw hyn oll, i
mae hyn o waith yn dyfod i’r byd, mewn amser anghyfaddas i ymddangos mewn
dim prydferthwch; o herwydd i mae un o drigolion yr _Uch Alban_, gwedi
gosod allan ddau lyfr o waith _Ossian_; hen Fardd, meddai ef, cyn dyfod
Cristianogaeth i’w plith.  Ac i mae’r llyfrau hyn mewn rhagorbarch gan
foneddigion dysgedig y _Saeson_.  A rhaid addef eu bod wedi eu cyfieithu
yn odidog: ond i mae arnafi ofn, wedi’r cwbl, fod yr _Ysgodog_ yn bwrw
hug ar lygaid dynion, ac nad ydynt mor hen ag i mae ef yn taeru eu bod.
I mae’r _Gwyddelod_ yn arddelw _Ossian_ megis un o’u cydwladwyr hwynt; ac
i mae amryw bethau yn y cerddi a gyhoeddwyd yn ei enw, yn dangos, yn fy
nhyb i, oes ddiweddarach nag i mae’r cyfieithydd yn son am dani; yn
enwedig dyfodiad Gwyr _Llychlyn_ i’r _Iwerddon_, yr hyn ni ddigwyddodd,
meddai hanesyddion yr _Iwerddon_, cyn y flwyddyn 700.  Ac ni ddaeth yr
_Ysgodogion_ chwaith i sefydlu yn yr _Alban_, o flaen _Fergus Mac Ein_,
ynghylch y flwyddyn 503; fal i mae _William Llwyd_, Esgob _Caerwrangon_,
wedi ei brofi yn ddiwrthadl, yn ei lyfr ynghylch llywodraeth eglwysig.
Ond pei canniatteid eu bod hwy yno cyn hynny, ni fyddai hynny ronyn nes i
brofi _Ossian_ mor hyned ag i dywedir ei fod.  O herwydd ped fuasai, pa
fodd i mae ei gyfieithydd yn medru ei ddeongli mor hyfedr?  I mae gwaith
ein Beirdd ni, sydd gant o flynyddoedd ar ol hynny, tu hwnt i ddeall y
gwir cywreiniaf a medrusaf yn yr hen _Frutaniaith_.  Pwy o honom ni a
gymerai’r _Gododin_, gwaith _Aneurin Gwawdrydd_, Fychdeyrn Beirdd, a’i
gyfieithu mor llathraidd ag i gwnaeth cyfieithydd _Ffingal_ a _Themora_?
Ir wyfi yn meddwl nad oes neb a ryfygei gymmeryd y fath orchest arno.
Prin iawn i medreis i ddeongli rhai pennillion o hono yma a thraw, y rhai
a ellwch eu gweled yn y traethawd _Lladin_ ynghylch y Beirdd.  A gresyn
yw ei fod mor dywyll, o herwydd, hyd ir wyf fi yn ei ddeall, gwaith
godidog ydyw.  Yr un peth a ellir ei ddywedyd am _Daliesin_ Ben Beirdd,
nid oes neb heddyw, hyd i gwn i, a fedr gyfieithu yn iawn un o’i Awdlau
na’i Orchanau.  Myfi a wn fod amryw Frudiau ar hyd y wlad, wedi eu tadogi
ar _Daliesin_ a _Myrddyn_; ond nid ydynt ond dychymygion diweddar, gwedi
eu ffurfeiddio ar ol marwolaeth _Llywelyn ap Gruffydd_.  Yn enwedig yn
amseroedd terfysglyd _Owain Glyndwr_, a’r ymdrech rhwyg pleidiau _Efrog_
a _Lancaster_.  I mae hefyd eraill, gwedi eu lluniaethu gan y Meneich, i
atteb eu dibenion hwythau; ond i mae’r rhain oll yn hawdd eu gwahanu
oddiwrth awduraidd waith _Taliesin_, wrth yr iaith.—I mae yn ddiammau
genyf, fod y bardd yma yn odidog yn ei amser.  Ir oedd yn gydnabyddus ag
athrawiaith y _Derwyddon_ am y μετεμψύχωσις, a’r Daroganau, y rhai
oeddynt yn ddiammau, weddillion o’r Credo paganaidd; canys nid yw
daroganu ddim arall ond mynegi pethau i ddyfod, oddiwrth y _Ddar_, yr hon
ir oeddynt y _Derwyddon_ yn ei pherchi yn fawr iawn.  A chan ei fod ef yn
wr llys, ac yn byw yn yr oes anwybodus honno, ir oedd yr hyn a ddywedai
yn cael ei dderbyn a’i roesawu gan y gwerinos, megis ped fuasai wir
broffwyd.  A hynny a ellir ei ddywedyd hefyd am Ferddin Emrys, a’i
broffwydoliaeth.  Mor anhawdd yw tynnu ofergoelion eu hynafiaid, oddiwrth
un wlad neu genedl!

E ddichon rhai o honoch ysgatfydd ofyn, Paham na buaswn yn cyfieithu rhai
o’r Beirdd godidog diweddar, a ysgrifenasant wedi diwygio yr hen
gynghanedd?  I’r rhain ir wyf yn ateb, fod y Beirdd yn amser y tywysogion
yn fwy ardderchog a mawryddig yn eu gwaith; ac ir oeddynt eu hunain, rai
o naddunt, yn dywysogion, ac yn wyr dyledogion; yn enwedig, _Owain
Cyfeiliog_, tywysog _Powys_; a _Hywel ap Owain Gwynedd_, Bardd a rhyfelwr
godidog: ac felly ir oeddynt yn fwy penigamp na’r Beirdd diweddar, o ran
eu testunau.  Canys ir oedd y Beirdd diweddar, fel i mae _Sion Dafydd
Rhys_ yn achwyn arnynt, yn gwenieithio i’r gwyr mawr, ac yn dywedyd
celwydd ar eu cân; ac yn haeru iddynt dorri cestyll, lladd a llosgi, pryd
ir oeddynt, eb ef, yn cysgu yn eu gwelyau, heb ddim mo’r fath feddwl nac
amcan ganddynt.  Eithr yn amser y tywysogion, o’r gwrthwyneb, ir oedd y
Beirdd yn dystion o ddewredd a mawrfrydigrwydd eu tywysogion; ac ir
oeddynt eu hunain yn filwyr glewion.  Ir oedd _Meilir Brydydd_ yn gennad
dros _Ruffydd ap Cynan_ at frenin _Lloegr_; ac ir oedd _Gwalchmai_, ei
fab, yn flaenor câd ynghyffinydd _Lloegr_ a _Chymru_; fel i maent ill dau
yn tystiolaethu yn eu cerddi.  Heblaw hyn, ir oedd y tywysogion yma yn
fuddugawl yn eu rhyfeloedd â’r _Saeson_, ac ir oedd hynny yn peri i’r
Beirdd ymorchestu, i dragywyddoli eu gweithredoedd ardderchog; ac i foli
eu gwroldeb mewn achos mor glodfawr ag amddiffyn eu gwlad a’u rhyddid, yn
erbyn estron genedl, a’u difuddiasei o dreftadaeth eu hynafiaid.  Ir oedd
y rhain yn ddiau yn destunau gwiw i Feirdd ganu arnynt, ac yn fodd
cymmwys i beri i’w deiliaid eu perchi a’u hanrhydeddu; canys ir oedd y
cerddi godidog yma yn cael eu datgan gyda’r delyn, mewn cyweiriau
cyfaddas, mewn gwleddau yn llys y tywysog, ac yn neuaddau y pendefigion
a’r uchelwyr.  I mae _Giraldus_ yn dywedyd, fod y _Cymry_ mor ddrud a
milwraidd yn ei amser ef, ag na rusynt ymladd yn noeth ac yn ddiarfog,
â’r rhai arfog, llurugog; a’r pedydd yn erbyn y marchogion.  Yn ddiau nid
oedd un modd a ellid ei ddychymmygu well, i gynnal yr yspryd dihafarch
yma yn ein hynafiaid, na chael eu moli gan y Beirdd.  Ac e wyddai’r
_Saeson_ hynny yn dda ddigon; canys ar ol darostwng _Cymru_ tan eu
llywodraeth, e ddarfu iddynt ddihenyddu’r Beirdd trwy’r holl wlad.  I mae
llyfrau ystatud Lloegr, yn llawn o gyfreithiau creulon i’w herbyn, ac yn
gwarafun yn gaeth iddynt ymarfer o’u hen ddefodau, o glera a chymhortha.
Yn amser _Owain Glyndwr_, i cawsant ychydig seibiant a chynhwysiad i
ganu; ond gwedi hynny, hyd ddyfodiad _Harri’r Seithfed_, ir oeddynt tan
gwmmwl.  Gwedi iddo ef ddyfod i lywodraethu, ac yn amser ei fab, _Harri’r
Wythfed_, a’r frenhines _Elisabeth_, y rhai a hanoeddynt o waed Cymreig,
i cawsant gynhwysiadau i gynnal Eisteddfodau: ond ni pharhaodd hynny ond
ennyd fechan, o herwydd bonedd Cymru a ymroisant i fod yn Saeson, fel i
maent yn parhau gan mwyaf hyd y dydd heddyw.

Ond i mae rhai yn yr oes yma yn chwenychu eu cadw a’u coledd, er mwyn eu
hiaith ddigymmysg, ac er mwyn gwell gwybodaeth o foesau ac ansawdd ein
hynafiaid; ac er mwyn eu teilyngdod eu hunain; o herwydd i mae yn rhai
o’u Hawdlau a’u Cywyddau, ymadroddion mor gywraint a naturiol ag sydd ym
Mhrydyddion Groeg a Rhufain; mal i gwyr y sawl a’u deallant yn dda.—Ymysg
eraill i mae Cymdeithas y Cymmrodorion, yn Llundain, yn rhoddi mawrbarch
iddynt; ac yn chwenychu cadw cynnifer o’n hen ysgrifenadau ag sydd heb
fyned ar goll.  A da i gwneynt foneddigion Cymru, ped ymoralwent am
argraffu y pethau mwyaf hynod a gwiwgof mewn prydyddiaeth, hanesion, ac
eraill hen goffadwriaethau; o herwydd i maent beunydd yn cael eu difrodi,
gan y sawl ni wyddant ddim gwell.  Hyn, er lles ein gwlad a’n iaith, yw
gwir a diffuant ddamuniad

Eich gostyngedig wasanaethwr, a’ch ewyllysiwr da,

                                                               EVAN EVANS.


_Owain Cyfeiliog e hun ai cant_.

   Gwawr pan ddwyre gawr a ddoded,
   Galon yn anfon anfudd dynged,
   Geleurudd ein gwyr gwedi lludded trwm,
   Tremit gofwy mur _Maelawr Drefred_.

   Deon a yrrais dygyhyssed,
   Diarswyd a’r frwydr arfau goched,
   A rygoddwy glew gogeled rhagddaw,
   Gnawd yw oi ddygnaw ddefnydd codded!

   Dywallaw di fenestr gan foddhäed,
   Y corn yn llaw _Rhys_ yn llys llyw ced,
   Llys _Owain_ ar braidd yt ryborthed erioed,
   Porth mil a glywi pyrth egored.

   Menestr am gorthaw, nam adawed
   Estyn y corn er cyd yfed,
   Hiraethlawn am llyw lliw ton nawfed,
   Hirlas i arwydd aur i dudded:

   A dyddwg o fragawd wirawd orgred,
   Ar llaw Wgan draws dros i weithred,
   Canawon Goronwy, gwrdd gynnired gwyth,
   Canawon hydwyth, hydr eu gweithred:
   Gwyr a obryn tal ymhob caled,
   Gwyr yngawr gwerthfawr gwrdd ymwared,
   Bugelydd Hafren balch eu clywed,
   Bugunat cyrn medd mawr a wna neued.

   Dywallaw di’r corn argynfelyn,
   Anrhydeddus, feddw, o fedd gorewyn,
   Ac o’r mynni hoedl hyd un blwyddyn,
   Na ddidawl i barch, can nid perthyn,
   A dyddwc i Ruffydd waewruddelyn,
   Gwin a gwydr goleu yn ei gylchyn,
   Dragon Arwystli, arwystl terfyn,
   Dragon Owain hael o hil Cynfyn,
   Dragon iw dechreu, ac niw dychryn cat,
   Cyflafan argrat cymwy erlyn.
   Cetwyr idd aethant er clod obryn:
   Cyfeddon, arfawc, arfau Edwyn,
   Talassant i medd mal gwyr Belyn gynt,
   Teg i hydrefynt tra bo undyn.

   Dywallaw di’r corn, canys amcan cennyf,
   Ydd ymgyrryw glyw gloyw ymddiddan,
   Ar llaw ddehau ein llyw gyflafan,
   Lluch y dan ysgwyd ysgawn lydan,
   Ar llaw Ednyfet llawr diogan lew,
   Ergyrwayw trylew, trei i darian.
   Terfysc ddyffysc ddeu ddiofn anian,
   Torrynt torredwynt uch teg adfan,
   Teleirw yngbyngrein ynghyfran brwydr,
   Tal ysgwyd eurgrwydr torrynt yn fuan:
   Tryliw eu pelydr gwedi penwan,
   Trylwyn yn amwyn amwiw Garthan.
   Cigleu ym Maelawr gawr fawr fuan,
   A garw ddisgyrr gwyr, a gwyth erwan,
   Ac ymgynnull am drull am dramwyan,
   Fal i bu ym Mangor am ongyr dân:
   Pan wnaeth dau deyrn uch cyrn cyfrdan.
   Pan fu gyfeddach Forach Forfran.

   Dywallaw di’r corn, canys myfyr gennyf,
   Men ydd amygant medd a’n tymmyr,
   _Selif_ diarswyt orsaf _Gwygyr_,
   Gogelet ai cawdd calon eryr!
   Ac unmab _Madawc_, enwawg _Dudur_ hael,
   Hawl bleiddiad, lleiddiad, lluch ar ysgyr,
   Deu arwreidd, deu lew, yn eu cyngyr,
   Deu arial dywal dau fab _Ynyr_,
   Dau rydd yn nydd cad eu cyfergyr,
   Cyfargor diachor camp diachyr,
   Arfod llewod gwrdd, gwrddwan cadwyr,
   Aer gunieid, lunieid, coch eu hongyr,
   Treis erwyr yn ffwyr ffaw ehegyr,
   Trei eu dwy aesawr dan un ystyr,
   Gorfu gwynt gwaeddfan uch glan glasfyr,
   Gorddwy clau tonnau _Talgarth_ ystyr.

   Dywallaw di fenestr na fyn angau,
   Corn can anrhydedd ynghyfeddau,
   Hirlas buelin, breint uchel hen ariant,
   Ai gortho nid gorthenau:
   A dyddwg i _Dudur_, eryr aerau,
   Gwirawd gyssefin o’r gwin gwinau,
   Oni ddaw i mewn o’r medd gorau oll,
   Gwirawd o ban, dy ben faddau,
   Ar llaw _Foreiddig_, llochiad cerddau,
   Cerddyn hyn i glod cyn oer adnau,
   Dieithr frodyr fryd ucheldau,
   Diarchar arial a dan dalau,
   Cedwyr am gorug gwasanaethau,
   Nid ym hyn dihyll nam hen deheu
   Cynnifieid, gyrthieid, fleinieid, fleiddiau,
   Cynfaran creulawn creulyd ferau,
   Glew glyw _Mochnannwys_ o _Bowys_ beu:
   O glew gwnedd arnaddunt deu,
   Achubieit pob rheid, rhudd eu harfeu:
   Echedwynt rhag terfysc eu terfynau,
   Moliant yw eu rhann y rhei gwynnau;
   Marwnad fu neud mi newid y ddau!
   O chan Grist mor drist wyf o’r anaeleu!
   O goll _Moreiddig_ mawr ei eissieu.

   Dywallaw di’r corn can nim puchant,
   Hirlas yn llawen yn llaw _Forgant_,
   Gwr a ddyly gwawd gwahan foliant,
   Gwenwyn y addwyn, gwan edrywant,
   Areglydd defnydd dioddefiant llafn,
   Llyfn i deutu llym ei hamgant.

   Dywallaw di fenestr o lestr ariant,
   Celennyg edmyg, can urdduniant,
   Ar llawr _Gwestun_ fawr gwelais irdant,
   Ardwy _Goronwy_ oedd gweith i gant,
   Cedwyr cyfarfaeth ydd ymwnaethant,
   Cad ymerbynieid, eneid dichwant,
   Cyfarfu ysgwn ac ysgarant aer,
   Llas aer, llosget maer ger mor lliant:
   Mwynfawr o garcharawr a gyrchassant,
   _Meurig fab Gruffydd_ grym ddarogant,
   Neud oedd gochwys pawb pan atgorsant,
   Neud oedd lawn o heul hirfryn a phant.

   Dywallaw di’r corn ir cynnifieid,
   Canawon _Owain_, cyngrein, cydneid,
   Wynt a ddyrllyddant yn lle honneid,
   Glud men ydd ant gloyw heyrn ar neid:
   _Madawc_ a _Meilir_ gwyr gorddyfneid treis,
   Tros gyferwyr gyferbynieid:
   Tariannogion torf, terfysc ddysgeid,
   Trinheion faon, traws ardwyeid.
   Ciglau am dal medd myned dreig _Cattraeth_,
   Cywir eu harfaeth, arfau lliweid,
   Gosgordd Fynyddawc am eu cysgeid,
   Cawssant y hadrawdd cas flawdd flaenieid;
   Ni wnaeth a wnaeth fynghedwyr ynghalet _Faelor_,
   Dillwng carcharor dullest foleid.

   Dywallaw di fenestr fedd hidlaid, melus,
   Ergyrwayw gwrys gochwys yn rheid,
   O gyrn buelin balch oreuraid,
   Yr gobryn gobrwyau henaid;
   O’r gynnifer anhun a borth cynnieid
   Nis gwyr namyn Duw ac ai dywaid.

   Gwr ni dal ni dwng, ni bydd wrth wir,
   _Daniel_ dreig cannerth, mor ferth hewir,
   Menestr mawr a gweith yd ioleithir
   Gwyr ni oleith lleith, oni llochir,
   Menestr medd ancwyn a’n cydroddir,
   Gwrdd-dan gloyw, goleu, gwrddloyw babir
   Menestr gwelud dy gwyth yn Llidwm dir
   Y gwyr a barchaf wynt a berchir.
   Menestr gwelud dy galchdoed Cyngrein,
   Ynghylchyn _Owain_ gylchwy enwir,
   Pan breiddwyd Cawres, taerwres trwy dir,
   Preidd ostwng orflwng a orfolir,
   Menestr nam didawl, nim didolir,
   Boed ym mharadwys in cynhwysir,
   Can pen teyrnedd, poed hir eu trwydded,
   Yn i mae gweled gwaranred gwir.  AMEN.


_I Fyfanwy Fechan_, _o Gastell Dinas Bran_.  _Howel ap Einion Lygliw ai

   Neud wyf ddihunwyf, hoen Creirwy hoywdeg,
      Am hudodd mal Garwy,
   O fan or byd rwymgwyd rwy,
   O fynor gaer Fyfanwy.

   Trymmaf yw cariad tramwy, hoen eurnef,
      Hyn arnaf dy faccwy,
   Dy far feinwar Fyfanwy,
   Ar ath gar ni fu far fwy.

   Gofyn ni allawdd namyn gofwy cur,
      Dyn mewn cariad fwy fwy,
   Fynawg eirian Fyfanwy,
   Fuchudd ael fun hael fyw’n hwy.

   Eurais wawd ddidlawd, ddadl rwy adneuboen,
      Adnabod Myfanwy,
   Poen ath gar afar ofwy,
   Poen brwyn ei ryddwyn i ddwy.

   Gorwydd, cyrch ebrwydd, ceirch ebran addas,
      Dwg dristwas, dig Drystan,
   Llwrw buost, farch llary buan,
   Lle arlloes fre eurllys Fran.

   Gwn beunydd herwydd herw amcan, ddilyd
      Ddelw berw Caswennan:
   Golwg, deddf amlwg diddan,
   Gwelw, freich fras brenhinblas Bran.

   Gyrrais a llidiais farch bronn llydan, hoyw,
      Er hoen blodau sirian:
   Gyrrawd ofal yr Alban,
   Garrhir braisc ucheldir Bran.

   Lluniais wawd, ddefawd ddifan, traul ofer,
      Nid trwy lafur bychan:
   Lliw eiry cynnar pen Aran,
   Lloer bryd, lwys fryd o lys Fran.

   Mireinwawr Drefawr dra fo brad im dwyn,
   Gwarando fy nghwyn, frwyn freuddwydiad,
   Mau glwyf a mowrnwyf murniad, huno heb
   Gwrtheb teg atteb tuac attad
   Mi dy fardd digardd, dygn gystuddiad Rhun,
   Gyfun laes wannllun ith lys winllad.
   Mynnu ddwyf draethu heb druthiad na gwyd
   Wrthyd haul gymmryd, gamre wasdad.
   Mynnud hoyw fun loyw oleuad gwledydd,
   Glodrydd, gain gynnydd, nid gan gennad,
   Maint anhun haelfun hwylfad, em cyfoeth
   Ddoeth, fain oleugoeth, fy nau lygad,
   Medron boen goroen nid digarad was,
   Heb ras, mau drachas om edrychiad.
   Magwyr murwydr hydr, hydreiddiad lwysle,
   Mygrwedd haul fore eurne arnad.
   Megis llwyr gludais llawer gwlad, yn ddwys,
   Dy glod lwys, cynnwys pob datceiniad,
   Mal hy oedd ymmy, am wyl gariad graen,
   Myfanwy hoen blaen eiry gaen gawad.
   Meddwl serchawl, hawl, lliw ton hwyliad welw,
   Arddelw dygynnelw heb dy gynheiliad.
   Modd trist im gwnaeth Crist croesdog neirthiad llwyr,
   Wanwyr oi synwyr drwy lud senniad.
   Murn boen a mi om anynad hawl,
   Serchawl eneidiawl un fynediad.
   Mul i bwriais, trais tros ddirnad Duw gwyn,
   Tremyn ar ddillyn porphor ddillad.
   Megis ti ferch rhi, rhoddiad gymmyrredd,
   Mwyfwy anrhydedd, wledd wledychiad.
   Marw na byw, nwyf glyw gloyw luniad cyngaws,
   Hoednaws nid anaws im am danad.
   Meddwl ofeiliaint braint braidd im gad llesmair,
   I gael yr eilgair wrth offeiriad.
   Masw imi brofi, brif draethiad a wnawn,
   Lle nim rhoddi iawn, ne gwawn, na gwad.
   Mesur cawdd anawdd i ynad eglur,
   Adrawdd fy nolur ddwysgur ddysgiad.
   Modd nad gwiw, lliw lleuad rhianedd,
   Nam gwedd hud garedd, nam hoed girad.
   Meinir nith borthir, gwn borthiad poenau,
   Yn nenn hoen blodau blawd yspyddad.
   Medraist, aur delaist adeilad gwawd,
   Im nychdawd ddifrawd ddyfrys golliad.
   Meddylia oth ra ath rad, ith brydydd
   Talu y carydd Duw dofydd dad.

   Prydydd wyf, tros glwyf, trais glud, poen gwaneg,
      Iaith laesdeg ith lwysdud:
   Fynawg riain fain funud:
   Fun arlludd hun eirllwydd hud.

   Im neud glud, dy hud hydr, riain wanlleddf,
      O’r wenllys ger Dinbrain:
   Aml yw gwawd gynnefawd gain,
   Om araith ith dwf mirain.


_I Lewelyn fab Iorwerth_.  _Dafydd Benfras ai cant_.

   Gwr a wnaeth llewych o’r gorllewin,
   Haul a lloer addoer, addef iessin,
   Am gwnel, radd uchel, rwyf cyfychwin,
   Cyflawn awen, awydd _Fyrddin_,
   I ganu moliant mal _Aneurin_ gynt,
      Dydd i cant _Ododin_.
   I foli gwyndawd _Gwyndyd_ werin,
   _Gwynedd_ bendefig, ffynnedig ffin,
   Gwanas deyrnas, deg cywrennin,
   Gwreidd, teyrneidd, taer ymrwydrin,
   Gwrawl ei fflamdo am fro Freiddin.
   Er pan orau Duw dyn gyssefin,
   Ni wnaeth ei gystal traws arial trin.
   Gorug _Llewelyn_, orllin teyrnedd,
   Ar y brenhinedd braw a gorddin
   Pan fu yn ymbrofi a brenin _Lloegyr_,
      Yn llygru swydd _Erbin_.
   Oedd breisc, weisc ei fyddin,
   Oedd brwysc rwysc rhag y godorin,
   Oedd balch gwalch, golchiad ei laïn,
   Oedd beilch gweilch, gweled ei werin,
   Oedd clywed cleddyfau finfin,
   Oedd clybod clwyf ymhob elin,
   Oedd briw rhiw yn nhrabludd odrin,
   Oedd braw saw _Saeson_ clawdd y _Cnwecin_,
   Oedd bwlch llafn yn llaw gynnefin,
   Oedd gwaedlyd pennau, gwedi gwaedlin rhwy,
      Yn rhedeg am ddeulin.
   _Llewelyn_, ein llyw cyffredin,
   Llywiawdr berth hyd _Borth Ysgewin_,
   Ni ryfu gystal _Gwstennin_ ag ef,
      I gyfair pob gorllin.
   Mi im byw be byddwn ddewin,
   Ym marddair, ym mawrddawn gyssefin,
   Adrawdd ei ddaed aerdrin ni allwn,
      Ni allai _Daliesin_.
   Cyn adaw y byd gyd gyfrin,
   Gan hoedyl hir ar dir daierin,
   Cyn dyfnfedd escyrnwedd yscrin,
   Cyn daear dyfnlas, arlessin,
   Gwr a wnaeth o’r dwfr y gwin,
   Gan fodd Duw a diwedd gwirin,
   Nog a wnaethpwyd trais anwyd trin,
   Ymhrefent ymhrysur orllin:
   Ni warthäer hael am werthefin nos,
      A nawdd saint boed cyfrin.


_I Lewelyn fab Iorwerth_.  _Einiawn fab Gwgawn ai cant_.

   Cyfarchaf o’m naf, am nefawl Arglwydd,
   Crist Celi culwydd, cwl i ddidawl,
   Celfydd leferydd o le gweddawl,
   Celfyddydau mau ni fo marwawl:
   I brofi pob peth o bregeth _Bawl_,
   I foli fy rhi, rhwyf angerddawl,
   Rhyfel ddiochel, ddiochwyth hawl,
   _Llewelyn_ heilyn, hwylfeirdd waddawl,
   Llawenydd i ddydd, i ddeddf ai mawl,
   Llewychedig llafn yn llaw reddfawl,
   Yn lladd, dy wrthladd iwrth lys _Rheidiawl_,
   Gweleis a gerais ni gar mantawl,
   Gwelygordd _Lleission_ llyssoedd gweddawl,
   Lluoedd arwoloedd ar weilw didawl,
   Llawrwyr am eryr yn ymeiriawl,
   _Llewelyn_ lleyn, llyw ardderchawl,
   Lluriglas, gwanas, gwanau a hawl,
   Gwenwyn yn amwyn am dir breiniawl _Powys_,
   Ae diffiwys, ae glwys a glyw ei hawl,
   Ef dynniad ynghad; _Eingl_ frad freuawl,
   Ef dandde rhuddle _Rhuddlan_ is gwawl,
   Gweleis _Lewelyn_, eurddyn urddawl,
   Yn urddas dreigwas dragywyddawl,
   Eil gweleis i dreis dros ganol _Dyfrdwy_,
   Yn y trei tramwy llanw rhwy, rhwydd hawl
   Gweleis aer am gaer oedd engiriawl,
   Talu pwyth dydd gwyth, canyseawl,
   Ni ryweleis neb na bo canmawl,
   O’r ddau y gorau a fo gwrawl.

   Mi ath arwyre, ath arwyrein myfyr,
   Eryr yn rhywyr, prifwyr _Prydein_.
   Prydfawr _Lewelyn_ pryd dyn dadiein,
   Prydus, diescus, escar ddilein.
   Escynnu ar llu ar lle _Ewein_,
   Ysgymmod gorfod, gorfalch am brein,
   Ysgymmyn gwerlyn, gwerlid gofiein,
   Ysgymydd clodrydd, _Kulwydd_ a _Llwyfein_,
   Lluddedig edmyg, meirch mawrthig mein;
   A lluoedd yngwiscoedd yn ymoscrein,
   Ar llinyn ar dynn ar du celein,
   A llinon rhag Bron rhag bro _Eurgein_,
   Tyrfa _Clawdd Offa_ clod yn hoffiein,
   A thorfoedd _Gwynedd_ a gwyr _Llundein_,
   Cyfran tonn a glan, glafdir gwylein,
   Golud mowr ystrud, ysgryd _Norddmein_,
   _Llewelyn_ terwyn, torf anghyngein,
   Biau’r gwyr gorau, bachau bychein,
   Priodawr mwynglawr _Môn_ glod yscein,
   Areul golud pentud, _Pentir Gwychein_.
   Gwawr _Dehau_ gorau, gwyr yn dyrein,
   Gwenwyn a gwanar y ddau gar gein,
   Ae lyw cyferyw, cyfwyrein a thrin,
   A thrychieid gwerin _Caer Fyrddin_ fein,
   Ni sefis na thwr, na bwr, bu crein,
   Nag argoed, na choed, na chadlys drein,
   A rhag pyrth bu syrth _Saeson_ ynghrein.
   Oedd trist maer, oedd claer cleddyf heb wein,
   A chan llu pannu, pen ar ddigrein,
   A chan llaw lludwaw _Llan Huadein_,
   _Cil Geran_ achlan, a chlod goelfein,
   A chlwyr ar dyhedd, mawredd mirein,
   Yn _Aber Teifi_ tew oedd frein uch benn,
   Yn yd oedd perchen parchus gyfrein.
   Oedd tew peleidr creu, creuynt gigfrein,
   Calanedd gorwedd gorddyfnassein,
   _Llewelyn_ boed hyn boed hwy ddichwein,
   No _Llywarch_ hybarch, hybar gigwein.
   Nid celadwy dreig, dragon gyngein,
   Nid calan cyman gwr y gymein,
   Hydwf yngnif ai lif o lein,
   Hyd ydd el yn rhyfel hyd yn _Rhufein_,
   Ai raglod ai rod o riw Feddgein,
   Hyd i dwyre haul hyd y dwyrein.

   Ys imi rwydd Arglwydd, argleidrad,
   Argledr tir, a gwir a gwenwlad,
   Ys imi or cyngor cyngwasdad,
   Cywesti peri peleidrad,
   Ys imi ri ryfel ddiffreiddiad,
   Diffryd gwyr, eryr ardwyad,
   Ys imi rwydd Arglwydd, erglywiad
   A glywir o’r tir gar _Tanad_,
   Ys imi glew, a llew a lleiddiad
   Yn rhyfel a rhon orddyfniad,
   Ys imi wr a wared i rad,
   I reidus, galarus, geilwad.
   Ys imi ner yn arwyn ddillad,
   Yn arwein ysgin ysgarlad,
   Ys imi _Nudd_, hael fudd, Hueil feiddiad,
   Ar Lloegr ryllygrwys heb wad.
   Ys imi _Rydderch_, roddiad aur melyn,
   Molitor ymhob gwlad.
   A mawrdud olud olygad,
   A _Mordaf_ am alaf eiliad,
   Ys imi _Run_ gatcun gytcam rad,
   Cydgaffael, a hael, a hwyliad
   Ef imi y meddwl difrad,
   Mi iddaw yn llaw yn llygad,
   Ni henyw o afryw afrad,
   Mi hanwy o henwyr ei dad,
   Llachar far, aerfar, erfynniad,
   Llachar fron o frydau _Gwriad_.
   Lluchieint gweilch am walch gynnifiad,
   Fal lluchynt estrawn wynt _Ystrad_.
   Hunydd nen perchen parchus fad,
   Parch arfawr, _Arfon_ angoriad.
   _Llewelyn_ dreis, erlyn drwssiad,
   Dros dehau angau oth angad,
   Angor mor y mawr gymynad,
   Angawr llawr llurig Duw am danad.

   Rhy chyngein _Prydein_ yn ddibryder,
   I Briodawr llawr yn llawn nifer.
   _Llewelyn_ gelyn yn i galwer
   I gelwir am dir am dud tymer.
   Llawenydd lluoedd llew ymhryder,
   Llywiawdr ymmerawdr mor a lleufer,
   I ddylif cynnif cynhebyccer
   I ddylann am lann, am leissiaid ffer.
   Terfysc tonn ddilysc ddyleinw aber:
   Dylad anwasdad ni osteccer.
   Terwynt twrf rhywynt yn rhyw amser,
   A rhialluoedd lluoedd llawer.
   Torfoedd ynghyoedd ynghyflawnder
   Tariannau golau mal i gweler:
   Ry folant anant, anaw cymer,
   Ry molir i wir i orober,
   I wryd yn rhyd yn rheid nifer,
   I orofn gwraf yn ydd eler,
   I orfod gorfod glod a glywer,
   I wyr am eryr ni amharer,
   I warae orau pan waräer,
   I wayw a orau yn ddau hanner,
   Dinidir yn nydd brwydr yn yd brofer,
   Dinoding perging, pargoch hydrfer,
   Dinas, dreig urddas, eurddawn haelder
   Dinag o fynag pan ofynner,
   Dyn yw _Llewelyn_ llywiawdr tyner,
   Doeth coeth cywrennin, gwin a gwener,
   A’r gwr ai rhoddes ni ran o’r pader,
   Ai rhoddo ef gwenfro gwynfryn uch ser.


_Owain Gwynedd_.  _Gwalchmai ai cant_.

