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THE ANCIENT BRITISH TRIADS OF THE ISLE OF BRITAIN.

fragment therefore is curious, as it gives an idea of the manner in which the Britons commemorated events. The chief object observed in its construction, is the arrangement of three similar incidents, characters, or subje&ts in each Triad : only those seem to be selected that were deemed the most important of different claffes ; and are happily contrived to aftft the memory. Try Eurgryd Ynys Prydain.

The Three golden-robed Heralds of the Island of Britain: Caswallon mab Beli, pan aeth i geisio Flúr

Caswallon son of Beli *, when he went as far as Rome hyd yn Rhufain ;

for Flûr, (his Queen ;) Manawydan mab Llyr, pan fu hyd ar Ddyfed ; Manawydan son of Llŷr, when he went to Pem

brokeshire ; A Llew Llawfyffes, pan fu ef a Gwdion.

And Llew Llawgyffes, when he went with Gwdion, yn ceisie henw, ac Arfau, y gan Riarot y Fram. to solicit a Name, and Arms, of Rhiarot y Vram ;

(a celebrated King at Arms.)

Cafwallon reigned about 55 years before Christ.
Tri Marchog Aurdavodiog yn Llys Arthur. The Three golden-tongued Knights, of the Court of

King Arthur:
Gwalchmai mab Gwyar ;

Gwalchmai $, son of Gwyar ; Drydwas mab Tryphin ;

Drydwas son of Tryphin ; Ac Eliwlod mab Madog ab Uthr.

And Eliwlod son of Madog ab Uthr: Gwyr doethion oeddynt, ac mor dég a llaryaidd, These three heroes were so candid, gentle, and eloac mor hyawdl a hynaws yn ei bymadroddion, ac y

quent, posselling such softness of language, that byddau anhawdd i nêb ballu iddynt o'r negesau ageisynt. it seemed impossible for anyone to deny their

requests.

Ś Gwalchmai was nephew to Arthur, and lord of Pembrokeshire. Tri phif Fardd Ynys Brydain.

The Three principal Bards of the Inland of Britain. Merddyn Emrys;

Merlin Ambrofius ; Merddyn mab Morfryn;

Merlin the son of Morvryn; A Thalielin pen Beirdd.

And Taliesin, the Chief of Bards.

He acquired this title, from having fung The Silence of the Bards, in the presence of 33 of the order, at the Court of Prince Maelgwn; and that was probably at a Musical and Poetical Contest; after that time, he was called Taliesin, Head of the Bards.

Tri Gwaywrudd Beirdd Ynys Prydain.
Tristfardd, Bardd Urien;
Dyg ynelw, Bardd Owain ;
Ac Afan Ferddig, Bardd Cadwallon ab Cadfan.

The Three Bloody spear Bards of the Isle of Britain.
Tristvardh, Prince Urien's Bard ;
Dygynelw, Prince Owen's Bard;
And Aväon Verdhig, King Cadwallon's Bard.

They flourished about A. D. 590.
The Three unqualified Bards of the Isle of Britain :
(that is, who were Poets, but not brought up regularly
in the order of Bards ;) or, the Three Trifling Poets :
King Arthur ti
King Cadwallon, son of Cadvan;
And Rhyhawd son of Morgan.

+ There still remain fome verses composed by Arthur, and his nephew Eliwlod.

Tri Ofor.feirdd Ynys Prydain.
Brenhin Arthur ;
Cadwallon mab Cadfan;
A Rhyhawd ail Morgant.

The Three heinous battle-axe blows of Britain:

Tair. Anfad Fwyellawd Ynys Prydain. *Bwyellawd Eiddyn ym mhen Aneurin ;

A’r Fwyellowd Llawgad trwm bargawd Eiddyn
ym mhen Afaon mab Taliefen ;
a'r Fwyellawd ym mhen Golyddan Fardd.

The stroke of Eiddin, on the head of Aneurin
the Bard;
The stroke of Llawgad trwm bargawd Eiddyn,
on the head of Avaon, son of Taliesin;
And that on the head of Golydhan the Bard.

