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Marchwiail derw mwynllwyn;
The strong, and mystic Wand I wield 22 ;
In the three first of these triambics, the Druids seem to invocate their groves, and set forth their facera dotal privileges and exemptions. In the others, they apostrophize the mountain Eryri, or Snowdon, the Parnafsus of Wales. We learn from Gildas, that the ancient Britons had an extraordinary veneration for mountains, groves, and rivers.
2 A Druid is usually described with a staff in his hand ; pro The Druidical altars were often enclosed with Oaks, strewed bably, such as Jacob's Staff, or Moses's-Rod: We are like, with their leaves, and encircled with their branches: they also wise informed that the presiding Wand of King Howel the Good, served for wreaths to deck the heads of the musicians, fingers, Lawgiver of the Welsh, about A. D. 940, was 18 feet long. and dancers, and other votaries, that bore a part in their sacred
Perhaps the Druidical-grove was anciently an asylum, festivals and folemnities. Carte's Hift. Vol. I. p.43. or place of refuge, similar to the Mofaic rite, and to our early An Oaken garland to be worn on feltivals, among the Romans, Church; mentioned in Deuteronomy, chap. IV. verse 41, and 42; was the recompense of one who had saved the life of a citizen in Fofbua, chap. XX.; Numbers, chap. XXV. v. 6. —And in battle. Likewife, the leaves
And in battle. Likewise, the leaves of Oak were used in token of victory. Leges Wallica, page 118.--- According to the Laws of King
Addison. Ina, the privilege of the Temple is thus recorded; “ If any The Druids and Bards were excused from personal attendance one guilty of a capital crimé shall take refuge in a Church, he in war, nor did they pay taxes, and had an immunity of all Thall save his life, and make recompence according to justice things: the Priests and Levites among the Hebrews, enjoyed and equity: If one deserving stripes takes fanctuary, he shall the same privileges. Ezra, 7. 24. have the stripes forgiven him.” The custom of affording fanc We find remains of Druidical Monuments in many parts of tuary to delinquents, exifted even till the reign of James I. Britain ; some in groves, others on the tops of bare hills, which
* We are informed by the modern Naturalists, what was bear a strong similitude with the customs of the early patriarchs, long known to the Druids; that the refulgent moon promotes mentioned in Sacred History, vegetation.
“ And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up I am indebted to the obliging difpofition of Mr. Jerning- early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and ham, for his faithful Versification of the first-four of the Drui- twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel.” Exodus, dical stanzas ; and to the late Mr. Samwell, for the Version of chap. 24. ver. 4: the five last.
* And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called Literally, the third foot to the aged is his staff.
there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God." Chap. 2 The Oak was held in veneration among the ancient Britons 21. ver. 33. and Gauls.
" And Mofes faid unto the Lord, the people cannot come up High as his topmost boughs to Heaven ascend,
to mount Sinai : for thou chargest us, saying, set bounds about So low his roots to hell's dominions tend. Georg. II. the mount, and fanctify it." Éxodus, chap. 19. ver. 23. The monarch Oak, the patriarch of the trees,
“ And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of . Shoots rising up, and spreads by flow degrees :
God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an Oak; Three centuries he grows, and three he stays
that was, by the fanctuary of the Lord.” Josua, chap. 24. Supreme in state ; and in three more decays. - Dryden. ver. 26.
DRUIDICAL MAXIMS, AND RELICKS.
The disobedient was excluded from attending at the sacrifices ; deprived of the benefit of the law dered incapable of any employ, and his society avoided by all.
Murdereřs, robbers, or those that committed heinous crimes, were either stain on the altars, or burnt alive enclosed in wicker, as a sacrifice to the Deity.
Nothing but the life of man, could atone for the life of another.
Abftinence from women, until a certain period of age, they highly commended ; imagining that nothing contributed so much to stature, strength, and vigour of body : but to have any commerce of that kind before the age of twenty, was accounted ignominious in the highest degree.
They derived the origin of all things from heaven 3.
These articles may serve to give a specimen of the principles and religion of the Druids, who flourished a long while in Britain, Ireland, Gaul, &c. There were Druidesses, as well as Druids. It was a female Druid of Tungria, according to Vopiscus, that foretold to Dioclesian, (when a private soldier in Gaul,) that after he killed
a wild boar, he should be emperor of Rome 4 : which is the origin of Fletcher's play, called the Prophetess.
