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Four and twice ten sons were mine,
Us'd in the battle's front to shine ;--
But, low in duit my fons are laid,
Nor one remains his fire to aid.
Ghaftly looks, oh Pyll! thy wound,
Streaming on the blood-stained ground;
As the yellow flames, thy might
Blaz'd around the field of fight;
Or when the fiery steed thou press’d,
How joy'd thy lonely consort's breast !
But now no more thy might they dread,
Nor joys the partner of thy bed;
For low in dust thy honours lye,
And quick her trantient pleasures fly.

Where the mighty rivers end,
And their course to ocean bend,
There, with the eagle's rapid flight,
How wouldst thou brave the thickest fight !
Oh fatal day! oh ruthless deed!
When the fifters cut thy thread. -
Cease, ye waves, your troubled roar;
* Nor Auw, ye mighty rivers more;
For Gwen great, and Gwen good,
Breathless lies, and drench'd in blood!

Four and twice ten fons were mine,
Us'd in battle's front to shine;
But --- low in dust my sons are laid,
Nor one remains his fire to aid.

many lines,

But see!-he comes all drench'd in blood,

Hold, oh hold, my Brain thy seat;
Gwén great, and Gwén good;

How doth my bosom's monarch beat !
Bravest, noblest, worthiest son,

Cease thy throbs, perturb'd heart;
Rich with many a conquest won;

Whither would thy stretch'd strings start!
Gwen, in thine anger, great,

From frenzy dire, and wild affright,
Strong thine arm, thy frown like fate:

Keep my senses thro’ this night.
The British language, in which shyme is as old as poetry itself, had in the sixth century, attained such
copiousness and musical refinement, that the Bards commonly composed in unirythm stanzas of
The rhymes of modern Italy are as famous for their number, as its language is admired for its pliability
in yielding to all the inflections of the voice. Yer the Italian poets are constrained to change the rhyme
more than once in a stanza, without producing any other effect than confusion from the diversity. The old
performances of the Bards were therefore most happily calculated for accompanying the harp.

For this quality none of the remains of this remote period are more ramarkable than the works of Myrddin ap Moruryn, often called Merlin the Wild; whose reputation as a Bard is not inferior to the prophetic and magical fame of his great predecessor, Myrddin Emrys 4. He was born at Caerwerthevin, near the forest of Celyadon, or Dunkell, in Scotland ; where he possessed a great estate, which he lost in the war of his Lord Gwenddolau ap Ceidio and Aeddan Vradog against Rhydderch Hael. His misiortunes in Scotland drove him to Wales : and there is now extant a poetical dialogue between him and his preceptor Taliesin. He was present at the battle of Camlan, in the year 542, where, fighting under the banner of King Arthur, he accidentally flew his own nephew, the son of his filter Gwenddydds. In consequence of this calamity, he was seized with madness, which affected him every other hour“. He fled back to Scotland, and concealed himself in the woods of that country, where, in an interval of recollection, he composed the following poem, which has many beauties, and is strongly tinctured with the enthusiasm of frenzy. Afterwards he returned to North Wales, and was buried in the Isle of Enlli, or Bradsey, where there was a collegeof Black cowled Monks. 4 Myrddin Emrys, or Merdhin Ambrose, the prophet and re


About A. D. 470, his prophefies concerning the future scate puted magician, born at Caermarihen, was the son of a Welsh of Britain were written in prose, and are said to be composed Nun, daughter of a King of South Wales.

