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POETIC CONTENTION, OR EXTEMPORE VERSES ON THE NIGHTINGALE.
Cnithiad gwir argiad croywgerdd,-clau chwiban,
Robt. Gruffudd ab leuan.
Clau chwiban vel cloch aberth
Elis ab Rhys ub Edward.
A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE MUSICIANS, AND COMPOSERS OF WALES,
AND THE TIME WHEREIN THEY FLOURISHED.
Th’old British Bards, upon their Harps,
That curiousy were strung;
Jeffrey, Harper to the Benediētine Abbey of Hide been Lord Lieutenant there afterwards. MS.
A Chádpen llawen y llú,
Eu Telyn a'u bardd teulu. -
Davydd, váb Howel divai,
Apla gwr ab Howel Gwyn
the jewel of the British Olympics, about A. N. 1480. Tudur Góch, a celebrated Musician. Mentioned Davydd ab Gwilym, Pencerdd Telyn, Doctor of by Davydd ab Gwilym.
Music, or chief professor of the Harp, about 1480. Reinallt, Harper, of Dôlgelly, who contended for Dai Llwyd, of Cwm Bychan, in Meirionyddshire, the laurel with Sion Eós, about the year 1450. See p.45. Harper, and Warrior, about 1480. There is a cele
brated Welsh tune," called Ffarwel Dai Llwyd, Er bod Rhøs, nwyvus yn yved, ar dasg
Er cael bir y Sir yn fied,
Will. Byrchinsbaw. ) to the battle of Bosworth Field.
Epitaph on Sión Playlip Bencerdd, of Mochras MeiIeuan Delynior, flourished about 1480.
rion, A. D. 1580. Gwilym Whisgin, a performer on the Crwth to the
Dyma vedd gwrda oedd gu,
Siôn Phylip Abbot of Llan Egwestl Abbey, in Denbighshire, about Sein a philer Cymru ; the year 1500. ,
Cwynwn vynod athro canu, John Gwynedd, (of North Wales,) a secular priest, I garchar, y ddaear ddú !
Humphrey Wynn, Harper of Ynys y Maengwyn, Doctor of Music, and composer for the Church;
Meirionethshire, 1580. flourished about 1530.
Thomas Anwyl, Telynior, 1580. Rhydderch Deuwaidd, Harper of Coity, in Gla
In the establishment of Queen Elizabeth, there morganshire, 1540.
were two Harpers, two Lutists, besides Minstrels. Shôn Trevor,of Trev alyn, Harper, ab'. A.D.1560. Peck's Defiderata Curiosa, p. 225. The following persons were graduated professors,
At St. Donat's Castle, Glamorganshire, there is a or chief Musicians of the Harp, in the reign of picture of Sir Edward Stradling's Harper, who lived
in the reign of Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth, about the year 1568.
Jones, Musician to Henry Prince of Wales, about Chief Bards, and Teachers | Siônab Rhys Bencerdd,
1604. of instrumental song *. (Hwlcyn Llwyd. John Caerwarden, Violist and Composer to King
Charles the First, in 1630. Probationary Stu- [Thomas Anwyl,
Robert Jones, an eminent Composer of Music, dents, (but not Dd. Llwyd ab Siôn ab Rhys, teachers) of Edward ab Evan,
and performer on the Lute, about 1609. inftrumental Robert ab Howel Llanvor,
William Llwyd, Pencerdd, of Llangedwyn. fong. Humphrey Gôch,
John Dygon, Bachelor of Music, A. D. 1512,
who was elected Abbot of St. Austin's, in CanterAnd the following were the chief professors of the
bury, about 1497 Cruth ; or
Elwy Bevan,one of the first composers of Canons, Chief Bards and teachers of Siamas Eutyn, flourished in 1631. instrumental song:
Peter Phillips, (or Pietro Phillippi) composer of sRobert ab Rhợs Guttyn, Melodia Olympica, &c. 1699. Bachelors of Music, (but Thomas Môn,
Robert Davies ; and Morgan Grúg; these two last not teachers of instru• Siôn Ednyved,
composers are mentioned by Morley, in his introduce mental song.) Thomas Grythor,
tion on Music, p. 51. Siôn Ddû Grythor S.