The following fragment was addressed to Beli Mawr ș, or King Beli the Great, Father of Caswallon (or Cassivelaunus,) the celebrated opposer of Julius Cæfar : and is, perhaps, the oldest historical poetry
of the Britons. Draig amgyffrau odd uch llan llestrau llady,
Beli, like a Dragon sups,
Joy the golden horns afford,
Joy to Britain's warlike lord.
Hands that lift the sparkling mead,
Great Monogan's “ gallant son. The noblest Druidical structures in this island, is the Temple about 85 years before the Christian æra : he had three fons, of Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain ; and the Temple of Ambri, Lludd, Caswallon, and Nyniaw. Cafwallon opposed Cæfar or Aubury, near Silbury, in WIthire. See Stukeley's Hir. about 55 years before Christ. We are informed by Suetonius,
There are many vestiges in Wales, which still retain the name that the Britons put Cæsar to fight, y Di&atorem Cafarem repu. of the Druids : viz. Llan y Derwyddon, the village of the Druids, litsent.) And Bale
, in his History, says, “ Catlibelín repulfed near St. David's in Pembrokethire Caer Drewyn, the bound, or Cæfar twice from Britain by force of arms.” See Lewis's town of the Druids, on the hill opposite Corwen ; and, Dryw History of Great Britain, fol. p. 76, and 80. goed, the grove of the Druids, in the parish of Llanddervel, “ King Caswallon being elevated with joy for this second Meirionethshire; and Stanton Draw, in Somersetfire.
victory, over a people who stiled themselves masters of the In early times the Druids and Bards, were the only legifla. world, he commanded the chief Herald to make a proclamators, and their courts of judicature were called Gorseddeu, tion, and to send letters to fummon all the nobility of Britain which were situated on the most conspicuous eminence, in the with their wives to London, in order to partake of festivity and open air ; where canses were tried, and judgement pronounced. mirth. Accordingly they all readily appeared ; and there was One of those places ftill retains the name, Moel y varn, or, the prepared a variety of facrifices. And it is said, there was killed hill of judgment ; which is the high mountain above Mal- for that great banquet, 20,000 oxen, fifty thousand sheep, and vern Wells, in Worcestershire. See more in the introduction also fowls of different kinds without number; besides thirty of the 2nd Volume of this work; page XIV, the Notes. thousand wild beasts of various sorts. A little after Casar's time, the Druids ceafed in Gaul; yet in
“ Ugain mil o fwyf filedd, Britain they flourished long after. Pliny, Lib. 30. C. 1.
In feirw a las pan fu'r wledd." It is recorded, that the Druids were cruelly persecuted by As soon as they had performed these folemn honours to their Tiberius Claudius. And afterwards in the reign of Nero, by God, they feasted themselves on the remainder, as was usual at Julius Agricola, about A. D. 60.
facrifices, and spent the rest of the day and night in various 3 Cæfar's Commentaries, book vi. Carte's Hilory of England, plays, and sports." This is called, one of the three honourable and Mona Antiqua.-Likewise, the seven Patriarchal Laws, are Feasts of Britain ; namely, The Feast of Caswallon; faid to relate to the following subjects: Of avoiding Idolatry;
The Feast of Arelius Ambrosius ; and Of blaspheming the Deity; Of the shedding of Blood; Of not
The Pentecost Feast of King Arthur. revealing a person's nakedness; Of Rapine and Theft ; Of
Tyhlio's British History. Judgments; Of not eating any part of an animal whilft alive. The Verolamium Municipy, is celebrated by Spencer, and menSee also, Leviticus, chapters 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, &c. tioned by Tacitus; also the chief seat of Caswallon, son of Beli, And the following is the Druidical Oath, which they admi- was near St. Albans, in Hertfordshire. nistered to their disciples ; “ By the bright circle of the golden • Manogan, father of Beli Mawr, was King of Britain abowe Sun."
120 years before Christ. There is a coin of Manogan Rex, def* Mona Antiqua.
cribed among the plates of coins of the ancient British Kings, Beli, the fon of Manogan, reigned King over all Britain, published by Dr. Stukeley,
I will sound his praises high, Ynys fel Feli,
Darling son of victory. Teithiawg oedd iddi.