His father was nn- at Dinas Emrys, in the parish of Beddgelert, near Snowdon, which known. He was made King of West Wales by Vortigern; who were afterwards translated into Latin, and published by Geoffrey then reigned in Britain,

of Monmou!h. Ninnius says, that Gwrtheyrn (or King Vortigern,) on his s Dissertatio de Bardis, p. 77. Lewis's History of Britain, leaving North Wales, when he went to fortify himself at Caer. p. 106. gwrthyrn, gave Myrddin the Castle he had built in Eryri, and Awr o'i góf gan Dduw ry gai alto all the provinces of the West Country of Britain.-When Awr ynmheil yr anmhwyllai. S. Deifi i Fyrddia. MS. the Western Counties of Great Britain were infested with Myrddin ab Morvryn Hourished A. D. 560. He is faid to the plague, Gwrtheyrn and his magi, (wise men, or poets,) have travelled over all Britain and France, and to have prowent, to Gwennes (Gwenwys, or Monmouthshire;) he made phesied many things more truly, and more plainly, than MerMyrddin his Arwyddvardd, or Herald, for the Welt of Britain. ddyn Emyrs. Ninnius, C. 44. and 7. D. Rhys's Grammar,

i Sir William Glynn, in Cowydd y Ddraig Góch. MS. See more in the 2nd Volume of this work.



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Was ever given to man so acceptable a gift, as that bestowed on Myrddin, ere age had overtaken him? a fair orchard, seven score and seven sweet apple trees, all equal in age, height, and magnitude: they possessed the slope of a majestic hill, branching high and wide, crowned with lovely foliage : a lovely nymph, whose hair flowed in beauteous ringlets, guarded them; her name Gloywedd, with the pearly teeth.

Afallen beren bren y sydd fád,
Nid bychan dy lwyth fydd ffrwyth arnad,
A minnau wyf ofnawg amegelawg am danad,
Rhag dyfod y coed wyr.gved fymmynad,
I gladdu dy wraidd a ilygru dy had,
Fal na thyfo byth afal nrnad.
A minnau wyf wylltaf erthrychiad,
I'm cathryd cytbrudd ni'm cudd dillad,
Neu'm rhoddes Gwenddolau gorthlyfau yn rhad,
Ac yntau beddyw fal na buad.

Afallen beren bren addfeinus,
Gwasgadfod glodfawr buddfawr hrydus ;
Cyd wnant Benaethau gau gysesgus,
A mynaich geuawg bwydiawg gwydus,
A gweisionain ffraeth bid arfaethus,
rd fyddant wyr rhamant rhidd rwyfanus.

Sweet, and excellent apple-tree! thy branches are loaded with delicious fruit. I am full of care, and trouble for thy safety, lest the destructive wood. man should dig thee up by the roots, or otherwise so injure thy prolific nature, that apples would no more grow on thy branches. For this I am wild with grief, torn with anxiety; anguish pierces me to the heart. I suffer no garment to cover my body. These trees were the inestimable gifts of Gwenddolau, he who is now, as if he was not.

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ly. Afallen beren bren bydwf glás Purfawr ei changen i'w chain wanas, Canpid cain arwel yn mbryd gorlas Cyn berw bryd cymmrwyn fwyr alanas A mi ddisgoganaf cad am dias, Pengwern cyfeddgrud nedd eu haddas.

Sweet apple tree, vigorous in growth, verdant in foliage ! large are thy branches, beautiful thy form! Ere the depredations of laughtering war caused my thoughts to boil with grief, how beautiful was the sight of thy robe of vivid green! yet Thall my prophetic song announce the day, when a mighty legioa shall revenge my wrongs: the valorous armies of Pengwern, fierce in battle, animated by mighty mead.

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Afallen beren bren a dyf yn Llannerch, angerdd a'i bargel rhag rhïau Rhydderch, Amjather yn ei bon mäon

ei bon mäon yn ei chylch, Oedd aelau iddynt ddulloedd dihefeirch, Mi ni'm car Gwenddydd ac ni'm hennyrch Wyf gas gan wafawg gwaefaf Rhydderch, Kly rewiniais ei fab ef a'i ferch,

Sweet apple-tree; growing in the lonely glade ! ! fervent valour shall still keep thee fecure from the stern lords of Rhydderch. Bare is the ground about thee, trodden by mighty warriors; their heroic forms strike their foes with terror: Alas? Gwen. ddydd loves me not, the greets me not: I am hated by the chiefs of Rhydderch; I have ruined his son


Angau a ddug pawb rag na’na cyfeirch? and his daughter. Death relieves all, why does he A gwedi Gwenddolau neb rhiau ni'm peirch, not visit me? for after Gwenddolau no prince hoNi'm gogawn gwarwy, ni'm gofwy gorddyrch, nours me; I am not soothed with diversion, I am no Ac y'ngwaith Arderydd oedd aur fy ngorthyrch, longer visited by the fair : yet in the battle of Cyd bwyf aeleu heddiw gan eiliw eleirch.