Dicky Jones, a famous Musician, and tutor to Mr. An Englyn on Rhys Crythor, of Hiraethog, who Festing, and leader at Drury-Lane Theatre, ab'.1730. flourished about 1580. 1 For the musicians after this period, see note :
An * “ The east part of the parish of Bód-varry, in Flintshire,
Maelor gerdd Bencerdd bynciau, urddedig dwelleth Howel, a gentleman, that by ancient accustom was
Ar ddidwyll vesurau ; wont to give the badge of the Silver Harp to the best Harper of
Mwyn ganiad tyniad tannau, North Wales, as by privilege of his ancestors. He lives at Pen
Mwyn a gwych y mae'n i gwou.
Will. Byrcbin baw. rhyn, and hath also a ruinous cafle, called Castell Iolo, or Eulo, near Haworden.” Leland's Itinerary, vol. V. p. 56.
Mewn cyvedd mawredd o 'maros, y cair See further account of the Congress of the Bards in Pen
Cywrain wawd o'i achos ; nant's Tour in Wales, vol. I. p. 467, &c.
Mwynyn ar y Delyn dløs, Francis Pilkington, a Lutist of Chester, and Author of the
Maelor yw mal yr ëos !
Edward Kiffin. firit Book of Songs or Airs, of four parts, with Tablature for
Evan Mailan, Harper to Queen Anne, and performer in the the Orpharion, &c. fol. 1605.
Choir of Westminster Abbey, about 1706. Daniel, composer of Songs for the Lute, Viol, and Voice,
Griffith Evan, Harper to Thomas Powel, Esq. of Nant.Eos, folio, 1606; supposed to be the Brother of Samuel Daniel, the Cardiganshire, where his portrait ftill remains; It is written upon Poet Laureat and Historian, and the publisher of his works in it, that he played 69 Christmasses at Nant-eos, and aged 80,
Flourished about A. D. 1700. 1623 Hugh Davies, Bachelor of Music, and Organittof Here.
Elis Eos is spoken of by old people as a wonderful performer ford Cathedral, celebrated for his skill in Church Music, about on the Welsh harp. There are fill verses remembered of his 1625
having charmed the queen with his playing, (probably Queen I'wo Englyn in praise of Robert Maelor, the noted Harper
Mary.) who flourilhed about 1689.
Richard Elias, who came after Elis Eós, was the best player of his time, 'till Elis Sion Siamas, who was a younger person,
A COMMEMORATION of TWENTY-ONE MUSICIANS AND POETS.
An Elegy in commemoration of twenty-one Musicians, and Poets ; and foretelling the decline of Music,
Siôn ab Rhys Guttyn.
Robert ab Rhys.
Performers on the Crwth. &c.
Robert ab Ieuan Llwyd.
Gruffydd Hiraethog, flod. 1530. Rhobin ab Reinallt.
Thomas Glyn Gwy.
Siôn Brwynog, flourished 1550.
Lewis ab Edward.
Risiart Iorwerth, flourished 1430.
This disagreeable state, and versatile universe, are
uncertain, variable, and deceitful. How short and Bywyd tawdd yw'r byd diddim,
transitory is this dissipating life, and trifling world! Byrred yw! heb barhau dim.
This world is an unestablished encampment, a deServyll oer bebyll yw'r byd,
ceiver on every trial ; a traitor that stabs every one Siomwr ar bob rhyw symmyd,
who trusts his existence in him.
Ac Angau drwy ing a droes,
Wicked Death, that wily robber of lives, brought Lladronaidd yw lleidr einioes,
distress upon us : the ruthless churl snatched away a surpassed him, which Richard Elias took so much to heart, that Sleep undisturb'd within this humble shrine, he did not long survive after he heard some verses sung, extolling Till angels wake thee with a note like thine ! Elis Sión Siamas, a fragment of which is as follows :
Harry Parry, of Caernavonshire, who lived about the beginMae Elis Siôn Siamas,
ning of this century, was the most celebrated Harper of his In amgenach i Bwrpas,
time. There is an anecdote told of him, when he was on a muNa Richard Elias o lawer.