Chiefs, like him who guard the land,
Well deserve supreme command.
You too, ye Bards ! whom facred raptures fire,
The Gods are sure reveald, or sure unknown'.
Y Derwyddon, or Druid-Bards, were the fathers of Literature; as is manifest by the following extracts
Ye fapient Druids,
Prophesy to Arthur, —
Hidden but from God, the magi of the world:
Cynddelw. and investigating Druids.-Dyważd Derwyddon
Druids celebrate the re-appearing Dadeni haelion,
of the liberal rulers, O bil eryron
posterity of the warriors O Eryri, &c.
Prydydd y Moch.
Ammianus Marcellinus tells us, “ In these places, among the rude unpolished people, grew up the knowledge of arts and sciences, begun and set up by Bards, Ovades, and Druids to.Likewise, Diogenes
-- The British letters are to be seen on the tomb stone of Cad.
took their first instruction from Britain) had characters to write 10 Ammianus Marcellinus, Lib. XV. chap. 9. Mona Antiqua, their private affairs in, Grecis literis utuntur. Cæsar de Bell. Also, Wolfangus Lazius, (upon the report of Marcellinus) de Gall. Lib. VI. chap. 13.-And there was a letter from Mr. clareth, that the Greek letters were first brought to Athens by William Maurice of Cevn j Braich, to Mr. Robert Vaughan Timagenes, from the Druids. The Scripture informs us, that the antiquary, giving an account of a British coin (mentioned Astrology and Hebrew letters were invented by Seth, and in Camden's Britannia) of Bleiddyd, Bladud, or Blatos, a King Enos.
of Britain fome hundreds of years before the coming of the The following observations by the late Lewis Morris, Esq. is Romans; the coin is now in the Cottonian Library; but Camtoo curious to omit; therefore I will give it here in his own den owned he could make, nothing of it." words.
RELICKS OF THE BARDS AND DRUIDS.
Laertius fays of them, “ that they taught obscurely and enigmatically their points of philosophy.” Infomuch, that in borrowing the words of Milton, ,we may say,
6. That rather Greece from us these arts derived 11." The Druids and Bards were the divines, philosophers, physicians, legislators, prophets, and musicians of the ancient Britons and Gauls, in the ime of Paganism. They composed hymns for the use of the temples, and sung and accompanied them with their harps : (not unlike the fingers and musicians among the Jewish Levites.) They sang the essence and immortality of the soul; the works of nature; the course of celestial bodies ; the order and harmony of the spheres ; the encomiums on the virtues of eminent men". In later periods, the Bards kept an account of the descent of families, emblazoned their arms, and wrote fongs on the valiant actions of illustrious warriors in heroic verse, which they chanted to their harps ; and consequently were the national historians. And from them our ancient history hath been collected ; and not only ours, but all ancient histories of other nations, (except perhaps the Jews,) have been collected from the same kind of materials.
Ye sacred Bards, that to your harps melodious strings,
Sung th' ancient heroes deeds, (the monuments of kings ".) The orator Himerius, particularly describes the dress of Abaris, an Hyperborian, or a British Sage, who travelled into Greece, and says, “ Abaris came to Athens not clad in skins like a Scythian, but with a bow in his hand, a quiver hanging on his shoulders, a plaid wrapped about his body, a gilded belt encircled his loins, and trowsers reaching from the waist down to the soles of his feet '4."
The Druids, and the other orders of Bardism, wore their hair short, and their beards very long; they also wore long robes : but the Druids had on white surplices, whenever they religiously officiated's. The habit of a Druid, taken from an ancient statue, is to be found in Mona Antiqua ; and Druids and Druidesses are delineated in Fricki's Commentatio de Druidis ; and see page IV. of the Introduction to the ad Vol. of this work.