Arderydd I wore the golden torques, though I am

now despised by her who is fair as the snowy swan. VI. Afallen beren bren blodau esplydd"

Sweet apple-tree, covered with delicate bloom, A dyf yn àrgel yn argoedydd ;

growing unseen in the sequestered woods ! early Chwedlau a gigleu yn nechreuddydd,

with the dawn have I heard that the high-commilRyfori gwasuwg gwaesaf Meuwydd

fioned chief of Meuwydd was offended with me; Dwywaith, a theirgwaith, pedeirgwaith yn undydd, twice, three times, alas ! four times in the same Amgływ o’m dargan cyn haul nawnnydd :

day have I heard this; it rung in my years ere the Och Jesu! na ddyfu fy nibenydd,

fun had marked the hour of noon. O Jesus! why Cyn dyfod ar fy llaw llaith mab Gwenddydd. was I not taken away by destruction, ere it was the

fad fate of my hand to kill the son of Gwenddydd ? VII. Afallen beren brcn ail Wyddfa

Sweet apple-tree, appearing to the eye a large and Gwn coed cylch ei gwraidd dywasgotfa,

fair grove of stately trees? monarch of the furroundA mi ddysgoganaf dyddaw etwa

ing woods ; shading all, thyself unshaded ! yet shall Medrawd, ac Arthur, modur tyrfa,

my song of prophecy announce the coming again of Camlan ddarmerthan ddifiau yna

Medrod *; and of Arthur, monarch of the warlike Namyn faith ni ddyrraith o'r gymmanfa

host : again shall they rush to the battle of Camlant; Edryched Gwenhwyfar wedi ei thraha,

two days will the conflict last, and only seven escape Ban atfedd Cadwaladyr

from the daughter. Then let Gwenbwyvar remember Eglwyhg bendefig ai tywysa

the crimes she has been guilty of, when Cadwaladr s re. Gwaeth imi a dderfydd heb esgorfa,


when an ecclesiastical hero leads Lleas mab Gwenddydd fy llaw a'i gwna.

the warriors to battle. Alas! far more lamentable is
my destiny, and hope affords no refuge The son of

Gwenddydd is dead, Nain by my accursed hand!
A fallen beren beraf ei haeron,

Sweet apple-tree, loaded with the sweetest fruit, A dyf yn argel yn argoed Celyddon ;

growing in the lonely wilds of the woods of CelyCydgeifier ofer fydd herwydd ei haddon,

ddon! all seek thee for the sake of thy produce, but Yny ddel Cadwaladyr i gynnadl rhyd Rhëon; in vain ; until Cadwaladr comes to the conference Cynan yn cychwyn yn erbyn y Saeson,

of the ford of Rheon ; and Cynan advances to oppose Cymry wefillydd cain orfydd eu dragon,

the Saxons in their career. Then shall the Britons be Caffeint o deithi bawb llawen fi Brython,

again victorious, led by their graceful and majestic Ceintor cyrn elwch cathl heddwch a binon.

chief. Then shall be restored to every one his own.

Then shall the founder of the horn of gladness Myrddin wyllt a'i cant

proclaim the song of peace, the serene days of happi. ness.