   Arddwyreaf hael o hil _Rodri_,
   Ardwyad gorwlad, gwerlin teithi,
   Teithiawg _Prydain_, twyth arfdwyth _Owain_,
   Teyrnain ni grain, ni grawn rëi.
   Teir lleng i daethant, liant lestri,
   Teir praff prif lynges wy bres brofi,
   Un o’r _Iwerddon_, arall arfogion
   Or _Llychlynigion_, llwrw hirion lli.
   Ar drydedd dros for o _Norddmandi_,
   Ar drafferth anferth, anfad iddi.
   A dreig _Mon_ mor ddrud i eissillyd yn aer,
   A bu terfysc taer i haer holi,
   A rhagddaw rhewys dwys dyfysci,
   A rhewin a thrin a thranc Cymri,
   A’r gad gad greudde, a’r gryd gryd graendde,
   Ac am dal _Moelfre_ mil fannieri,
   A’r ladd ladd lachar, ar bar beri,
   A ffwyr ffwyr ffyrfgawdd ar fawdd foddi,
   A _Menai_ heb drai o drallanw gwaedryar,
   A lliw gwyar gwyr yn heli:
   A llurygawr glas, a gloes trychni,
   A thrychion yn nhud rhag rheiddrudd ri,
   A dygyfor _Lloegr_, a dygyfranc a hi,
   Ag ei dygyfwrw yn astrusi,
   A dygyfod clod cleddyf difri,
   Yn saith ugain iaith wy faith foli.


_I Nest ferch Hywel_.  _Einiawn fab Gwalchmai ai cant_.

   Amser Mai maith ddydd, neud rhydd rhoddi,
   Neud coed nad ceithiw, ceinlliw celli,
   Neud llafar adar, neu gwar gweilgi,
   Neud gwaeddgreg gwaneg, gwynt yn edwi,
   Neud arfeu doniau, goddau gwedi,
   Neud argel dawel nid meu dewi,
   Endeweis i wenyg o Wynnofi dir,
      I am derfyn mawr meibion _Beli_,
   Oedd hydreidd wychr llyr yn llenwi,
   Oedd hydr am ddylan gwynfan genddi,
   Hyll nid oedd ei deddf hi hwyreddf holi,
   Hallt oedd i dagrau, digrawn heli,
   Ar helw bun araf uch bannieri ton,
      Tynhegl a gerddais i gorddwfr _Teifi_,
   Ceintum gerdd i _Nest_ cyn noi threngi,
   Cânt cant i moliant mal _Elifri_,
   Canaf gan feddwl awrddwl erddi,
   Caniad i marwnad, mawr drueni!
   Canwyll _Cadfan_ lan o lenn bali.
   Canneid i synnieid gar _Dysynni_,
   Gwan, wargan, wyrygall, ddeall ddogni,
   Gwreig nid oedd un frad gariad genthi,
   Gweryd rhudd ai cudd gwedi tewi,
   Gwael neuedd maenwedd mynwent iddi,
   Golo _Nest_ goleu ddireidi.
   Golwg gwalch dwythfalch o brif deithi,
   Gwenned gwawn ai dawn oi daioni,
   _Gwynedd_ anrhydedd, oedd rhaid wrthi,
   Nid oedd ffawd rhy gnawd rhin y genthi,
   Gnawd oedd dâl eur mal er i moli,
   Ni ryfu dognach er i dogni poen,
      Penyd a fo mwy no’r meu hebddi,
   Neum gorau angau anghyfnerthi,
   Nid ymglyw dyn byw o’r byd fal mi,
   Ni chyfeirch angen iawlwen ioli,
   Er neb rhy barther i rhyborthi,
   _Nest_ yn ei haddawd, wenwawd weini,
   Ydd wyf pryderus fal pryderi.
   Pryderwawd ceudawd, cyfnerthi ni wnn,
      Nid parabl yw hwn ni fo peri.
   Llen argel issel y sy’m poeni,
   Lludd _Gwen_ lliw arien ar _Eryri_.
   Archaf im Arglwydd culwydd celi,
   Nid ef a archaf arch egregi,
   Arch, ydd wyf un arch yn i erchi,
   Am archfein riein, reid y meini,
   Trwy ddiwyd eiriawl deddfawl _Dewi_.
   A deg cymmeint seint senedd _Frefi_,
   Am fun a undydd i hammodi,
   A’r gystlwn pryffwn y prophwydi,
   Ar gyfoeth Duw doeth i detholi,
   Ar anghyweir _Meir_ a’r merthyri,
   Ag yn i goddau gweddi a ddodaf,
      Am dodeis nwyf im addoedi.
   Ni bu ddyn mor gu gennyf a hi
   Ni bo poen oddef, _Pedr_ wy noddi,
   Ni bydd da gan Dduw i diddoli,
   Ni bo diddawl _Nest_, nef boed eiddi.


_I Lewelyn fab Iorwerth_.  _Llywarch Brydydd y Moch ai cant_.

   Crist Greawdr, llywiawdr llu daear a nef
   Am noddwy rhag afar,
   Crist celi, bwyf celfydd a gwar,
   Cyn diwedd gyfyngwedd gyfar.
      Crist fab Duw am rhydd arllafar,
   I foli fy rhwyf rhwysg o ddyar,
   Crist fab Mair am pair o’r pedwar defnydd,
   Dofn awen ddiarchar.
   _Llewelyn_ llyw _Prydain_ ai phâr,
   Llew a glew a glyw gyfarwar,
   _Fab Iorwerth_ ein cannerth an car,
   _Fab Owain_ ffrawddiein, ffrwyth cynnar,
      Ef dyfu dreig llu yn llasar dillat,
         Yn ddillyn cyfarpar,
   Yn erfid, yn arfod abar,
   Yn arfau bu cenau cynnar,
   Yn ddengmlwydd hylwydd hylafar,
   Yn ddidranc ei gyfranc ai gar,
   Yn _Aber Conwy_, cyn daffar fy llyw,
      _Llewelyn_ athrugar,
   A _Dafydd_, defawd _Ul Caissar_,
   Difai ddraig, ddragon adwyar,
   Difwlch udd difalch i esgar,
   Difwng blwng blaen ufel trwy far,
   Dybryd in feirdd byd bod daear arnaw,
      Ac arnam i alar.
   Ef yn lly w cyn llid gyfysgar,
   Ysglyfion ysglyfiynt llwrw bar,
   Oedd rynn rudd ebyr or gwyr gwar,
   Oedd ran feirw fwyaf o’r drydar,
   Oedd amliw tonnau, twnn amhar eu neid,
      Neud oeddynt dilafar.
   Ton heli ehelaeth i bar,
   Ton arall guall, goch gwyar.
   _Porth Aethwy_ pan aetham ni ar feirch mordwy,
      Uch mowrdwrf tonniar,
   Oedd ongyr, oedd engir ei bar,
   Oedd angudd godrudd gwaedryar,
   Oedd enghyrth ein hynt, oedd angar,
   Oedd ing, oedd angau anghymar,
   Oedd ammau ir byd bod abar o honam,
      O henaint lleithiar.
   Mawr gadau, anghau anghlaear,
   Meirw sengi, mal seri sathar,
   Cyn plygu _Rodri_, rwydd esgar, ym _Mon_
      Mynwennoedd bu braenar,
   Pan orfu pen llu llachar,
   _Llewelyn_ llyw _Alun_ athafar,
   Myrdd bu lladd, llith brein gorddyar,
   O’r milwyr, a mil yngharchar.
   _Llewelyn_ cyd lladdwy trwy far,
   Cyd llosgwy, nid llesg ufeliar,
   Llary deyrn, uch cyrn cyfarwar
   Llwrw cydfod ir clod is claiar,
   Ry llofies rwyf treis tros fanniar i feirdd,
   Oedd fawrllwyth ir ddaear,
   Gwisci aur ag ariant nis oar.
   Gwascwynfeirch gosseirch, gosathar,
   Ysginfawr gorfawr, gorwymp par,
   Yscarlad lliw ffleimiad, fflamiar,
   Meirch Mawrthig, ffrwythig, ffraeth, anwar,
   Ffrawddus, a phreiddiau ewiar.
   Mwth i rhydd, arwydd yngwascar,
   Mal _Arthur_ cein fodur cibddar,
   Cann a chann; a chein wyllt a gwar,
   Cant a chant a chynt nog adar

   _Adar_ weinidawg, caeawg Cynran drud,
   Dreig _Prydein_ pedryddan,
   Addod Lloegr, lluossawg am bann,
   Addaf hir in herwydd calan,
   Adwedd teyrnedd tir nis rhan,
   A dan ser ys sef i amcan,
   Adnes i franhes i frein bann,
   Dychre dychrein gwyr yngrheulan,
   Gwrdd i gwnaeth uch Deudraeth _Dryfan_,
   Gwr hydwf, gwrhydri _Ogyrfan_
   Dygwydd gwyr heb lafar heb lan,
   Dygoch llawr dwygad fawr faran,
   Un am fro _Alun_, elfydd can,
   A _Ffrainc_ yn ffrawddus mal _Camlan_;
   Ar eil yn _Arfon_ ar forfan,
   Yn undydd an un Duw in a ran,
   A dwy dreig ffeleig, ffaw gymman
   Mal deulew ein dylochassan,
   Ag un traws gatcun, treis faran,
   Fal gwr yn gorfod ymhobman,
   _Llewelyn_ llafn-eur anghyfan,
   Lloegr ddiwreidd, llu rhuddfleidd _Rhuddlan_,
   Llu rhagddaw a llaw ar llumman,
   Llwybr yn wybr yn ebrwydd allan,
   Llwrw ddawn _Cadwallawn fab Cadfan_.
   I mae am _Brydain_ yn gyfan,
   Llary ni ddel ei law ettaw attan,
   Llyried tra myned tramor dylan,
   Rhag llaith anolaith anolo llan,
   A llafnawr lledrudd uch grudd a gran,
   Ninnau Feirdd _Prydein_, prydus eirian berth,
      Gwyr a byrth fy rhwyf ymhob calan,
   Er digabl barabl gan bawb oi fan,
   Digrifwch elwch elyf egwan,
   Oi ariant gormant gorym ni drudran,
   O’i alaf ai aur ai ariant can.

   Gan i ddwyn dychryn a ddechreuo bleid,
      Uch blaenwel yn oed llo,
   Gnaws achaws yn ych cyn adfo,
   Gnawd i ladd ni lwydd i abo.
   _Caer Lleon_ llyw _Mon_ mwyn _Pabo_ ath dug,
   Ef ath dwg ynghodo,
   _Llewelyn_ ef llosges dy fro,
   Llas dy wyr dra llyr, dra llwyfo,
   Llwyr dug y _Wyddgrug_, nid ffug ffo,
   _Lloegrwys i_ llugfryd i synnio,
   Llewdir teyrn lluddiwyd yn agro,
   Llas i glas, i glwystei neud glo,
   Llys _Elsmer_, bu ffêr, bu ffwyrngno,
   Llwyr llosged i thudwed ai tho,
   Llwrw gwelwch neud heddwch heno
   Gan fy rhwyf, nid rhyfedd cyd bo,
   Hyd i del i dorf ar dyno a bryn,
   Udd breiniawg bieufo,
   Llew ai dug, ai dwg pan fynno,
   Ir _Trallwng_ trillu anwosgo,
   Llys efnys, afneued tra fo.
   Lles i fyrdd o feirdd ai cyrcho.
   Addug y _Wyddgrug_ ai dycco,
   Gwyliwch gwylyddwr, pwy ai lluddio,
   Llwrw _Fochnant_ edrywant ar dro,
   Llwytcwn llwyth llithiwyd am honno,
   Lletcynt _Argoedwys_, gwys greudo,
   Llys a dwy neud einym ni heno.
   Edryched _Powys_ pwy fo,
   Brenin breisg werin, brwysg agdo,
   Ai gwellygio pwyll rhydwyllo:
   Ai gwell _Ffranc_ no ffrawddus _Gymro_.
   Llyw y sy ym, synniwch cyd tawo,
   Lloegr gychwyn, a fynn a fynno,
   Llwyr i dyd i fryd ar fro _Gadwallawn_
   _Fab Cadfan_, _fab Iago_,
   Llary yspar ys penyd iblo,
   Llwrw espyd yspeid anolo,
   Llew prydfawr llyw _Prydain_ ai chlo,
   _Llewelyn_ lliaws ei fran fro,
   Llary deyrn cedyrn, cad wosgo; ynghur
      Ys fy nghar a orffo.

   Gorfydd Udd dremrudd, dramor lliant,
   Ym _Môn Mam Gymru_ bedryddant,
   Gorllwybr llu llenwis ewyngant,
   Gwarthaf bryn a phenrhyn a phant,
   Gorllanw gwaed am draed a ymdrychant,
   Amdrychion pan ymdrechassant,
   Cad y _Coed Anau_, Cadr anant borthi,
      Burthiaist wyr yn nifant.
   Ail gad trom i tremynasant,
   Udd addien uch _Dygen Ddyfnant_,
   Eil miloedd mal gwyr dybuant,
   Eil yrth gyrth in gwrthfynnassant,
   Eil agwrdd ymwrdd am hardd amgant bre
   _Bron yr Erw_ i galwant,
   Cynwan llu fal llew yth welsant,
   Cadr eryr ith wyr yn warant,
   Can hynny cynhennu ni wnant,
   Can wyllon _Celyddon_ cerddant,
   Dugost y _Wyddgrug_, a dygant i dreis
      Adryssedd cyfnofant,
   A _Rhuddlan_ yn rhuddliw amgant,
   _Rhun_ can clawdd adrawdd edrywant
   A _Dinbych_ wrthrych gorthorrant ar fil,
      Ar _Foelas_ a _Gronant_
   A _chaer yn Arfon_, a charant yngnif,
      Yngnaws coll am peiriant,
   A _Dinas Emreis_ a ymrygant,
   Amrygyr ni wneir na wnant
   Neur orfydd dy orofyn nad ant
   Ith erbyn ith erbarch feddiant
   Neu’r orfuwyd yn orenw Morgant
   Ar filwyr _Prydain_ pedryddant
   Dy gynnygn ni gennyw cwddant,
   Ni gaiff hoen na hun ar amrant,
   Mad ymddugost waed, mad yth want,
   Arall yn arfoll ysgarant,
   A chleddyf, a chlodfawr yth wnant,
   Ag ysgwyd ar ysgwydd anchwant,
   Mad tywyssaisd dy lu, Lloegr irdant,
   Ar derfyn _Mechain_ a _Mochnant_,
   Mad yth ymddug dy fam, wyd doeth,
   Wyd dinam, wyd didawl o bob chwant,
   O borffor o bryffwn fliant,
   O bali ag aur ag ariant,
   O emys gochwys gochanant dy feirdd,
      Yn fyrddoedd i caffant.
   Minnau om rhadau rhymfuant,
   Yn rhuddaur yn rhwydd ardduniant,
   O bob rhif im Rhwyf im doniant,
   O bob rhyw im rhodded yn gant
   Cyd archwyf im llyw y lloergant yn rhodd,
   Ef am rhydd yn geugant.
   _Lliwelydd_ lledawdd dy foliant,
   _Llewelyn_, a _Llywarch_ rwy cant.
   Munerawd ym marw fy mwyniant fal yn byw
      _Lleissiawn_ ryw _Run_ blant.
   Nyd gormod fy ngair it gormant!
   Teyrn wyd tebyg _Eliphant_,
   Can orfod pob rhod yn rhamant,
   Can folawd a thafawd a thant.
   Cein deyrn, cyn bych yngreifiant,
   Can difwyn o ysgwn esgarant,
   Can Dduw ren yn ran westifiant
   Can ddiwedd pob buchedd, bych sant.


_I Lewelyn fab Gruffydd_.  _Llygad Gwr ai cant_.


   Cyfarchaf i Dduw, ddawn orfoledd,
   Cynnechreu doniau, dinam fawredd,
   Cynnyddu, canu, can nid rhyfedd dreth,
      O draethawd gyfannedd,
   I foli fy Rhi rhwyf _Arllechwedd_,
   Rhuddfäawg freiniawg o frenhinedd,
   Rhyfyg udd _Caissar_, treis far trossedd,
   Rhuthrlym, grym _Gruffydd_ etifedd,
   Rhwysg frwysg, freisg, o freint a dewredd,
   Rhudd barau o beri cochwedd,
   Rhyw iddaw diriaw eraill diredd,
   Rhwydd galon, golofn teyrnedd.
   Nid wyf wr gwaglaw wrth y gogledd,
   O Arglwydd gwladlwydd, glod edryssedd,
   Nid newidiaf naf un awrwedd a neb,
      Anebrwydd dangnefedd.
   Llyw y sy ym ys aml anrhydedd,
   Lloegr ddifa o ddifefl fonedd,
   _Llewelyn_ gelyn, galon dachwedd,
   Llary wledig gwynfydig _Gwynedd_,
   Llofrudd brwydr, _Brydein_ gywryssedd,
   Llawhir falch, gwreiddfalch gorsedd,
   Llary, hylwydd, hael Arglwydd eurgledd,
   Llew _Cemmais_, llym dreis drachywedd,
   Lle bo cad fragad, friwgoch ryssedd,
   Llwyr orborth hyborth heb gymwedd,
   Gnaws mawrdraws am ardal dyhedd,
   Gnawd iddaw dreiddiaw drwyddi berfedd,
   Am i wir bydd dir or diwedd,
   Amgylch _Dyganwy_ mwyfwy i medd,
   A chiliaw rhagddaw a chalanedd creu,
   Ag odduch gwadneu gwaed ar ddarwedd.
   Dreig _Arfon_ arfod wythlonedd
   Dragon diheufeirch heirddfeirch harddedd,
   Ni chaiff _Sais_ i drais y droedfedd oi fro,
   Nid oes o _Gymro_ i Gymrodedd.


   Cymmrodedd fy llyw lluoedd beri,
   Nid oes rwyf eirioes, aer dyfysgu,
   _Cymro_ yw haelryw o hil _Beli_ hir,
      Yn herwydd i brofi.
   Eurfudd ni oludd, olud roddi,
   Aerfleidd arwreidd o _Eryri_,
   Eryr ar geinwyr gamwri dinam,
      Neud einym i foli.
   Eurgorf torf tyroedd olosci,
   Argae gryd, Greidiawl wrhydri,
   Arwr bar, taerfar, yn torri cadau,
      Cadarnfrwydr ystofi.
   Aer dalmithyr, hylithr haelioni,
   Arf lluoedd eurwisgoedd wisgi
   Arwymp Ner, hyder, hyd _Teifi_ feddiant,
      Ni faidd neb i gospi.
   _Llewelyn Lloegrwys_ feistroli,
   Llyw breiniawl, brenhinedd teithi,
   Llary deyrn cedyrn, yn cadw gwesti cyrdd
      Cerddorion gyflochi.
   Coelfein brein _Bryneich_ gyfogi,
   Celennig branes, berthles borthi,
   Ciliaw ni orug er caledi gawr,
      Gwr eofn ynghyni.
   Parawd fydd meddiant medd Beirdd im Rhi,
   Pob cymman darogan derfi,
   O _Bwlffordd_ osgordd ysgwyd gochi hydr,
      Hyd eithaf _Cydweli_.
   Can gaffael yn dda dra heb drengi,
   Gan fab Duw didwyll gymmodi,
   Ys bo i ddiwedd ddawn berchi ar nef,
   Ar neilliaw Crist Geli.


   Llyw y sy’n synhwyrfawr riydd,
   Lliwgoch i lafnawr, aesawr uswydd,
   Lliw deifniawg, llidiawg, lledled fydd ei blas,
      Llwyr waeth yw ei gas noi garennydd.
   _Llewelyn_ gelyn, galofydd,
   Llwyrgyrch darogan cymman celfydd,
   Ni thyccia rhybudd hael rebydd rhagddaw,
      Llaw drallaw drin wychydd.
   Y gwr ai rhoddes yn rhwyf dedwydd,
   Ar _Wynedd_ arwynawl drefydd,
   Ai cadarnhao, ced hylwydd yn hir,
   I amddeffyn tir rhag torf oswydd.
   Nid aniw, nid anhoff gynnydd,
   Neud enwawg farchawg, feirch gorewydd,
   I fod yn hynod hynefydd _Gymro_,
   A’r _Gymry_ a’u helfydd.
   Ef difeiaf Naf rhy wnaeth Dofydd,
   Yn y byd o bedwar defnydd,
   Ef goreu riau reg ofydd a wnn,
   Eryr _Snawtwn_ aer gyfludwydd.
      Cad a wnaeth, cadarn ymgerydd,
   Am gyfoeth, am Gefn Gelorwydd,
   Ni bu gad, hwyliad hefelydd gyfred,
   Er pan fu weithred waith _Arderydd_.
      Breisclew _Mon_, mwynfawr _Wyndodydd_,
   Bryn _Derwyn_ clo byddin clodrydd,
   Ni bu edifar y dydd i cyrchawdd,
      Cyrch ehofn essillydd.
   Gwelais wawr ar wyr lluosydd,
   Fal gwr yn gwrthladd cywilydd,
   A welei _Lewelyn_, lawenydd dragon,
      Ynghymysc _Arfon_ ac _Eiddionydd_,
   Nid oedd hawdd llew aerflawdd llüydd,
   I dreissiaw gar Drws Daufynydd,
   Nis plygodd Mab Dyn bu doniawg ffydd,
   Nis plycco Mab Duw yn dragywydd.


   Terfysc taerllew glew, glod ganhymdaith,
   Twrf torredwynt mawr uch mor diffaith,
   Taleithiawg deifniawg dyfniaith _Aberffraw_,
      Terwyn anrheithiaw, rhuthar onolaith.
   Tylwyth, ffrwyth, ffraethlym eu mawrwaith,
   Teilwng blwng, blaengar fal goddaith,
   Taleithawg arfawg aerbeir _Dinefwr_,
   Teilu hysgwr, ysgwfl anrhaith.
   Telediw gad gywiw gyfiaith,
   _Toledo_ balch a bylchlafn eurwaith,
   Taleithawg _Mathrafal_, maith yw dy derfyn,
   Arglwydd _Lewelyn_, lyw pedeiriaith,
   Sefis yn rhyfel, dymgel daith,
   Rhag estrawn genedl, gwyn anghyfiaith,
   Sefid Brenin nef, breiniawl gyfraith,
   Gan eurwawr aerbeir y teir taleith.


   Cyfarchaf i Dduw o ddechrau moliant,
      Mal i gallwyf orau,
   Clodfori o’r gwyr a geiriau
   I’m pen, y penaf a giglau,
   Cynnwrf tân, lluch faran llechau,
   Cyfnewid newydd las ferau,
   Cyfarf wyf a rhwyf, rhudd lafnau yngnif,
      Cyfoethawg gynnif cynflaen cadau.
   _Llewelyn_ nid llesg ddefodau,
   Llwybr ehang, ehofn fydd mau,
   Llyw yw hyd _Gernyw_ aed garnedd i feirch,
      Lliaws ai cyfeirch, cyfaill nid gau,
   Llew _Gwynedd_ gwynfeith ardalau,
   Llywiawdr pobl, _Powys_ ar _Dehau_,
   Llwyrwys caer, yn aer, yn arfau,
   _Lloegr_ breiddiaw am brudd anrheithiau,
   Yn rhyfel, ffrwythlawn, dawn diammau,
   Yn lladd yn llosci yn torri tyrau,
   Yn _Rhos_ a _Phenfro_, yn rhysfäau _Ffrainc_,
   Llwyddedig i ainc yn llüyddau.
   Hil _Gruffydd_, grymmus gynneddfau,
   Hael gyngor, gyngyd wrth gerddau,
   Hylathr i ysgwyd, escud barau gwrdd,
      Hylym yn cyhwrdd cyhoedd waedffrau.
   Hylwrw fwrw far, gymmell trethau,
   Hawlwr gwlad arall gwledig riau,
   Harddedd o fonedd, faen gaerau dreisddwyn,
   Hirbell fal _Fflamddwyn_ i fflamgyrchau.
   Hwylfawr ddreig, ddragon cyfeddau,
   Heirdd i feirdd ynghylch ei fyrddau,
   Hylithr i gweleis ddydd golau i fudd,
      Ai feddgyrn wirodau.
   Iddaw i gynnal cleddyfal clau,
   Mal _Arthur_ wayw dur i derfynau,
   Gwir frenin _Cymru_ cymmreisc ddoniau,
   Gwrawl hawl boed hwyl o ddehau.


_I Sir Gruffydd Llwyd o Dref-garnedd a Dinorweg yn Arfon_; _allan or
Llyfr Coch o Hergest_, _yngholeg yr Iesu yn Rhyd Ychen_.  _Gwilym Ddu o
Arfon ai cant_.  1322.

   Neud cyn nechrau Mai mau anrhydedd,
   Neud aeth ysgwaeth a maeth a medd,
   Neud cynhebyg, ddig, ddygn adrossedd drist,
   Er pan ddelid Crist, weddw athrist wedd!
   Neud cur a lafur im wylofedd,
   Neud cerydd Dofydd, nad rhydd rhuddgledd.
   Neud cof sy ynnof, ys anwedd ei faint,
   Neud cywala haint, hynt diryfedd.
   Neud caeth im dilyd llid llaweredd,
   Neud caith Beirdd cyfiaith am eu cyfedd.
   Neud caethiwed ced, nad rhydd cydwedd _Nudd_,
   Cadrwalch _Ruffydd_, brudd, breiddin tachwedd,
   Neud cwyn Beirdd trylwyn, meddw ancwyn medd,
   Neud cawdd im anawdd, menestr canwledd,
   Neud carchar anwar enwiredd Eingl-dud,
   Aerddraig _Llan Rhystud_ funud fonedd.
   Neud nim dyhudd budd, bum arygledd,
   Neud nam dilyd llid, lliaws blynedd.
   Neud nam dawr, Duw mawr, maranedd, Nef glyw,
   Neud nad rhydd fy llyw, llew _Trefgarnedd_,
   Neud trwm oi eisiau dau digyfedd.
   Neu’r wyr Beirdd canwlad, nad rhad rheufedd,
   Neud ef arwydd gwir, neud oferedd gwyr,
   Wrth weled f’ eryr yn ei fowredd;
   Neud truan i’m gwân gwayw lledfrydedd,
   Neud trwydded galed im amgeledd.
   Neud trymfryd _Gwynedd_, gwander dyedd braw:
   Neud hwy eu treisiaw am eu trossedd.
   Neud trahir gohir gloyw babir gledd,
   Oedd trablwng echwng _Achel_ ddewredd.
   Neud trai cwbl or Mai, mawredd allwynin,
   Neud mis Mehefin weddw orllin wedd.
      Neud mis Mehefin, mau hefyd gystudd,
   Neud nam rhydd _Gruffydd_ wayw rhudd yn rhyd.
   Neum rhywan im gwân gwayw cryd engiriawl,
   Neud am Ddraig urddawl didawl im dyd.
   Neum erwyr om gwyr im gweryd Crist Ner,
   Neud arfer ofer, Beirdd nifer byd.
   Neud arwydd nam llwydd lledfryd im calon,
   Neud eres nad tonn honn ar ei hyd.
   Mau ynnof mowrgof am ergyd gofal,
   Am attal arial _Urien_ yngryd.
   Mal cofain cywrain _Cywryd_, fardd _Dunawd_,
   Meu im Dreig priawd gwawd ni bo gwyd.
   Mau gwawdgan _Afan_, ufuddfryd ffrwythlawn,
   O gof _Gadwallawn_, brenhinddawn bryd.
   Ni wn waith gwaywdwn, gwawd ddihewyd clod,
   A thi heb ddyfod pa dda bod byd?
   Neud wyr pawb yn llwyr, lleyrfryd gynnat,
   Nad hylithr aur mâl mal oddiwrthyd.
   Nid oes nerth madferth ym myd, oth eisiau,
   Gwleddau na byrddau na Beirdd ynghlyd.
   Nid oes lys ysbys, esbyd neud dibeirch,
   Nad oes meirch na seirch na serch hyfryd.
   Nad oes wedd na moes, masw ynyd yw’n gwlad,
   Nad oes mad eithr gwad a gwyd.
   Neud gwagedd trossedd, traws gadernid _Môn_,
   Neud gweigion _Arfon_ is _Reon_ ryd.
   Neud gwann _Wynedd_ fann, fen ydd ergyd cur,
   Neud gwael am fodur eglur oglyd.
   Neud blwyddyn i ddyn ddiofryd a gar,
   Neud blaengar carchar, grym aerbar gryd.


_Taliesin ai dywawd_.


   Elphin deg taw ath wylo
   Na chabled neb yr eiddo
   Ni wna les drwg-obeithio
   Ni wyl dyn ddim ai portho
   Ni fydd goeg gweddi _Cynllo_
   Ni thyrr Duw ar addawo:
   Ni chad yngored _Wyddno_,
   Erioed cystal a heno.


   _Elphin_ deg sych dy ddeurudd
   Ni weryd bod yn rhy brudd
   Cyt tybiaist na chefaist fudd
   Nith wna da gormod cystudd
   Nag ammau wrthiau Dofydd
   Cyt bwyf bychan wyf gelfydd,
   O foroedd ac o fynydd
   Ag o eigion afonydd
   I daw Duw a da i ddedwydd.


   _Elphin_ gynneddfau diddan
   Anfilwraidd yw d’ amcan
   Nid rhaid yt ddirfawr gwynfan
   Gwell Duw na drwg ddarogan
   Cyd bwyf eiddil a bychan
   Ar fin gorferw mor dylan
   Mi a wnaf yn nydd cyfrdan
   Yt well no thrychan maran.


   _Elphin_ gynneddfau hynod
   Na sorr ar dy gyffaelod
   Cyt bwyf gwan ar lawr fy nghod
   Mae rhinwedd ar fy nhafod
   Tra fwyf fi yth gyfragod
   Nid rhaid yt ddirfawr ofnod
   Drwy goffau enwau’r Drindod
   Ni ddichon neb dy orfod.

                                * * * * *

_It may not be improper to inform the Reader that the_ ORTHOGRAPHY _used
in these Poems is the_ ORTHOGRAPHY _of the_ MSS. _and not that of the_


1.  A method how to retrieve the ancient British language, in order that
the Bards of the sixth century may be understood, and that the
genuineness of Tyssilio’s British History, which was translated from the
Armoric language into Latin by Galfridus Arturius of Monmouth may be
decided; and concerning a new edition of Gildas Nennius’s Eulogium
Brittanniæ, with notes, from ancient British MSS.  This old British
writer has been shamefully mangled by Dr. Gale, his editor, in the
Scriptores Brittannici; and not much mended by Mr. Bertram in his late
edition of it at Copenhagen.

Whether the ancient British language can be so far recovered as to
understand the most ancient British writings now extant, is, I think, a
consideration by no means beneath the notice of a society of
Antiquarians, and of all learned men in general.  There has been, it is
true, an attempt of this nature made by the very learned Mr. Edward
Llwyd, of the Museum, and in part laudably executed in his Archæologia
Britannica, which reflects honour on those worthy persons who supported
him in his five years travels into Ireland, Scotland, Cornwal, Basse
Bretagne, and Wales.  But as his plan was too extensive to bring every
branch of what he undertook to perfection, I think a continuation of the
same, restrained within certain limits, might still be useful.—Natural
history is itself a province sufficient to engross a man’s whole
attention; but it was only a part of this great man’s undertaking: and
the learned world is abundantly convinced of the uncommon proficiency he
made in natural philosophy; and how industrious he was in tracing the
dialects of the ancient Celtic language.  But still it must be
acknowledged that he did very little towards the thorough understanding
the ancient British Bards and historians.  And indeed he owns himself
that he was not encouraged in this part of his intended work, as appears
by his proposals.  Far be it from me to censure those very learned men
who generously contributed to support the ingenious author in his
travels, and dictated the method he was to persue.  But, after all, I
cannot help lamenting that he did not pay more attention to the old MSS.
and compile a glossary to understand them.  What he has done of this
nature is very imperfect, few words being added to what there are in Dr.
Davies’s Dictionary, and those chiefly from writings of the fourteenth
and fifteenth century.  Indeed it appears he had not seen the works but
of one of the Bards of the sixth century, and that in the red book of
Hergest, in the Archives of Jesus’s College, Oxon.  He complains he could
not procure access to the collections at Hengwrt and Llan Fordaf, and
without perusing those venerable remains, and leisure to collate them
with other copies, it was impossible for him to do anything
effectual.—Now the method I would propose to a person that would carry
this project into execution, is, that as soon as he is become master of
the ancient British language, as far as it can be learned, by the
assistance of Dr. Davies’s dictionary, and Moses Williams’s glossary at
the end of Dr. Wotton’s translation of Howel Dda’s laws, he should
endeavour to procure access to the great collections of ancient British
MSS. in the libraries of the Earl of Macclesfield, Lady Wynne of Wynstay,
the Duke of Ancaster, Sir Roger Mostyn at Gloddaith, John Davies,
Esquire, at Llannerch, Miss Wynne of Bod Yscallen, William Vaughan,
Esquire, at Cors y Gedol, and in other places both in South and North
Wales in private hands.  By this means he would be enabled in time to
ascertain the true reading in many MSS. that have been altered and
mangled by the ignorance of transcribers.  I am satisfied there are not
many copies of the Bards of the sixth century extant, nor indeed of those
from the conquest to the death of Llewelyn.  But two or three ancient
copies on vellom, if such can be met with, will be sufficient; for in
some transcripts by good hands that I have seen, they are imperfect in
some copies.  This would in a great measure enable our traveller to fill
up the blanks, and help him to understand what, for want of this, must
remain obscure, if not altogether unintelligible.  We should by the means
of such a person have a great many monuments of genius brought to light,
that are now mouldering away with age, and a great many passages in
history illustrated and confirmed that are now dark and dubious.  Whole
poems of great length and merit might be retrieved, not inferior,
perhaps, to Ossian’s productions, if indeed those extraordinary poems are
of so ancient date, as his translator avers them to be.  The Gododin of
Aneurin Gwawdrydd is a noble heroic poem.  So are likewise the works of
Llywarch Hen about his battles with the Saxons, in which he lost
twenty-four sons, who all were distinguished for their bravery with
golden torques’s.  _Aurdorchogion_.