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Tri anwyl llys Arthur, a thri câd-farchawg The Three undaunted Chiefs, and knights of battle ny Synnafant benteulu arnynt erioed;

of King Arthur's Court, that never owned a compet y cant Arthur Englyn iddynt nyd amgen :

troller over them: and to whom, Arthur sung the

following stanza : Sef, yw fy nhri chadfarchawc,

These are my three knights of battle, Mael, a Lludd llyrygawa,

Mael, and Llúdd clad in armour; A cholofn Cymru, Cradawc.

and the pillar of Cambria, Caradoc. Tri dyfal gyfangan ynys Prydein ;

The three perpetual choirs of the Iand of Britain : Un oedd yn ynys Afallach ;

One was in the isle of Avalonia, in Somersetshire ; Tr ail y'nghaer Caradawc;

the second at Salisbury', in Wiltshire ; and the third Ar trydydd ym Mangor ís y coed.

at Bangor-is-coed', in Flintshire. Y’mbob un or tri lle hynny, i'r oedd 2400 o wýr In each of these three abbeys there were two thou. crefyddol, ac o'r rhai hynny 100 cyfnewidiol bob awr fand four hundred religious persons ; one hundred o'r 24 yn y dydd a'r nós, yn parhau mewn gweddiau a being appointed to attend the choir for each hour; gwasanaeth i Dduw yn ddidranc ddiorphwys byth. so that they chanted in rotation without intermission;

and, in the course of the day, and night, the whole performed their duty, that the service of God migh be without ceasing.

Tri unben Deifr, a Brynaich.

The Three Sovereigns of Deira, and Bernicia : Gall, mab Dysgyfeddawg;

Gall, the son of Dysgyvedhog ; Dyfedel, mab Dysgyfeddawg;

Dyvedel, the son of Dysgyvedhog ; Ag T/gwnell, mab Dysg yfeddawg.

And Ysgwnell, the son of Dysgyvedhog : Tri Beirdd, a meib Bardd oeddynt.

These were Bards, and fons of a Bard; and flourile

ed about A. D. 550, Tri thrwyddedawg Ll's Arthnr.

The Three Free guests of King Arthur's Court: Llywarch Hen;

Prince Llywarch Hên ; Llumhunig ab Maon;

Llumhunig ab Maon; A Heledd Gyndrwyn.

And Heledd Gyndrwyn :

(They also were Bards.) s Gildas reports, that Jofeph of Arimathea was sent by Caractacus, who made himself famous abont A. D. 50. The Philip the Apostle to this island in the days of Gweirydd, or town and monastery of Ambresbury, near Salisbury, were Arviragus King of Britain, A. D. 60. He instructed the Bri-founded by Aurelius Ambrofius, about A. D. 480; who, in the tons in the Chriltian faith, in the illeof Avalonia, or Glastonbury; declension of the Roman Empire, alumed the government of where he built a church, which was afterwards converted into Britain, and with the assistance of the valiant Arthur repelled all an abbey, the name is derived from avallon, or apple trees. foreign invaders. Giraldus says, it abounded formerly with apples, and orchards, · Lucius, son of Coel, called by the Britons, Llês a'r llever and was surrounded with water. see Hearne's Glastonbury. mawr, (Lucius with the great fplendor of light,) who was the

Salisbury, or the old Sarbiodunum, was a city of great an- first Christian King of Britain, and reigned about A. D. 180. tiquity in the time of the Britons. But it being the seat of This Lucius, for the increase of learning and preservation of the war, rendered it unfit for study and contemplation. The pre- Christian faith in his realm, founded the seminary of Bangor-issent city of Salisbury, called New Sarum, was raised out of the coed, near Wrexham, North Wales, which contained a valuaruins of the old, which stood upon a bill, and had an episcopal ble library, and continued 350 years. Having brought up many fee, and cathedral. Most historians derive Sarúm from Sarron, learned men; at last, Cynwyl, or Congelus, converted it from the son of Magus, who reigned over the Celts about the year an university into an abbey, and was himself the first abbot of the world 2040, and, to restrain the fierceness of his people, thereof, about A. D. :530. instituted public schools. Perionius Caius, in his Antiquities of It is recorded, that this celebrated monastery extended near Cambridge, says, that Sarron, the third king of the Britons and a mile, from Porth Cleis, to Porth Hwygan; names of two of its Celts, loved learning, and was the first who founded public gates, out of the fix porters orchard of that abbey. The river ftudies, or feminaries of learning, among the Britons or Celts; Dee now runs between where the two distant gates stood. whence priests and philosophers were called Sarronida, which Likewise, Cunedda is said to have built a temple at this were the same with the Druids.

Bangor, about 800 years before Chrift. Tyffilios', Brit. Hift. Salisbury was afterwards called Caer. Caradoc, from King Lewis's Hift. Brit. and Bede.

Tri

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THE ANCIENT BRITISH TRIADS OF THE ISLE OF BRITAIN.