fical excursion at Liverpool, where he was ' extremely well Elis Siôn Siamas, a famous Harper of Llanvachreth in Mei- received, and from thence was going to Manchester ; that some rionethshire. Some say that he was Harper to Queen Anne. He gentleman wrote a letter of recommendation to fend by him, was so much capacitated over the common musicians, that which was in the following laconic manner : Do but hear him? Robert Edward Lewis, a noted poet of his time, composed the
Evan Edwards, of Creigiau 'r Bleiildiau, was a natural following pennill upon him.
genius, and a sweet player on the Harp. He died in June Parch yw vy mhwrpas, i Elis Siôn Siamas,
1766, and in the 32d year of his age. His epitaph I have co
pied from his tomb in Cerrig Druction Church yard, DenbighTelyniwr mawr urddas dda vwynwas hyd vedd;
shire, which is as follows:
Dy gofja vydd dryma dro, gan vonedd
Dy vyned i 'r ando; “ There were two persons of the name of Powell, father and
Ym ganiad mae trwm gwyno, fon, who played finely on the Harp. The elder was patronized
Gan gri dy vyned i'r gro. by the duke of Portland, and when that nobleman was ap
Dy vwynder dyner dannau, oeed velus pointed Governor of Jamaica, went with him thither. The
I viloedd o'glufdiau : younger stayed in England; and Mr. Handel being desirous to
Blith ydoedd dy blethiadau,
Ymhob cwr a phirion ceu.
Hugh Elis, of Trawlvynydd, had some talent on the Harp, Harp, see p. 52. Belides the Powels, there was at the same time and was esteemed one of the belt performers of the national in London a performer on the Harp, who merits to be had in Welsh tunes of his time. He was buried in Town Church-yard remembrance. His name was Jones, a Welshman, and blind. Meirionyddshire, and the inscription on his tomb-stone is as folThe old Dutchess of Marlborough would have retained him with lows ; (and said to have been written by William Nanney a pension : but he would not endure confinement, and was en
Wynn, Esq. of Maes y Neuadd :)
of Hugh Elis, Harper, who was drowned in resort, the sign of the Hercules Pillars, opposite Clifford's-Inn the Disynni, August 5th, 1774, in the both year of his age. Passage, in Fleet-Street, and performed in the great room up
The Nymphs of the flood were rutting, plague rot 'em,
With the Genius of Music when he went to the bottom; ftairs during the winter seafon. He played extempore voluntaries, the fugues in the sonatas, and concertos of Corelli, as also
Their care and attention would else have fupported, most of his solos, and many of Mr. Handel's opera songs, with
The child of the Harp, whom the Mules all courted. exquisite neatness and elegance. He also played on the violin; Mr. John Parry, of Rhiwabon, who died about 18 years ago, and on that instrument imitated fo exactly the irregular intona? was Harper to the late Sir Watkyn Williams Wynne, and to tion, mixed with fobs and pauses, of a Quaker's fermon, that his father. There was a musical contest on the Harp, between none could hear him and refrain from immoderate laughter.
Mr. Parry, and Hugh Shôn Prys, of Llandder vel, and Foulk. Jones died about the year 1738, and was buried in Lambeth Jones, the Trumpeter, was appointed to be the judge; in which Church-yard ; and his funeral, which was celebrated with a Parry proved victor. Parry and / van Williams the Harper, jointly dead march, was attended by a great number of the musical published the firit Book of Welsh tunes; but the original melopeople." Hawkins's Hiftory of Music. vol. V. p. 357.
dies are very much mutilated. Claudius Philips, the Harper, died about 30 years ago, whose
This Ezan Williams accompanied the psalms on the Harp, fame is recorded by Dr. Johnson, in the following epitaph :
as a substitute for an organ, in iome fmall Church in London.