Taliesin’s poems to Maelgwn Gwynedd, to Elphin ap Gwyddno, to Gwynn ap
Nudd, and Urien Reged, and other great personages of his time, are great
curiosities.  We have, besides these, some remains of the works of
Merddin ap Morfryn, to his patron Gwenddolau ap Ceidis, and of Afan
Ferddig to Cadwallon ap Cadfan; and, perhaps, there may be in those
collections some besides that we have not heard of.  All these treasures
might be brought to light, by a person well qualified for the
undertaking, properly recommended by men of character and learning: and I
think, in an age wherein all parts of literature are cultivated, it would
be a pity to lose the few remaining monuments now left of the ancient
British Bards, some of which are by their very antiquity become
venerable.  Aneurin Gwawdrydd above-mentioned is said, by Mr. Robert
Vaughan of Hengwrt, to be brother to Gildas ap Caw, author of the
_Epistle de excidio Britanniæ_ which is the most ancient account of Great
Britain extant in Latin by a native.—No manner of estimate can be made of
the works of our Bards and Historians that have been destroyed from time
to time; nay some very curious ones have been lost within this century
and a half.  I think, therefore, it would be an act becoming the
Antiquarian Society, and all patrons of learning in general, to encourage
and support such an undertaking, which would redound much to their
honour, and be a fund of a rational and instructive amusement.—Nor would
those benefits alone accrue from a thorough knowledge of our Bards, but
still more solid and substantial ones.  For who would be better qualified
than such a person to decide the controversy about the genuineness of the
British History, by Tyssilio, from the oldest copies of it now extant,
which differ in a great many particulars from the Latin translation of
Galfrid, who owns that he received his copy from a person who brought it
from Armorica; and why may there not be some copies of it still behind in
some monasteries of that country, and of other works still more valuable?
Mr. Llwyd, of the Museum, intended to visit them all, in order to get a
catalogue of them to be printed in his Archæologia Britannica; but he was
prevented by the war which then broke out, of which he gives an account
in a letter to Mr. Rowlands, author of Mona Antiqua restaurata, and which
is published at the end of that treatise.  Who can be better qualified to
succeed in such an undertaking than a person that is thoroughly well
versed in all the old MSS. now extant in Wales.  I find that the Armoric
historians, particularly Father Lobineau, quote some of their ancient
Bards to confirm historical facts.  This is demonstration that some of
their oldest Bards are still extant; and who knows but that some of the
books they took with them when they first went to settle in Gaul, under
Maximus and Conau Meiriadoc, may be still extant, at least transcripts of
some of them; for that some were carried over is plain, by what Gildas
himself says, “quæ vel si qua fuerint, aut ignibus hostium exusta, aut
civium exulum classe longins deportata non compareant.”  So that I would
have our traveller pass two years at least in Basse Bretagne, in order to
make enquiry after such ancient monuments, and I make no doubt but he
would make great discoveries.—Thus furnished, he might proceed to the
British Museum, the Bodleian library, and the library of the two
Universities, and elsewhere, where any ancient British MSS. are
preserved.  We might then have better editions of British authors than we
have had from the English antiquaries, though in other respects very
learned men; but, being unacquainted with our language, Bards, and
antiquities, they have nothing but bare conjectures, and some scraps from
the Roman writers to produce.  No one likewise would be better qualified
to fix the ancient Roman stations in Britain, as they are set down in
Antoninus’s intinerary, and their ancient British names.—I wish learned
men would think of this ere it be too late; for one century makes a great
havoc of old MSS. especially such as are in the hands of private persons,
who understand not their true value, or are suffered to rot in such
libraries, where nobody is permitted to have access to them.

2.  _The following curious Commission published and inserted in some of
the copies of Dr. Brown’s Dissertation on the Union &c._, _of Poetry and
Music_, _and communicated from a Manuscript Copy in my possession_,
_having so near a Relation to the Family of the noble Patron of these
Poems_, _I thought it right to reprint it on this occasion_.

    “By the QUEEN,

    “Elizabeth, by the Grace of GOD, of England, France, and Ireland,
    Queen, Defender of the Faith, &c.  To our trusty and right well
    beloved Sir Richard Bulkely, Knight, Sir Rees Griffith, Knight, Ellis
    Price, Esq. Dr. in Civil Law, and one of our Council in the Marchesse
    of Wales, William Mostyn, Ieuan Lloyd of Yale, John Salisbury of
    Rhug, Rice Thomas, Maurice Wynne, William Lewis, Pierce Mostyn, Owen
    John ap Howel Fychan, John William ap John, John Lewis Owen, Morris
    Griffith, Symwd Thelwal, John Griffith, Ellis ap William Lloyd,
    Robert Puleston, Harri ap Harri, William Glynn, and Rees Hughes,
    Esqrs. and to every of them Greeting.

    “Whereas it is come to the Knowledg of the Lord President, and other
    our Council in our Marchesse of Wales, that vagrant and idle Persons
    naming themselves _Minstrels_, _Rythmers_, and _Bards_, are lately
    grown into such _intolerable Multitude_ within the Principality of
    North Wales, that not only Gentlemen and others by their _shameless
    Disorders_ are oftentimes disquieted in their Habitations, but also
    the expert _Minstrels_ and _Musicians_ in _Tonge_ and _Cunynge_
    thereby much discouraged to travaile in the Exercise and Practice of
    their Knowledg, and also not a little hindred (_of_) Livings and
    Preferment; the Reformation whereof, and the putting these People in
    Order, the said Lord President and Council have thought very
    necessary: And knowing you to be Men of both Wisdom and upright
    Dealing, and also of Experience and good Knowledg in the Scyence,
    have appointed and authorised You to be Commissioners for that
    Purpose: And forasmuch as our said Council, of late travailing in
    some Part of the said Principality, had perfect Understanding by
    credible Report, that the accustomed Place for the Execution of the
    like Commission hath been heretofore at Cayroes in our County of
    Flynt, and that William Mostyn, Esq. and his Ancestors have had the
    Gift and bestowing of the _Sylver Harp_ appertaining to the _Chief of
    that Faculty_, and that a _Year’s Warning_ (at least) hath been
    accustomed to be given of the _Assembly_ and Execution of the like
    Commission; Our said Council have therefore appointed the Execution
    of this Commission to be at the said Town of Cayroes, the Monday next
    after the Feast of the Blessed Trinity which shall be in the Year of
    our Lord 1568.  And therefore we require and command You by the
    Authority of these Presents, not only to cause _open Proclamation_ to
    be made in all _Fairs_, _Market-Towns_, and other _Places of
    Assembly_ within our Counties of Aglere, Carnarvon, Meryonydd,
    Denbigh and Flynt, that all and every Person and Persons that intend
    to _maintain_ their _Living_ by name or Colour of _Minstrels_,
    _Rythmers_, or _Bards_, within the Talaith of Aberffraw,
    comprehending the said five Shires, shall be and appear before You
    the said Day and Place to _shew_ their _Learnings_ accordingly: But
    also, that You, twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen, sixteen,
    fifteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven,
    or six of you, whereof You the said Sir Richard Bulkely, Sir Rees
    Griffith, Ellis Price, and William Mostyn, Esqs. or three or two of
    you, to be of the number; to repair to the said Place the Days
    aforesaid, and calling to you such _expert men_ in the said _Faculty_
    of the _Welsh Music_ as to You shall be thought convenient, to
    proceed to the Execution of the Premises, and to admit such and so
    many, as by your Wisdoms and Knowledges you shall find _worthy_, into
    and under the _Degrees_ heretofore (_in Use_) in semblable Sort to
    _use_, _exercise_, and _follow_ the _Sciences_ and _Faculties_ of
    their _Professions_, in such decent Order as shall appertain to each
    of their Degrees, and as your Discretions and Wisdoms shall prescribe
    unto them: Giving streight Monition and Commandment in our Name and
    on our Behalf to the rest not worthy, that they return to some honest
    Labour, and due Exercise, such as they be most apt unto for
    Maintenance of their Living, upon Pain to be taken as sturdy and idle
    Vagabonds, and to be used according to the Laws and Statutes provided
    in that Behalf; letting You with our said Council look for
    Advertisement, by Certificate at your Hands, of your Doings in the
    Execution of the said Premises; foreseeing in any wise, that upon the
    said Assembly the Peace and good Order be observed and kept
    accordingly; ascertaining you that the said William Mostyn hath
    promised to see Furniture and Things necessary provided for that
    Assembly, at the Place aforesaid.

    “Given under our Signet at our City of Chester, the twenty third of
    October in the ninth Year of out Reign, 1567.

                                                   Her Highness’s Counsail
                                               in the Marchesse of Wales.”

    “_N.B._  This Commission was copied exactly from the original now at
    Mostyn, A.D. 1693: where the _Silver Harp_ also is.”

3.  _Since this Commission has been in the Press_, _the Author has had an
opportunity to see the following Account of what has been done in
consequence of such a Commission in the tenth Year of the Reign of Queen_
Elizabeth.  _This is translated from the Original in_ Welsh.

Know all Men, by these Presents, that there is a Congress of Bards, and
Musicians, to be held in the Town of Caerwys, in the County of Flint, on
the twenty-sixth day of May, in the tenth Year of the Reign of her
Majesty Queen Elizabeth, before Ellis Price, Esquire, Doctor of the Civil
Law, and one of her Majesty’s Council in the Marches of Wales, and before
William Mostyn, Peres Mostyn, Owen John ap Hywel Vaughan, John William ap
John, John Lewis Owen, Morris Griffith, Simon Thelwat, John Griffith
Serjeant, Robert Pulesdon, Evan Lloyd of Iâl, and William Glyn, Esquires.

And that we the said Commissioners, by virtue of the said Commission,
being her Majesty’s Council, do give and grant to Simwnt Vychan, Bard,
the degree of Pencerdd; and do order that Persons receive and hospitably
entertain him in all Places fit for him to go and come to receive his
Perquisites according to the Princely Statutes in that Case made and
provided.  Given under our Hands, in the Year 1568.

Of the preceding Work.

“In the church-yard of Llanfihangel Lledrod, situated at some distance
from Crosswood, on the other side of Ystwyth, are deposited, without
stone or epitaph, the remains of the Rev. Evan Evans, the author of
‘Specimens of the Poetry of the Ancient Welsh Bards,’ &c., and equally
distinguished for his genius as a poet, and his knowledge of the British
language and antiquities.  He was born at Cynhawdref in this parish,
about the year 1730, and received the first part of his education at the
Grammar School at Ystrad Meirig, then under the care of the celebrated
Mr. Richards.  Hence he removed to Jesus College, Oxford, towards the
beginning of 1751.  He afterwards took orders, and served successively
several churches in the capacity of curate, but was never fortunate
enough to hold a living of his own.  His disappointment in his profession
preyed considerably on his mind, and led him to seek an oblivion to his
vexation in excesses which impaired his health and greatly limited his
usefulness.  He devoted considerable attention in early life to the study
of his native language, in which he composed several poetical pieces.
Some of these, as appears from a correspondence inserted in the ‘Cambrian
Register,’ were submitted to the criticism, and received the corrections
of Mr. Lewis Morris, who speaks highly of Mr. Evans’s talents and promise
of future excellence.  His chief literary productions are the
‘Specimens,’ above mentioned, which were published in 4to. in 1764.  In
these he has given a literal prose version of the writings of some of the
earlier Welsh bards.  For the copy-right he received thirty pounds.  He
wrote also several English poems, and a great number of short poems in
Welsh, (some of which are inserted in the following pages,) and a
translation into Welsh of two volumes of sermons, selected out of
Tillotson and other eminent divines.  A great part of his life was spent
in collecting and transcribing ancient Welsh manuscripts.  He was
admitted to the collection of Sir Roger Mostyn, which preserves a very
great number of ancient manuscripts, of great value: he likewise copied
the works of the oldest bards, from a very large vellum manuscript,
called ‘Y Llyfr Coch,’ in the library of Jesus College, Oxford.  He
thence also copied several valuable historical tracts of the 12th
century.  He, besides what has been mentioned, explored every corner of
Wales, in quest of manuscripts, and met with considerable success; but
the neccessary encouragement, which was solicited towards putting a part
of what he had thus collected to press was withheld from him.”—_Partly
extracted from Rees’s Historical description of South Wales_.

We are told that the ancient Welsh MSS. which our industrious author
collected and transcribed, occupy upwards of eighty volumes.  They were
purchased by the late Paul Panton Esq., of Plasgwyn, Anglesea.

Mr. Evans had a lengthy correspondence with Bishop Percy and other
eminent antiquaries; the most interesting portions of which will be found
in the following pages together with selections from his poetical works.
He was of tall stature,—hence his Bardic name of Prydydd Hir, (the tall
poet.)  He was very benevolently disposed, and highly national and
patriotic, and as might be expected, was most averse to the appointment
of English prelates to Welsh dioceses.  That will partly account for his
stationary position in the Establishment.  His excessive love of the
‘wine cup’ may also have had something to do in preventing his
appointment to a more lucrative position in the Church.  Mr Evans died
suddenly in the month of May 1789; some say that he perished on a
mountain; _others_ say that he died at, or near his native home; but
_none_ deny that poverty and sorrow hastened the death of our talented
but unfortunate author.


_On the Death of the Rev. E. Evans_, (_Ieuan Prydydd Hir_,) _by the Rev.
R. Williams_, (_Companion to Mr. Pennant in his Welsh tours_.)

   On Snowdon’s haughty brow I stood,
   And view’d afar old Menai’s flood;
   Carnarvon Castle, eagle crowned
   And all the beauteous prospect round;
   But soon each gay idea fled,
   For Snowdon’s favourite bard was dead.
   Poor bard accept one genuine tear,
   And read thy true eulogium here;
   Here in my heart, that rues the day,
   Which stole Eryri’s pride away.
   But, lo, where seen by Fancy’s eye
   His visionary form glides by,
   Pale, ghastly pale, that hollow cheek,
   That frantic look does more than speak,
   And tells a tale so full of woe,
   My bosom swells, my eyes o’erflow.
   On Snowdon’s rocks, unhomed, unfed,
   The tempest howling round his head;
   Far from the haunts of men, alone,
   Unheard, unpitied, and unknown,
   To want and to despair a prey,
   He pined and sighed his soul away.
   Ungrateful countrymen, your pride,
   Your glory, wanted bread, and died!
   Whilst ignorance and vice are fed,
   Shall wit and genius droop their head?
   Shall fawning sycophants be paid,
   For flattering fools? while thou art laid
   On thy sick bed, the mountain heath,
   Waiting the slow approach of death,
   Beneath inhospitable skies,
   Without a friend to close thine eyes.
   Thus shall the chief of bards expire,
   The master of the British lyre;
   And shall thy hapless reliques rot,
   Unwept, unhallowed, and forgot?
   No! while one grateful muse remains,
   And Pity dwells on Cambria’s plains,
   Thy mournful story shall be told,
   And wept, till time itself grows old.

                                * * * * *



_Alluding to the captivity and treatment of the Welsh Bards by King
Edward I._

   Sad near the willowy Thames we stood,
   And curs’d the inhospitable flood;
   Tears such as patients weep, ’gan flow,
   The silent eloquence of woe,
   When Cambria rushed into our mind,
   And pity with just vengeance joined;
   Vengeance to injured Cambria due,
   And pity, O ye Bards, to you.
   Silent, neglected, and unstrung,
   Our harps upon the willows hung,
   That, softly sweet in Cambrian measures,
   Used to sooth our souls to pleasures,
   When, lo, the insulting foe appears,
   And bid us dry our useless tears.

      “Resume your harps,” the Saxons cry,
   “And change your grief to songs of joy;
   Such strains as old Taliesin sang,
   What time your native mountains rang
   With his wild notes, and all around
   Seas, rivers, woods return’d the sound.”

      What!—shall the Saxons hear us sing,
   Or their dull vales with Cambrian music ring?
   No—let old Conway cease to flow,
   Back to her source Sabrina go:
   Let huge Plinlimmon hide his head,
   Or let the tyrant strike me dead,
   If I attempt to raise a song
   Unmindful of my country’s wrong.
   What!—shall a haughty king command
   Cambrians’ free strain on Saxon land?
   May this right arm first wither’d be,
   Ere I may touch one string to thee,
   Proud monarch; nay, may instant death
   Arrest my tongue and stop my breath,
   If I attempt to weave a song,
   Regardless of my country’s wrong!

      Thou God of vengeance, dost thou sleep,
   When thy insulted Druids weep,
   The Victor’s jest the Saxon’s scorn,
   Unheard, unpitied, and forlorn?
   Bare thy right arm, thou God of ire,
   And set their vaunted towers on fire.
   Remember our inhuman foes,
   When the first Edward furious rose,
   And, like a whirlwind’s rapid sway,
   Swept armies, cities, Bards away.

      “High on a rock o’er Conway’s flood”
   The last surviving poet stood,
   And curs’d the tyrant, as he pass’d
   With cruel pomp and murderous haste.
   What now avail our tuneful strains,
   Midst savage taunts and galling chains?
   Say, will the lark imprison’d sing
   So sweet, as when, on towering wing,
   He wakes the songsters of the sky,
   And tunes his notes to liberty?
   Ah no, the Cambrian lyre no more
   Shall sweetly sound on Arvon’s shore,
   No more the silver harp be won,
   Ye Muses, by your favourite son;
   Or I, even I, by glory fir’d,
   Had to the honour’d prize aspir’d.
   No more shall Mona’s oaks be spar’d
   Or Druid circle be rever’d.
   On Conway’s banks, and Menai’s streams
   The solitary bittern screams;
   And, where was erst Llewelyn’s court,
   Ill-omened birds and wolves resort.
   There oft at midnight’s silent hour,
   Near yon ivy-mantled tower,
   By the glow-worm’s twinkling fire,
   Tuning his romantic lyre,
   Gray’s pale spectre seems to sing,
   “Ruin seize thee, ruthless King.”


   A pensive Shepherd, on a summer’s day,
   Unto a neighb’ring mountain bent his way,
   And solitary mus’d, with thoughts profound,
   Whilst ev’ry thing was silent all around;
   The firmament was clear, the sky serene,
   And not a cloud eclips’d the rural scene.
   Not so the Shepherd, all was storm within,
   He mourn’d his frailty, and bewail’d his sin;
   His soul alone engross’d his utmost care,
   Decoy’d by cursed Satan to his snare;
   (Alas! with what success he tempts mankind,
   And leads them to their ruin with the blind!)
   Awhile he stood, as one in woeful pain;
   At last, he broke in melancholy strain,
   And cried,—

      “O great Creator, ever good and wise,
   I dare not lift to thee mine eyes—
   Thy violated laws for vengeance call,
   And on offenders heavy judgment fall;
   Which hurl them flaming to eternal pains,
   To suffer ever on infernal plains.
   The terrors of thy justice make me fear,
   For who can everlasting torment bear?
   My soul with grief is rent, Oh! stop thy hand,
   Shivering before thy Majesty I stand;
   Long have I trod the ’luring path of vice,
   And tire thy patience, and thy grace despise.
   Before thy throne I bow with suppliant knee,
   Grant gracious God, thy pardon unto me:
   In solitude my follies I repent,
   The life so long, so viciously, I spent,
   O God! I wish undone my wicked deeds,
   My contrite heart with inward sorrows bleeds.
   Thou, O my God! art witness of my grief,
   And thou alone canst grant me a relief.
   I promise faithfully to sin no more,
   (I sue for mercy, and thy grace implore,)
   And spend my life, for ever, in thy fear,
   Thy laws to keep, thy holy name revere.”
   Thus plain’d the pensive Shepherd, and his moan,
   Christ, his Mediator, brought before the throne!
   Him graciously answer’d God to Sire,
   His face resplendent with a globe of fire:—
   “My Son hath paid thy ransom, go in peace,
   Eternal justice bids thee be at ease!”
   He said, and all the choir of angels sung,
   Harmonious melody, their harps they strung,
   And heaven’s Empyreum to their music rung,
   Such is the joy when a poor sinner turns,
   That with uncommon glow each seraph burns.
   Thus I may compare small things with great,
   The Prodigal his tender father met;
   Such as the Gospel paints in tatter’d weed,
   Willing with husks to satisfy his need:
   And none would give them, though the hungry roam,
   Till he returned unto his Father’s home;
   Who kill’d the fatted calf, and spread the feast,
   Where wine and minstrelsy his joy exprest.
   The Shepherd thus refresh’d with heavenly grace,
   Return’d with joy eternal in his face;
   The Saviour’s wond’rous love to man he prais’d,
   And thus his voice with gratitude he rais’d:—

      “All glory to the gracious SON of GOD,
   Who hast alone the grevious wine-press trod,
   To satisfy his justice, and for me
   Hast wrought endless salvation on the tree;
   Who hast redeem’d us, and destroyed our foes,
   That neither death nor grave can work our woes:
   Hast overthrown the dragon, and no more
   Hell, nor its gates have terrors left in store!”

      Thus did the Shepherd testify his joy,
   A theme that might an angel’s tongue employ;
   He praised Christ, who for mankind did die;
   His praise let all resound, to all eternity.

                                * * * * *


_On seeing the Ruins of Ivor Hael’s Palace_.

   Amidst its alders IVOR’S palace lies,
   In heaps of ruins to my wondering eyes;
   Where greatness dwelt in pomp, now thistles reign,
   And prickly thorns assert their wide domain.

   No longer Bards inspired, thy tables grace.
   Nor hospitable deeds adorn the place;
   No more the generous owner gives his gold
   To modest merit, as to Bards of old.

   In plaintive verse his IVOR—GWILYM moans,
   His Patron lost the pensive Poet groans;
   What mighty loss, that IVOR’S lofty hall,
   Should now with schreeching owls rehearse its fall!

   Attend, ye great, and hear the solemn sound,
   How short your greatness this proclaims around,
   Strange that such pride should fill the human breast,
   Yon mouldering walls the vanity attest.

A Letter from Mr. Thomas Carte to the Rev. Evan Evans.


I cannot sufficiently acknowledge Sir Thomas Mostyn’s kindness, in the
trouble he has taken, of sending up the catalogue of his historical MSS.
and in his obliging offer of communicating them to me.  Those which I am
desirous to see more than the rest, are these, viz.—

“The Annals of the Abbey of Chester, to A.D. 1297.

“Beda de Gestis Anglorum, if it be a different work from his Chronicon
and Ecclesiastical History.  It is the same.

“History of England, from William the Conqueror to the 6th of Edward the

“Annales Cambriæ ignoti autoris, et Chronica Cambriæ; both which seem to
be in the same volume, which begins with a Welsh history of the Kings of
the Britons and Saxons, and Princes of Wales, to the time of Edward 4th.

“A chronology from Vortigern downwards, supposed to be collected by
Robert Vaughan, of Hengwrt, Esquire, which seems to be in the volume
beginning with Sir John Wynne’s pedigree of the family of Gwydir.

“Treatises concerning the courts of wards and chancery.”

As Sir Thomas proposes to come to town soon, I hope he will be so good as
to bring those MSS. with him (as Sir W. W. Wynne will several others,
that he has found at Llanvorda) because they will be very useful to me as
I conceive, for my first volume.

There are some others I should be glad to look over, but shall have more
time for it.  Were I on the spot, I should be very curious to consult the
MS. of Froissart, though that author’s history, so favourable to the
English, is printed.  My edition of it is that of Paris, 1520, which I
take to be the last of any: but there is a MS. finely wrote and
illuminated of this author, in the monastery called Elizabeth, at
Breslaw, in Silesia, which contains a third part more than any printed
edition.  Count Bicklar, a Silesian nobleman, who was at Paris, A.D.
1727, promised me to get a printed edition of Froissart collated with
that MS. but he could find no monk in the monastery, or any about the
place, capable of doing it.  I desired him to buy a MS. that seemeth
useless to the convent, at the price of 200 ducats, but my offer made
them fancy it the more valuable, and they would not sell it.  I have seen
a MS. in the king’s library at Paris, and that of the capuchins at Rouen,
but they contained no more than my edition: I should be glad to know if
Sir Thomas’s does.  I gave the Benedictine, who has the care of the new
collections of French historians, notice of the MS. at Breslaw, that he
might make use of it in his new edition of Froissart; but I have not
heard whether he has got the MS. collated, and the supplement copied.

Adredus Rievallensis, Robert of Gloucester, Caradoc of Llancarvan, and
Geoffry of Monmouth, are printed; and I have examined several MSS. of the
case in the Cotton, Oxford and Cambridge libraries; so are the MSS. of
Giraldus Cambrensis; but if Sir Thomas’s MSS. contain more than the
printed editions, I shall be extremely glad to see them, as also
Trussel’s original of cities, and antiquities of Westminster, as also the
digression left out of Milton’s history.  The tracts of state in the
times of Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I.  I shall be very glad to
see: but they, as well as some others, I can the better stay for, because
they relate to more modern times.

Pray make my humble service and acknowledgments acceptable to Sir Thomas;
which will oblige me to be more, if possible, than I am,

                                Dear Sir,

                                  Your affectionate, and obedient servant,
                                                              THOS. CARTE.

_Gray’s Inn_, _Nov._ 14, 1744.

Mr. Lewis Morris to the Rev. Evan Evans.


I received your’s last post, without date, with a _Cowydd Merch_, for
which I am very much obliged to you.  I cannot see why you should be
afraid of that subject being the favourite of your _Awen_.  It is the
most copious subject under heaven, and takes in all others; and, for a
fruitful fancy, is certainly the best field to play in, during the poet’s
tender years.  Descriptions of wars, strife, and the blustering part of
man’s life, require the greatest ripeness of understanding, and knowledge
of the world; and is not to be undertaken but by strong and solid heads,
after all the experience they can come at.

Is it not odd, that you will find no mention made of _Venus_ and _Cupid_
amongst our Britons, though they were very well acquainted with the Roman
and Greek writers?  That god and his mother are implements that modern
poets can hardly write a love-poem without them: but the Britons scorned
such poor machines.  They have their _Essyllt_, _Nyf_, _Enid_, _Bronwen_,
_Dwynwen_, of their own nation, which excelled all the Roman and Greek
goddesses.—I am now, at my leisure hours, collecting the names of these
famous men and women, mentioned by our poets, (as Mr. Edward Llwyd once
intended,) with a short history of them; as we have in our common Latin
dictionaries, of those of the Romans and Grecians.  And I find great
pleasure in comparing the _Triades_, _Beddau_, _Milwyr Ynys Prydain_, and
other old records, with the poets of the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries; which is the time when our Britons wrote most and best.

Let me have a short _Cowydd_ from you now and then; and I will send you
my observations upon them, which may be of no disservice to you.  That
sent in your last letter, I here return to you; with a few corrections.
It doth not want many: use them, or throw them in the fire, which you
please.  Do not swallow them without examination.  The authority of good
poets must determine all.

    Y forwyn gynt, fawr iawn gais,
    Deg aruthr erioed a gerais.

The word _Aruthr_, though much used, in the sense you take it, seems not
proper here; yet Dr. Davies translates it _Mirus_.  I cannot think but
the original import of the word is _terrible_; and they cannot say in
English of a woman, she is _terribly fair_.  _Rhuthr_, from whence
_Aruthr_ is compounded, I dare say had that sense, at least:—

    “Y cythraul accw ruthrwas.”

                                                                 W. LLEYN.

    Deg wawr erioed a gerais,

may do as well, and sounds better.

    A roist ofal i’m calon,
    A brâth o hiraeth i’m bron:
    Ni wyr un ar a anwyd
    A roist o gur, os teg wyd;
    Enwa anhunedd yn henaint
    A yr wyn fyth yr un faint.

The first line of the last couplet is too long, and I should write both

    Enwa’n hunedd yn henaint
    E yr wyn fyth yr un faint.


    Cyrchaf, ac ni fynnaf au,
    I dir angov drwy angau.

The last couplet is a beautiful expression; but it hath too much sweet in
it; what our poets call _Eisiau Cyfnewid Bogail_.  _Ang_, _ang_, is a
fault, which our musicians term _too many_ _concords_; and therefore they
mix discords in music, to make it more agreeable to the ear.  So the
rhetoricians call the same fault in their science, _Caniad y gôg_.
Therefore, suppose you would turn it thus:

    O dîr ing af drwy angau.


    Lle bo dyfnaf yr afon,
    Ar fy hynt yr af i hon,
    Oni roi, Gwen eurog wedd,
    Drwy gariad ryw drugaredd.

_Eurog wedd_ is no great compliment to a fair woman; for _Gwen_, a
Flavia, loves to be called white; and the last line hath _gar_—_gar_,
therefore I would write thus, or the like:

    Oni roi, Gwen îr ei gwedd,
    Yn gywrain, ryw drugaredd.

But I do not like _îr ei gwedd_.

    Af i graig fwyaf o grêd
    Y môr, i gael ymwared,
    Ag o’r graig fawr i’r eigion
    Dygaf gyrch i dyrch y dòn—

An excellent expression—

    Ag o’r dòn egr hyd annwfn
    Af ar y dafl i fôr dwfn.

Here is a charming opening for you, to describe the country you go to,
and the wonders of the deep; and something like the following lines might
be inserted:

    Lle mae’r morfil friwfil fron,
    A’r enwog _fôrforwynian_,

To proceed:

    A fynno Gwen ysplennydd
    Yn ddiau o’m rhwymau ’n rhydd,
    Ni chaf gur, ni chaf garu
    Na phoen gwn, na hoffi ’n gu;
    Ni roddaf gam i dramwy,
    I gred i’th ymweled mwy:
    Dyna’r modd dan wir i mi,
    A dyr unwaith drueni.

The expression _Dan_ _wir_, is too local, and is not understood all over
Wales.  Local expressions must be avoided as much as possible.  Suppose
you said then,

    Oni chaf heb warafun
    Dy fodd fyth difeiwedd fun.

After all these corrections, which are not very material, you have this
comfort, (and I mention it that you may not be discouraged,) that I do
not know a man in our country who can write a poem which shall want as
few corrections.  So make poetry and antiquity (when you can come at
materials) branches of your study; and, depend upon it, you will make a
figure in the world.  There are flights and turns in this poem, which
even David ab Gwilym would not have been ashamed of.

I would have you write to my brother, and let him know the reason of your
not going to London, and that you are alive.  If you send him this poem,
he will be pleased with it.

Is there any hopes of your seeing the Llyfr Coch o Hergest?  Who is
keeper, or under-keeper, of Jesus-College Library?  And who is principal;
and who are the fellows? perhaps I may know some of them; or can make
interest some way or other for you to get the use of those MSS.

But it ought to be considered, that you are to mind the main chance of
reading the classics, in order to come to a tolerable being, before you
launch too far into any other studies; and you must only take a snatch by
the bye, which will serve to whet your genius; _oblegid mae newid gwaith
cystal a gorphwyso_.

When you can come at Llyfr Coch o Hergest, or any other ancient MSS., I
will send you directions to read it, and understand it: the chief
difficulty being in the orthography: the language of all Britain (even
Scotland) was the same as it is now in Wales, 1200 years ago.

I wrote to you lately, which I suppose you had not received when you sent
your dateless letter.  I desire your answer when convenient.

                                                          Yours sincerely,
                                                             LEWIS MORRIS.

_Galltvadog_, _July_ 14, 1751.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


Your letter of the second instant, I received this day; and I was very
glad to hear that you had procured leave to go to the private library in
Jesus College.  It is charming to get into conversation with _Llywarch
Hen_, _Aneurin_, _Merddin_, &c.  They are most pleasing old companions.

I understand that my copy of _Brut y Brenhinoedd_ is not the same with
that in _Llyfr Coch o Hergest_.  Mine was copied out of five MSS. three
of them upon vellum, very ancient; but the transcriber, not understanding
the occasion of the difference between the copies, stuffed all into this,
that he could find in all the MSS.  Had he known that some of those MSS.
were from Walter the Archdeacon’s original translation of the history,
out of the Armoric; and some again from his second translation from
Galfrid’s Latin, he would have kept the copies separate.  The transcriber
of my copy mentions sometimes—“thus in such a MS. and thus in such a
MS.,” but it is impossible to find which is which.

_Brut y Tywysogion_ is only the history of Caradoc of Llancarvan, which
was Englished by Humphrey Lloyd, and published by Dr. Powell; and
afterwards a very bad edition by Mr. W. Wynne.  I would not have you take
the trouble upon you to transcribe that; for there are many copies of it.
What is most worth your care is the works of the poets; especially that
part of them that is historical, as some of Taliesin, Merddin, Llywarch
Hen’s are.  Merddin mentions the war in Scotland, between Rhydderch Hael,
Aeddan ab Gafran, Gwenddolau ab Ceidio, &c., and Taliesin mentions
several battles, that none of our historians ever so much as heard of.
These are matters of great curiosity—Llywarch Hen in one of his Elegies,
mentions _Eglwysau Bassa_, that was destroyed by the Saxons.  Nennius
says, that one of the twelve battles fought by Arthur against the Saxons,
was upon the river _Bassas_.  Who is that great Apollo among our
historians who knows anything of these affairs?—Is there ever a MS. of
Nennius, which you can come at?  I wish that book was translated into
English: it is but small.  However, since you are now about the Llyfr
Coch, I would have you first to write an index of the contents of it, and
send it me, sheet by sheet, and I will give you my opinion what is best
to transcribe, and is most uncommon or curious.  I do not remember
whether the book is paged; let it be as it will, you cannot be long in
making such an index, with the first line of each piece.  There are some
other curious MSS. there; some _Bucheddau_ (Lives) as far as I recollect.
But the silly copy of _Brut y Brenhinoedd_, in a modern hand there, is
not worth talking of.—How do you know it is the same with the Bodleian?
I presume, that the _Brut y Brenhinoedd_, in _Llyfr Coch_, is not the
original translation from the Bretonic copy; for I think it mentions
Galfrid’s translation in the conclusion of it.—But it is many years since
I saw it.  I shall ask some questions about certain passages in it, when
I have leisure to look into my own copy.  I have written abundance of
notes, in defence of mine, since you saw it; and the more I examine into
it, the better I like it.  I had at first but a poor opinion of it; being
prepossessed with the character given if by English writers; but when I
find the poets, and our genealogies, and ancient inscriptions and coins
agree with it; and some foreign writers, I do not wonder that the
inveteracy of the old Saxons should still remain against it, as long as
Bede is in being.  I shall only ask you now,—whether the son of Ascanius
is called _Silius_ or _Silvius_, in Llyfr Coch?  It is in the beginning
of my copy, which begins—Eneas gwedi ymladd Troya, &c.  Mine is not
divided into chapters or books.  I have time to write no more, but that

                                                                     I am,
                                                          Yours sincerely,
                                                             LEWIS MORRIS.