Translated by Mr. Edw. Williams. These were the poetical luminaries of the sixth century. Their works are pregnant with feeling, with fancy, and enthusiasm ; and do honour to the nation that produced them. Foreigners who shall read them will be obliged to foften some of those dark colours in which they have usually painted our ancestors. The

rays of genius that shone forth in the Britons, amid the gloom of the dark ages, are more valuable in the eye of reason, and contribute more to their glory, than all the bloody trophies they erected. But how can their poetry produce this effect, if their language remains unintelligible, --if no one will translate it into the other languages of Europe ? ?

* Plydd, in Glamorganshire, fignifies foft, tender, delicate, &c. : and efplydden, very unaccountably, a pippin,

* Medrod, was the son of Llew ab Cynvarch.
+ The battle of Camlan was fought about A. D. 542.

Ś He was the last of the ancient British race, that possessed the fovereignty of all Britain ; and died about A, D. 703.

• The reader inay see these reflections better expreifed by M. Mallet, in his Introduction à l Histoire de Danneñars. H


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The writings of these ancient Bards deserve to be explored and published, not merely as sources of poetical and philosophical pleasures, but as stores of historical information. Their origin is not doubtful, like that of some venerable works which, we have reafon to fear, were drawn together from fabulous records, or vague tradition; these were composed on recent exploits, and copied immediately from their subjects, and sent abroad among 'nations that had acted, or seen them. From a diligent investigation and accurate editions of them by learned Welshmen, many important advantages may be promised to the British history, which, supplied and improved from these curious fountains, would no longer disgust with incredible fables of giants and magicians, but engage by a description of real events, and true heroes. For early poetry has in all countries been known to give the fullest, and most exact picture of life and manners.

The Druids, in their emigration to Ireland, Scotland, &c. had not left Britain entirely destitute of its music, which, though no longer communicated by the precepts of that learned order, was perpetuated by practice. It languished indeed for a time, but afterwards grew and flourished in Wales with the other sur. viving arts of Britain.

“ It seems to have been a prerogative peculiar to the ancient Kings of Britain, to preside in the Eisteddvod, or Congress of the Bards. Accordingly we find a curious circumstance mentioned in Dr. John David Rhys's Grammar, which happened about the middle of the seventh century: King Cadwaladr fat in an Eisteddvod, assembled for the purpose of regulating the Bards, taking into consideration their productions and performance, and giving new laws to Music, and Poetry”. A Bard who played on the harp in the presence of this illustrious assembly in the Is-gywair, ar y Bragod Dannau, (in the low-key, on the Chromatic Sttings,) which displeased them much, and was censured for the inharmonious effect he produced, because that was of the found of Pibau Morvydd, (i. e. Caniad Pibau Morarydd, sydd ar y Bragod gywair ;" the song of Morvydh's pipes, is in the minor key.) It was then ordered, under great penalties, whenever he came before persons skilful in the art, to adopt that of Mwynen Gwynedd, or the pleasing melody of North Wales; which the royal associates first gave out, and preferred. They even decreed, that none could sing with such true harmony, as with that of Mwyneñ Gwynedd ; because it was in a key which consisted of notes that form melodious concords, and the other was of a compound nature : of which superiority we have examples in the following tunes; Caniad Ceffyliwr, Caniad o Vawrwyrthiau, Caniad leuan ab y Góv, Caniad. Anrheg Dewi, Caniad Cydwgi, Caniad Enion Deljniwr, Caniad Crych ar y Carsi, and many others."

To this period may be referred, not without probability; those great but obscure characters in Welsh music, Ithel, Iorwerth, and yr Athro Védd“, and the Keys, and Chromatic Notes by them invented, and still distinguished by their names in ancient British manuscripts.

About the middle of the ninth century, Roderic the Great, King of all Wales, revised some of the old British laws, and appointed news. He ordained that all strong holds, castles, and citadels, should be fortified and kept in repair : that the Churches, and Religious Houses should be re-edified and adorned ; and that in all ages, the History of Britain (being faithfully registered) should be kept therein'.