Tri Aerfeddawg Ynys Prydain. Selyf mab Cynan Garwyn ; Afaon mab Taliesin; A Gwallawg mab Llëenawg. Sef achaws y gelwid hwynt yn Aerfeddogion, wrth ddial eu cam oc eu Bedd.

The Three War-tombed Heroes of the Ife of Britain : Selyv, the son of Cynan Garwyn; Avaon, the son of Taliesin; And Gwallog, (Galgacus,) the son of Llëenog. The reason they were called War-tombed Heroes, was because the wrongs done them, were avenged on their

graves. Galgacus Rex flourished about 50 years before Christ.

Tri Gogyfurdd Llys Arthur. Rhyhawd ail Morgant ; A Dalldaf ail Cynon; A Thrystan ab Tallwch.

The Three Com-peers of King Arthur's Court: Rhyhawd, the sonof Morgan ; Dalldav, the son of Cynon ; And Trystan the son of Tallwch.

This Trystan was an eminent Bard as well as a Warrior. It appears, by an ancient dialogue poem, which I have in any posfeflion, that he had absented himself from Arthur's Court chree years, on account of some umbrage which he had conceived. Arthur dispatched twenty-eight of his knights at different times, to fetch him ; but none could prevail by fair means, nor by force ; 'till Gwalchmai, the Golden-tongued Bardic Hero, foothed him to return.

Tri Chynghoriad Farchog Llys Arthur. Cynon ab Clydno Eiddyn ; Arawn ab Cynfarch; A Llywrach Hên, mab Elidyr Lydanwyn,

The Three Knight-counsellors of Arthur's Court: Cynon, the son of Clydno Eiddyn ; Aron, the son of Cynvarch ; And Llywarch Hên, the son of Elidyr Lydanwyn.

Prince Llywarch Hên, like Cæsar, wrote the History of his Wars : so did Prince Howel ab Owain Gwynedd describe his own battles, in a very poetic, elegant, and in a modest manner: likewise, Owain Cyfeliog, Prince of Powys, did the same.

Tri Serchog Ynys Prydain. Caswallawn mab Beli am Ffur, ferch Fugnach Gòr;

Trystan mab Tallwch am Elfyllt, ferch March ab Meirchiawn, ei Ewythr; A Chynon mab Clydno Eiddyn am forfudd, ferch Urien.

The Three amorous Princes of the Idle of Britain : Cafwallon son of Beli, in love with Flur, daughter of Mugnach Gor; Trystan son of Tallwch, in love with Effyllt, daughter of March ab Meirchion, his Uncle ; And Cynon, son of Clydno Eiddyn, (or Clyno of Edinburgh,) in love with Morvudd, daughter of Urien.

The Three fountains of Knowledge:
Invention; study; and experience.

The 'Three Principles of Song ;
Is to compose Poetry;
To play the Harp ;
And Erudition.

Tair ffynon gwybodaeth : Grebwyll, ystyriaeth; a dysgeidiaeth.

Tair Unbenn Gerdd: Tw Prydu. Canu, Telyn ; 4 Chyfarwyddyd. Geraint, neu'r Bardd Glas o'r Gadair, a aeth yn Fardd Telyn i Aelfryd, Brenhin Llundain.

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Geraint, or the Blue-robed Bard of the Chair, was fent for by King Alfred; who made him his Chief Bard of the Harp.

Probably, this Glâs y Gadair is the fame person that is cele. brated by Chaucer, under the name of Glas-cirion, Taliesin, in a Poem called his Wanderings, says;

“ I am Elphin's chief Bard.”
“ I have been at Gwynyryn, the Palace of Cynvelyn."

“ I have been chief Bard of the Harp, to Leon King of Norway."

so I had a vein of poetry from Gridwen the aged.”
“ I know the Learning and Poetry of all the world."

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As

At the commencement of the sixth century, we find the Bards resumed the Harp with unusual boldness, to animate their country's last successful struggle with the Saxons : for, judging from the remains preserved, their poetical effusions spread very general about that period. But from the ninth to the eleventh century, their Awen, or muse, seems to have received a check, if we judge from the scarcity of pieces in that period ; though to decide from such a circumstance may be delusory, when it is considered what devastation, persecutions, and wars, brought over their country; involving in the consequence a great destruction of manuscripts. Such a loss seems very evident; for in the enlightened, and in some degree the tranquil reign of Howel Dda, poetry must have been highly cherished; yet not a single piece is preserved, to a certainty, of the productions of that reign. The hiatus continues till the time of Prince Gruffudd ab Cynan, when we are charmed with the nervous Muse of Meilir, who was the father of a noble succession of Bards, that brought the Poetry and Language of Wales to the highest perfection ; but that Golden Age of Welsh Poetry experienced an awful close in the thirteenth century, on the death of Llewelyn, the last Prince of Wales.