_Galltvadog_, _Oct._ 13, 1751.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


I happened to come upon business to this place; and being so near you,
and having an hour’s leisure, I could not help sending this to remind you
that there is such a one alive, who wishes you well, and who is really
glad you have got into such a worthy family.  I hope that you will make
the best use of your time; you will not be able to see how precious it is
till most part of it is gone.  This world (or this age) is so full of
people that take no time to think at all, that a young fellow is in the
greatest danger as can be to launch out among them.  The terrestrial part
of men being predominant, is as apt as a monkey to imitate everything
that is bad.  So that the little good which is to be done, must be done
in spite of nature.

I expected a line from you upon your being settled, and that you had time
to look about you; and when you have leisure, I shall be glad to hear of
your doing well.  I make no doubt but you will follow your British
studies, as well as other languages: for I suppose it will hardly leave
you, whether you will or no.  Therefore to whet your parts, and in order
to improve yourself that way, I propose to you a correspondent, a friend
of mine, an Anglesea man; who will be glad of your acquaintance, and I
daresay _you_ of _his_; especially when you have seen some of his
performances.  His name is Gronw Owen; and you may direct to him at
Donnington, near Salop; he keeps a school there, and is curate of a place
hard by.  He is but lately commenced a Welsh poet; and the first ode he
ever wrote, was an imitation of your ode on melancholy.  His _Cowydd y
Farn_ is the best thing I ever read in Welsh.  You will be more surprised
with his language and poetry than with anything you ever saw.  His ode is
styled _The Wish_, or Gofuned Gronw Ddu o Fon; and is certainly equal, if
not superior, to anything I ever read of the ancients.

I have shared the dominion of poetry in Wales among you.  He shall have
the north, and you the south.  But he has more subjects, a hundred to
one, than you have, unless Glamorgan affords some.

Mr. Gronw Owen has been for some years laying a foundation for a Welsh
rational Grammar, not upon the Latin and Greek plan, but upon the plan
that the language will bear.  It would be unreasonable to expect an old
archbishop to dance a jig and rigadoon with boys and girls; it is certain
that the Greek and Latin are such when compared with the Celtic.  He has
desired of me to bring you acquainted together; and here I do it, unless
it is your own faults.  He does not know how to write to you, nor I
neither; but direct this at a venture.

                                                                     I am,
                                                      Your assured friend,
                                                              And servant,
                                                             LEWIS MORRIS.

_Llandeilo Vawr_, _April_ 23, 1752.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


My brother gave me yours of the third, with an excellent ode to the King
of Prussia.  The faults in it I take to be owing to your careless writing
of it; for they are such as cannot be from want of knowledge, as the ode
itself shows.  However, as you desire my corrections (which seems to be a
sort of menial office, like a plaisterer, who daubs mortar on a grand
piece of building, designed by a great architect) I give you my labour
for nothing, and choose whether you follow my opinion or no; for I am no
oracle.  In my last alterations, in Cowydd Teifi, your line—

    Dy lif y loywaf afon—

is certainly best.  I only wrote something that came uppermost, to egg
you on to do better.  Your notion of _Maelienydd_ is wrong.  You have
been imposed upon by Camden, Selden, or perhaps, by Girald. Cambrensis;
or by some of those strangers that knew nothing of the matter.
_Maelienydd_ was the country to the south and east of those mountains.
But this is besides my purpose.  Well, as you think the unity of design,
scene, and action of your poem was about _Llyn Teifi_, I shall not urge
the description of _Teifi_ as low as the sea (for there it goes.)  And I
could have wished you had done it; for nobody else in Cardiganshire is
able to do poor _Teifi_ that kindness.  As for your sheltering under
Horace’s adage, I mind it as nothing.  He was a stranger to our methods,
handed down to us by his masters, the druidical bards; who knew how to
sing before Rome had a name.  So never, hereafter, mention such moderns
as Horace and Virgil, when you talk of British poetry.  Llywarch Hen,
Aneurin, and followers of the Druids, are our men; and nature our rule.

With respect to your borrowing Gronw’s manuscript, you may make yourself
easy about it.  I dare say he would sooner part with his wife, and, for
aught I know, children too; but his wife I am sure.  Your sentiments of
Gronw’s capacity as a poet, are I believe just; for he has had greater
opportunities than any poet since the Norman Conquest.  But, if you take
my word, you will not be behind him, if you stick to it.  And, that you
may not complain for want of the necessary requisites, as soon as ever I
have any leisure, I will send you an ode or two of the ancients, which
are not in Gronw’s book, to whet your Awen with.  I have a fine
collection of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, which I value more than
their weight in fine gold.

                                                 Your most humble Servant,
                                                             LEWIS MORRIS.

_London_, _Nov._ 13, 1756.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


It is now almost an age since I heard from you.  From an annual animal it
would be a proper expression; and I am but little better, as I change for
the worse every year, till I shall be no more.

I was glad to hear you had got to Llanrhychwyn; a place scarcely ever
heard of by the inhabitants of the level countries; where you roll I
suppose, in ancient MSS. and curiosities; and where the arms of the
invaders hardly ever reached.

Mr. W. Wynne was with me one night lately; and it seems he hath as many
ancient MSS. as other people have printed books: _Gwyn ei fyd_!  I was
very much out of order when he was here, which deprived me of the
pleasure I should otherwise have had.

I had a visit paid me lately by John Bradford, of Glamorganshire (darn o
brydydd &c.)  It seems that country is entirely drained of it, valuable
antiquities or else, their MSS. are buried among the rubbish of old
libraries unheeded.

The more I look into Nennius the difficulties encrease: for he has been
so mangled by ignorant or unskilful readers and transcribers, and by Gale
the editor, that, without a body had a sight of all the manuscript copies
of it in the public libraries, or elsewhere, there is no attempting to
interpret it.  Mr. R. Vaughan’s MS. at Hengwrt would be a vast help; but
I see no likelihood to come at a sight of that.  Any ancient copy of it
on vellum, which has not been dabbled with, or compared with the
Cambridge, the Oxford MSS. &c.; that is, one which we might call a virgin
manuscript, which hath not been ravished by Camden, Markham, Sir S.
D’Ewes, or Usher, would give great satisfaction; but where is that to be
found?  That which Sir J. Pryse had may possibly exist somewhere; and
that which Humphrey Lloyd had, may likely be in the neighbourhood of
Denbigh still.

I have not had a week’s health since I saw you, and therefore have been
in no good humour to read or write.

Have you, among Taliesin’s works, Ymddyddan rhwng Ugnach ab Mydno o
Gaerleon a Thaliesin o Gaerdyganwy?  If you have it not, I will send it
you.  It is from the Llyfr Du o Gaerfyrddin.

My chief business of late has been to put the names of men and places in
an alphabetical order, and to prepare them for my Celtic remains, from
Taliesin’s works, Sir J. Pryse’s Cambria, the Triades, the Gododin,
Beddau Milwyr, Aera Cambr. Brit. L. G. Cothi, and extent of Anglesea.

Remember that you promised me the remainder of the Gododin, and never
performed it.  The last lines of the fragment which I have, are

    Tymor tymhestyl
    Tymhestyl dymor
    Y beri rhestr rhac rhiallu.

I am now out of the way of all curious antiquities; and you who have an
opportunity of seeing every body’s treasures, keep them all to yourself.
I long to see the Legends of our Welsh Saints (Buchedd y seintiau).  I
forgot to tell you, that I am at this very time putting the names of all
the parishes in Wales into alphabetical order, for the above purpose.
But I find my catalogue of the parishes is not very correct; therefore I
must desire the assistance of some that live near the places that are
doubtful, and have their correction, or opinion of them.  One of them is
Llangynsarn.  I never heard but of three Plwy’r Creuddyn.  Is there a
Llangedol near Bangor?  Are there parishes called Llangedyrn, Bodfrenin,
Llandydwen, Betwnog in Lleyn, or how otherwise called?  Is there a parish
called Llansilien, near Corwen in Edeyrnion?  Or is it Llansilian, or
Tyssilio?  Are there parishes called Llanelidan, and Y Fynechdid, in
Cantref Dyffryn Clwyd: and what is the etymology of them; and also of
Llanhychen; and whence is Llanferrys yn Ial derived; and who is Trillo,
and Trillo Caenog; and what is the common opinion of the derivation of
the name of Gyffylliog?

I shall stop here at present; and leave Flintshire, Montgomeryshire, &c.
to another time; and shall hint only what is come just now into my head.

I think you have a vote for a knight of the shire, in this county; if you
have not made a positive promise to Mr. Vaughan, or that party, I would
advise you to do yourself greater service than you expect at their hands;
and I believe you know, that I would not advise to any thing but what
would be of advantage to you.  Let me hear from you about this point.

I am surprised Dewi Fardd does not come with his books, to deliver to the
subscribers.  I do not hear that they are come to Aberystwith.  He has
murdered a good book, by inserting in it the works of the greatest
blockheads of the creation, and the most illiterate creatures that bear
human shapes; such as Robert Humphrey, &c., &c.—Ffei ffei o honynt!  Or
were they put as beauty spots, to set you and others off?  If it is
otherwise, you are alive, and may defend yourself, for standing in such
company; but I am heartily sorry for poor Hugh Morris.  If he knows of
this, that he must stand in spite of his teeth, in company with people
that were not worthy to carry the feathers of his quill; and the room
which his poem should have filled up, taken by persons as far below him
as a _Crythor Crwth Trithiant_ is below Corelli or Vivaldi.

Let me have your opinion upon the names of the parishes as soon as you

                                                                     I am,
                                                          Yours sincerely,
                                                             LEWIS MORRIS.

_Penbryn_, _Dec._ 20, 1759.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


I received your kind favour by Dewi, with the remainder of the Gododin,
and some of the Gorchanau.  Be so good as to let me know from whence
these have been copied, and whether I can depend upon their being
correct.  I suppose it is your mistake in writing Breint mab _Bleidgi_,
for _Bleidig_.  It seems the Gododin was not one entire piece, but was
written in distinct odes; or else what means the preface to the
Gorchanau?  But where are the distinctions in the copy?  I wish we had a
correct one: I can make little or nothing of this.

David Jones tells me of a Llanerch copy of _Brut y Brenhinoedd_, in folio
on paper, written by Edward Kyffin, for John Trefor, of Trevalun.  I wish
I had the beginning and ending of it, as I took off the vellum book, that
you brought here; and if you would do the same by the other copies there,
I should be glad to see it.  By this management we shall be able to
distinguish between Galfrid’s, Walter’s translation, and Tyssilio’s

I thank you for the inscription at Llanfor, and that at Foel-las.  I dare
determine nothing about them as yet; only that Mr. Edward Llwyd’s reading
is only the froth of a fertile brain.  When you copy inscriptions, cut a
bit of chalk into a pencil, and trace the letters.  In old inscriptions
there are often natural lines in the stone; and sometimes lines worn out,
which must be supplied with chalk.  I suspect you had no chalk at
Llanfor; and that your ENIARCH may be Llywarch, or LYVARCH.  I wish I
could see it.  Are you sure, there is not part of it covered still with

I thank you also for John Owen’s Elegy—a good one—I had got it from the
navy office; and also Mr. W. Wynne’s.

Mr. Pegge, in a letter lately to Dr. Phillips, says that he has borrowed
a MS. of Mr. Davies of Llanerch, which Mr. Pegge has now in his study;
and which he says will be of good use to him.  Pray what can it be?  I
have converted Mr. Pegge from the Camdenian faction; and we shall by and
by see whether he is an ally of consequence.  He is perfectly satisfied
with my defence of Tyssilio; and wishes to see a translation of his book.
Mr. Davies knows something of him I suppose.

I am glad your spitting of blood is over; take care, your life is
precious, whether you have a fat living or no.  Dont despair; some men of
sense may take notice of you; though, even among the ancient Britons,
canonization went seldom out of great families, as appears by _Bonedd y
Saint_, which I have at last completed, as far as my materials reached.
I now plainly see that the Llanerch MS. of Bonedd is but a fragment; for
there is not a syllable of the Brychan family in it; and but very little
of the Caw family.  I have reduced the whole into genealogical order; and
they take but a very narrow compass.  I shall have some difficulty in
fixing the times of these saints; for there is some confusion among them,
occasioned by the blunders of transcribers.

They have been all hunting after the Llanerch MS. of _Bonedd_, even Dr.
Thomas Williams, and the Anglesea Man, as well as Thomas Wynne, and
Thomas ab Llewelyn, &c., and have stumbled in the reading of it, as now
plainly appears to me; and what, if I tell you, that you and I also have
slipped in one place: I am sure we have.

I am tired now, and have no more to say, but I cough a little less than I
did a week ago; and am likely to live till winter at least, unless some
unforeseen accident happens.  It will be a hard battle if I hold out all
the winter.  You are now in your bloom of body and spirit; do not lose a
moment; you will be sorry if you do.  God be with you, and keep you.

                                                     I am yours sincerely,
                                                             LEWIS MORRIS.

_Penbryn_, _July_ 4, 1760.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


It is a long while since I heard from you, and really I don’t know when;
for my long and dangerous illness has eradicated all former transactions
out of my memory, so that I have but a very faint idea of my former
letters sent or received.  From the beginning of November to this time, I
have been struggling with death at his door; and in the very height of my
fever, an accident by fire had likely to have destroyed me and mine.
Such shocks are terrible, and enough to deface all correspondence.  I am
now beginning to be able to sit down to write a little, and but very
little; for I am severely troubled with an asthma, which I suppose will
finish me one day or other.  _Chwilio_, _chwilio a ffaelio cael eich
llythyr diwaethaf mewn modd yn y byd_.  At the time when a pleuretic
fever knocked me down, I was fitting up a new closet for my books and
papers, and ever since everything has been in confusion, so that I am as
long finding out a book or paper, as if I was in Mostyn Library.

Now I think on it, my brother of the navy office tells me, that you have
lately met with two or three copies of Brut y Brenhinoedd at Mostyn.  I
shall be very much obliged to you for an extract of the beginning of
each, and of the conclusion, to see if we can come at a genuine copy,
which hath not been mixed with Galfrid or Walter; and should be glad to
know if you have met with any British books written in the old letter
(called now the Saxon), besides a line or two, in the beginning of the
Welsh Charter, in Liber Landavensis, which you sent me; and whether all
that charter be not written in the same character, or any thing else in
that book.  This seems to me to be the case with respect to that
character, that it was the one which the Druids used, and all Britain and
its islands, before the Roman conquest.  That the provincial Britains,
immediately under the Roman power took the Roman letters; therefore we
are not to look for the old character among the Loegrian Britains, nor
the Armoricans, nor the Cornish.  That the Druids taking their shelter in
Wales, Ireland, and the highlands of the North, the British party _there_
retained the old character; but the Roman party took to their new letter;
and in process of time, both the Roman and British characters were mixed;
as we find them upon some tombstones in Wales, (but not in England) soon
after the Saxon conquest.  The Irish still retain their old letter; but
it seems the Britains laid it quite aside, about the time of the Norman
conquest, or before.  The North Britains retained it for some time, as
appears by those ancient verses, which Mr. Edward Llwyd mentions, and
which he takes to be the Pictish.  The inscriptions on Pabo’s and
Iestin’s tombs, are proofs of what I say; and that of Catamanus, in
Llangadwaladyr, of the mixed letter.  Mr. Thomas Carte, who had the loan
of the Liber Landav. sent me word, that it was written in the Saxon
character.  It seems he only dipt into the beginning of it, and took all
the rest to be the same, or perhaps there may be passages in it here and
there, which are in that character.  You told me that all the old grants
were written in a good strong hand, like my _Cnute’s grant_, but better
rather; and yet in the donation of Iudhail, which you sent me, I find
some of the old characters.  I also observe that if all the book is
written in the same strong good hand, it is not an original; for it is
impossible to find persons to write the same hand for hundreds of years
successively; and if I remember well, Sir John Pryse, in his defence of
British History, mentions some grants, which were scarcely legible in the
Liber Landav. in his time; and yet you say, that there are donations
therein down to bishop Herwaldus, about 1104.  Doth not that shew that
the book is only a copy, taken after the Norman conquest, with some notes
of later date?

Set me right in these things; for I am at an entire loss about them.
This is all I have leisure to write at present, and should be glad to
hear from you—who am,

                                                          Yours sincerely,
                                                             LEWIS MORRIS.

_Penbryn_, _February_ 4, 1761.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


A person told me lately, that he had seen you at Hengwrt, in your way
home from me; and that you were permitted to look over what MSS. you
pleased; and that you translated them offhand into English, as if they
had been the common text of the Welsh Bible.

I was very glad of this, and I hope you have met there with the so much
desired copy of Nennius, which has had the benefit of Mr. Robert
Vaughan’s hand, and which must be the test to all others; and then we
shall see a genuine Nennius come out in English, as far as the nature of
the thing will bear.

If I can be of any service to you in this arduous task, nothing of my
endeavours shall be wanting; and for God’s sake begin to translate into
English, as fast as you can, and let me see it as you go on, perhaps I
may help you to some notes, or some illustrations or other.  I have
Nennius and Tyssilio much at heart, and I cannot be long on this side the

Inclosed I send you the old papers, you talked of when here.  I never
looked into them till now; and cannot guess at the authors quoted
therein, except G. for Galfrid; T. W. Thomas Williams, and H. Lh. Humphry
Llwyd.  What is Scr. Sc., and H. C.?

Be sure to keep up your correspondence with that very curious and
valuable man, Mr. Percy.  I am afraid that there are not many such
learned critics in the kingdom.

I was heartily sorry to see you in those foolish difficulties, when you
were here last.  For heaven’s sake, for your own sake, and for the sake
of us all, do not run yourself into those excesses; but shew the world
that you have not only learning and knowledge, far above the common herd;
but that you have also discretion and prudence, without which no man will
ever arrive at greatness.  Nennius will set you up out of the reach of
little folks, if you stick to him.

                                                     I am yours sincerely,
                                                             LEWIS MORRIS.

_Penbryn_, _June_ 26, 1763.

                                * * * * *

Rev. W. Wynn to the Rev. Evan Evans.

Iolo Goch, o Goed Pantwn, yn Mhlwy Llan Nefydd yn Sir Ddinbych; y mae yno
glwt o dir a elwir, y dydd heddyw, Gardd Iolo.—The tradition is fresh in
the neighbourhood.  I have read in the little book many good C. of D. ap
Gwilym since I saw you, tho’ there are some very poor ones amongst them.
What I had then read were looked over in haste, and it is impossible to
form a right judgment of such things, without a careful perusal,
especially when there are uncommon words or various readings to disturb
the attention, as there are many in this book.  I desire you’ll dash out
of my Cywydd y Farn—_Tawdd y mellt greigiau gelltydd_, and insert these
two in their stead—_Rhed filfil rhawd ufelfellt_, _Rhua drwy’r main
rheieider mellt_—_See_ Edm. Pr. and Wm. Cynwal, Cyw. 29.  I have had
access to Llannerch library for three days successively, where there are
a great many MSS., though few to your taste or mine.—English history,
exploded philosophy, monkish theology, and such trash in abundance,
written on fine vellum, in a most curious manner.  Three good pedigree
books, six or seven volumes of Welsh poetry, but for the most part very
incorrect.  Some of them are most shamefully mangled by the transcribers.
I have borrowed one large quarto, transcribed about the conclusion of
Queen Elizabeth’s reign, by an ignorant, slovenly fellow, who has
murdered the orthography in a most barbarous manner.  Yet I think it
valuable, because, upon collating some parts of it with other copies, I
found it in the general more genuine than the common run, notwithstanding
the barbarity of the orthography.  Where _tarw garw_ occur, this
scribbler always robs the line of a syllable, which is the greatest
injury he commits.  I have transcribed _Duchan Gwyddelyn_, o waith Iolo.
Marwnad Mad. ap Gr. Mailor, 1236, by Ein. Wan, Mar. Tywysog Llew. ap Gr.
by Gwgon, Mar. Ow. Goch; a gânt Bleddyn Fardd; Cyw. merch da, o waith G.
O.; Cyw. da i ofyn Cledd, o waith G. O.; Mar. Lleucu Llwyd, o waith I.
Ll. G. M. H.  Mar. Ll. G. M. H., o waith Iolo.

There is at Llannerch a little old rag, consisting of about 20 pages
accurately written, out of which I have transcribed a curious ode if not
two.  It begins thus: _Nid wyf ddihynwyf hoen_.  _Kreirwy hoywdec am
hudawdd mal Garwy_.  After eight Englyns, there is a blank, without the
author’s name, and below that begins either another ode of the same
person’s, or a remainder of the foregoing, beginning thus: _Mireinwawr
drefawr dra vo brad ymddwyn_, and subscribed Howel ap Eignion ai cant i
Vevanwy vechan o Gastell Dinas Bran.  After the last stanza is written
_Mireinwawr drefawr_, with a dash, which makes me suppose they are two
poems, though on the same subject; because it is common to conclude an
ode with a repetition of the first stanza.—Quere, Whether the first of
these is not the same with your Awdl Myfanwy?  I cannot recollect, but I
think it is longer than yours; it ends thus:

    Lliw eiry cynnar pen Aran—
    Lloer bryd lwys fryd o lys Vran.

I lately borrowed a quarto, fairly written by a man of learning and great
knowledge in antiquities, but ignorant of the Welsh prosody, for which
reason it is not very correct.  There are many of D. G. in it, Owdl Fair,
by I. R. I. Ll. of Gogerddan; one quarter of which is Latin.  I have seen
the same in another book given to D. N---, Mawl Edw. 3 ryw bryd gwedi
Aerfa Cressi, o waith Iolo.—That battle was fought in the year 1346.—Edw
IIId. died 1377.—This is demonstration that Iolo ought to have been
placed much higher in chronology than the year 1400; and by his own
testimony we find he was a mere _Cleirirach_ before the commencement of
the 15th century, though he lived about ten years after.  This, though in
Iolo’s usual style, I think the most ancient Cywydd I ever saw, excepting
one of D. Ddu, _Digam gwnaeth Duw oi gymwyd_; and even this is, by some,
fathered upon Iolo.  _Mar._ _Tywysog Llewelyn_—Gwaith Bleddyn Fardd—Iolo
Goch was of the family of the Pantons, of Coed Panton, and Plas Panton,
in the parish of Llan Nefydd, Denbighshire.  The Latin version in Saphics
of Taliesin’s ode _Ef a wnaeth Panton_, and some good _Cywydds_ of
Iolo’s, that I never saw before, M.D. ap Gr. ap Llew—a lâs yn y Mwythig,
a gant Bleddyn Fardd, Dadolwch Rhys, ap Gr. ap Rhys ap Tewdwr,
Gwelygorddiau Powys, Breiniau Powys: those three by Cynddelw Br. Mawr.

A small volume was lately given me collected by Mr. Ellis Wynne, of
Lasynys, it contains a great many fragments of British prophecies; by Rys
Fardd eight; by Ithel Bardd y Bendro one; by Merddin (wyllt I presume)
nineteen; by Robin Ddu two; by Ieu. Drwch y Daran one; by Bercam one; by
Adda Fras; by Gronwy Ddu; by Jonas Mynyw one; Proffwydoliaeth Dewi St.
Bardd Cwsc nine; by Taliesin, on various subjects, fifteen.  The matter
of those that bear the name of Merddin, may be his, but I judge they are
not his compositions by the style, though it is not modern.  Some called
Taliesin’s, I believe were forged by the Monks, others I think genuine.
The prophecies are worth reading, on account of the style and names of

I have the constitutions of the Cymmrodorion, and am highly pleased with
their scheme.  I will contribute something in money, tho I have children,
towards promoting it, and with pleasure do all in my power as a
corresponding member.  Gronwy’s ode is an excellent thing; but what he
calls _Cadwyn fyr_ is erroneous, because it is in reality _Cadwyn
gyflawn_.  I do not blame him for this, because Dr. IDR’s imperfect rule
and false examples led him into this error.  Some, perhaps, may be
offended because the ode part is not _unirythm_, which it is supposed to
be by the very name; but I do not like the poem the worse for that.  I
shewed you the true _Cadwyn fyr_ in W. Ll’s grammar, and likewise in S.
F’s.—I have since had the same in a book of Gr. Hirs, who was the chief
professor of the age, and a perfect master of the faculty, though, in my
opinion he had no extraordinary genius.  His tutor was Tudur Aled, who
was nephew and pupil to D. Edm., yr hwn a ddychymygawdd y mesur Cadwyn

It were false concord to call it _Cadwyn fyr_.  D. ap Edmund’s tutor was
Mered. ap Rhys, of Rhiwabon, witness G. Gl.—Y mae genyf bedwar pedwar ar
hugain cerdd Dant Crwth.—Ar 24 cerdd dant telyn, a hanes yr eisteddfod
gyntaf yn Nghaerwys.—To-day I saw an account of Merddin a’ Mhorfryn’s
being buried in Ynys Enlli.  Here patience and paper end together.
Remember me to my old neighbours.

                                                     Yours affectionately,
                                                                 WM. WYNN.

_Ll. Gynhafal_, _Dec._ 13, 1755.

                                * * * * *

Dr. Percy, late Bishop Dromore, to the Rev. Evan Evans.


By my friend Mr. Williams, rector of Weston, Staffordshire, I have been
informed of the great attention you have bestowed on British Literature,
and the pains you have taken to rescue the productions of your ancient
Bards from oblivion.  Though I have not the happiness to understand, yet
I have a great veneration for, the ancient language of this Island, and
have always had a great desire to see some of the most early and most
original productions in it.  I could never yet obtain a proper
gratification of this desire; for, to their shame be it spoken, most of
your countrymen, instead of vindicating their ancient and truly venerable
mother tongue from that contempt, which is only the result of ignorance,
rather encourage it by endeavouring to forget it themselves.  Besides my
friend Mr. Williams, whose constant residence in England has deprived him
of the means of cultivating his native language so much as he would have
done, I never met with one native of Wales, who could give me any
satisfactory account of the literary productions of his own country, or
seemed to have bestowed any attention on its language and antiquities.
Not so the Scots:—they are everywhere recommending the antiquity of their
own country to public notice, vindicating its history, and setting off
its poetry, and, by dint of constant attention to their grand national
concern, have prevailed so far, as to have the broken jargon they speak
to be considered as the most proper language for our pastoral poetry.
Our most polite ladies affect to lisp out Scottish airs; and in the
Senate itself whatever relates to the Scottish Nation is always mentioned
with peculiar respect.  Far from blaming this attention in the Scotch I
think it much to their credit, and am sorry, that a large class of our
fellow-subjects with whom we were united in the most intimate union for
many ages, before Scotland ceased to be our _most_ inveterate enemy, have
not shewn the same respect to the peculiarities of their own country.
But, by their supineness and neglect, have suffered a foolish and
inveterate prejudice to root itself in the minds of their compatriots,
the English,—a prejudice which might have been in a good measure
prevented, had the Welsh gentlemen occasionally given them specimens of
the treasures contained in their native language, which may even yet be
in part removed by the same means.

You have translated, I am informed, some of the Odes of your ancient
Bards.  I wish you would proceed and make a select collection of the best
of them, and so give them to the world.  You have probably heard what a
favourable reception the public has given to an English version of some
Erse Fragments imported from the Highlands of Scotland, and, if you have
never seen them, I will send them to you.  I am verily persuaded, an
elegant translation of some curious pieces of ancient British Poetry
would be as well received, if executed in the same manner.  I may
modestly pretend to have some credit with the booksellers, and with Mr.
Dodsley in particular, who is my intimate friend.  I shall be very happy
to do you any good office with him, and shall be glad to make such an
attempt as profitable to you as, I am persuaded, it will be reputable
both to you and your country.

I have prevailed on a friend to attempt a Translation of some ancient
Runic Odes, composed among the snows of Norway, which will make their
appearance at Mr. Dodsley’s shop next winter.  My very learned friend and
neighbour, the Rev. Mr. Lye, editor of Junius’s Etymologicon, and of
Ulphila’s Gothic Gospels, (whose skill in the northern languages has
rendered him famous all over Europe,) is now rescuing some valuable
remains of Saxon Poetry from oblivion, and I can perhaps obtain leave of
him to let you see one of these odes by way of specimen, accompanied with
his version.  I have not been altogether idle myself; but my attention
has been chiefly bestowed on the languages spoken in the southern parts
of Europe.  I have collected some curious pieces of ancient Spanish
Poetry, and when I have translated a select collection of them, may
perhaps give them to the public.  Amidst the general attention of ancient
and foreign poetry it would be a pity to leave that of the Ancient
Britons forgotten and neglected, and therefore, when I heard that a
person so capable was employed in collecting and translating those
valuable remains, it gave me a very sensible pleasure, and I could not
help expressing in a _volunteer_ letter to you, the sense I entertain of
the obligation, which you will undoubtedly confer on all real lovers of
literature and the productions of antiquity.

If you will favour me with a line containing a more particular account of
what has been the object of your labours, I shall be able to form a more
exact idea of the success, that may be expected from them than I can at
present.  I will also communicate them to several eminent Literati of my
acquaintance, and to mention one in particular, Mr Johnson, the author of
the Dictionary, Rambler, &c., who will, I am sure, be glad to recommend
your work, and to give you any advice for the most advantageous disposal
of it.  If you take these voluntary offers of service in good part, you
will please to favour me with a line, and I would wish also a specimen of
your labours, together with a full direction where to write to you.  I am
a Clergyman, and shall receive any favour of this kind, that is enclosed
under a cover to the Right Honourable Henry Earl of Sussex, at Easton
Maudit Castle, by the Ashby Bag, Northamptonshire.

                                                 I am Sir, though unknown,
                                      Your very faithful obedient servant,
                                                             THOMAS PERCY.

_Easton Maudit_, _July_ 21, 1761.

P.S.  I am told you are acquainted with Mr. Gray, the poet.  Pray has he
any foundation for what he has asserted in his Ode on the British Bards,
viz. that there is a tradition among the inhabitants of Wales, that our
Edward the First destroyed all the British Bards that fell into his
hands?  The existence of such a tradition has been doubted.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


That I have so long defer’d answering your very obliging letter has been
altogether owing to the following cause.  I proposed sending you a Saxon
ode, accompanied with a Latin literal and an English free version; the
former done by my very learned friend Mr. Lye, from out of whose curious
collections I transcribed both it and the original.  But, having left it
with him to give it a revise, he has unfortunately mislaid both the
original and copy, so that, although he has for this month past
occasionally endeavour’d to recover them, he has not been able to
succeed.  As soon as they emerge from the immense ocean of his papers,
you may depend upon receiving this curious specimen of Saxon poetry.  In
the mean time I would not defer any longer returning you thanks for the
curious and valuable contents of your letter.  I admire your Welsh ode
very much; it contains a large portion of the sublime.  The images are
very bold and animated, and poured forth with such rapidity, as argues an
uncommon warmth of imagination in the bard, whose mind seems to have been
so filled with his subject, and the several scenes of the war appear to
have so crowded in upon him, that he has not leisure to mark the
transitions with that cool accuracy, which a feebler genius would have
been careful to have done.  It is one continued fiery torrent of poetic
flame, which, like the eruptions of Etna, bears down all opposition.

You must pardon me if I think your critical friend quite mistaken in his
remarks on this ode.  He confounds two species of poetry as distinct and
different as black and white.  Epic poetry delights in circumstance, and
it is only in proportion as it is circumstantial that it has merit; the
very essence of it (as its name implies) is narration.  So a narrative,
devoid of all circumstances, must be very jejune, confused, and
unsatisfactory.  But here lies the great art of the epic poet,—that he
can be minute and circumstantial without descending from the sublime, or
exciting other than grand and noble ideas.  Thus, when Homer describes
the stone, which Diomede threw at Æneas, had be only told us in general
terms, that it was a large one,

    — Ο δε χερμαδιον λαθε χειρι
    Τυδειδης, μεyα ερyον,—

had he stopped here, as many an inferior poet would have done, should we
have had so great an idea of the hero’s strength or vigour, as when he
adds the following particular and striking circumstances?

    — Ο ου δυω y' ανδρε φεροιεν,
    Οιοι νυν Βροτοι εισ, ο δε μιν ρεα παλλε και οιος.

                                                          Iliad E.  1.304.

On the other hand, it is the essence of ode to neglect circumstance,
being more confin’d in its plan, and having the sublime equally for its
object.  In order to attain this, it is obliged to deal in general terms,
to give only such hints as will forcibly strike the imagination, from
which we may infer the particulars ourselves.  It is no demerit or
disparagement in your bard to have neglected the minute circumstances of
the battle, because it would have been impossible for him to have
described them within the narrow limits of his ode.  Here lies his great
merit, that he hints, he drops, and the images he throws out, supply the
absence of a more minute detail, and excite as grand ideas as the best
description could have done.  And so far I agree with your critical
friend, that no poet ever hit upon a grander image than that of “_A Menai
heb drai o drallanw_,” &c., nor could take a nobler method to excite our
admiration at the prodigious cause of so amazing an effect.  So much for

Soon after I received your letter I was down at Cambridge, where I had
the good fortune to meet with Mr. Gray, the poet, and spent an afternoon
with him at his chambers.  Our discourse turned on you and the Welsh
poetry: I shewed him your letter, and he desired leave to transcribe the
passage relating to King Edward’s massacre of the Welsh bards.  All the
authority he had before, it seems, was only a short hint in Carte’s
history: he seemed very glad of this authentic extract.  We both join’d
in wishing a speedy conclusion to your historical labours, that you might
be at leisure to enter upon this far more noble field of ancient British
poetry.  Excuse me if I think the recovery of particular facts from
oblivion, any further than as they contribute to throw light upon
compositions, not half of so much consequence to the world, as to recover
the compositions themselves.