The most distinguithed performers of the prefent day, on the
Richmond, and native of Corwen, Meirionydd; and Sackville
of G anbrán. Here find that calm thou gav'it so oft before :
• Siôn Tudur died in April, 1602,
Dug yr Angau, dig wrengyn,
lovely company from this country; the performers Dylwyth heirdà o'r dalaith hyn.
on all lively musical instruments, and their comCerddorion pób cerdd wrawl,
rades, the courteous encomiasts: the skilful poets, Cymdeithion mwynion eu mawl ;
and the harmonious chief musicians ; the sweet Prydyddion parod addysg,
handed Crowthers, and Harpers perfect in their art. Penceirddiaid
blaid o'n myle; Telynorion gweision gwych, Crythorion croyw-waith hirwych.
The pillars of learning are gone : Plei'r ai dawn pilerau d /8,
A band of Masters of Music! Plaid penceirddiaid cywirddysg ?
God deprived us in a lamentable manner of our Dwyn a wnaeth, drwy alaeth drwch,
most agreeable diversion. Duw, vawredd ein divyrwch !
Wales will mourn a long time for Griffith HiraethHwyr weithian am Hiraethawg,
awg : Gamrau rhwydd drwy Gymru'r hawg i Bu ordd pur-iaith Bardd parawd,
John Brwynog, that prompt fupporter of pure Brwynog yn gyff bren gwin gwawd;
language and poetry. A Lewis, ffriw awchus ffraeth,
The smart, eloquent, and knowing Lewis ab Fab Edward vwy wybodaeth.
Edward. Torres am Risiart lorwerth,
The growing fund of poetry is fallen by the death Nen bren, goed nen gwawd a'i nerth.
of Richard Iorwerth. Od aeth hwnt mae'n adwyth hyn,
It is a great distress that Dai Nantclyn is departed; Duw, dan unclo Dai Nan clyn:
God took away a melodious musician ; indeed he deDug y gwr bu 'n deg ei gán;
served a silver Harp. Dylai 'n wir Delyn Arian. Dwyn leuan, lån Delyniawr,
The loss of Evan the Harper is a great breach :
Dai Maenan has his holiday's reward in heaven.
The Pencerdd John ab Rhys, with his divine choSion ab Rhys heb ei barhau,
russes, is no more ! Bencerdd Nevawl ei bynciau ;
Sweet Robin ab Reinallt, God have mercy upon his Rhobin yn y gué in a gaid,
foul ! Ab Reinallt, Neu bo 'r enaid !
Likewise that eminent musician James Eaton, with Siams a'i grwth, val frems y grog,
his chiming Crăth; Euryn daid, dyn godidog.
And that wise, and brave professor of the string, Siôn ar dant, a synwr dyn,
John ab Rhys Guttin. Braiss yttoedd vab Rhys Guttyn;
The interment of the nimble-fingered Robert O'i briddaw y mae breuddwyd !
Llwyd left us in a trance. Baroted llaw Robert Llwyd!
The sweet notes of the harp, by that boon of Bwrw Ivan, ber avael,
pleasure Evan Penllyn, are loft. Paun llawen hardd, Penllyn hael.
The melodious and neat John Ednyved; may he Sion rhyw lân synhwyrol oedd,
be in heaven ! Ednyved, aed i Nevoedd !
Richard ab Shon from famed Anglesey, continuer Rifiart ab Sion o Vớn vawr,
of the charming sounds of Howel Grythawr : Hwyl groyw iaith Hywel Grythawr.
And the tolerably skilful David ab Howel Gri. Davydd vab Hywel, divai,
gor. Grigor, a'i ragor ar rai. .
strains of that proficient's Harp, Lewis Lewys dilwyr lwys Delyn,
ab Howel Gwyn. Apla gwr, ab Hywel Gwyn; Cael a wnaed, wrth ein coel ni,
Also, according to our belief, we sustain a loss Colled am Vorgan Celli;
for Morgan Celli. A Thomas, urddas harddwych,
And the esteemed, able Crowther, Thomas Glyn
Gwy. Glyn Gwy, oedd Grythor glán gwych,
The noted, and never-failing Robert ab Evan Rhobert a ddiharebwyd,
Llwyd. Heb van llesg, ab Ieuan Llwyd ;
HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF MUSICIANS, AND POETS. Rhobert ab Rhợs wr bybarch,
The deserving and worthy Robert ab Rhys quickly Rhwydd bwnc, mawr yr haeddai barch;
followed them to the blessed habitation. He conAeth i'r Nev yn gartrevol,
tentedly resigned this world with such worthy comNi vynai 'n hwy vyw'n eu hól :
panions, quietly, righteously, spotless, and pure. Ev ae yn hawdd o'r van bon, Gyda mátb gyd y meithion ; Yn llonydd a llaw uniawn In lain nód, ac yn lán iawn.Duw a'i gyrchodd dég orchwyl,
It was God's pleasure to send for these men, to
hold a feast with him in heaven. Gydag øv, i gadw gãyl. In iach orchest, ni chyrchir.