This Bladud, the son of Rhûn, was the founder of Bath. who has fully examined every record extant on that subject,
words: “ The Saxons first entered Britain about the year
were the old British" Cæsar's Commentaries, Book V. chap. 10. says: “ The According to Salmon's Chronology ; in the early part of Britons used brass money, and iron rings of a certain weight." Alfred's reign, there was hardly a layman in England that
There still remain many very ancient British coins. Dr. could read English, or a priest that understood Latin. Stukeley has favoured the world with twenty-three plates of In the time of King Henry the VIIIth, there was found at impressions, from the ancient coins of the Welsh kings. And Ambreibury, in Wiltshire, a table of metal, which appeared to among them a coin of Bleiddyd, Blatos, or Bladud, King of be tin and lead commixed, inscribed with many letters, but in Britain, about 900 years before Christ. Coins of Manogan Rex, so strange a character, that neither Sir Thomas Eliot, nor Mr. who reigned about 130 years before the Christian era ; of Lily, School-master of St. Paul's, could read it, and therefore Cynvelyn, or Cunobelin, King of the Cassivelauni, (whose royal neglected it. Had it been preserved, probably it might have seat was at Caer-Meguaid, or Malden, in Essex ;) In his riegn led to fome discovery. See Gibson's Notes on Camden. our Saviour was born. Meurig, or Marius Rex, and his son If the reader wishes for a further illustration of the ancient Coel Rex, who flourished about A. D. 127. Llês ab Coel, or British letters, I refer him to Mr. Edward Lhwyd's learned PreLucius Rex ; in whose reign the Britons embraced the Chriftian face, which is translated into English in Lewis's History of Great faith, about A. D. 179. Togodunus Rex, son of Cynvelyn, | Britain ; fol. p. 59. of the Introduction. Also, Lhwyd's Arche King of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, flourished A. D. 40. ologia Britannica, p. 225, &c. and p. 254, Caradog, or Cara&acus Rex, King of North Wales. And Dr. Borlase has preserved a series of British coins before Prasutagus Rex: King of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and their intercourse with the Romans ; See Borlafe's Antiquities of Suffolk; who both reigned A. D. 50. Buddug, or Boadicia Cornwall, chap. XII. p. 259, &c. and plate XXIII, of the 2nd Regina, A. D. 58. Gweirydd, or Arviragus Rex, A. D. 63. Edition. Gwallog ab Lëenawg, or Galgacus Rex, called one of the three "Milton's Paradise Regained. And Selden in his Tracts, p. Worthies of Britain, who overcame the Romans in battle, 16. says : “ It appears plainly, that the Druids were the oldest about fifty years before the Christian era. Carawn, or Carau- standing among the Philosophers of the Gentiles, and the most fius, Emperor of Britain, who was born at St. David's, and ancient among their 'Guardians of Laws." where his money was struck, about A. D. 280 ; fee one of his 12 Drudion o Veirddion a vawl, The courageous of the Birds, coins in Mona Antiqua, Plate the 8th, which was found in Neb dragon namyn draig ai dirper. Celebrate no chief, but heroes Anglesey: From him Tre-garawn, and the river Caron, in
of merit. North Wales, derive their names. Some of these heroes are Also, Pliny. Tacitus. Mona Antiqua. and Samme's Britannia, mentioned by Casar, Tacitus, &c. Also, in Stukeley's Medalic 13 Drayton's Poliolbion, ift Song: Hitory. Pegge's Elay on Coins. Langwith on Coins. Lewis's 14 Strabo, Orat. Apud Photium in Biblioth. p. 1135. and History of Great Britain. And, A Difertation upon Gorwen, or Carte's History of England, Vol. I. p. 69. Abaris, taught PyOriuna, the supposed wife of Carausius.
thagoras the doctrine of transmigration of fouls. Carte's Hit. The ancient British characters, which now erroneously are p. 61. and 64. And Lewis's Hit p. 7. called the Saxon letters; are still to be found on pillars, and 15 Toland's History of the Druids, p. 21. Mona Antiqua, tombs in Wales. As a proof of this Assertion ; Dr. Johnson, p. 65.; and Samme's Brit. p. 101, 9
The Druidical Bards likewise wore an ecclefiaftical ornament during the celebration of their rites, called Bardd gwcwll, which was an-azure garment with a cowl to it : “ The sky-worn robes of ten'rest blue." These were afterwards worn by the lay monks of Bardsey Island, in the beginning of Christianity, and were then called Cwvlau Dúon, or Black Cowls : (at which place Myrddin the Bard studied, ended his days, and was buried.) The Gauls, who borrowed this custom from the Bards, wore the Cucullus remarkably long, whence it obtained, on its being made use of at Rome, the name of Bardo.cucullus', or the Bard's Cowl, oř Hood; which is still worn by the Capuchin Friars. The Ovyddion, a third class of Druids, wore green garments; the symbol of Youth, Learning, and Love.