Your nation and ours are now happily consolidated in one firm
indissoluble mass, and it is of very little importance, whether Llewelyn
or Edward had the advantage in such a particular encounter.  At least
very few (even learned and inquisitive readers) will interest themselves
in such an enquiry,—whereas the productions of genius, let them come from
what quarter they will, are sure to attract the attention of all.  Every
reader of taste, of whatever country or faction, listens with pleasure,
and forms a higher or meaner opinion of any people, in proportion as they
are affected by this exertion of their intellectual powers.  To give an
instance, that is parallel to your own case, the Danes and Swedes have,
for this century past, been rescuing their ancient writings from
oblivion; they have printed off their Icelandic Histories, and collected
what they could of their ancient Runic Poems.  The latter have attracted
the attention of all Europe; while the former are no otherwise regarded,
than as they contribute to throw light on the latter.  A very celebrated
Frenchman has lately translated some curious specimens of them into his
own language; and Mr. Dodsley will soon print a curious Spicilegium of
the same kind in English, of which I will procure a copy and send you
when printed off.  But who will be at the pains (except a few northern
antiquaries) to give a careful perusal to the other?  I have this moment
a voluminous _corpus_ of them (lately borrowed) before me.  Even curious
and inquisitive, as you are yourself, into historical facts, let me ask
you if you would be willing to read 800 pages folio, in a barbarous
literal Latin version, concerning the exploits of King Haquin Sarli; the
mighty achievements of Ghorfinne Harlecefni, and of twenty other valiant
barbarians?  Yet, when you come to read the native undenied poetic
descriptions of the ancient Runic Bards, their forcible images, their
strong paintings, their curious display of ancient manners, I defy the
most torpid reader not to be animated and affected; and then we are
content to make some enquiry after the history of these savage heroes,
that we may understand the songs of which they are the subjects.  In like
manner, with regard to your own Owain Gwynedd, without intending the
least disrespect to so valiant a prince, I believe few readers will
desire to know any further of his history, than as it will serve for a
comment to Gwalchmai’s very sublime and animated Ode.  After all, I would
not have any historical monuments perish, or be totally neglected.  They
may come into use upon a thousand occasions, that we cannot at present
foresee, and therefore I am glad, that the northern nations have been
careful to secure even the above (to us uninteresting) narratives from
destruction.  And I should be very glad to have the same care taken of
those of the ancient Britons.  But I think the first care is due to these
noble remains of ancient genius, which are in so much greater danger or
perishing, because so much harder to be understood.

How strongly is our curiosity excited by the mention you make (in your
letter to Mr. Williams), of the Epic Poem, written in A.D. 578, and the
other works of Aneurin Gwawdrydd.  What a noble field for literary
application to rescue such a fine monument of antiquity from oblivion: to
which every revolving year of delay will most certainly consign it, till
it is lost for ever!  _Hic Labor_, _hoc opus_.  I hope, dear Sir, you
will take in good part the freedom, with which I have ventured to advise
you on a subject, of which you are so much a better judge than myself;
but my zeal, though it may be blind, is well meant.  I would fain excite
you to direct that application, which you so laudably bestow on your
ancient language, in such a manner as may be most profitable to yourself,
and most reputable to your country.

Macpherson goes on furiously in picking up subscriptions for his proposed
Translation of the ancient Epic Poem in the Erse Language; though hardly
one reader in ten believes the specimens produced to be genuine.  Much
greater attention would be due to an editor, who rescues the original
itself from oblivion, and fixes its meaning by an accurate version.  I
entirely agree with you, that a Latin version, as literal as possible,
should accompany such ancient pieces, but then I would also have you
subjoin at the same time a liberal English translation.  By this means
your book will take in all readers, both the learned and the superficial.
This method of publication has been attended with great success among the
northern nations, where all their Runic Pieces have been confronted both
with a literal version in Latin, and a more spirited one in the modern
languages either of Sweden or Denmark.  Were you to endeavour to collect
into a corpus all the remains of your ancient poetry, and print it by
subscription begun among your own countrymen, and warmly recommended by
them to us, it would certainly pay well, and be a very valuable present
to the public; but then you ought to send forth a few select pieces into
the world, previous to such an undertaking, to bespeak the good opinion
of mankind, and this, whenever you please to execute it, shall be
attended with my warmest services.  In the mean time I hope you will
continue to favour me with specimens of your ancient poetry as often as
your leisure will permit; and, if any thing else that is curious should
occur in the course of your studies, you will confer a great pleasure by
imparting it to,

                        Dear Sir, your very faithful and obedient servant,
                                                             THOMAS PERCY.

_Easton Maudit_, _Oct._ 15, 1761.

N.B.  I shall defer sending a specimen of Runic Poetry till I send you
the whole collection printed, which you may depend on.  May I hope to see
your Latin Essay on British Poetry?

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


I know not whether the favour you have done me, in having wrote to me
once or twice, entitles me to address you with the familiarity of a near
acquaintance; but I have ventured to trouble you with a voluntary letter.
I presume you have received a very long one from me through the medium of
Mr. Williams.  In that I requested to know if you had any good old
popular ballads in the Welsh language on historical and romantic
subjects.  This was not a random question.  I have in my possession a
very ancient MS. collection of such pieces in our own language, some of
which will throw great light on our old poets.  I have selected two for
your inspection, which, when perused, do me the favour to return, and
inform me whether you can remember any on the same subjects in the
Cambrian tongue.  I have reason to believe both the inclosed pieces are
of great antiquity.  The fragment is certainly more ancient than the time
of Chaucer, who took his Old Wife Bath’s tale from it, as any one upon
perusal will be convinced, and consequently that the song was not taken
from Chaucer.  I cannot help thinking many of these pieces, about King
Arthur, translations from the ancient British tongue; and it is in order
to receive information on this subject, that I now apply to you.  I am
going to print a select collection of these old pieces, not only on
account of the merit of the poetry which they contain, (and even these
display proofs of great invention,) but also as conducing to illustrate
our best old poets who frequently allude to these compositions.  As the
press waits, I would intreat the favour of a speedy answer.  I shall soon
be able to send you a specimen of some Runic poetry; which, you will
find, bears a surprising similitude to your own Welsh songs, more
specimens of which, at your leisure, will oblige,

                                     Dear Sir, your most faithful servant,
                                                             THOMAS PERCY.

_Easton Maudit_, _Nov._ 22, 1761.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


I received the favour of your obliging letter and the valuable present of
the two British Odes translated into English.  They have afforded me
great pleasure, and they display a rich vein of poetry.  I think a select
collection of such pieces, thrown into a shilling pamphlet, would not
fail to prove as acceptable to the public as the Erse Fragments, and
would be far more satisfactory, because you could remove all suspicions
of their genuineness, which, I am afraid, Mr. Macpherson is not able to
do.  I observe with you a remarkable similarity between our Runic and
your British pieces.  As our Runic Poetry will be fit for publication
towards Michaelmas, I wish you could get ready such another Collection of
British Poetry to follow it in due time, while the curiosity of the
public is fixed on these subjects.  And, when all these pamphlets have
had their day, then throw them into a volume under some such title as
this, “Specimens of the Ancient Poetry of different Nations.”  I have for
some time had a project of this kind, and, with a view to it, I am
exciting several of my friends to contribute their share.  Such a work
might fill up two neat pocket volumes.  Besides the Erse Poetry, the Rune
Poetry, and some Chinese Poetry, that was published last winter, at the
end of a book called “Han Kirn Choaan,” or the Pleasing History, 4
vols.,—besides these, I have procured a MS. translation of the “Tagrai
Carmen,” from the Arabic; and have set a friend to translate Solomon’s
Song afresh from the Hebrew, with a view to the Poetry.  This also is
printing off, and will soon be published in a shilling pamphlet.  Then I
have myself gleaned up specimens of East Indian Poetry, Peruvian Poetry,
Lapland Poetry, Greenland Poetry; and inclosed I send you a specimen of
Saxon Poetry.  The subject is a victory gained by the Anglo-Saxon,
Athelstan, over the Dane Anlafe and his confederate Constantius King of
Scotland.  If you compare it with the Runic Ode of Regner Lodbrog, you
will see a remarkable affinity between them, some of the phrases and
imagery being common to both, as the play of arms, &c., &c.  The Latin
version falls from the pen of my very learned friend Mr. Lye, who has
made many important emendations in the original.  The English was a
slight attempt of my own, to see if one could not throw a little spirit
into a literal interlineary version, but I have no reason to boast of my
success.  I believe the best way would be to publish the English by
itself, like the Runic Odes, and throw the two columns of Latin and Saxon
to the end.  Give me your opinion of my proposal, with regard to the
various specimens mentioned above, and the share I would recommend to
yourself in particular.  Be pleased also to return my Saxon Ode, when
perused, for I have kept no copy.

I suppose you have no British Poetry extant, that was written before the
conversion to Christianity, as we have of the Runic, and as they affect
to have of the Erse; if not, then the most ancient you have is to be
chosen.  Could not you give some of the Poetry of Taliesin and Merddin?
I must observe one thing, that your Odes will require a few explanatory
Notes, chiefly with regard to the proper names; and, if you would not
think it too great an innovation, I could wish you would accommodate some
of your ancient British names somewhat more to our English pronunciation.
This is what the Erse translator has done, and, I think, with great
judgment.  The word might be a little smoothed and liquidated in the
text, and the original spelling retained in the margin.  Thus Macpherson
has converted Lambhdearg into Lamderg, Geolchopack (a woman’s name) into
the soft word Gealcossa, &c.  This is a liberty assumed in all languages;
and indeed, without it, it would not be possible for the inhabitants of
one nation to pronounce the proper names of another.

You tell me you have read Bartholinus’s book of Danish Antiquities; it is
a most excellent performance.  There is a celebrated Frenchman, the
Chevalier Mallet, historiographer to the present King of Denmark, who has
lately published a work in French on the same subject, at the end of
which he has given a French translation of the famous Edda or Alcoran (if
you suffer me to use the word) of the ancient Teutonic nations.  If I
have health and leisure, I intend to translate this book into English,
though it is a formidable undertaking, being a quarto of no small size.
I have got the book, which is a capital performance.

I should have one advantage over most others for such an attempt, which
is, that my learned neighbour, Mr. Lye, has got the Islandic original of
the Edda, and would compare my version with it.  I have one thing still
to mention, and then I have done.  I have lately been employed in a small
literary controversy with a learned friend, about the original and
antiquity of the popular notion concerning Fairies and Goblins.  My
friend is for fetching that whimsical opinion from the East, so late as
the time of the Crusades, and derives the words Elf and Goblin from the
Guelfe and Gibbeline factions in Italy.  But I think it would be
impossible for notions so arbitrary to have obtained so universally, so
uniformly, and so early (see Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale), if they had
not got possession of the minds of men many ages before.  Nay, I make no
doubt but Fairies are derived from the _Daergar_ or Dwarfs, whose
existence was so generally believed among all the northern nations.  Can
you, from any of your ancient British writers, enable me to ascertain any
of these disputed points, or any resemblance to the name of Fairy, Elf,
Goblin, in your language?  I should think, that these popular
superstitions are aboriginal in the island, and are remains of the
ancient Pagan creed.  Favour me with your opinion on this subject when
you write next, which, as your letters are so extremely curious and
fraught with entertainment, I beg may be soon.

                                I remain, Sir, your very faithful servant,
                                                             THOMAS PERCY.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


I received your obliging letter, which is so curious, that I cannot but
request the repetition of such valuable favours.  I am going to draw up a
short Essay on the origin and progress of our English poetry, in which I
shall have occasion to be very particular in my account of our metrical
Romances; and, as I believe many of these are drawn from old British
fables, if not downright translations from the ancient British language,
I should be extremely obliged to you, if you would give the titles, and,
if possible, a short account of the subjects, of all such Romances, as
are contained in the vellum manuscript, which you mention, or any other,
which you may remember to have seen.  I have a notion, that we have many
of them translated into English and thence into French and other southern

Inclosed I send you a little Essay on the origin &c. of the English
drama.  Bishop Warburton has handled the subject before me in the 5th
vol. of his Shakespeare; but, as he derives all his information from the
French critics, and his instances from the French stage, you will
conclude, that he is often wide of the mark and generally superficial.
Yet he has one extract from Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, relating to the
old Cornish plays, which I recommend to your notice; because I could wish
to know, (not now, but at any future leisure,) whether you have any thing
similar in Wales.  The passage from Carew is this.  “The Guary Miracle,
in English, Miracle-Play, is a kind of interlude compiled, in Cornish,
out of some scripture history.  For representing this they raise an
earthen amphitheatre, in some open field, having the diameter of this
inclosed plain some 40 or 50 feet.  The country people flock from all
sides to see and hear it: for they have therein devils and devices to
delight as well the eye as the ear.  The players conne not their parts
without books, but are more prompted by one called the Ordinary, who
followeth at their heels, with the book in his hand.”  In an act of
Parliament, 4th Hen. IV., mention is made of certain _Wastours_, Master
Rimours (Rimers) and Minstrels, who infested the land of Wales, to make
commorths or gatherings upon the people there.  Query the meaning of
this?  I am afraid, lest I should be too troublesome with my queries,
and, therefore, reserve what you please to answer at any future hour;
only send me an account of your romances now, which will oblige, dear
Sir, your affectionate and faithful servant,

                                                             THOMAS PERCY.

_Easton Maudit_, _March_, 20, 1763.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


I have been many months indebted to you for a very obliging letter.  I
delayed to answer it, in expectation of seeing your curious Specimens of
the Ancient British Poetry, advertised, from the press before this time.
Permit me to enquire, what forwardness that intended publication (which
you gave me hopes in your last of seeing speedily printed) is in?  From
the translations, you have already favoured me with a sight of, I
conceive a very favourable idea of the merits of your ancient bards, and
should be sorry to have their precious relics swallowed up and lost, in
the gulph of time; a danger which they will incur, if you, that are so
well acquainted with their beauties, and so capable of making them
understood by others, neglect this opportunity of preserving them.  I can
readily conceive that many of their most beautiful peculiarities cannot
possibly be translated into another language, but even through the medium
of a prose translation one can discern a rich vein of poetry, and even
classical correctness, infinitely superior to any other compositions of
that age, that we are acquainted with.  Certain I am, that our own
nation, at that time, produced nothing that wears the most distant
resemblance to their merit.

I have lately been collecting specimens of English poetry, through every
age, from the time of the Saxons, down to that of Elizabeth, and am
ashamed to show you what wretched stuff our rhimers produced at the same
time that your bards were celebrating the praise of Llewelyn with a
spirit scarce inferior to Pindar.  Inclosed I send you a specimen of an
Elegy on the death of Edward I.—that cruel Edward, who made such havoc
among the Cambrian poets.  I know not whether you will be able to
decipher these foul scrawls or distinguish them from the marginal
explications, with which I have accompanied them.  But you will see
enough to be convinced of the infinite superiority of your own bards; nor
do I know, that any of the nations of the continent (unless perchance
Italy, which now about began to be honoured by Dante) were able at that
time to write better than the English.  The French, I am well assured,
were not.  One thing is observable in the Elegy on Edward the First,
which is, that the poet, in order to do the more honour to his hero, puts
his eulogium in the mouth of the Pope, with the same kind of fiction as a
modern bard would have raised up Britannia or the genius of Europe,
sounding forth his praises.  Considering the destruction which our
merciless monarch made among the last sons of ancient genius, it may be
looked upon as a just judgment upon him, that he had no better than these
miserable rhimes to disgrace his memory.

With regard to your Specimens, should they not yet be put to the press, I
should take it for a great favour if you would indulge me with a sight of
them in MS., or at least the Dissertation to be prefixed to them; an
indulgence that would not be abused, and which, under whatever
restrictions you please, would oblige, dear Sir,

                              Your very affectionate and faithful servant,
                                                             THOMAS PERCY.

_Eastern_ _Maudit_, _Dec._ 31, 1763.

                                * * * * *

The same to the same.


It is with pleasure I perform all your requests: inclosed you have the
transcript from Wormius which you desired.  As his book relates only to
the Runic letters and ancient manner of writing, it did not fall within
his subject professedly to treat of the Islandic prosody; he has,
therefore, only described one species of verse out of innumerable others,
and this, as it were, by the bye and by way of specimen.  He refers to
the _Edda_, or old Islandic book of prosody, for the rest; this book I
have not seen.—There is another _Edda_, which I have, that explains the
Islandic mythology, and of this I shall publish, ere long, a translation,
with some curious notes and dissertations of _M. Mallet_, the present
historiographer to the King of Denmark, as you may remember I have hinted
in the preface to my specimens of Runic Poetry.

When may one hope to see your _Dissertatio de Bardis_?  I am fond of the
subject, and have great expectations of your manner of handling it.  I
thank you for your friend’s preface; though he is not much master of
English style, the particulars he produces are curious.  I have turned to
my learned friend Mr. Lye’s edition of _Junii Etymologicon Anglicanum_
for the etymology of such words as your friend mentions, and I find
nothing, that does not confirm his derivations; I have not time now to
descend to particulars, but shall be glad to hear from you as soon as
agreeable.  One so much master, as you are, of British antiquities,
whether historic or poetical, can never want means of entertaining,

                                 Dear Sir, your very affectionate servant,
                                                             THOMAS PERCY.

_Easton Maudit_, _April_ 10, 1764.

P.S.  Pray, are the Welsh romances, you have described, in prose or
verse?  If they are in prose, then let me ask if you have ever seen any
in verse?  I take it, these subjects were treated in verse before they
came to plain prose in most nations.  This, at least, I find to be the
case in the old Erse and Islandic languages, as well as in the more
modern Italian, French, Spanish, and English tongues.  I have got curious
specimens in the last I mentioned.  Pray is the word St. _Great_, or
_St._ _Greal_, in the first article of your curious letter?


It appears that the Rev. E. Evans (_Ieuan Prydydd Hir_), had prepared for
publication a Collection of our Ancient Welsh Proverbs; for a writer in
the second volume of the “CAMBRO BRITON,” gives the following translation
of the Latin Preface preffixed to the MSS., which we here reprint.

Having discovered Dr. Davies of Mallwyd’s Latin Translation of our Welsh
Proverbs among many other ancient MSS. in the library at Llanvorda, and
soon after having found, also the original, from which his was
transcribed, among the same valuable collection, I thought I could not
undertake a more useful work to my country, than to publish the same, and
dedicate it, as the first fruits of my labours, to my munificent patron,
Sir W. W. Wynn.  The exact time when that ancient bard and philosopher,
called by the Welsh _Hen Gyrys o Iâl_, flourished, cannot be accurately
ascertained.  Two collections of Proverbs, made by him, and written on
parchment, are now extant in the above library, and, at the end of the
said book, a fair copy of Hywel Dda’s laws; and from the best judgment,
which can be formed from the appearance of the said MSS. and the mode of
writing, or form of the hand, it may with safety be pronounced to be
about five hundred years old.  To the former of these two collections is
annexed the following note respecting the author: “Mabieith Hen Gyrys o
Iâl, yr hwn a elwit Bach Buddugre a Gado Gyfarwydd, a Gwynfarch
Gyfarwydd, a’r hen wyrda a ddyvawt y Diarhebion o Ddoethineb, hyd pan
veint gadwedig, gwedy hwynt, i roddi dysg i’r neb a synio arnynt; canys
crynodeb parablan llawer a synwyreu y cynghoreu doethbrud a ddangosir ar
vyrder, i’r neb a’u dyallo yn y diarhebion.”  Iâl, where this celebrated
old Cyrys resided, is a mountainous district, containing five parishes,
situated towards the north-east corner of the county of Denbigh; and
Buddigre, where he lived, is near, if not within, the limits of the
parish of Bryn Eglwys.  It is evident, that this collection of Proverbs
was made from various works of a great number of old bards, living in
different ages; for many of them are taken from the compositions of
Llywarch Hen (Llywarch the Aged), and from the poems of Aneurin and
Taliesin, and several from those of other bards much more ancient, whose
effusions have unfortunately perished.

It is more than probable, that many of these pithy sentences and
proverbial sayings, these aphorisms of wisdom and axioms of prudence,
were the productions of the venerable Druids; and they exhibit, in the
present imperfect form, in which they have been delivered to us, no
despicable specimens of those verses mentioned by Cæsar, in the seemingly
enigmatical mysteries of which their pupils were initiated, and spent
many years in acquiring and committing them to memory.  And he farther
informs us, that, notwithstanding these learned sages made use of Greek
characters in transacting both their public and private affairs, yet
their disciples were not permitted to _write_ these verses, principally,
(as it appeared to him,) for two reasons; in the first place, because, if
they were allowed to do so, the mysteries of their profession would soon
be divulged: and, secondly, if these aphorisms were committed to writing,
the noviciates, confiding in such artificial aids, would no longer be at
the pains of sufficiently exercising their memories.  Many of these
poetical proverbs are composed in that peculiar kind of metre, which is
distinguished by the name of _Englyn Milwr_, and these verses are
possessed of such strong internal marks of antiquity, that I may with
safety pronounce them to be the genuine productions of the Druids.  And,
as they are by no means unworthy of being considered as the real
effusions of those learned sages and philosophers, it will not, I hope,
be deemed a digression, or by any means irrelevant to the object of this
introduction, to gratify the reader with a specimen of one of these
oracular compositions, together with a close literal Latin version.  The
first two lines of these poetical triplets seem to contain some of the
privileges of the Druids, and the third generally exhibits some maxim of
wisdom or axiom of prudence.  The following were transcribed from the Red
Book of Hergest, in the library of Jesus College, Oxford:—

                1.                                  1.
   Marchwiail bedw briglas,            Virgulta betulæ viridis
   A dyn fy nhroed o wanas;            Meum pedem e compede solvent;
   Nac addef dy rin i wàs.             Secretum tuum juveni ne
                2.                                  2.
   Marchwiail derw mewn llwyn,         Virgulta quercûs de luco
   A dyn fy nhroed o gadwyn:           Solvent pedem meum e catenâ:
   Nac addef dy rin i forwyn.          Ne reveles secretum tuum
                3.                                  3.
   Marchwiail derw deiliar,            Virgulta quercûs frondosæ
   A dyn fy nhroed o garchar:          Pedem meum e carcere
   Nac addef dy rin i lafar.           liberabunt:
                                       Ne reveles secretum tuum
                                       homini loquaci.

The foregoing stanzas, as well as many others of the same description,
are still extant is the above mentioned book, called Llyfr Coch o
Hergest, and likewise in several MSS. in the libraries of Llanvorda near
Oswestry, and Hengwrt near Dolgellau; and, on account of their having
accidentally been discovered among the compositions of that ancient bard
Llywarch Hen, Dr. Davies and Edw. Llwyd have hastily and inconsiderately
pronounced them to be some of his productions; but the frequent
recurrence of the oak, their favourite tree, and the dark allusions to
the druidical rites and privileges, most evidently and convincingly, (in
my opinion,) denote their origin to be from that source.  But here it may
be objected, that the Druids could not, (as Cæsar declares it was not
their usual practice,) have committed these verses to writing.  Granted
it was so in his time; yet it is manifest from the poems of our
celebrated bard Taliesin, that, in subsequent times, they did not
strictly adhere to this resolution; for many of their pretended mysteries
are divulged in his compositions.  It is also evident, that, in these
early ages, the Druids were not the only persons, who were thus cautious
of revealing their secrets to the vulgar; but the Bards also endeavoured
to conceal their poetical rules and metres, from the public; for their
book of prosody, containing the intricacies of the art, is distinguished
by the name of _Cyfrinach y Beirdd_, (i.e. The Secret of the Bards,) and
they were strictly prohibited from explaining these, except to their own
noviciate disciples, which continued to be their practice nearly to our
own times.  But, notwithstanding these strict prohibitions, it is well
known, that the poetical compositions of the bards were publicly recited;
and it is evident that, after the commencement of the Christian æra, the
Druids were not so scrupulously cautious with respect to these rules of
secrecy, which may be proved from some stanzas, which I have seen in an
ancient MS., denominated _Englynion Duad_, probably from a bard or druid
of that name.  Some few of the lines I shall here subjoin, for the
inspection of the reader.

    Bid gogor gan iâr,
    Bid gan lew drydar,
    Bid oval ar a’i câr;
    Bid tòn calon gan alar.

These lines have been introduced into our Welsh proverbs; and the
following remark is made on them at the end of Dr. Davies’s MS. copy.

 “Gwyl y rhagor y sydd rhwng y rhai hyn ar rhai sydd yn Llyfr Coch, a hen
gopiau eraill; a gwybydd fod y gerdd hon yn hen iawn; gan fod cymmaint o
ymrafael rhwng yr hen gopiau.”  i.e. Advertat lector quàm variant inter
se exemplar Hergestianum et alia exemplaria in hoc cantico, et sciat, hoc
carmen ob differentias prædictas esse vetustissimum.

Those learned men are, therefore, mistaken, who suppose, that the Druids
never committed any of their compositions to writing; when it is evident,
that these and others of their productions have been conveyed down to us.
Taliesin, as I have before hinted, informs us, that he was instructed by
them in many of their mysteries, particularly in that of the
μετεμψυχωσις, and in many other rudiments of their philosophy.  And hence
it is, that his works are more obscure than those of any other of the
ancient bards.

There is also a certain degree of obscurity in the very words and
language of Taliesin; and the same may be observed of the compositions of
Aneurin Gwawdrydd and other bards of the same age, a catalogue of whose
works may be found in the learned Edward Llwyd’s Archæology, collected
from the notes of William Maurice, Esq., of Cefn y Braich.  But Mr. E.
Llwyd never saw any of the poetical compositions of Taliesin, Aneurin,
and other early bards, except those of Llywarch Hen, which he found in
_Llyfr Coch o Hergest_: and the works of these ancient authors will
afford us very material assistance, not only in the investigation of our
ancient British language, but also in examining historical facts, and in
tracing the origin of the various tribes, who inhabited this island
during that early period.  Taliesin, in a poem, of which the following is
the title, “_Cerdd am Feibion Llyr ap Brychwel Powys_,” mentions three
separate nations, who had taken possession of different parts of Britain,
previous to his time, viz., _Gwyddyl_ (Celts or Gauls,) _Brython_, and
_Romani_, (Romans.)

    Gwyddyl, a Brython, a Romani,
    A wna hon dyhedd, a dyfysci;
    Ac am derfyn Prydein, cain ei threfi.

And they are represented as exciting war and tumult on the borders of
this fair isle, and its beautiful towns and cities; and it appears
evidently from this poem, that the first inhabitants were _Gwyddyl_ or
Celts, which circumstance Mr. Llwyd and others have proved most
satisfactorily, from the names of mountains, rivers, &c.  But by the word
_Gwyddyl_ Taliesin must, by no means, be understood to mean the modern
Irish; for their language at present contains a very considerable mixture
of Cantabrian and Spanish, and differs very materially from the ancient
genuine Celtic and British, which clearly appears from the writings of
the old bards, and the ancient British Proverbs.  For, if any person were
vain enough to suppose, that he could discover the meaning of some of our
obsolete British words, by consulting an Irish Dictionary, he would soon
find himself woefully disappointed, and I am clearly of opinion, that the
ancient genuine Celtic dialect had a very near affinity to the old Welsh
or British.  I believe, that the persons, denominated _Gwyddyl_ by
Taliesin, were genuine Celtæ, and inhabited this island previous to the
arrival of the Britons, and probably soon after the general deluge, and
that these Celtæ were the progeny of the Titans; for the Curetes and
Corybantes, who were their princes and nobles, are clearly identified
with the _Cowri_ of the British history, written by Tyssilio (the
bishop), which Geoffrey of Monmouth has very improperly translated
_Giants_.  And this blunder of his has been the source of endless
mistakes; for the word _Cowri_ evidently means princes, generals, nobles,
or persons of great eminence.  The Curetes are therefore our _Cowri_; and
the Corybantes (i.e. _Cowri-Bann_) were princes or persons of great
eminence, as the expression denotes; and, what is still more to our
purpose, the word gwyddyl also implies any thing conspicuous, and is
nearly synonymous with _Cowri_, which is the usual term, even to the
present day, to designate persons of uncommon stature or great bodily
strength.  The Curetes, therefore, were evidently our Cowri, and the
Corybantes (i.e. _Cowri-Bann_) imply princes or leaders, or persons of
the most eminent rank and consequence: and, in order to corroborate this
assertion, it may be observed here, that there is a very high mountain
near Towyn, in the county of Merioneth, which, to this day, bears the
name of _Gwyddyl Fynydd_; and the highest peak or summit of Snowdon, is
denominated _Yr Wyddfa_, (i.e. the highest eminence or the most
conspicuous,) and by the common people, even at this time, is known by no
other name.  And _Gwydd Grug_ means a high hill, or eminence; _Gwydd
Fryniau_, high banks; and _Trum Gwydd_, the ridge of a mountain; and many
others, which it would be tedious and useless to enumerate.  And it may
also be observed here, that the Κελται and Γαλαται of the Greeks, and the
_Celtæ _and _Galli_, of the Latins, appear to me to bear no other import.
For _Gallt_ and _Allt_ are clearly synonymous with _Gwyddel_, and denote
any thing high or eminent, though the word _Gallt_ is, at present,
restricted to designate the steep ascent of a hill, or a declivity; but,
that the word Gallt was anciently used to denominate high mountains may
be justly inferred from the word _Alps_, which is evidently composed of
two Celtic words, Gallt-ban, or pen, i.e. Allt-ban, Al-pen, or Alpine,
which commutation or change of initial letters will appear easy to any
person acquainted with the British language, and perfectly justified by
the rules of grammar, as the mutations of radical letters in Welsh are
well known to be nearly endless.  It would not be difficult to prove,
that the ancient Britons are descendants of the Celtæ, and a close
connection and affinity may be traced between their language not with the
ancient Celtic only but also with the Greek; and, it is at the same time
very evident, that their dialect differed materially from that of the
aboriginal inhabitants of this island, and whom on that account they
denominated _Gaillt_ and _Gwyddyl_.  The British language retains to this
day many words purely Greek, such as _Haul_, Ηλιος, the sun, _Dwfr_,
Υδωρ, water, and many others, which have been pointed out some time by
the learned _Pezron_.  But, that the Britons had other words of the same
import purely Celtic may be proved from the works of the ancient bards;
for _huan_ is made use of by Iorwerth Vychan, and many other bards, to
signify the _sun_,—

    Llewyrch ebyr myr, morfeydd dylan;
    Pan lewych _huan_ ar fann fynydd.

                                                        _Iorwerth Vychan_.

    Coruscatio portuum aquarum, et paludum marinarum;
    Cum sol splendet ab excelso monte.

And the old bard, _Avan Verddig_, in his elegy on the death of Cadwallon,
the son of Cadvan, makes use of _bêr_ for water, instead of _dwr_ or

    “Goluchav glew, hael, hilig Nâv Nêr,
    Aded gynt, ettiynt, hyd yn _irfer_ hallt.”

                                                           _Avan Verddig_.

    Exorabo potentem et liberalem Dominum Creatorem,
    Iverunt ad madidam aquam salsam.

And from hence it is manifest, that _huan_ and _bêr_ are two ancient
Celtic words; but, if any one were to consult an Irish lexicon in hopes
of finding the expressions, he would be disappointed; yet he may discover
_bir_ among the obsolete words in that language.  The names of moors,
meadows, and rivers, in different parts of Wales, may also be produced as
an additional evidence that _ber_ and _mer_ originally signified
water,—for instance, _Bereu Derwenydd_, near Snowdon, _Castell y Berau_,
in Llanfihangel y Pennant, in Merionethshire, where many mountain
torrents meet.  _Aber_, a confluence, seems also to justify this opinion,
and _inver_, in the Erse dialect.


                                * * * * *


_Lleucu Llwyd_, _a great beauty_, _was a native of Pennal_, _in Comit.
Meirion_; _she was greatly beloved by Llewelyn Goch ap Meirig Hen o
Nannau_, _and died when he was gone on a journey to South Wales_; _upon
his return_, _he composed this Elegy_; _which is a master-piece in its

    “_Llyma haf llwm i hoew-fardd_,
    _A llyma fyd llwm i fardd_;” &c.

Lo, to the jocund Bard, here’s a barren summer; to the Bard the world is

How is Venedotia bereft of its bright luminary?  How its heaven is
enveloped with darkness, ever since the full moon of beauty has been laid
in the silent tomb!  Mournful deed! a lovely Fair, in the oaken chest; my
speech can find no utterance since thou art gone, O thou of shape divine!
Lamp of Venedotia; how long hast thou been confined in the gloomy grave!
Arise, thou that art dearer to me than life; open the dismal door of
thine earthly cell!  Leave, O fair one, thy sandy bed; shine upon the
face of thy lover.  Here by the tomb, generous maid of noble descent,
stands one whose mirthful days are past, whose countenance is pale with
the loss of thee; even Llewelyn Goch, the celebrater of thy praise,
pining for the love of thee, helpless and forlorn, unequal to the task of

I heard, O thou that art confined in the deep and dismal grave, nought
out of thy lips but truth, my speechless Fair!  Nought, O thou of stately
growth, fairest of virgins fair!  But thou hadst promised, now unfeeling
to the pangs of love, to stay till I came from South Wales; lovely
silk-shrouded maid!  The false Destinies snatched thee out of my sight;
it nought concerns me to be exposed to the stormy winds, since the
agreement between thee and pensive me is void!  Thou! thou! lovely maid,
wert true; I, even I was false; and now fruitlessly bemoan!  From
henceforth I will bid adieu to fair Venedotia.  It concerns me not
whither I go.  I must forego my native soil for a virtuous maid, where it
were my happiness to live, were she alive!  O thou whose angelic face was
become a proverb; thy beauty is laid low in the lonesome tomb!  The whole
world without thee is nothing, such anguish do I suffer!  I, thy pensive
Bard, ramble in distress, bewailing the loss of thee, illustrious maid!
Where, O where shall I see thee, thou of form divine, bright as the full
moon!  Is it on the Mount of Olives, loveliest of women?  Ovid’s love was
nothing in comparison of mine, lovely Lleucu; thy form was worthy of
heaven, and my voice hath failed in invoking thy name.  Alas! woe is me,
fair maid of Pennal.  It sounded as a dream to me, to hear that thy
charms were laid in the dust; and those lips which I oft have praised,
excelled the utmost efforts of my Muse.  O my soul, whiter than the foam
of the rapid streams, my love, I have now the heavy task of composing thy

Lovely virgin!  How are thy bright shining eyes closed in everlasting
sleep in the stony tomb!  Arise to thy pensive Bard, who can smile no
more, were he possessed of a kingdom; arise in thy silken vest, lift up
thy countenance from the dismal grave!