Adieu skill! no such men will be fetched again Eu bath ond hyn byth o'n tir.
from our country! Galar i bawb, gwael yw'r byd,
All people may lament; the world is impoverishA gwael vydd y Gelvyddyd :
ed, the art will now decline ! Leilai 'r gerdd yn ôl wylaw,
Music and Poetry will suffer diminution ; the sciLeilai y ddysg lwli a ddaw.
ence will be neglected, and harmony cease ! Nevi'w 'neidiau vwyn adail
May their souls enjoy the heavenly mansion! peace · Nawdd Dduw hyn, ni ddaw eu hail ;
to their manes ! their like will never be feen again. Aethant i'w cartreu nevol :
They are gone to the celestial abode, let us quickly I no ar hynt awn ar eu hól.-
prepare to follow them. “ There is a curious anecdote recorded of Arnaud Daniel, a Troubadour, who made a voyage into Ena gland about the year 1240, where, in the Court of King Henry the Third, he met a Minstrel, who chala lenged him at difficult rhymes. The challenge was accepted, and a considerable wager was laid ; and the rival Minstrels were shut up in separate chambers of the palace. The king, who appears to have much interested himself in the dispute, allowed them ten days for composing, and five more for learning to sing their respective pieces ; after which, each was to exhibit his performance in the presence of his majesty. The third day the English Minstrel announced that he was ready. The Troubadour declared he had not written a but that he had tried, and could not as yet put two words together. The following evening he overheard the Minstrel practising his song to himself. The next day he had the good fortune to hear the same again, and learned the air and words. At the day appointed they both appeared before the king. Arnaud desired to sing first. The Minstrel, in a fit of the greatest surprize and aftonishment, suddenly cried out This is my fong! The king said it was impossible. The Minstrel still insisted upon it ; and Arnaud, being closely pressed, ingenuously told the whole affair. The king was much entertained with this adventure, or. dered the wager to be withdrawn, and loaded them with rich presents. But he afterwards obliged Arnaud to give a Chanson of his own compositions.”
About the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, flourished Twm Bach, (or Thomas Pritchard,) who was the Orpheus on the Harp at that time. He was born at Coity in Glamorganshire ; died (A.D. 1597) in London, and was buried in St. Sepulchre's church. That Poetry fympathized with the fifter Art for the loss, we may be convinced by the following bipartite Englyn, written upon his death, the two first lines by Hugh Griffith, the sequel by Rhys Cain.
Ah, see ! our last, best harper goes : In iach i Dwm Bach, aeth i'r bedd ;-bellach
Sweet as his strain be his repose ! E' ballodd Cynghanedd :
Extin&t are all the tuneful fires, Ni wn i'wól, yn un wedd,
And Music with Twm Bách expires :
No finger now remains to bring
In the reign of George II. Powel, a Welsh Harper, who used to play before that Monarch, drew such tones from his instrument, that the great Handel was delighted with his performance, and composed for him several pieces of Music, some of which are in the first set of Handel's Concertos, particularly the second, and fixth, which are admirably well calculated for the Harp. He also introduced him as a performer in his Oratorios, in which there are fome fongs, Harp obligato, that were accompanied by Powel : such as 6: Praise the Lord with chearful voice,” in Esther : “ Hark! he Arikes the golden lyre," in Alexander Balus : and “ Fly, malicious spirit” in Saul, &c.
• Millot, tom. II. p. 491. and Wartor'. Englisb Poetryq, vol. II. p. 235, * AM S. of Englynion in the library of Jelus College, Oxford.