Caradoc of Llancarvan collected the Acts and Successions of the British Princes from Cadwalader to the
year 1156: Of his collections there were several copies kept in the Abbies of Conway in Caernarvonshire,
and at Strata-Florida, or 'Stratflur in Cardiganshire; which received additions as things fell out, when the
Bards belonging to those Abbies went their ordinary visitation (called Clêra,) from the one to the other.
They contained in them, besides, such other occurrences that happened within the Ide of Britain as were
thought worthy of recording. This course continued in those Abbies until the year 1270, which was a
little before the death of the last Prince Llewelyn, who was slain at Buellt ?.

* Cambro-Britannicæ Cymraccæ Lingua Institutiones, by Dr. the day. Iorwerth Beli, to the Bilbop of Bangor, A. D. 1240.
John David Rhys, p. 303. Also Grammadeg Cymraeg. By John • A'Description of Wales, by Sir John Prise, published by
Rhydderch. 12 mo, printed at Shrewsbury, 1728, p. 177.

Thomas Ellis, with Mr. Robert Vaughan of Heng wri's notes,
From King Cadwaladr's time the old' British books, called printed A. D. 1663, 410. p. 41. Only 128 pages were published
Brut y Saifon, and Brut y Tywysogion, began their account ; of it: it is the best history of Wales extant, as far as it goes. See
afterwards commanded to be continued and preserved in mo- alfo, Warrington's History of Wales, p. 134, fecond edit. quarto.
nasteries by Prince Roderic the Great.

And, Enderby's Hift. of Wales, p. 274.
* Mr. Lewis Morris, in one of his MSS. which I have seen, ? The Herald Bard, Guttyn Owen, who flourished about the
supposes that they were Druids.

year 1480, wrote the best and most perfect copy of that record.
$ King Roderic's palace was at Caer Seiont, or Segont, near « Prince Gruffudd ab Cynan; Prince Rhys ab Tudor, and Prince
Caernarvon. Also, there was a town called Caer Sion, which ttood Bleddyn ab Cynvyn, made diligent search after the arms, enfigns,
on the top of a hill, north of Conway. This was the seatof Gwalch and pedigrees of their ancestors, the nobility and Kings of
Gorfedd, where Maelgwn (or, as others say, his father Caswallon,) Britain ; what they discovered by their pains in any papers and
went to judge between the poets and muficians. He lived at records, were afterwards digested by the Bards, and put into
Diganwy, in Rhôs, or Creuddyn, and caused the poets and harpers books. And they ordained 5 Royal Tribes, (there being only 3
to iwim the river Conway. The harpers instruments were spoiled; before,) to whom their posterity to this day, can trace their
therefore the poets, whose tools could not be damaged, carried origin: and also 15 Special Tribes, of whom the gentry, espe-



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From the æra of Codwalader, history is profoundly silent concerning the Wellh Music till about the year 942 ; a period illuminated by the laws of King Howel *. In these laws we do not find the musical, or poetical cstablishment of the national Bards ; but they contain such injunctions respecting the Court Bard, and the chief Bard of Wales, as in some ineasure compensate for that defect of information. The Bards were in the highest repute, and were supposed to be endowed with powers equal to inspiration. I cannot give a stronger idea of the esteem they were in, than by citing from the Welsh laws the account of their rank in the Prince's Court, the various privileges, rewards, and fees they were entitled to, and the severe penalties that were enacted to preserve their persons.

r Bardd Teulu, the Court Bard, or Laureat Bard, who was in tank the eighth officer of the King's household, received at his appointment a harp, a whale-bone chess-board from the king, and a gold-ring from the queen. On the same occasion he presented a gold-ring to the judge of the palace. He held his land free. The king furnished him with a horse, and such wearing apparel as were of woollen ; and the queen