I tell no untruth, my feet are benumbed by walking around thy dwelling
place, O Lleucu Llwyd, where heretofore, bright lamp of Venedotia, I was
wont to celebrate thy beauty in fine flowing verse, where I was wont to
be merry in praising thy delicate hand and tapering fingers, ornamented
with rings of gold, lovely Lleucu, delicate sweet-tempered Lleucu!  Thou
wert far more precious than reliques to me!  The soul of the darling of
Meirionydd is gone up to God, its original Author, and her fair corpse is
deposited in the sanctuary of holy ground, far, far from me in the silent
tomb!  The treasure of the world is left in the custody of a haughty
black man.  Longing and melancholy dirges are the portion of my lot.  I
lament with faltering accents over the lovely Lleucu! whiter than the
flakes of riven snow.  Yesterday I poured down my cheeks showers of tears
over thy tomb.  The fountains of my head are dry, my eyes are strangers
to sleep, since thou art gone; thou fair-formed speechless maid hast not
deigned to answer thy weeping Bard.  How I lament, alas, that earth and
stones should cover thy lovely face; alas that the tomb should be made so
fast, that dust should ever cover the paragon of beauty, that stony walls
and coffin should separate thee and me, that the earth should lock thee
fast in her bosom, that a shroud should enclose a beauty that rivalled
the dawn of the morn; alas that strong doors, bolts, and stately locks
should divide us for ever!

                                      EVAN EVANS, alias IEUAN PRYDYDD HIR.


Lleucu Llwyd ydoedd rian rinweddol, nodedig am ei glendid a’i
phrydferthwch, yn byw yn Mhennal, ar lan yr afon Dyfi, oddeutu pedair
milltir o Aberdyfi, ar ffordd Machynlleth, yn y 14eg canrif.  Cerid hi â
chariad pur gan LLEWELYN GOCH AP MEIRIG HEN, o’r Nannan, gerllaw
Dolgellau.  Ond nid oedd ei thad mewn un modd yn foddlawn i’r garwriaeth,
ac achubai bob cyfle i yru annghariad rhwng Lleueu a Llewelyn.  Un tro,
dygwyddodd i Lewelyn Goch fyned ar daith i’r Deheubarth, a daeth ei thad
at Lleucu, adywedodd wrthi, er mwyn diddyfnu ei serch oddiar y bardd, fod
Llewelyn wedi ymbriodi yno â merch arall.  Pan glywodd Leucu yr ymadrodd
byn, hi a syrtbiodd mewn llewyg, ac a drengodd yn y fan!  Dychwelodd
Llewelyn adref; ac ofer ceisio darlunio ei deimladau pan ddeallodd fod
hyfrydwch ei lygaid wedi huno yn yr angau; a than ei deimladau cyffröus
ar yr achlysur, efe a gyfansoddod yr alarnad ganlynol, am yr hon, er holl
gloffrwymau’r gynghanedd gaeth, y gellir dywedyd, megys y dywedodd Daniel
Ddu am alargwyn Burns ar farwolaeth ei _Highland Mary_, mai cerdd ydyw a
fydd byw nes bo i holl dyrau, dawn syrthio i lynclya annghof tragwyddol.

Yr oedd yr anffodus Lewelyn Goch yn fardd penigamp yn ei ddydd; a
chyfrifir ei fod yn ei flodau o’r flwyddyn 1330 i 1370.  Argraffwyd
chwech o’i gyfansoddiadau yn y gyfrol gyntaf o’r _Myfyrian Archaiology of
Wales_; ac y mae amryw o bonynt yn aros hyd yn hyn mewn llawysgrifen heb
weled goleuni dydd.  Nid ydys yn gwybod fod yr alarnad a ganlyn wedi ei
bargraffu erioed o’r blaen.  Y mae yn ein meddiant gyfieithiad Saesonig o
honi mewn rhyddiaeth, o waith Ieuan Brydydd Hir; ac efelychiad o fesur
cerdd, yn yr un iaith, o waith y diweddar Risiart Llwyd, Bardd Eryri.
Ysgrifenwyd marwnad Llewelyn Goch ei hun gan Iolo Goch.

Y mae, neu o leiaf yr oedd, caead arch un Lleucu Llwyd, yr hon a fu farw
yn y flwyddyn 1402, i’w weled yn Eglwys Llaneurgain, yn ar Fflint; ond
nid ymddengys mai Lleucu Llwyd o Bennal yw y rhian a goffëir yno.  Yr
oedd Lleucu Llwyd Llaneurgain yn ferch i Rys ab Rhobert, o’r Cinmael, ac
yn wraig i Hywel ab Tudur, o’r Llys, ynmhlwyf Llaneurgain, ac yn nith i’r
bardd Dafydd Ddu o Hiraddug.  Hywel ab Tudur ydoedd un o henafiaid y
teuluoedd presenol sy’n dwyn yr enw _Mostyn_.

Y mae _Llewelyn a Lleucu_, yn gystal testyn cerdd a _Romeo and Juliet_;
ond, pa le mae’r Shacspear Cymraeg i ysgrifenu trychwawd arno?—_Y

   Llyma haf llwm i hoew-fardd,
   A llyma fyd llwm i fardd!
   Nid oes yng Ngwynedd heddiw,
   Na lloer, na llewyrch, na lliw,
   Er pan rodded—trwydded trwch—
   Dan lawr dygn dyn loer degwch.
   Y ferch wen o’r dderw brenol,
   Arfaeth ddig yw’r fau o’th ol!
   Cain ei llun, canwyll Wynedd,
   Cyd bych o fewn caead bedd!
   F’ enaid! cyfod i fynu,
   Agor y ddaiar-ddor ddu!
   Gwrthod wely tyfod hir,
   A gwrtheb f’ wyneb, feinir!
   Mae yma, hoewdra hydraul,
   Uwch dy fedd, hoew annedd haul,
   Wr llwm ei wyneb hebod,
   Llewelyn Goch, gloch dy glod;
   Yn cynnal, hyd tra canwyf,
   Cariad amddifad ydd wyf;—
   Ud-fardd yn rhodio adfyd
   O Dduw gwyn! hyd hyn o hyd.
   Myfi, fun fwyfwy fonedd,
   Echdoe a fûm uwch dy fedd,
   Yn gollwng deigr lled eigr-braff
   Ar hyd fy wyneb yn rhaff:
   Tithau, harddlun y fun fud,
   O’r tew-bwll ni’m hatebud!
   Tawedawg ddwysawg ddiserch,
   Ti addawsud, y fud ferch,
   Fwyn dy sud fando sidan,
   Fy aros, ddyn loew-dlos lân,
   Oni ddelwn, gwn y gwir,
   Er dy hud, o’r Deheudir,
   Ni chigle, sythle saeth-lud,
   Air na bai wir, feinir fud,
   Iawn-dwf rhïanaidd Indeg,
   Onid hyn o’th eneu teg.
   Trais mawr! ac ni’m tawr i ti!
   Toraiat ammod, trist imi,
   Tydi sydd yn y gwŷdd gwan
   Ar y gwir, ddyn deg eirian!
   Minnau sydd uthrydd athrist
   Ar y celwydd—tramgwydd trist!
   Celwyddawg iawn, cul weddi,
   Celwydd lais a soniais i.
   Mi af o Wynedd heddyw,
   Ni’m dawr ba faenawr i fyw:
   Fy myn foneddig ddigawn,
   Duw’n fach, petid iach nid awn!
   P’le caf, ni’m doraf dioer,
   Dy weled, wendw’ wiw-loer?
   Ar fynydd—sathr Ofydd serch—
   Olifer, yn oleu-ferch.
   F’ enaid yno ä’n fynych,
   O’th wela’, ddyn wiwdda wych.
   Lleucu dêg waneg wiwnef!
   Llwyr y dyhaeraist fy llef;
   A genais, llygorn Gwynedd!
   Eiriau gwawd i eiry ’i gwedd,
   O’r geneu yn organawl,
   A ganaf, tra fyddaf, fawl.
   F’ enaid hoen geirw afonydd!
   Fy nghaniad dy farwnad fydd.
   Lliw-galch rian oleugain,
   Rhy gysgadur o’r mur main!
   Rhiain fain, rhy anfynych
   Y’th wela’; ddyn wiwdda wych.
   Cyfod i orphen cyfedd,
   I edrych a fynych fedd;
   At dy fardd ni chwardd ychwaith,
   Erot, dal euraid dalaith!
   Dyred, ffion ei deurudd,
   I fyny o’r pridd-dŷ prudd!
   Anial yw f’ ol, canmoleg,
   Nid twym yw fy neudroed teg,
   Yn bwhwman gan annwyd
   Cylch drws dy dŷ, Lleucu Llwyd!
   A genais, lygorn Gwynedd,
   O eiriau gwawd i eiry ’i gwedd,
   Llef dri-och, llaw fodrwy-aur,
   Lleucu! llawenu lliw aur.
   Cymhenaidd, groew, loew Leucu!
   Ei chymmyn, f’ anwyl-fun, fu
   Ei henaid, grair gwlad Feiriawn,
   I Dduw Dad—addewid iawn;
   A’i mein-gorff, eiliw’r mangant,
   Meinir, i gyssegr-dir sant:
   Dyn pell-gwyn doniau peill-galch,
   A da byd i’r gwr du balch;
   A’r hiraeth, cywyddiaeth cawdd,
   I minnau a’i cymmynawdd.
   Lleddf ddeddf ddeuddaint ogyfuwch,
   Lleucu Llwyd, lliw cawod lluwch!
   Pridd a main, glain galar chwerw,
   A gudd ei deurudd, a derw.
   Gwae fi drymder y gweryd
   A’r pridd ar feistres y pryd!
   Gwae fi fod arch yn gwarchae,
   A thy main rhof a thi mae!
   Gwae fi, ferch wen o Bennal,
   Brudded yw briddo dy dal!
   Clo du derw—galar chwerw gael—
   A daiar, deg ei dwyael!
   A throm-goed ddor, a thrym-gae,
   A llawer maes, rhof a’i lliw mae;
   A chlyd fur, a chlo dur du,
   A chlicied—yn iach, LEUCU!

                                              LLEWELYN GOCH AP MEIRIG HEN.


                                * * * * *

[As much of the proceeding Work relates to Feudal times and usages, the
following able Paper from the pen of a modern writer cannot be otherwise
than acceptable to the reader.—ED.]

                                * * * * *

A clear idea of the Feudal System is in the highest degree interesting to
the inhabitants of modern Europe, as it was the first form of society
which succeeded ancient civilization, and is the foundation of most of
our modern laws, systems, and institutions.  Without a definite idea of
this system, much or most of the present regulations of civilized life
would be unintelligible.

But I have spoken of ancient civilization.  What did this term mean?
What does it comprise?  I believe, it means that progressive or advancing
state of human society, which existed among the various nations and
empires of the world previous to the dissolution of the Roman Empire.
The countries where this civilization reached its highest stage are
well-known.  History presents them in bold relief on its pages.  They
were Persia, Assyria, Chaldea, Egypt, Greece, and Rome; and, in an
inferior degree, China and Hindoostan.  In these countries the
inhabitants had substituted a stationary for a wandering life, had
acquired the notions and defined the limits and rights of property, had
entered the bonds and enjoyed the benefits of society, had extended their
ideas beyond supplying the rude necessities of life, had acquired a taste
for the comforts and even luxuries of social life, had begun to cultivate
the arts and sciences, had built vessels whereby they could traffic by
sea, and had erected towns and cities (some of costly magnificence) on
land.  The bulk of the people had forsaken the sword for the plough, and
exchanged the spear for the pruning-hook.  They dwelt peaceably and
securely in their villages, towns, and rural homes.  They divided their
employments.  The land was cultivated, the stock of living animals was
fed, and commerce carried on.  A parliament or congress of the chief
inhabitants assembled, and deliberated on the affairs of State.  Laws
were enacted, and justice administered in the public courts.  The
spiritual interests of the people were also provided for, and magnificent
temples, churches, and cathedrals were built and adorned the land.  A
regular gradation of nobles or chiefs was established, to whom the people
at large looked up, while a King, Sovereign, or Emperor governed the
whole.  These are the leading ideas connected with ancient civilization.
These elements flourished largely in the last of the old empires, or that
of Rome, which before its fall had transcended all that went before in
commerce, civilization, learning, refinement, science, art, as well as in
grandeur and extent of territory.

We have spoken of the fall of the Roman Empire.  This occurred in the
beginning of the fifth century.  We will just glance at the state of
Europe immediately before the dissolution of that vast empire.  The Roman
Empire (which comprised Italy and the adjacent territories) was at that
time and had been for centuries the only kingdom in Europe where the arts
of peace and civilization reigned.  All the vast countries north of the
Alps, west of the Mediterranean, and east and north of the Adriatic seas,
were in a state of comparative, if not complete barbarism.  Among the
people who inhabited these countries we may name the Franks, who occupied
Gallia or modern France; the Goths, Vandals, and Germanic tribes, who
occupied modern Germany; the Scythians and other Sclavonic races who
occupied modern Russia; the Visigoths, who occupied Spain; the Celts, who
dwelt in Great Britain and Ireland; and the Scandinavians, who occupied
the north of Europe, or Lapland, Sweden, and Norway.  These various
populations were, during the zenith, and down to the fall of the Roman
Empire, in a state of semi if not perfect barbarism.  A great portion of
them were nomadic or roving tribes, and had in their career of
devastation and conquest traversed the vast plains of Asia and eastern
Europe, before taking up a more settled though not permanent abode in the
broad plains and forests of Germany, Spain, and Russia.  The Goths,
Scythians, and Sclavonic tribes who thus poured into Europe, were
emigrants from Asia.  The native races who inhabited eastern Europe were
unequal to repel the savage invasions of these formidable marauders, who
inundated Europe with their fierce and unsettled bands.  If we may credit
the account given of these tribes by the Roman writers of the period,
their manners were savage, their habits of life simple, but of a roving
and predatory character.  By the Roman historians they are invariably
styled—the Barbarians.  They cultivated not commerce, they built not
cities, they dwelt not in luxurious towns.  Their abode was the vast
forest or plain, their occupation hunting and war, their food the produce
of the chase or the plunder of war, their dress the skins of beasts and
articles of the rudest manufacture.  Yet in their spirit was energy, in
their hearts a love of conquest and aggrandisement.  After having for
ages in vain withstood the conquering arms of Julius Cæsar and other
Roman commanders, they in turn became the assailants.  After the reign of
Augustus Cæsar the military spirit of the Romans decayed their energy
declined, their ambition was lost.  The chief people surrendered
themselves to all the enervating effects of pleasure and luxury.  No
valorous chief led the army in the field, no Cato or Tully thundered
alarm in the Capitol, to summon the inhabitants to glory or even
defence:—they were rather found revelling in riot and debauchery at home.
No Pompey governed in Spain; no Sallust was Prætor in Numidia.  The race
of the wise and mighty had departed.  The infection had reached the
common people, who were equally given up to indolence, license, riot,
debauchery, and sloth.  In this state was Rome and the Romans, when the
barbarians rose in the north under Alaric, King or Chief of the Goths,
descended the Alps with the rapidity and force of the avalanche,
overthrew the empire, and possessed Rome.  Then was presented a scene the
most unexampled the world ever beheld.  The chief or warrior who a few
months before held his counsels in a hut or wigwam on the banks of the
Danube or Rhine, was seated on the throne of the Cæsars—the herdsman of
the forest inhabited the palaces of Rome.  The savage hid himself in the
fine linen of the Roman citizen—the barbarian covered himself with
patrician gold.  The effeminate luxury of the Empire had yielded all to
the insatiate energy and ambition of the North.

But even the nomadic tribes of central Europe found the miseries and
inconveniences of a wandering and predatory life.  The Saxons, Goths, and
Scythians experienced the comforts and enjoyments of a settled and
stationary life.  They even grew weary of conquest, and knew the hazard
of warlike achievements.  They therefore wished to settle down upon some
fixed and definite territory.  They determined to appropriate a place
which they could call their home, and to inhabit a country which they
could call their own.  They saw the precarious subsistence which awaited
those who depended on the spontaneous produce of the earth, and the
greater riches which would accrue from a cultivation of the soil.  They
therefore resolved on a stationary life.  But this new life must have
order and laws.  There must be a Head to whom they should look up, a law
or rule which they should obey.  The warrior or chief under whose
guidance the tribe had conquered and become powerful, was chosen Head of
the community, and Lord paramount of the soil.  The lesser warriors or
captains were placed next in degree and power.  The people at large were
in a state of vassalage and dependence upon the Lord paramount and his
Esquires and Deputies.  The Lord paramount built and fortified a castle
on some eligible spot in the domain.  This castle was used for the
residence of the Lord and his family in time of peace, and for the
hospitable reception of his retainers and dependents.  But in time of war
the castle was the refuge and resort of all the inhabitants of the
domain.  There they retired before the superior number or power of the
enemy, and were generally safe.  Thence arose the rights and duties of
chief and people.  The chief owed to the people protection and security
from foreign enemies, as well as arbitration and counsel.  The people on
the other hand owed the Lord suit and service in time of war to repel the
common enemy, and allegiance at all times.  For these purposes in time of
peace the vassals or people farmed and cultivated the domain for their
own benefit, paying to the Lord rent, suit, and service.  The Lord
reserved for his own use a large tract in the vicinity of his castle.
Should any dispute arise between the tenants or vassals respecting the
ownership or cultivation of their respective tracts of the domain, or
otherwise, the Lord was arbiter or judge.  Afterwards and in process of
time the Lord called his chief dependents or vassals to assist him in the
arbitrament of his subjects’ disputes.  These tribunals were subsequently
called the Baron’s Court, or Court of the Manor, and were the only
tribunals of justice in the earlier period of the feudal society.  The
Lord presided, and was assisted by his principal tenants or vassals.  The
Baron or Manorial Court was of the utmost importance in those rude times,
for there were recorded all the transactions relating to the land within
the manor; and there assembled all the tenants who had rent, suit, or
service to pay or render, or who had complaint to make of disturbance,
injury, or grievance, from a fellow tenant, or vassal.  The decision of
this court was final, the disobedience of which was punished by heavy
fines, forfeitures, and disqualifications.

We thus see that the feudal society arose not more from choice than from
the necessity and circumstances of the time.  At this unsettled and
warlike period, protection was required for the tribe or clan from the
enmity or rapacity of neighbouring hordes.  The tribe therefore united
under one common chief to defend their own territory and people, and when
necessary, to make war on a neighbouring or distant community.  Rule and
internal government were also necessary for the comfort and security of
the tribe itself.  These were therefore the circumstances which induced,
or rather compelled the various tribes or hordes of the barbarian
population of mediæval Europe to enter the feudal society.  And in this
manner sprung up, soon after the dissolution of the Roman Empire, that
vast net-work of feudal society, which eventually extended itself from
Cape Trafalgar to the Euxine Sea, and from the Gulf of Bothnia to the
Pillars of Hercules.

It was among the vast forests and plains of Russia, Hungary, Germany, and
France, and by a people just emerging from barbarism, that the feudal
system arose, and that about the fifth century of the Christian era;
thence it was carried by the Continental invaders into their newly
conquered territories.  But in no country was the system more
predominant, than in Gaul, or France, whence it was carried by their Duke
of Normandy, or our William the Conqueror, after the battle of Hastings
in the eleventh century into Britain, and was more rigorously established
here for the protection of the conquerors and the subjection of the
native races than it had ever been in Normandy itself.  The Conqueror
parcelled out all the richest parts of the territory among seven hundred
of his Captains or warlike retainers, and erected each into a Barony.
The Barons rented a portion of their domains to their Knights, which were
denominated knights’ fiefs, and were 60,215 in number;—these again
sub-let part of their fiefs to their Esquires.  The cultivation of the
soil and all kind of manual labor were carried on by the vassals, or
villeins, who formed the mass of the people.  Each class owed rent, suit,
and service to their superiors, and the whole were subject to the Lord
paramount, or Sovereign, to whom the right to the soil of all the land in
his kingdom was reserved, and the herbage or surface alone was granted to
the Barons and their tenants, on condition of yielding suit and service
to the King, failing which the land reverted to its original owner—the
Lord paramount.  The wily Conqueror thus founded a superstructure of
government which proved impregnable to all assaults from the vanquished
races, and reared a cordon of despotism strong and compact from within,
and unassailable from without.

The object of this superstructure being military strength, each Norman
Baron erected a stately castle fortified by walls, towers, and, if
available, a moat, on the strongest site or position within his manor.
Here the Baron dwelt, with his domestics, and a chosen body of his
warlike vassals, who always bore arms, and watched and were prepared by
day and by night at any alarm to sally forth to any summons of conquest
or defence.  In times of peace the chief occupation of the Baron and his
principal retainers was the chase, and the game on the manor was
preserved with the greatest care, and its destruction guarded against by
the forest laws, which were the most cruel of any enactments on record,
inasmuch as the punishment for killing a deer or even a hare was the
taking out the eyes of the delinquent; while at the same time the
punishment of homicide, or murder, was only a small pecuniary fine, and
when perpetrated by the Baron or any of his retainers on an inferior
vassal was seldom enforced.  In short, under this system there was then
no appeal or redress by an inferior for any crime or wrong perpetrated by
his superior in rank; and the vassals, or people at large, were in a
state of the greatest subjection and most abject slavery, inasmuch as the
will and pleasure of the superior liege formed the only law of the land.

It is certain that the feudal system after the Norman model never existed
among the Saxons in this island, or on the continent of Europe,
previously to the Norman Conquest.  Their Kings were mostly elected to
the throne; and the land was possessed principally by their military
chieftains, called Thanes.  This order was at first confined to military
supremacy; but in process of time successful merchants and others who had
acquired wealth were admitted into the rank.  The Thanes resided in large
irregular halls upon their estates, in a coarse but very hospitable
manner: their halls were said to be generally filled with their
neighbours and tenants, who spent their time in feasting and riot.  The
great distinction between the Anglo-Saxon nobility and the Norman,
according to William of Malmesbury, was, that the latter built
magnificent and stately castles; whereas the former dwelt in large but
mean houses, and consumed their immense fortunes in riot and hospitality.
Nevertheless this social communion, combined with the hearty generosity
and manners of the Saxon nobility, made them extremely popular among
their tenants and vassals, between whom was established a spontaneous and
steady attachment.  The next in degree were called Ceorles, and were
freemen.  These conducted most of the occupations on the land and in
trade;—they formed the most numerous class of the Anglo-Saxon population,
and enjoyed all the rights of freemen, as these were understood in those
times;—they had a voice in the national councils, served on juries in the
County and other Courts, and their rights and liberties were protected,
and generally enforced by fines against each other, and even against
their superiors.  The Anglo-Saxons rejoiced in their system of trial by
jury, and boasted it as their peculiar institution.  It was also a law
among them that none should be tried except by his equals in the
government.  These institutions, with the historical open-heartedness of
the Thanes and landed proprietors, secured to the Ceorles or freemen as
much of real liberty and justice as those rude times might admit.

But the Saxon government is defaced by the odious vice of slavery.  The
slaves were those whom they had conquered in battle; and the Anglo-Saxons
introduced them into this island.  They were household slaves, performing
menial duties, and predial or rustic slaves who labored on the soil.  The
proprietors sold their slaves with their estates, and they were regarded
as chattels: yet the master had not unlimited power over his slave, for
it was ordained that if he beat out his slave’s eye or teeth, he gained
his liberty; and if he killed him, he paid a fine to the King.  Yet,
notwithstanding this protection, and although the slaves were confined to
races vanquished in battle, yet the practice formed a dark stain on the
Saxon institutions.

The government of the Ancient Britons, or Cymri, corresponded much with
the Anglo-Saxon, except that their King was hereditary, and that they
were always free from the odious institution of slavery.  Sovereign power
was inherited among the Cymri, according to the present rules of descent
in England, from whom it was probably derived.  The chief people were the
Princes or large land-proprietors, who dwelt in magnificent style, and
exercised unbounded hospitality in their halls upon their estates.  Here
they received their retainers and tenants, to whom they dispensed the
greatest liberality: here also dwelt the Bards, Priests, and Literati of
the period—the Taliesins, Aneurins, and Dafydd ap Gwilyms—in the
enjoyment of the most profuse favors and protection from their munificent
patrons.  Hence also the spontaneous and faithful attachment of the whole
to their Princes,—as exemplified in the poems of the Bards, and the
warlike records of the Cymric nation.  Besides the Princes, were a large
number of independent landowners or Esquires distributed over the whole
island.  The great mass of the people, as in every community, labored on
the land, or were employed in domestic and mercantile occupations.
Slavery or even abject servitude was unknown among them: every class
enjoyed the rights and exercised the privileges of freemen, and seldom
failed in obtaining redress for any crime or wrong.  In their freedom
from slavery, and their full enjoyment of civil rights and immunities,
the Cymri of ancient times formed a striking contrast with all the
European nations.

The effects of the Norman Conquest varied altogether as it respected the
Anglo-Saxons and the Cymri.  The former were entirely subjected to the
feudal system, and their lands forfeited and parcelled out among the
Norman chiefs.  The forest laws and other odious parts of the feudal
system were executed in all their rigor against the vanquished Saxon:
hence the sanguinary feuds and mortal enmity which for several centuries
existed between the Saxon and Norman race.  The former, repelled by the
feudal system from open war, retaliated by private and secret murders and
injuries upon their Norman oppressors: no Saxon impeaching, the murder or
crime was never discovered, and the perpetrator unpunished.  At length
the Normans, being decimated by this practice of stealthy revenge, passed
a law that every Saxon in the parish should answer for every Norman found
killed within its limits.  This law, which would have been rigorously
executed, at last suppressed the Saxon retaliation; nevertheless the
hostility between the two races continued for ages, and was only inflamed
by the contempt and oppression of the Norman on all occasions evinced.
The Cymri on the other hand remained free in their mountain fastnesses
and plains west of the Severn and Dee, and unaffected by the Norman
invasion and conquest.  They even rejoiced at the change, inasmuch as it
supplanted a foreign and adverse race—the Saxon—by a kindred and more
congenial people; for the Normans were Celts descended from the same
Cimbric origin, and had many qualities of mind and heart in common with
the Ancient Britons: whereas the characteristics of the Saxons, and of
the Teutonic race in general, were entirely opposite.  The Normans
celebrated the anniversary feasts and cherished the memory of the Cymric
King Arthur of the Round Table, whose chivalric fame they regarded as
much their own as the Cymri, for he ruled the Celts of Gaul as well as of
Britain.  The Cymri therefore looked on with placidity and satisfaction
at the mutual enmity and reprisals of Normans and Saxons, for they
remained unconquered and unmolested in their upland homes.  We find them
occasionally under their Princes making inroads into England, and
conquering and retaining much border territory.  The Norman Kings
therefore established on the Welsh borders the Lords-marchers, or Lords
authorised to conquer and hold by the sword land in Wales; and erected a
chain of castles and fortresses from Chester through Shrewsbury and
Gloucester to Pembroke, for the defence of the frontier, and the
repression of sorties from Wales.  Hence the Grosvenors, De Greys,
Cliffords, and Mortimers of border chivalry.  Hence also the border wars
between them and Gruffydd ap Conan, Owain Gwynedd, Llewelyn, and other
Princes of Wales, wherein great courage and chivalry were displayed on
both sides, and seldom to the advantage of the Norman.  At last, after
ages of bloodshed and war, and repeated failures, the subjection of the
Principality was accomplished, A.D. 1283, by Edward the First, who, to
extinguish the last embers of patriotic fire, massacred upwards of one
hundred Welsh Bards, in addition to many Cymric Princes.  But the Cymri
were still discontented and given to insurrection, until a monarch of
their own Tudor blood was placed on the British throne in the person of
Henry the Seventh, A.D. 1485.  Henceforward they became more reconciled
to the larger and dominant race, and at length subsided into peaceful
submission and attachment to the British throne and laws.

But to return to the feudal system strictly so called, we find the Lords
and Barons were all-powerful within their dominions, and had the power of
giving or taking away the life, liberty, and property of their retainers
and vassals.  They often made war upon each other, the consequences of
which were frequently awful in the streams of blood which flowed, and the
murder, rapine, and spoliation which ensued.  Evidences of these internal
wars are seen in the ruined castles and dismantled towers which cover our
own country and the continent of Europe.  The Barons would frequently
league together, and make war upon the King or Sovereign, in which they
often triumphed.  A remarkable instance of this is found in English
History, when the Barons joined in opposing King John, and wrested from
him Magna Charta at Runnymede.  The De Veres, Bohuns, Mowbrays, Nevilles,
Howards, Percys, and Somersets often overshadowed their sovereign lieges
in England; while the powerful families of Douglas and Scott for ages
held the Kings of Scotland in awe.  The Kings and Sovereigns were more in
fear and had greater apprehensions of the feudal Barons, than from the
mass of their subjects, and were therefore often completely obsequious to
their wills.  But ever and anon would arise an Edward or a James, who,
defying the enmity of the feudal chiefs, diminished their powers and
restrained their excesses.  Yet this was never done, or even attempted,
without the greatest opposition and danger, and never but by a brave and
formidable Prince.

Each of the great Barons kept a Court, and indulged in a style of
pageantry corresponding in an inferior degree to that of Royalty, of
which he occasionally affected independence.  When the great Earl
Warrenne was questioned respecting the right to his vast land
possessions, he drew his sword, saying that was his title, and that
William did not himself conquer England, but that his ancestor with the
rest of the Barons were joint adventurers in the enterprise.  As the
Barons were so powerful, the Sovereign never made war or undertook any
other great enterprise without first convoking and consulting them, as
their co-operation was necessary to his success.  In fact, such was their
position in the realm, that no change in the laws or government, nor any
great act of administration, could be accomplished without their advice
and consent.  Hence they formed with the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the
sole and supreme legislative council of the Sovereign.  Independently of
the necessity for their advice and co-operation in national enterprises,
the Sovereign was desirous of convoking the Barons to his councils at
stated periods, as a badge of fealty, and to remind them of their
allegiance to Royalty; which in the autocratic retirement of their
castles, and the solitude of their manors, they were prone to forget.
Whensoever any of the Barons rebelled against the royal authority, the
Sovereign assembled the other Barons to assist him in suppressing the
mutiny.  If on the other hand any Baron should be unable to repel the
encroachments of a neighbor, he appealed to the Sovereign as the supreme
liege for help to resist and punish the aggression, which with the aid of
other chieftains was generally granted.  The Sovereign therefore stood in
the same relation to the Barons of the whole realm, as they individually
to their vassals, the feudal theory being, that all land was held
ultimately from the Sovereign in return for military and other services,
failing which it reverted to the Crown.

The Barons, as may be supposed, exercised unlimited power within their
domains, as the Sovereign never interposed in questions between the Lord
and his vassals, so long as the chief rendered the services required by
the Crown.  Hence the power of each Baron was absolute within his
dominions; and from his acts there was no appeal, much less redress.  He
even affected Royalty by obliging his principal vassals to give
attendance upon him, in like manner as he and the other Barons paid court
to the King, and by establishing Courts and Judges of his own to
administer justice to his vassals.  In short, every Barony was a
miniature Kingdom, with an army of retainers, a train of officials, and
other insignia of State grandeur corresponding with the wealth and power
of the chief.  To maintain this condition, the Baron was under the
necessity of raising a large revenue from his Barony; and as a great
display of power was essential for the chief, his exactions from the
vassals and all within his power were consequently heavy.  This revenue
was obtained from heriots, fines, and tolls; which being arbitrary, the
amount depended on the want which called it forth, or on the conscience
of the chief.  A heriot of the best horse, or certain head of cattle, or
a fine of so many marks, were payable to the Baron on the marriage or
death of his vassal, and on each fresh succession to the fief.  These
exactions were not confined to the immediate vassals and villains, but
extended to the whole population within the limits of the Barony.  The
towns were in this era small, consisting principally of villages, which,
as they were situate within some Barony, were equally subjected to fiscal
burdens.  These, in addition to heavy fines demanded for any building,
liberty, or encroachment on the manor, consisted of tolls and duties
imposed on the exportation or importation of goods, and on the sale of
horses, cattle, or stock which, to increase the revenue, were prohibited
being sold outside the vills, or except in the fairs and markets there
licensed to be held, whereupon the tolls attached.  By this means the
Baron raised a considerable revenue to support his power and state.  But
as the Baron was more hostile to the trading community or the population
of towns, than to his own military vassals and tenants on the soil, as
being less serviceable to his warlike power, and more antagonistic to,
and discontented with his seignioral privileges,—he imposed on the former
heavier fiscal burdens, and spared no opportunity of oppressing them with
the most odious extortions.  The military and mercantile spirits have
always been antagonistic and hostile, and the germs of that great
conflict which has since existed, and in recent times been so grandly
developed between the two elements, are plainly discernible in this
era—the cradle of its history.