" Peace o'er the world her olive-wand extends,
" And white-rob'd innocence from Heav'n descends." The Sacerdotal Order of Druids wore white ; as an emblem of Truth, and Piety. The Bards, who were the Ruling Oider, wore uni-colour blue robes; the symbol of Heaven, Peace, and Fidelity. These colours are still worn by ecclesiastical persons. Blue was the favourite colour among the Britons, from the earliest time.--An old Welsh proverb occurs to me, which is as follows: Y gwir lás, ni chyll mo’i liw.
The true blue keeps its hue. There are several scattered relics of the Bardic profession, which still may be traced in this Iland in the names of places ; such as Alaw'r Beirdd, the portion of the Bards, in the parish of Llanvachreth : Llanvihangel tre'r Beirdd, the habitation of the Bards, in the parish of St. Michael ; and Aberveirdd, or the Bard's River, in Anglesey. Maen y Bardd, the Bard's Stone, or Tomb, near Bwlch y Ddeu-vaen, in the parish of Llanglunin, Caernarvonshire: and Bryn y Bár, the hill of the Bards, near Tal y Cavn: Pentre'r Beirdd, the village of the Bards, in the parish of Cegidva, Montgomeryshire. Court Brynn y Beirdd, the Court-hill of the Bards, near Llandeilo-vawr, Caermarthenshire. And Croes y Bár, the Cross of the Bards, in the parish of Eglwys Ilan, Glamorganshire t.
From the Welsh word Bardd, is derived the English word Bard, and the Latin Bardus: the plural is Beirdd, Bards, or Bardi; And, Barddas, Barddawd, and Barddoniaeth, is Poetry, History, or Philosophy. We are informed by Strabo, that Poetry was the first Philosophy that ever was taught.
The Druids, expelled from Britain by Cæsar's legions, took refuge in Ireland, Bardsey, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Hi, or Iona, and other places, which the Roman sword could not then reach. The theory of the British Music moved with them, and settled in those regions, which from that period were for many ages the feats of learning and philosophy, till wars and dissensions buried almost every trace of them in oblivion”.
TheBards, having now lost their sacred Druidical character, began to appear in an honourable, though less dignified capacity at the courts of the British kings. The Oak Misselto 3 was deprived of its ancient authority, and the sword prevailed in its place. The Music as well the Poetry of Britain, no doubt, received a tincture from the martial spirit of the times: and the Bards, who once had dedicated their profession to the worship of the gods in their fylvan temples, the celebration of public folemnities, and the praise of all the arts of peace, and who had réprelt the fury of armies preparing to rulh upon each other's spears : now
With other echo taught the shades
To answer, and resound far other song 4. If, while Britain remained a Roman province, the desultóry wars produced any compositions that deserved to live, they were destroyed by the calamity that occafioned them.
I have extracted what related to the Bards from an ancient manuscript, called r Trioedd Ynys Prydain, (The Triads of the Ile of Britain :) supposed to have been begun about the third, or fourth century. This is a brief Chronicle of the most remarkable occurrences, or traditions of former times; and appears to have been continued to the seventh century, which is the latest period noticed in that memorial. The
· Martial; and Samme's Britannia, p. 116. In the Monastery • An Account of the British or Cambrian Music, by Mr. of St. David's, about the beginning of the sixth century, they Lewis Morris. Hist. Gildæ, apud Gales Scriptores, Vol I. were cloathed with garments of skins. And in the Monastery p. 16. and Lewis's History of Brit. p. 228. of Clunny, the habit of the Monks was a great frock with a 3 Ad Viscum Druida, Druida cantare folebant. Ovid. And black hood, over a white garment. Gabriel D Emillianne's Hift. Mona Antiqua. of Monastical Orders.
4 Milton's Paradise Lost. + Formerly, there was a family of the name of Bard, that * Or, probably much earlier. lived at Edlesborough, and to whom the manor of Caversfield, in Buckinghamshire, belonged,