with linen. On the three great festivals of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, he sat at the prince's table next to the comptroller of the houshold; and publicly received from the hands of that officer the harp on which he performed : and was entitled at those festivals to have the Distain, or comptroller of the houshold's garment for his fee. If the Bard desired any favour of the king, he was to play one of his own compositions ; if of a nobleman, three; if of a plebeian, 'till he sooth'd him to sleep. Whoever flightly injured the Bard, was fined fix cows and CXX pence. The murderer of a Bard, was fined CXXVI cows. His heriot money was one pound, (i. e. mortuary for the dead.) Gobr Merch, or the marriage fine of his daughter, was CXX pence: Her Cowyll, or nuptial present, was one pound and CXX pence, Her Egweddi, or dowry, was three pounds. When he went with other Bards upon his Cléra, or musical peregrination, he was entitled to a double fee. If the queen desired to have music, when she retired from the hall, he was to accompany his harp in three songs, but in a low voice, that the court might not be diverted from their avocations. He accompanied the

army when it marched into an enemy's country; and while it was preparing for battle, or dividing the {poils, he performed an ancient song, called Unbeniaeth Prydain', the Monarchal Song of Britain

co The Bard who first adorn'd our native tongue,

Tun'd to his British harp, this ancient song --" and for this service, when the prince had received his share of the spoils, was tewarded with the most valuable beast that remained

r Pencerdd, or chief Bard of the District, was the tenth officer in rank. When he appeared at the Court of the Wesh princes, he sat next to the judge of the palace: none but himself and the Court Bard was allowed to perform in the presence of the prince. When the prince desired to hear music, the chief Bard sang to his harp two poems ; one in praise of the Almighty, and the other concerning kings and their heroic exploits : after which a third poem was performed by the Court Bard. He obtained his pre-eminence by a musical and poetical contest, which was decided by the judge of the palace, who received on this occafion from the successful candidate, as an honorary fee, a bugle-horn, a gold-ring, and a cushion for his chair of dignity. His musical rights and authority were not subject to the control of the prince, and his privilege of protection lasted from the beginning of the first song in the hall of the palace, to the conclucially of North Wales are for the most part descended. And in Saxon invaders. When they ravaged the English borders, they our books we have mention of the Tribe of the Marches, &c. dignified their incursions with the pretext of recovering their besides other Tribes called Gwehelyth and Gwehelaethau.British hereditary rights. Their Bards therefore entertained them with Antiquities Revived, by Robert Vaughan, Esq. printed A. D. 1662, descriptions and praises of the splendor and courage with which quarto, p. 44.

the monarchy of Britain was maintained by its ancient heroes, In the beginning of the reign of Edward the Third, the Welsh and inspired them with an ardour of emulating their glorious exMonks were removed to English Abbies, and replaced by Eng-ample. If any thing can be added to the conjectures of fo difcernlifh Monks. Dugdale's Monafticon.

ing a critic as Dr. Wotton, it is, that probably an excelledt old * See Silas Taylor, on Gavel-kind, p. 97.

poem, called Unbeniaeth Prydain, was constantly recited in the 8 Set Cyfreithieu Hywel Dda ac Eraill, or Leges Wallicæ, tranf- field, and accompanied by a tune of the fame antiquity, till, by lated in Latin by Dr. Wotton and Mr. Moses Williams ; and a long interval of peace, or some other accident, they were both published with a learned preface by Dr. Clarke. Folio.

Lon- forgotten, and that afterwards the Bards fupplied what had been don, 1730, P_3 &c. And, Pennant's Tour in Wales, Vol. 1. lost from their own inventions," Translated Specimens of Well

9. Dr. Wottoni, the learned editor of Howel's Laws, in a Poetry, in English verfe. 1982, p. 33, note on this passage, P, 36; conjectures that the title and subject

But heed, ye Bards, that for the sign of onset only were prefcribed, and that the choice and composition of the

re found the ancientest of all your rhymes, Poetry was left to the Bard. The Welsh, says he, always pre

Whofe birth tradition notes not, nor who fram'd served a tradition, that the whole island had once been possefled

Its lofty frains.

Mason's Caractaçus. by their ancestors, who were driven into a corner of it by their



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