But as the boroughs increased, the towns multiplied, and commerce
extended, an antagonistic principle or element to the powers and
privileges of the feudal nobility grew up.  The reigning power having so
much cause for dread of the Barons, was desirous of conciliating the
burgher nobility, or the population of towns, and from time to time made
large concessions or grants in their favor.  This was done as much to
foster a rival power or influence to the feudal nobility, as to win over
the towns to the interest of the King.  These grants consisted in
charters of incorporation, that the towns might be freed from the rule of
the landed nobility, and might accomplish their own government; and
grants of fairs, and markets, and tolls, as well as the rights of
representation in parliament.  Thus in times past the Kings of Britain
were often in friendlier alliance with the towns and burgher nobility,
than with the feudal Barons and landed aristocracy.  By this means the
power and privileges of the feudal nobility, which up to the fifteenth
century were nearly absolute and uncontrollable, were much reduced, and
are in the present reign nearly taken away.  This result has been owing
almost entirely to the growing importance, influence, and intelligence of
the burgher or trading population.  It is thus that in political society
as in nature and the material world, results are accomplished by the
antagonistic operation and conflict of rival or opposing principles,
elements, or influences.

The other great influence which counteracted the feudal spirit from an
earlier period, and mitigated its severities, was religion, or the
Church.  This was natural and inevitable; for the overwhelming influence
of religion over the human mind in all ages and nations is the universal
deduction of history.  It appears to strike its root even the deeper, in
proportion to the strength and ruggedness of the mind on which it
operates, as plants are more luxuriant from the rankness of the soil
where they grow.  The fulminations of Sinai or the dulcet harps of Zion
have seldom failed in moving the heart of man, and exciting its tenderest
and best emotions.  We find this verified even in the darkest times, and
among the most ferocious nations.  Clovis, Charlemange, and William of
Normandy are magnificent illustrations.  The first, from being one of the
most ruthless and savage warriors and conquerors at the head of the
Franks ever known in history, no sooner heard the preaching of the Gospel
through the instrumentality of his wife Clotilda, than he immediately
embraced its truths, and by the most abject humility and self-denying
sacrifices for the remainder of his life endeavored to atone for his past
cruelties.  His great successor, Charlemange, less barbarous and with
higher capabilities, at the head of his Germans vanquished continental
Europe after innumerable and ferocious wars; yet succumbed his lofty
spirit to the influence of Christianity, and prepared by his sword a way
for its missionaries.  We also find that William the Conqueror, by the
deepest penitence and remorse, and by large munificence to the Church,
sought to make recompense for the cruelties and excesses of his reign.

It was therefore inevitable that in the middle ages the influence of the
Church should operate on the feudal Barons, and soften the rigors of
their power.  In the vicinity of the Baronial castle arose a village,
whose inhabitants were generally dependent on the Lord.  In the village
sprung up a church and a pastor.  The village Priest generally ministered
to the inmates of the castle, as well as to the inhabitants of the
hamlet; and as learning, or even the rudiments of scholarship, were then
confined to the clergy, the religious minister was also the secretary,
teacher, and counsellor of the Baronial family.  He thus acquired
influence and mastery over the youth and age of the circle, and seldom
failed to seize the advantage in imbuing them with his benign creed.
Hence the contrast presented in those ages between the chieftain in the
camp and field, where he was all vigor and ferocity, and in his own hall,
where he displayed many virtues of the Christian life.  Hence also the
generally milder character of the heir apparent and future wielder of the
Baronial power, than of the sire.  To this source we may also in a great
measure ascribe the diminishing severity of each succeeding Baron, and
the much more humane and improved conduct and manners of the late than
early chieftains.

But this is regarding religion in its private and spontaneous, yet in its
best influence, in subduing the rigors of the feudal chiefs.  It had a
separate, more worldly, but yet powerful influence in the Church.
Constantine the Great made the Church (which was previously a voluntary
and spontaneous association of Christian people) a national and
compulsory institution, and a fundamental part of the imperial fabric: he
added it to the Roman Empire; succeeding Emperors maintained it; and it
became a preponderating influence in the State.  It was feared that after
the irruption of the Barbarians and their conquest of the Empire,
although private belief and individual creeds might remain and be
preserved, yet the Church as a political element and fabric would
inevitably fall and perish in the imperial ruin.  But in this the
anticipations of men failed; for we find that the Goths, Vandals, and
Scythians were equally susceptible of the influence of the religion of
Christ, which many of them and especially their chieftains embraced, and
often aided its progress with the sword.  We also find that as soon as
the barbarian conquest of Rome settled into distinct nationalities and
governments, the powers followed the example of the great Constantine,
and added religion to the State, and constituted the Church a political
fabric.  In this manner, before and at the commencement of the middle
ages, every European state had its National Church.  This polity existed
equally in Britain, where the Church became a rich and powerful
corporation, often rivalling and occasionally transcending the feudal
Barons in wealth, dignities, and influence.  The Prelates of the Church
were by law Barons of the realm.  Anselm, in the reigns of William Rufus
and the first Henry,—Thomas à Becket, in that of the second,—both
Archbishops of Canterbury, and Cardinal Wolsey, in the reign of Henry the
Eighth, are illustrations of the great wealth, power, and dignity which
the ecclesiastical hierarchy from time to time enjoyed in this country.

The extensive wealth and influence of the Church excited the jealousy and
enmity of the feudal Barons, between whom were continual disputes, which
sometimes led to violence and war.  In their progress we find the Bishops
and dignitaries of the Church occasionally substitute the mitre by the
helmet, and the crosier for the sword, and rivalling the feudal
chieftains in their military exploits.  We also find the Church generally
allied with Royalty or the sovereign power in their differences with the
feudal Barons; but occasionally with the latter in curbing the royal
prerogative and power.  The Church generally cast its influence into the
scale of either power which might happen to be weakest, and for the
purpose of counterbalancing the opposite power from which there was
greatest apprehension and dread of usurpation and wrong.  The
ecclesiastical influence and power were also much courted and cherished
in general by the Kings and Queens of Britain, as a support to
themselves, and a restraint on the feudal chiefs; and they often, when
practicable, seized opportunities of enriching the ecclesiastical order,
and adding to their power.  The Church also sometimes lent its aid and
influence to the popular triumph and cause.  It is, therefore, evident
that the feudal system met with much antagonism and counteraction from
the Church, and that its rigors were much diminished in consequence.  The
beneficial effects which followed were not always owing to the purest
motives, or the benevolence of the Church; but more frequently from the
desire of maintaining its own privileges and wealth.  But the results to
the nation and its liberties were the same as if the ecclesiastical
hierarchy had been actuated by higher motives and a purer spirit; and the
well-being of the community, was equally promoted.

The Church and the boroughs, in conjunction with the royal power,
therefore served to subdue the feudal spirit, and restrain and diminish
the powers and privileges of its chiefs.

The effects of the Commonwealth under Cromwell must also have struck
fatally at the rigors of the feudal system, in common with many other
oppressions, from which they never revived.  The spirit of the
Commonwealth was deeply hostile to all kinds of ancient tyrrany; and as
the feudal law was one of the greatest, it received a serious check.  The
genius of Puritanism rebelled against the feudal distinctions, as the
spirit of liberty which was then triumphant overcame its oppressions.
The Baron could no longer at the sound of his horn assemble his ferocious
retinue of vassals and retainers, to march to the conquest of political
foes, or the suppression of uprising liberty.  The Knight could no more
ride abroad in his panoply of steel, feared and unopposed by a rabble of
villeins and serfs.  The spirit of the nation was aroused to its inmost
depths in the great struggle for emancipation, and statesmen and warriors
arose from its lowest estates.  The popular Fairfax overcame the princely
Rupert; while the great Commoner—Cromwell—overthrew Royalty itself.
Chivalry had to surrender its crest at Newbury, Marston Moor, and Naseby,
to popular bravery and religious zeal.  The ancient order of things was
entirely changed, and new institutions everywhere took its place, founded
on the democratic power.  Brewers and butchers now occupied the seats in
the Senate formerly held by Barons and Knights; while Fleetwood and
Harrison commanded the army of Manchester and Essex.  No greater contrast
existed than that of the Puritan captain with his skull cap, buff coat,
and leather buskins, and the Cavalier with plumed hat, velvet cloak, and
silk hose.  Not more opposite were they in character than attire: the
former a grave, stern, austere, gloomy, and religious democrat; the
latter a gay, lively, free-thinking, licentious, and haughty aristocrat:
the first was the impersonation of religious faith and prowess; the last
of feudal pride.  It was therefore inevitable, that in the course of that
great struggle between the two elements which ended in the triumph of the
popular cause and the establishment of the Commonwealth, feudal arrogance
and oppression received a fatal shock.

The leading principle or idea embodied in the feudal system was that of a
head, or chief, with dependence by the vassals and retainers.  The same
principle pervades our laws and institutions, and is in a great measure
the fruit or effect of the feudal polity.  Among other instances of its
operation we may mention the law of primogeniture, the object being to
create a family chief.  The property qualifications necessary for
parliamentary rights and representation, for the magistracy, and other
stations of power and dignity, are illustrations of the same effect.  The
Peers sit and vote in the Upper House of Parliament as Barons of the
Realm; while the Members for counties in the other House are returned as
Knights of the Shire; and the Judges of the land are designated Barons of
the Exchequer, or Knights’ Justices; and the parliamentary Members for
boroughs are styled Burgesses,—thus still retaining their feudal
distinctions.  The preponderance everywhere given to property in land,
over wealth in money, trade, or other moveable goods, is a result of the
same policy.  Indeed it may be said, that the leading principles which
govern property in this Kingdom, have their main origin and foundation in
the feudal system; although the legislation of the last half century has
done much to abolish the enormities with which it was theretofore

But it may be asked, what were the effects of the system which we have
briefly sketched?  Were they good or evil?  Did they advance or retard
human society and civilization?  These are difficult and important
questions, in the solution of which probably few will entirely agree.

That the feudal state was rendered necessary by the circumstances of the
period, we have, we think, sufficiently shown.  That its influence has
been in some respects beneficial is also incontestible.  The predominant
feature of the feudal dominion was force—physical force; and this was the
only one suited and practicable for the barbarian population of Europe in
the middle centuries.  Reason and right were terms unknown and foreign to
the masses then emerging from uncivilized life.  Force was their own law,
and by this must they themselves have been ruled.  The Baron or Lord, in
enforcing the severities of the feudal code, therefore instructed his
vassals in a vocabulary which they understood; he governed them by the
only suitable rod.  To have addressed them as citizens, and moral and
accountable beings, and to have explained to them their duties and rights
from a description of the nature, condition, and destinies of man, would
have been to have spoken to them in an unknown tongue—in a language they
could not have understood.

Moreover the very relation in which the vassals stood to their Lord, and
the services and duties which they were compelled to perform, taught them
obedience—trained them to docility and submission.  It induced them to
reflect on others than themselves,—to regard the wants and rights of
others beside their own.  This was a great point gained in subduing and
training the barbarian just leaving his roving life in the forest or on
the mountain.  This was a step to further improvement, and to a milder
and more rational rule; by this he was trained for a gentler government,
and better laws.

The feudal institutions gave birth to chivalry, which exercised so
predominant a sway through the middle ages, and in what light soever it
is regarded, was beneficial in its influences.  It conjures up to our
mind the brilliant scenes and magnificent achievements of the period,
whether viewed in the enchanting pages of romance, or the more sober
records of history.  It brings before our minds the mail-clad warrior
dispensing refined hospitality in his armor-hung hall, to a princely
retinue of retainers and guests, or mounted on his fiery steed, pressing
forward to the mortal encounters of honor.  The Knight is equally
interesting, whether we look at him armed to avenge in single combat the
maiden’s dishonor or orphan’s wrong, or we follow him into the stately
tournament, there to encounter in the perilous and sometimes fatal lists.
In either case we see displayed the highest qualities of man—courage,
honor, dignity, fidelity, skill, and manly strength.  We find the same
characteristics accompany him into the tented field, where amidst hills
of carnage, and at the close of a doubtful day, the bleeding knight
contends bravely under the shadow of the red-cross banner.  The crusades
were a magnificent effect of the religious aspiration of chivalry,
whatsoever opinion may now be formed of the policy of those great
contests.  No sight more glorious can be imagined than the chivalry of
the West marching triumphantly through the heart of Europe to avenge the
wrongs and indignities of the Cross upon the Infidel, and contend against
four-fold odds under the walls of Antioch and Jerusalem, to recover the
Holy Sepulchre from the pollution of Moslem hands.  Whatsoever opinion
the sober philosophy of history may now pronounce on these great wars,
they were dictated by the highest aspirations, and ennobled by the most
heroic actions, and they stand out nobly on the headlands of the past as
monuments of human grandeur.

Although we have only viewed the institution of chivalry in its outward
and more attractive aspects, yet it inculcated a high code of personal
morality, very beneficial in the feudal ages.  In this era the law was
feeble, and its administration so often fruitless, that the greatest
restraint on power, and the best security for the rights of individuals,
and more especially of the weak, was personal honor; and this in its
highest sense was generally characteristic of the barons and knights.
They as frequently armed to redress the wrongs of the weak as to avenge
their own personal injuries.  The maiden’s wail, the orphan’s cry, were
to them the most potent spring of action for the most fatal rencontres.
The faithless knight who might happen to injure virgin purity, or oppress
unarmed and defenceless people, roused the resentment of the whole order
of chivalry, and was pursued from castle to cloister, and from land to
land, till his blood atoned for his lust or cruelty.  Chivalry inculcated
upon its members the highest honor, fidelity, truth, and justice; and in
the absence of strong public law, administered equally with a powerful
and impartial hand, formed the best code of law and morals in the feudal
times.  We find examples of faithless barons and recreant knights, as
there are exceptions to every rule, and blots upon every picture; yet in
the main the very code in which they were instructed, and the habits
which they acquired had a most beneficial influence in the formation of
their characters, and furnished many illustrious examples of human
virtue, and public renown.

The feudal system was, moreover, fertile of the military spirit, and this
in its fullest vigor was necessary for the defence of the nation, as well
as of individuals, in the dark ages.  The feudal polity was first
established by the sagacious Conqueror, as a military structure to
overawe the vanquished Saxon; and though its rigor became relaxed in
after reigns, yet its very existence rested on military organization, and
the education of the soldier was its chief aim; the cultivation of the
soil and the pursuits of commerce, being regarded as secondary and
inferior occupations, and were treated with disdain by the feudal chiefs.
Hence the universal predominance of military power and rank in the middle
ages, and their monopoly of distinction and wealth.  Hence also the
paucity of mercantile greatness in those times.

As the martial discipline and organization of his retainers and vassals
was necessary to the supremacy of the Baron, so the co-operative forces
of the Barons were necessary for the maintenance of the throne, and the
safety of the kingdom.  The former was in continual peril from domestic
ambition and discord, and the latter from foreign foes.  A Montfort and a
Neville, a Percy and a Douglas, were only restrained from subverting the
royal power, and grasping the sceptre in their own hands, by the support
given by the other Barons to the sovereign,—evinced on many a well-fought
field.  The invasion of the kingdom by continental armies, was only
prevented by the confederate array of the King and his Barons.

In the absence of that division of employment which in modern times
produced a standing army, the feudal organization with its martial aspect
alone supplied the nation with its defence.  No sooner did the Frank or
Northman display his banner on the wave, for the conquest of Britain,
than hill signalled hill, from Devon to the Orkneys, to summon the united
Barons to the defence of the realm.  With such alacrity was the alarm
obeyed, that before a hostile flag could be planted on the headlands of
the island, the enemy was driven into the sea, or to the refuge of his
ships; leaving full many behind to attest the folly of the expedition.
Not less ready were the feudal chiefs to follow the British ensign into
foreign wars, there to sustain the glory of its fame.  Poietiers and
Azincour, Steinkirk and Landen, Ramilies and Blenheim, witnessed the
heroic prowess of English chivalry on their hard-fought fields, while the
terrible charge of the British infantry passed into the proverbs of those
lands.  From this system sprang an Essex and a Raleigh, a Chandos and a
Churchill, with other great captains of the British hosts, who, by the
military organization and discipline which it afforded to the nation,
were enabled during the reigns of the Plantagenets, the Tudors, and the
Stuarts to preserve our soil inviolate from a foreign foe, and to force
entire Europe into respect and homage of the British name.

It is also true that the Baron, his family, domestics, and retainers,
were in this era the only persons who possessed any scholarship,
learning, or even good manners.  The interior of the castle was graced
with beauty, order, and comparative refinement.  There letters and
learning were sought after, if not largely acquired.  Good manners and
regularity prevailed.  The Baron himself spent much of his time in the
bosom of his family, and must have been improved in the gentler circle
which there assembled.  He for a time lost the bluntness and ferocity of
his warlike life.  A priest, or minister of religion, was also generally
an appendage of the castle; and his profession, being an improving,
learned, and pacific one, must have acted beneficially on those with whom
he associated.  The instruction and example of the inmates of the castle
must therefore have been beneficial to the whole feudal society around:
to which may be added the historical fact that after the introduction of
the feudal system, and by the sanction and encouragement of the Barons,
were compiled the only literary works of the period of which we have any
account.  In the solitudes of the baronial castle were composed the only
chronicles of that era which have descended to us.  Within the walls of
the castellated abode generally dwelt the priests, bards, and other
literati of the time; where they had leisure and encouragement to pursue
their avocations; and thence issued forth their chronicles, poems, and
productions.  These influences must, therefore, have tended greatly to
the civilization and improvement of the whole feudal society.

On the other hand, we must not overlook the fact that the feudal state
was decidedly hostile to general freedom—its very nature militated
against general liberty—its existence was inconsistent with progress and
the spread of freedom and intelligence.  The continuance and influence of
the feudal dominion depended on the passive submission of all the
inhabitants of the domain.  Every manifestation of discontent or
uneasiness on the part of the latter was, therefore, watched by the chief
with a jealous eye; every attempt at disobedience was punished with
severity.  The chief warded off all principles dangerous to his own
monopoly of power.  All struggles for general liberty were crushed with
an unrelenting hand.  The great and only desire of the Baron was to
perpetuate the then existing system.  Every attempt at amelioration was
alike inimical to his wishes and power.

The feudal dominion was also extremely prejudicial to the nation in the
inveterate hostility which it manifested to commerce, agriculture, and
productive industry.  Military power and strength being its chief aim,
all pursuits which tended to divert the people from martial exercises and
display were discouraged by the feudal chiefs.  Hence the cultivation and
improvement of the soil was but feebly prosecuted, while the pursuits of
commerce and mercantile enterprise were opposed and repressed, from a
suspicion of their antagonism to the feudal dominion.  The Baron
delighted in extensive chases, and parks studded with trees, and covered
with brushwood, where game might take refuge; and in vast forests and
barren uplands, where the deer and the hare might wander undisturbed;
while the furrow of the corn-field and the hedge-row were restricted to
the smallest dimensions consistent with the necessities of the population
of the manor.  The hound was more valued than the sheep-dog; the
fowling-piece than the sickle; while herds of wild deer browsing the
slopes were more estimated than the oxen on the plain.  The huntsman and
gamekeeper held higher rank than the ploughman and reaper; while all the
prizes of ambition lay open to martial enterprise alone.

But to none was the hostility of the feudal chiefs more rancorous than to
the pursuits of commerce.  The most odious of sights was the tall chimney
of a manufactory peering through the oak and elm of the chase; while the
pollution of mills and workshops on the banks of pellucid streams was not
to be borne.  The mines of the mountain were closed, lest their produce
might destroy the salmon and trout of the rivers; while houses and ships
were left unbuilt, that the forests be not denuded of their stately

The hostility of the feudal chiefs to mercantile progress was the more
inveterate, from a feeling and knowledge of its antagonism to their own
irresponsible power.  Every manufactory which was set up bore a brow of
hostility to the castle; while every town was in feud with the manor.  In
every war or tumult the towns and commercial villages ranged their forces
in opposition to the Baron and his clan; and whensoever an opportunity
offered for suppressing and subverting the feudal dominion and
privileges, the mercantile community never failed to raise the axe and
strike at their root.

The Barons, therefore, manifested the utmost dislike and hostility to the
progress of manufactures and towns.  Seldom could a fitting site for a
village or manufactory be found except within the limits of a manor; and
the lord, if he even conceded the liberty for the erection, never failed
to burden the grant with exorbitant rents and exactions, and to fetter it
with the most oppressive restrictions.  These grants would never have
been made, only for the temptation of gold.  The feudal chiefs were, from
their ostentatious power and display, mostly poor; and in exchange for a
high rent or large purchase money, they were induced to grant tracts of
land to the manufacturer and merchant, whose money capital was the only
bait for the cupidity of the proprietor.  Hence, from the reign of Edward
the First onwards, the conflict of capital representing commerce, and
territorial interest representing the lords of the soil.  The former
power, feeble at first, grew steadily under the more favorable reigns of
succeeding monarchs, and in modern times has made such strides, as to
equal, if not surpass, the ancient dominion of the fief.

Moreover, the excessive power of the Barons was full of danger to the
peace and security of the realm.  Where the dominion and government of
the mass of the people were in so few hands, the peril of the nation was
great from the discontent or ambition of one or more of the chiefs.  A
Mowbray, Bohun, Mortimer, or Clifford, could at the head of his clan
disarrange the affairs of the entire kingdom, and plunge the nation into
war.  This danger was also increased from the turbulent disposition of
the Barons.  The feudal chiefs dwelt apart in the strongholds of their
castles, and the solitude of their manors, and exercised unlimited
dominion and sovereignty over the inhabitants of their domains.  Their
mode of life and irresponsible power generated an independence and
insubordination which could ill brook restraint or abridgment even from
the sovereign, setting aside from another chieftain, and which often
broke out in open rebellion, defying even the power of the crown.  Hence
the insurrection of a Leicester, a Warwick, and a Northumberland, which
required the utmost force of the sovereign and his confederate Barons to
subdue.  Hence also the intestine commotions and civil wars which were so
prevalent in the feudal ages, and which from time to time paralysed the
progress of the nation, and occasioned the sacrifice of innumerable

The feudal dominion was, in the last place, very unfavorable to art,
science, and discovery.  Its chiefs had little leisure from foreign wars
and domestic tumult for their prosecution, and had less inclination to
encourage their promotion by others.  Their attention was absorbed in
schemes of territorial aggrandisement and political intrigue, as to
devote little time to the improvement of the mind.  The only learning
which they patronised was the mummeries of monkish superstition and
priestly adulation.  True science was neglected, or even discouraged.  We
do not find one name throughout the dark and stormy reigns of the
Plantagenets which may rank in the first class of scientific merit.  We
must descend to the Tudors before we meet with any light to dispel the
Egyptian darkness which enveloped science.  It was the reign of the
virgin Queen Elizabeth which was embellished by that galaxy of
illustrious stars in the firmament of discovery, which mapped out new and
more useful paths for investigation, and will shed everlasting light upon
science.  It was in this epoch when the feudal dominion had been shorn of
much or most of its pristine glory, and when commerce and manufactures
were encouraged, and the liberty of the subject was more secure—that a
Bacon, a Raleigh, a Camden and a Davis, arose to delight and bless
mankind with their magnificent discoveries.  The paths shadowed out by
these great names were afterwards pursued under still more auspicious
reigns, throughout which we find a joint alliance and equal progress
between mercantile grandeur and civil freedom, and their hand-maiden
science.  In these latter times we meet with a Newton, a Davy, a Watt,
and a Stephenson, whose discoveries and works have yoked matter to
accomplish the purposes of man, and made the elements tributary to his
designs.  It is likewise more than probable that had the human mind in
modern times not emancipated itself from feudal servility and thraldom,
Britain and the world would have been deprived of these universal
blessings, and our own glorious island would at present hold little or no
higher rank in Europe than benighted Spain, or the Italian peninsula.

Now that the pomp, glory, and circumstance of the feudal state have
passed away, we may leisurely look back on its history, contemplate its
features, and observe its effects and tendencies.  In this retrospect we
are encouraged by the better condition of the age in which we live, and
the brightening prospects of the future.  But in all our inquiries and
wanderings let us never forget that man has in all ages been inconstant,
and human nature imperfect, and that the best of all institutions are
probably those which approximate the laws that Solon gave to the
Athenians; who said, “My laws are not the best ones possible, but they
are the best which the Athenians can bear.”

                                * * * * *

_Will be Published as soon as Subscribers for_ 300 _copies are obtained_,
                _in one Volume Demy_ 8_vo_., Price 12_s_.,


                 (Barddoniaeth, Pregethau, a Llythyrau).

The Volume will contain upwards of 500 pages of letter-press; and the

Subscribers’ names should be sent with as little delay as possible to

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *



Printed in the order in which they were registered during the years 1860
and 1861.

Rev. David Evans, Penarth, Llanfair.

W. Llewelyn, Esq., F. G. S., Glanwern, Pontypool.

Miss Davies, 12, Harper Street, Bloomsbury, London.

Rev. James Rhys Kilsby Jones, 10, Priory Street, Camdentown, London.

Mr. R. Peregrine, Llanelly.

—Thomas Hamer, Llanidloes.

—T. G. Jones, Llansaintffraid, Oswestry.

—W. Jones, (a descendant of the author)

Yspytty Ystwith, Cardiganshire.

Andrew Jones Brereton, Esq., (_Andreas o Fón_,) Mold.

Rev. D. Rowlands, M.A., Llanidloes.

—J. Edwards, M.A., Rector of Newtown.

Bernard Quaritch, Esq., 15, Piccadilly, London, 12 copies.

R. Richardson, Esq., Maes Cottage, Rhayader.

T. Richardson, Esq., Dolgroes, Yspytty Ystwith, Cardiganshire.

Rev. J. B. Evans, B.D., Vicar of St. Harmon, Radnorshire.

Mr. James Evans, Postmaster, Lampeter.

T. T. Griffiths, Esq., Wrexham.

Messrs. R. Hughes, & Son, Wrexham.

Mr. John Mendus Jones, Llanidloes.

Rev. D. Davies, Incumbent of Dylife, Montgomeryshire.

N. Bennet, Esq., Glanyrafon, Trefeglwys.

Rev. Thomas Williams, (a descendant of the author) Curate of Llanwrin,

Mr. David Williams, Dyfngwm Mines, Dylife.

John Jenkins, Esq., Llanidloes, 2 copies

Frederick J. Beeston, Esq., Glandwr, Llanidloes, and 16, St. George’s
Place, Hyde Park, London, 2 copies.

W. Chambers, Esq., Hafod, Cardiganshire.

Rev. W. Jones, Crescent Street, Newtown.

Rev. Owen Wynne Jones, (_Glasynys_,) Curate of Llangristiolus, Bangor.

Mr. W. Walter, Mount Pleasant, Trallwn, Pontypridd, Glamorganshire.

John Biddulph, Esq., Dderw, Swansea.

Mr. W. Lloyd, Warrington.

Arthur James Johnes, Esq., Garthmill, Welshpool, 3 copies.

Robert Edwards, Esq., Mayor of Aberystwith.

W. H. Thomas, Esq., South Place, Aberystwith.

Rev. C. D. Rees, M.A., Rhayader.

John Jones, Esq., (_Talhaiarn_,) Battlesden, Woburn Beds.

Mr. Robert Isaac Jones, Tremadoc.

—Wynne, Esq., Coed Coch, Abergele.

Mr. C. D. Bynner, Llangadvan.

Rev. T. James, (_Llallawg_,) Netherthong, Huddersfield.

Rev. John Mills, 40, Lonsdale Square, Islington, London.

John Jesse, Esq., F. R. S., Llanbedr Hall, Ruthin.

Rev. John Davies, Walsoken Rectory, Wisbeach.

The Right Honourable the Earl of Powis, Powis Castle, Welshpool.

The Right Honourable Lord Llanover, Llanover Park, Abergavenny, 2 copies.

George Hammond Whalley, Esq., M.P., Plâs Madoc, Ruabon.

Mr. Thomas Benbow, New York.

John Maurice Davies, Esq., Barrister at Law, Crygie, Aberystwith.

Rev. Richard Jenkins, B.A., Abermagwr Cottage, Crosswood Park,

W. P. R. Powell, Esq., M.P., Nanteos, Aberystwith, 3 Copies.

Rev. David Williams, Llanedwy Rectory, Llanelly, Carmarthenshire.

Lady Augusta E. Marshall, Ruabon, 2 copies

Rev. Charles Williams, D.D., Principal of Jesus College, Oxford.

Rev. D. Silvan Evans, Llangian, Pwllheli.

—J. Williams, (_Ab Ithel_,) Llanymowddwy Rectory.

—Lewis Evans, Head Master of Ystradmeirig School, Cardiganshire, 2

—Owen Jones, Vicar of Towyn.

Thomas Wright, Esq., F. R. S., 14, Sydney Street, Brompton, London.

William Jones, (_Gwrgant_,) 20, King’s Arms Yard, London.

Rev. Robert Williams, M.A., Rhydycroesau, Oswestry.

George Osborne Morgan, Esq., 2, Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London.

J. W. Szlumper, Esq., C. E. Milford Haven.

James Davies, Esq., Rhosrhydgaled, Aberystwith.

John Jones, Esq., Dinorben, St George’s, St Asaph.

Mr. W. W. Jones, (_Gwilym o Fôn_,) Towyn.

—Owen Mills, Llanidloes.

—T. J. Lloyd, Machynlleth.

Rev. James Griffiths, Vicar of Llangynmor, Carmarthen.

John Scott, Esq., Corbet Arms Hotel, Aberdovey.

Rev. Thomas Jones Hughes, Vicar of Llanasa, Holywell.

John Dendy, Esq., B.A., 36, York Street, Manchester.

Rev. D. Parry, B.A., Darowen Rectory, Machynlleth.

William Price, Esq., Llanffwyst, Abergavenny.

John Jones, Esq., 26, North Parade, Aberystwith.

John Evan Thomas, Esq., F.S.A., 7, Lower Belgrave Square, London.

Rev. Henry J. Evans, Curate of Dowlais.

—David Lloyd James, Vicar of Pontrobert, Montgomeryshire.

Mr. Richard Mills, the Green, Llanidloes.

Miss Sarah Mills, Llanidloes.

Thomas Stephens, Esq., Merthyr Tydvil.

W. H. Reece, Esq., F.A.S., New Street, Birmingham.

James Rees, Esq., Carnarvon.

Ensign E. Powell, Trewythen, Llandinam.

Mr. Thomas Hughes, 10, Croston Street, Liverpool.

Mr. D. J. Roderic, Llandovery.

—Evan Jones, Machynlleth.

—John Beavan, Newtown.


_The first figures refer to the Translations_, _the second to the

A Poem by Owain Cyfeiliog                                        9, 99
A Poem by Howel-ap-Einion Lygliw                               15, 104
An Ode of David Benfras to Llewelyn the                        18, 107
A Poem to Llewelyn the Great, by Einion                        20, 109
the son of Gwgan
A Panegyric upon Owain Gwynedd, by                             25, 114
Gwalchmai the son of Meilir
An Elegy to Nest, the daughter of Howel,                       27, 115
by Einion ab Gwalchmai
A Poem to Llewelyn the Great, by                               29, 117
Llywarch Brydydd y Moch
An Ode to Llewelyn the last Prince of                          36, 124
Wales, by Llygal Gwr
A Poem entitled The Ode of the months,                         42, 129
by Gwilym Ddu o Arfon
A short account of Taliesin and Elphin                              50
his Patron
At Rhisiart Morys, Ysw., a’i Frodyr                                 89
At y Cymry                                                          91
A Method how to retrieve the Ancient                               133
British Language, &c.
A Curious Commission issued by Queen                               138
A Biographical sketch of Ieuan Prydydd                             141
An Elegy on his death by the Rev. R.                               142
A Paraphrase of the 137th Psalm, by the                            143
Rev. E. Evans, (_Ieuan Prydydd Hir_)
An Elegy to the Memory of Lleucu Llwyd,                       173, 176
the fair nymph of Pennal, by Llewelyn
Goch ap Meirig Hen
A List of Subscribers                                              213
Dedication to Sir Roger Mostyn                                       5
De Bardis Dissertatio                                               57
Preface                                                              7
Taliesin’s Poem                                                54, 131
The Penitent Shepherd, by the Rev. E.                              149
Evans, (_Ieuan Prydydd Hir_)
The Feudal System, by J. Jenkins Esq.                              181
The Welsh Works of Ieuan Prydydd Hir,                              213
proposal to print them by Subscription
Verses on seeing the ruins of Ivor                                 148
Hael’s Palace, by the Rev. E. Evans,
(_Ieuan Prydydd Hir_)
A Letter from Mr. Thomas, Carte, to the                            149
Rev. E. Evans
A Letter from the Rev. W. Wynn to the                              159
Rev. E. Evans
Letters from Mr. Lewis Morris to the          150, 152, 153, 154, 155,
Rev. E. Evans                                            156, 157, 158
Letters from Bishop Percy to the Rev. E.      160, 162, 164, 166, 167,
Evans                                                              168

                                 THE END.

Mineral Springs.

                                * * * * *

Part I. (Breconshire) is from the pen of the Rev. James Rhys Jones
(Kilsby.)  Part II. (Radnorshire, &c.,) has been compiled by the
Publisher.  The two chapters on the Medicinal Properties of the Waters
are from the pen of R. Richardson, Esq., L.F.P.S.G., Fellow of the
Obstetrical Society of London, Surgeon, Rhayader.

                                * * * * *

Opinions of the Press.

“This is a very interesting little book; in a very small compass, it
contains a great deal of useful and interesting information relative to
the Welsh mineral springs, coupled with a variety of legendary and
antiquarian lore; descriptions of scenery, and the various other adjuncts
necessary to make up a good guide book.  Every one who purposes visiting
the springs should procure a copy, and even those who do not intend
visiting the localities described, will find a variety of entertaining
matter in this very agreeable and pleasant little book.  We ought to
mention that a portion of the work has been compiled by the Rev J. R.
Jones, (late of Kilsby,) and that it contains a valuable chapter on the
medicinal properties of the various springs, from the pen of R.
Richardson, Esq., _Surgeon_, of Rhayader.”—_Shropshire Conservative_

“The caprice of fashion has rendered famous many old corners of the
earth, while others more deserving the notice of the great world lie
hidden in unmerited obscurity, or at the most have obtained but a mere
local celebrity.  The spas of Germany are frequented by quite as many of
the votaries of dissipation, and _Rouge et Noir_, as of the seekers after
the blessings of health; but there are secluded valleys in our own
country which are to the full as deserving of the visits of the lover of
the beautiful, and the tired out workman in the world’s great treadmill,
while to the invalid they offer medicaments of nature’s own composition,
and scenes untainted by the follies of the frivolous, or the vices of the
designing, who throng the gilded saloons of Hamburg and Baden to prey
upon the gay and gilded butterflies of fashion.  To such the little book
whose title we quote above will prove a faithful, and we believe a
welcome guide—for its unpretending pages contain not merely a great
amount of information, but also a considerable fund of recreative
reading.  Almost every line of the chapters comprising the first part
betrays the writer’s well-know hand.  Unlike as Charles Lamb and Carlyle
are to each other, and unlike as he is to either, there is much in his
style that reminds us of both; there is much of the genial quaint humour
of the one, and much, very much, of the eccentricity of the other.  There
is no mistaking the pen, whether it is employed in graphically sketching
with a few rapid touches the picturesque scenery of woodland glen, or
wide expanse of solitary moor, or glorious mountain side grand with
precipice, and beautiful with heather bloom—or whether it is rendering
homage to the memory of some worthy of other days, who first saw light
among those hills—or whether it is with the frolic humour of a Cerfantes
giving a vivid word-picture of an exploring expedition, mounted on a
batch of Abergwessin ponies—it is still ORIGINAL, and will be recognised
all over Wales as wielded by no other hand than that of “Kilsby,” by
which designation the Rev. James Rhys Jones is by common consent
distinguished from the ten thousand and one of his compatriots who
rejoice in the same surname.  We can scarcely conceive the possibility of
his doing anything and not doing it _earnestly_, but this has evidently
been a labour of love, for is it not a description of that Valley of the
Irvon which he thus apostrophises?—

“‘Thou birth-place and resting place of my humble forefathers, wisely and
not too well have I loved thee; when I sojourned in the land of the noble
and generous Saxon thou wert my thought by day and my dream by night; it
was my uppermost wish to close my life in thy bosom; I have loved thee
with a love second only to that of woman, and a passion which sober men
pronounce madness: it matters not, for I can pray with the Westmoreland
Bard, “Thou valley embrace me, and ye mountains shut me in.”’

“The remaining portion of the book is chiefly a compilation, but one that
has been well and judiciously performed.  Mr. Pryse has succeeded in
getting from a variety of sources pretty nearly every thing that can
possibly interest, inform, or amuse, in connection not only with the
mineral springs, but also with the beautiful district in which they are
situated.  For the invalid he has brought together the various analyses
of the waters, made from time to time, with the opinions of medical men
as to the best rules for their administration; for the scientific he has
produced the opinions of geologists as to the causes of the impregnation
of the waters, with their health-giving constituents; for the antiquarian
he has collected all that remains of the annals of the ruined abbeys and
castles within a wide circuit, especially all that is known of the
history of the last hours of the gallant Llewellyn, last native Prince of
Wales, whose sad fate has given such melancholy interest to the vicinity
of Builth; and for the poet and the lover of the marvellous he has
recorded the wondrous legends, which in days gone by, were supposed to
account for the healing powers of the springs without resorting to the
philosophic theories of the Murchisons or Richardsons of those times.  In
short, he has produced a “Handbook,” the possession of which will doubly
enhance the pleasure of a summer ramble amid the scenes which it
describes.”—_The Monmouthshire Merlin_.

                                * * * * *

This Handbook is got up in various styles, so as to suit the pockets of
every visitor.  In stiff paper covers the price is 1s. 6d.; bound in
strong cloth boards the price is 2s.; bound in extra cloth, gilt edges,
and lettered on the side, the price is 2s. 6d.  All post free for value
in stamps.

                                * * * * *


A List of Books Published or Sold by John Pryse, Bookseller, &c.,
Llanidloes, Montgomery.  All post free for their value in stamps; when
not to be had from a Bookseller, please send to the Publisher.

THE CAMBRIAN MINSTREL, by John Thomas, (Ieuan Ddu.)  Small 4to, (Merthyr
Tydfil, 1845,) in 13 Parts, paper covers, price 6s. 6d.  “The Work is
equally interesting to Welsh readers, as nearly all the matter contained
is inserted in both languages.”

A Melody for Cristmas or New Year’s Eve, by R. Lowe, Price 1½d.

Williams’s Epitaphs for Grave-stones.  Price 9d.

The Inundation of Cardigan Bay, by the Rev. G. Edwards, M.A., Price 9d

Will be published as soon as Subscribers’ names are received for 400
copies, price Half-a-crown.


by the late Rev. Theophilus Evans, sometime vicar of Llangammarch, and
discoverer of the Llanwrtyd Mineral Waters, &c.  Translated from the
Welsh, with notes from the works of modern writers.  The book will be
printed on good paper, and stitched in paper covers,

Will be published as soon as Subscribers’ names are received for 250
copies, price 5s.


by Caradoc of Llancarvan, translated from the Welsh.  The publisher has
long noticed the want of a reprint of this most interesting History; it
having become very scarce, he ventures to hope to have at once sufficient
Subscribers to enable him to issue the book forthwith


yn ddwy ran, Rhan I, sy’n traethu am hen Ach y Cymry, o ba le y daethant
allan; y Rhyfeloedd a fu rhyngddynt a’r Rhufeinwyr, y Brithwyr, a’r
Saeson; a’u Moesau cyn troi yn Gristionogion.  Rhan II, sy’n traethu am
Bregethiad a Chynydd yr Efengyl yn Mhrydain, Athrawiaeth y Brif Eglwys, a
Moesau y Prif Gristionogion, Gan y Parch, Theophilus Evans, gynt vicar
Llangammarch, yn ngwlad Fuellt a Dewi, yn Mrycheiniog.  Yn nghyda
Rhagarweiniad a nodau eglurhaol, gan y Parch, Rhys Gwesyn Jones, un o
awdwyr y “Gwyddoniadur Cymreig,” &c.  Adargraffiad o’r argraffiad a
gyhoeddwyd gan yr awdwr yn 1740, Pris mewn papur (i Danysgrifwyr) 2s,
Cloth Gilt, 3s

The Love Songs and War Songs of the Ancient Britons,


A Scrap Book of Cambrian Prose and Poetry, compiled by John Pryse.  The
book contains translated specimens of the works of the most eminent Welsh
Bards, Warriors, and Philosophers.  Price 1s, 6d

Y Llyfr Rhataf yn Nghymru!!  Newydd ei Gyhoeddi, Pris 6c, Y CYFAILL I
BAWB, Yn cynwys yr “Almanac Tragwyddol,” y dull newydd i olchi dillad,
wrth yr hwn y gellir cwblhau golohiad chwech wythnos cyn boreufwyd,
Hefyd, yn agos i 300 o gyfarwyddiadau ereill yn dangos y ffordd oreu i
drin anifeiliaid, ac i wheyd llawer iawn o bethau gwerthadwy, yn nghyda
_chatalogues_ am filoedd o lyfrau, a hysbysiadau am lawer iawn o bethau
nas gellir eu henwi yma.  Y ffordd i gael y llyfr—rhowch 6 o stamps
llythyrau (yn nghydag enw eich trigfa) mewn llythyr, wedi ei gyfeirio at
John Pryse, Bookseller, Llanidloes, Montgomery, a chyda throad y post fe
anfonir y llyfr yn rhydd.

cannot do better than take a trip to one or other of the Welsh Mineral
Springs.  Before you leave home, send for a copy of Pryse’s Handbook to
the Breconshire and Radnorshire Mineral Springs, which contains the
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{10a}  Arwystli, the name of one of the cantreds of Powys.

{10b}  Belyn, a great man from Lleyn in Carnarvonshire, mentioned in the
Triades, and is said there to have fought with Edwin, king of the
Northumbrians, in Bryn Cenau in Rhos, in the county of Denbigh; probably
he was one of Cadwallon’s generals; it is well known, and confessed by
Beda himself, that that prince was a terrible scourge to the Saxons.

{11a}  Garthan, the name of a fort or castle somewhere near the Severn.

{11b}  This was the famous battle of Bangor-is-y-coed in Flintshire,
after the murder of the monks, at the instigation of Austin, the first
converter of the Saxons to Christianity.  This is the account Humphrey
Lloyd gives of that affair: “Ille vero [Augustinus S.] ob hanc
contumeliam, & quod archiepiscopo Cantuariæ a se constituto, & quod cum
Romans ecclesia in quibusdam non convenirent, Anglorum odium ita in eos
concivit, ut paulo post (ut dixi) ab Ethelfredo, Ethelberti, Cantiæ
regis, ob Augustino incitati, opera & auxiliis, monachi pacem petentes,
crudeliter occisi; & postea Britanni duce Brochwelo Powisiæ Rege, victi
sunt, donec tandem Bletrusii Cornaviæ ducis, Cadvanni Northwalliæ,
Mereduci Suthwalliæ regum copiis adjuti, & Dunoti abbatis viri doctissimi
concione animati, quique jussit (ut nostri annales referunt) ut
unusquisque terram oscularetur, in memoriam communionis corporis
Dominici, aquamque ex Deva fluvio manu haustam biberet, in memoriam
sacratissim isanguinis Christi pro eis effusis, & ita communicati,
memorabili prœlio Saxones, occisis (ut Huntingtonensis refert) ex eis
MLXVI.  Cadvanumque in civitate Legionis regem creavere.”  Britan.
Descript. Commentariolum, p. 90, & 91, Moses Williams’s Edition.  This
battle is called in our annals sometimes Gwaith Caerlleon, that is, the
battle of Chester, and is said to have been fought, A.D. 633.

{11c}  We have no account at present, that I know of, who this Morach
Vorvran was, nor the occasion of his joy and festivity, alluded to in
this poem; probably it was upon the defeat of the Saxons at Bangor.

{11d}  The name of a place, but where situated, I know not.

{12a}  Talgarth, the name of many places in Wales; but this must be
somewhere near the sea.

{12b}  Hirlas, the epithet of the horn, from _hir_, long; and _glâs_,
blue, or azure.

{12c}  Mochnannwys, in the original, he calls himself prince of the
Mochnannwys, or inhabitants of Mochnant.

{13a}  Gwestun, the name of a place somewhere in Powys.

{13b}  By this circumstance, it seems they rescued the prisoner from some
maritime town.

{13c}  Sun equally, that is, at noon day, which added much to the merit
of the action.

{13d}  The guards of Mynyddawc Eiddin, or of Edinborough, in the battle
of Cattraeth, which is celebrated by Aneurin Gwawdrydd, in his heroic
poem entitled the Gododin.  Mynyddawc was a prince of the North: he is
mentioned in the Triades of Britain; and his guards, who were famous for
their loyalty and bravery, were reckoned among the three noble guards of
the kingdom of Britain; the other two being the guards, or, as the word
Gosgordd may be translated, the clans of Melyn, the son of Cynvelyn, and
the guards of Drywon, the son of Nudd, in the battle of Rhodwydd

{14a}  Llidwm, the name of a place somewhere in Maelor.

{14b}  I do not recollect what country this place is in.

{15a}  I cannot recollect who Myfanwy Fechan, the subject of the poem,
is, but guess her to be descended from the princes of Powys.

{15b}  Castell Dinas Bran, or Bran’s Castle, is situated on a high hill
near Llangollen in Denbighshire.  Mr. Humphrey Llwyd, the antiquarian,
thinks it took its name from Brennus; but Llwyd of the Museum, more
probably, from Bran, the name of a river that runs there about.  Bran
signifies a crow, and is the name of several rivers in Wales.  I suppose
on account of their black streams issuing from turfaries.  There are
still remains of the ruins of this castle.

{15c}  Howel-ap-Einion Lygliw was a man of note in his time, and a
celebrated Bard.  Dr. Davies thinks he was uncle to Griffydd
Llwyd-ap-Dafydd-ap-Einion Lygliw, another famous bard, who flourished
A.D. 1400.

{15d}  Creirwy, a lady of great beauty often mentioned by the bards.

{15e}  Garwy, one of king Arthur’s knights.

{15f}  Trystan-ap-Tallwch, another of king Arthur’s knights.

{15g}  Caswennan, the name of one of king Arthur’s ships, which was
wrecked in a place denominated from her Goffrydau Caswennan.

{16a}  Alban, Scotland.  It seems the Bard rode upon a Scotch steed.

{16b}  Aran, the name of two high mountains in Merionethshire.

{16c}  Some of the Trefor-family (and perhaps descendants) now live near
Castell Dinas Bran.

{16d}  Rhun, son of Maelgwn Gwynedd king of Britain, A.D. 570.  I do not
remember the story alluded to here by the Bard.

{16e}  I suppose Myfanwy Fechan was descended from Tudur Trefor earl of
Hereford, of one side.  The worthy family of the Mostyns of Mostyn and
Gloddaith, are descended from Tudur Trefor.

{17}  Dinbrain, the same as Dinas Bran.

{18a}  There were two Myrddins, or Merlins, as they are wrongly written
by the English, viz. Myrddin Emrys and Myrddin Wyllt; the last was a
noted poet, and there is a poem of his extant, entitled Avallennau, or
the Apple-trees.

{18b}  Aneurin Gwawdrydd Mychdeyrn Beirdd, i.e. Aneurin the monarch of
Bards, was a celebrated poet of North Britain.  His poem, the Gododin,
upon the battle of Cattraeth, is extant; but by reason of its great
antiquity, is not easily understood at this distance of time, being
upwards of twelve hundred years old: however, it appears, from what is
understood of it, to have been a very spirited performance.

{18c}  Craig Vreiddin, is a high hill in Montgomeryshire.

{18d}  I know not where this country is.

{18e}  Some lines are wanting in the original.

{19a}  Knocking, I suppose, is somewhere near Offa’s ditch.

{19b}  Porth Ysgewin is near Chepstow, in Monmouthshire or

{19c}  Taliesin Ben Beirdd, or the chief of Bards, flourished about the
year 560, or thereabout, under Maelgwn Gwynedd king of Britain, called by
Gildas Maglocunus.  Many of Taliesin’s poems are extant, but on account
of their great antiquity are very obscure, as the work of his
contemporaries are.  There is a great deal of the Druidical Cabbala
intermixed in his works, especially about the transmigration of souls.

{20a}  Rheidol is the name of a large river in Cardiganshire, and
Glasgrug, one of the palaces of the princes of South Wales, is very near
it, about a measured mile from Aberystwith, and at present the property
of the Rev. Mr. William Powel, of Nanteos.

{20b}  Lleision was one of the palaces of the princes of Powys, corruptly
now called Llysin; and the park about it is called Llysin-park, the
patrimony of Lord Powys.

{21a}  The battle of Llwyvein was fought by Urien Reged and his son
Owain, against Ida king of the Northumbrians.  It is celebrated by
Taliesin in a poem, entitled Gwaith Argoed Llwyvein, i.e. the battle of
Argoed Llwyvein.

{21b}  Eurgain, Northop in Flintshire, so called from Eurgain, the
daughter of Maelgwn Gwynedd.

{21c}  Demetia.  This expedition of Llewelyn-ap-Iorwerth was against the
Flemings and Normans, of which there is an account in Powel’s History of
Wales, p. 277, 278.

{22a}  Llan Huadain, the name of a place in Pembrokeshire.

{22b}  Cilgeran, the name of another place in the same county, near the
river Teivi.

{22c}  Llywarch Hen, the son of Elidir Lydanwyn a nobleman of North
Britain, and cousin german to Urien Reged king of Cumbria; he was a great
warrior, and fought successful against the Saxons; but fortune at last
favouring the Saxons, he was obliged in his old age to retire to Wales.
He had twenty-four sons, who wore golden chains, and were all killed in
battles against the Saxons.  Llywarch Hen was a noted Bard, his works are
extant, wherein he celebrates the noble feats of his sons, and bewails
his misfortunes, and the troubles of old age, especially in distress.

{22d}  Tanad is the name of a river in Montgomeryshire, which emptieth
itself into the Severn.

{22e}  Nudd Hael, or the Generous, was a nobleman of North Britain
remarkable for his liberality.

{22f}  Huail was a brother of Gildas, the son of Caw, and a noted
warrior.  His brother Gildas was the author of the Epistle De excidio

{22g}  Rhydderch Hael, or the Generous, was another nobleman of the
North, noted for his liberality.

{23a}  Rhun, the son of Maelgwn Gwynedd king of Britain, a great warrior.

{23b}  As an hand, &c., i.e. I am as necessary to him as one of those
members to the body, to celebrate his martial feats.

{23c}  Gwriad is the name of a hero mentioned in the Gododin.

{23d}  Hunydd, the name of a woman, probably the prince’s mistress.  The
Bards had no great affection for Joan the princess, daughter of king
John, because she was an Englishwoman, and not faithful to the prince’s

{23e}  Arvon, the county of Carnarvon, so called, because situated
opposite to Môn, or Anglesea.  Arvon, literally Supra Monam, from the
particle Ar, super, and Môn, Mona.

{25a}  Owain Gwynedd, prince of North Wales, was descended in a direct
line from Roderic the Great, prince of all Wales, who divided his
principality amongst his three sons.

{25b}  Iwerddon, the British name of Ireland, hence the Hibernia of the
Latins, and Ἱέρνη and Ἱθέρνια of the Greeks, probably called from the
British Y Werdd Ynys, i.e. the Green Island.

{25c}  Lochlynians, the Danes, so called from the Baltic, which our
ancestors called Llychlyn.  Llychlyn is the name of Denmark and Norway,
and all those northern regions mentioned in the works of our bards.

{25d}  Normans.  Moses Williams, in his notes on the Æræ Cambro
Brittanicæ, gives the following account of this battle.

    “Normanni, qui in hoc loco Frainc appellantur, erant copiæ quas
    Henricus Secundus in Monam misit A.D. MCLVII. duce Madoco filio
    Maredudii Powisiæ principe.  Hi ecclesias SS. Mariæ et Petri (ut
    annales nostri referunt) spoliavere.  Istæ vero ecclesiæ in orientali
    Monæ plaga sunt, unde liquet locum Tal Moelvre dictum alicubi in Mona
    esse, fortasse etiam haud procul ab ecclesiis praedictis: omnes vero
    qui navibus egrediebantur a Monæ incolis interfecti sunt.”  Vide
    Annales a Powelo editos, p. 206, 207.

It seems by Gwalchmai’s poem to have been a very large fleet, which came
partly from Ireland, partly from the Baltic, and the rest from Normandy,
to invade the principality.  It is plain that its forces were numerous,
as they came from so many countries; but it seems they met with a very
warm reception from the prince and his sons, and that they were glad to
sail away as soon as possible.

{26a}  Owain Gwynedd had many sons noted for their valour, especially
Howel, who was born of Finnog, an Irish lady.  He was one of his father’s
generals in his wars against the English, Flemings, and Normans, in South
Wales, and was a noted Bard, as several of his poems, now extant,

{26b}  It seems that the fleet landed in some part of the firth of Menai,
and that it was a kind of a mixed engagement, some fighting on shore,
others from the ships.  And probably the great slaughter was owing to its
being low water, and that they could not set sail: otherwise I see no
reason why, when they were worsted on land, they should continue the
fight in their ships.  It is very plain that they were in great distress,
and that there was a great havoc made of them, as appears from the
remainder of this very spirited poem.

{27a}  Who this lady was is not known at present.

{27b}  What country this is I cannot recollect.

{27c}  Teivi, the name of a large river in Cardiganshire.

{27d}  Elivri, the name of a woman; but who she was, or when she lived,
is not clear.

{27e}  Cadvan is the saint of Towyn Meirionydd.

{27f}  Dysynni is the name of a river that runs by Towyn.

{28a}  I cannot recollect at present who this person is, nor the occasion
of his grief, though it is mentioned in some of our manuscripts.

{28b}  Eryri, Snowdon, called Creigiau Eryri and Mynydd Eryri, i.e. the
rocks and mountains of snow, from Eiry, which signifies snow.  As
Niphates, the name of a mountain, from a word of the same signification
in Greek.

{28c}  Dewi, St. David, a bishop in the time of king Arthur, and the
patron saint of Wales.

{30a}  Iorwerth, surnamed Drwyndwn, or with the broken nose, the father
of Llewelyn, was the eldest son of Owain Gwynedd, but was not suffered to
enjoy his right on account of that blemish.

{30b}  Owain Gwynedd, prince of North Wales.

{30c}  Llewelyn was the lawful heir of the principality of North Wales,
in right of his father Iorwerth, and accordingly put in his claim for it,
and got it from his uncles David and Rodri, when he was very young.

{30d}  David, the son of Owain Gwynedd, who succeeded his father as
prince of Wales.

{30e}  This battle is not mentioned by any of our historians.  The
description is very animated in the original, and very expressive of such
a scene.  It was fought near Porth Aethwy.  The steeds of the main is a
poetical expression for ships.

{31a}  Alun, the name of a river in Flintshire, where there was a battle
fought by Llewelyn against the English.

{31b}  Caeawg Cynnorawg is the name of a hero celebrated by Aneurin
Gwawdrydd in the Gododin.

{31c}  Deudraeth Dryfan is the name of some place near the sea.  There
are many places in Wales called Deudraeth; but where this in particular
is situated I cannot guess.

{31d}  Ogrfan Gawr, an ancient British prince, cotemporary with king

{32a}  Camlan, the name of a place somewhere in Cornwall, where the
decisive battle between king Arthur, and his treacherous nephew Medrod
happened, who had usurped the sovereignty while he was absent on a
foreign expedition.  King Arthur, according to our ancient historians,
slew Medrod with his own hand; but received his death-wound himself, and
retired to Ynys Afallon or Glastenbury, where he soon afterwards died.
His death was politically concealed, lest it should dispirit the Britons.
Hence arose so many fabulous stories about it.

{32b}  Cadwallon, the son of Cadfan, is that victorious king of Britain,
who was a terrible scourge to the Saxons.  Beda, in his ecclesiastical
history, calls him tyrannum sævientem, an outrageous tyrant.

{32c}  Caer Lleon, Chester, so called, as our historians relate, from
Lleon Gawr, or king Lleon, and not from Castra legionum, as modern
writers will have it.  Cawr anciently signified a king, as Benlli Gawr,
is called by Nennius, cap. 30, Rex Benlli; but now it signifies a giant,
or a man of an extraordinary strength and stature.  It is not improbable
but that the Ancient Britons chose such for their kings.

{33a}  Gwyddgrug, Mold, in Flintshire, so called from Gwydd, high, and
Crug, a hill.  Mold is a corruption of Mons altus.

{33b}  Elsmere, the name of a town in Shropshire.

{33c}  Mochnant is a part of Powys.

{33d}  Argoedwys, the men of Powys, from Ar, above, Coed, wood.  The
Powysians are called by Llywarch Hen, gwyr Argoed.  As, “Gwyr Argoed
erioed a’m porthant,” i.e. I was ever maintained by the men of Argoed.

{33e}  The princes of Powys adhered to the kings of England, and the
lords Marchers, against their natural Prince, to whom they were to pay
homage and obedience, according to the division made by Rhodri Mawr, as
appears from the Welsh History.

{34a}  Coed Aneu, the name of a place near Llanerchymedd, in Anglesea.

{34b}  Dygen Ddyfnant, another place whose situation I am ignorant of,
where another battle was fought.

{34c}  Bryn yr Erw, another place unknown.

{34d}  Celyddon, the British name of that part of North Britain, called
Caledonia by the Romans.

{34e}  Dinbych, Denbigh.

{34f}  Foelas, or Y Foel las, i.e. the green summit, which is the name of
a place in Denbighshire, where there is an old fort, now in the
possession of Watkyn Wynn, Esq., colonel of the Denbighshire militia,
whose seat is near it.

{34g}  Gronant, the name of a fort or castle in Flintshire.

{34h}  Dinas Emreis or Emrys, the name of a place in Snowdon, near Bedd
Gelert, where Gwrtheyrn, or Vortigern, attempted to build a castle.

{34i}  Morgant, the name of one of Llewelyn’s generals.

{35a}  Mechain, a part of Powys.

{35b}  Caer Liwelydd, Carlisle.

{36a}  Arllechwedd, a part of Carnarvonshire.

{36b}  Cemmaes, the name of several places is Wales.  The Bard means here
a cantred of that name in Anglesea.

{37a}  Tyganwy, the name of an old castle near the mouth of the river
Conway to the east; it was formerly one of the royal palaces of Maelgwn
Gwyneld, king of Britain, and was, as our annals relate, burnt by
lightning, ann. 811, but was afterwards rebuilt, and won by the Earls of
Chester, who held it for a considerable time, but was at last retaken by
the princes of North Wales.

{37b}  Arfon, the country now called Carnarvonshire.

{37c}  Beli.  This was probably Beli Mawr, to whom our Bards generally
trace the pedigree of great men.

{37d}  Eryri, Snowdon, which some suppose derived from mynydd eryrod, the
hill of eagles, but more probably from mynydd yr eiry, the hill of snow.
Snowdon, in English, signifies literally the hill of snow, from Snow and
Down, that being still a common name for a hill in England, as Barham
Downs, Oxford Downs, Burford Downs, &c.

{37e}  Greidiawl, the name of a hero mentioned by Aneurin Gwawdrydd in
his Gododin.

{37f}  Teivi, the name of a large river in Cardiganshire.

{38a}  Bryneich, the men of Bernicia, a province of the Old Saxons in the
North of England.  The inhabitants of Deira and Bernicia are called by
our ancient historians, Gwyr Deifr a Bryneich.

{38b}  It was the policy of the British princes to make the Bards
foretell their success in war, in order to spirit up their people to
brave actions.  Upon which account the vulgar supposed them to be real
prophets.  Hence the great veneration they had for the prophetical Bards,
Myrddin Emrys, Taliesin, and Myrddin Wyllt.  This accounts for what the
English writers say of the Welsh relying so much upon the prophecies of
Myrddin.  There are many of these pretended prophecies still extant.  The
custom of prophecying did not cease till Henry the Seventh’s time, and
the reason is obvious.

{38c}  Pwlffordd, is the name of a place in Shropshire.  There is a
bridge of that name still in that county.

{38d}  Cydweli, the name of a town, and Comot, in Carmarthenshire.

{39a}  Cefn Gelorwydd, is the name of some mountain, but where it is
situated I know not.

{39b}  Arderydd, is the name of a place somewhere in Scotland; perhaps,
Atterith, about six miles from Solway Frith.  This battle is mentioned in
the Triads, and was fought by Gwenddolau ap Ceidiaw and Aeddan Fradawg,
petty princes of the North, against Rhydderch Hael, king of Cumbria, who
got the battle.  Myrddin Wyllt, or Merlin, the Caledonian, was severely
handled by Rhydderch Hael, for siding with Gwenddolau, his patron, which
he complains of in his poem entitled Afallenau, or Apple-trees.

{39c}  Eiddionydd, now Eifionydd, the name of a Comot, or district, in

{39d}  Drws Daufynydd, is the name of a pass between two hills, but where
it lies I know not.  Drws Daufynydd signifies, literally, the door of the
two hills.  There are many passes in Wales denominated from Drws, as Drws
Ardudwy, Drws y Coed, Bwlch Oerddrws, &c.

{39e}  Aberffraw, the name of the prince’s chief palace in Anglesea.

{40a}  Dinefwr, the name of the prince of South Wales’s palace,
pleasantly situated upon a hill above the river Towy, in Carmarthenshire,
now in the possession of George Rice, of Newton, Esquire, member of
parliament for that county.

{40b}  Mathrafal, the seat of the prince of Powys, not far from Pool, in
Montgomeryshire, now in the possession of the earl of Powys.

{40c}  Rhos and Penfro, the names of two Cantreds in Pembrokeshire.

{41}  Fflamddwyn, the name of a Saxon prince, against whom Urien, king of
Cumbria, and his son Owain, fought the battle of Argoed Llwyfein.

{46a}  Nudd Hael, or the Generous, one of the three liberal heroes of
Britain mentioned in the Triads, and celebrated by Taliesin.

{46b}  Griffydd Llwyd, the hero of the poem, was the son of Rhys, son of
Griffydd, the son of the famous Ednyfed Fychan, seneschal to Llewelyn the
great, and a brave warrior.  Edward Philipp Pugh, Esq., of Coetmor, in
Carnarvonshire, is a descendant in a direct line from Ednyfed Fychan, and
has in his custody a grant from prince Llewelyn the Great of some lands
in Creuddyn given to the said Ednyfed, and his posterity, with the
prince’s seal in green wax affixed to it.  To this worthy gentleman, and
his lady, I am much obliged for their civility when I lived in those
parts.—The royal family of the Tudors are likewise descended from Ednyfed
Fychan, as appears by a commission that was sent to the Bards and Heralds
of Wales, to enquire into the pedigree of Owain Tudor, king Henry the
Seventh’s grandfather.

{46c}  The land of the Angles, i.e., England.

{47a}  Gwynedd, the name of the country, called by the Romans Venedotia,
but by the English North Wales.

{47b}  Urien Reged, a famous king of Cumbria, who fought valiantly with
the Saxons, whose brave actions are celebrated by Taliesin and Llywarch
Hen.  He is mentioned by Nennius, the ancient British historian, who
wrote about A.D. 858.  This writer is terribly mangled by his editors,
both at home and abroad, from their not being versed in the British
language.  I have collected some manuscripts of his history, but cannot
meet a genuine one without the interpolations of Samuel Beulan, otherwise
I would publish it.  I have in my possession many notes upon this author,
collected from ancient British manuscripts, as well as English writers,
who have treated of our affairs.  This I have been enabled to do, chiefly
by having access to the curious library at Llannerch, by the kind
permission of the late Robert Davies, Esquire, and since by his worthy
son, John Davies, Esquire, which I take this opportunity gratefully to

{47c}  Cywryd.  This Bard is not mentioned either by Mr. Davies or Mr.
Edward Llwyd, in their catalogues of British writers.  It seems he
flourished in the sixth century, as did all the ancient British Bards we
have now extant.  Here let me obviate what may be objected to me as
mentioning so many facts, and persons who lived in the sixth century,
within the course of this performance.  It was the last period our kings
fought with any success against the Saxons, and it was natural,
therefore, for the Bards of those times, to record such gallant acts of
their princes, and for their successors to transmit them to posterity.
Every person, though but slightly versed in the British history of that
time, knows that Cadwaladr was the last king of Britain.  Since his time
there are no works of the Bards extant till after the conquest, as I have
shewed in my Dissertatio de Bardis.

{47d}  Dunawd, the son of Pabo Post Prydain, one of the heroes of the
sixth century, who fought valiantly with the Saxons.

{48a}  Afan Ferddig, was the Bard of the famous Cadwallon, son of Cadfan
king of Britain.  I have got a fragment of a poem of his composition on
the death of his patron Cadwallon; and as far as I understand it, it is a
noble piece, but very obscure on account of its great antiquity; as are
the works of all the Bards who wrote about this time.  It is as difficult
a task, for a modern Welshman to endeavour to understand those venerable
remains, as for a young scholar just entered upon the study of the Greek
language to attack Lycophron or Pindar, without the help of a dictionary
or scholiast.  How Mr. Macpherson has been able to translate the Erse
used in the time of Ossian, who lived a whole century at least before the
earliest British Bard now extant, I cannot comprehend.  I wish some of
those that are well versed in the Erse or Irish language, would be so
kind to the public, as to clear these matters; for I can hardly believe
that the Erse language hath been better preserved than the British.

{48b}  Cadwallon, the son of Cadfan, the most victorious king of Britain,
fought many battles with the Saxons; and, among the rest, that celebrated
one of Meugen, in which he slew Edward king of Mercia, where the men of
Powys behaved themselves with distinguished bravery; and had from thence
several privileges granted them by that brave prince.  These privileges
are mentioned by Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr, a Powysian Bard, in a poem
entitled “Breintiau Gwyr Powys,” or the Privileges of the men of Powys,
which is in my custody.

{48c}  Môn, the Mona of the Latins, called by the English Anglesea, in
which, at a place called Aberffraw, was the palace of the princes of
North Wales.  The Bard seems here to hint at the loss of
Llewelyn-ap-Griffydd, the last prince of Wales of the British line.

{48d}  Arfon, the country now called Carnarvonshire.

{48e}  Rheon, the name of a river in Carnarvonshire, often mentioned by
the Bards; but it must have altered its name since, for I do not
recollect any such river which bears that name at present.

{60a}  P. 213.  H. Steph. Edit. 1559.

{60b}  P. 246. D.

{61}  Footnote mark in book, but no corresponding footnote, unless it’s a
mix-up with the one on page 60.—DP.

{66}  Fortasse, “Vindictam in Deirorum populum,” &c.

{68}  Quid sibi vult hic Bardus non mihi constat.

{69}  Sc. cruore fuso.

{73}  “Qui Harpatorem in manum percusserit, componat ilium quarts parte
majori compositione quam alteri ejusdem conditionis homini.”  Inter Legg.
Ripuariorum et Wesinorum a Lindenbrochio collectas—Unde patet quanto in
honore apud exteros etiam Bardus et Harpator (idem enim pleruuque fuit
munus) habitus esset.  Præter harpam aliud instrumenti genus sibi
peculiare Norwallenses vindicant, quod _Crwth_ vocant—Hinc verbum
Anglicum _Crowdero_ apud Hudibrastum pro _Fiddler_, _or Player upon the
Violin_, ad quod _Crwth_ principium dedisse videtur.  Hoc instrumenti
genus ferè in desuetudinem abiit, et _violino_ cessit.—Ex sex chordis
felinis constat, nec eodem modo quo _violinum_ modulatur, quamvis a
figurâ haud multùm abludat: in Sudwalliâ peintus ignoratur:

    “Romanusque Lyrâ plaudat tibi, Barbarus Harpâ,
    Græcus Achilliaca, _Crotta Britanna_ canat.”

                                              VENANTIUS.  Lib. 7. Carm. 8.

{74}  Vid. PRYNNE’S Coll. of Records, Vol. III. p. 1214.

{77}  _Dygen Freiddin_, hodie _Craig Freiddin_, est rupes alta et
prærupta in agr.  _Salopiensi_, non procul a _Sabrina_.

{79}  Quaenam sit hæc avis mihi non constat.

{80}  Potûs genus apud veteres Britannos.

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