A. D.

The Names of some of the most Ancient and Eminent British Bards, and Historians and the Time wherein they flourished.

Plennydd, and Oron*; Bards who flourished before Were renowned for wisdom and benevolence; Christ. (Recorded by Bale: and in Lewis's Ancient Were Primitive Bards, whose superior merits History of Britain, p. 9.) Thefe Bards, and fix others are universally allowed ; of the earliest, are mentioned by Edmund Prys, All skilled in the science of polished verse. Archdeacon of Meirionydd, (who wrote about the Tri Chyntevigion Beirdd Gorseddog Ynys Prydain ; year 1580 ;) in the 26th of the contending Poems Plennydd, Alawn, a Gwron. between him and William Cynwal, a cotemporary The Three primitive Legiflative Bards of the Illand of Bard, in the following interrogating lines.

Britain ; were Plennydd, Alawn, and Gwron : Mae Plennydd, mab h lawnwaith?

They fourished about 430 years before Christ; See " Mae Oron, úr mawr Ion Iaith?

the 2d Vol. of this work, the Bardic Museum, p. 3; 5,6. " Mae un Rhuvin, mín rhyvedd ? Mae gwarant Meugant, val médd ?

Gildas Cambrius, Bard to Arviragus, King of Melgin, a Mevin myvyr,

Britain, who flourished about A. D. 60; he is “ Mlados, a Chadog iach wr;

commended for his Poetry, and Learning, by s mrh.sin seddynt rhinweddawl,

John Bale, in his Scriptores Anglici; and by Pawn doethder, mwynder a mawl :

Lillius Giraldus, who says he wrote the annals of O Briveirdd hcb waravun ;

the British History, and translated Dyvnwal " Ar Naddwowd barawd bób un. Edmuud Prys. Moelmud's Laws into Latin ; which were afterA LITERAL TRANSLATION.

wards translated into Saxon by King Alfred.
Where is Plenydd, whose verse was bold and rich ? Gwdion ab Dôn, Lord of Aryon; an eminent
Where is Oron, that great Prince of our Language? Philosopher and Astronomer, about the year 450
Where is Rhuvin, of the wonderful lip?

- Gwdion mab Dón, ar Gonwy, Where is the authoritative Meugant, whose fong was

« Hudlath ni bu o'i fath fwy." D. Gwilym. like the sparkling mead?

Caer-gwdion, (the milky-way in the Heavens,)
Where is Melgin? Where is Mevin the studious t? is so called from him.
With Madog, and Cadog; celebrated names?

Bacharius, a learned Briton, and disciple of St.
These were famed for their virtues;

Patric'; (called by Bale, Meigan Vates.) He

studied * Plenydd, ag Oron plannant

Badrig, or Patrick's Causeway: also he built a Church in O’u plwy ddysgeidiaeth i'w plant.

Sir W. Glyn. Anglesey, called Llanbadrig ; and there are meadows called + Mevin, a pet and Prophet, who flourished in the time of Rhốs Badrig. His original Welsh name was Maenwyn, and his Gwrtheyrn, or Vortigern, King of Britain, about A.D.450. ecclesiastical name of Patricius was given him by Pope Celestine,

St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, who was born in the when he consecrated him a Bishop, and sent him a' miflioner into Vale of Rhos, in Pembrokeshire, about the year 373, is said to Ireland, to convert the Irish, in the year 433. When Patrick be the fon of Calphurnius and Concha. But according to his landed near Wicklow, the inhabitants were ready to stone him, pedigree, which I have got in an old manuscript, and another for attempting an innovation in the religion of their ancestors. I have feen in the Britih Museum, which runs thus : “ Patrig He requeited to be heard ; and explained unto them, that God St. ab Alvryd, Gronwy, o Wareddawg yn Arvon ;, that is, is an omnipotent, sacred Spirit, who created Heaven, and Earth; St. Patrick, ion of Alvryd, fon of Gronwy, of Wareddawg, in and that the Trinity is contained in the Unity ; but they were Carnarvonshire. Another thing, corroborates this genealogy: reluctant to give credit to his words. St Patrick therefore there is a place by the sea.lide in Meirionyddihire, called Sarn plucked a Trefoil from the ground, and expostulated with the

Hibernian;

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560

A.D. Taliesin Pen Beirdd, Bard to Prince Elphin, ftudied at the University of Caerlleon, and was to King Maelgwyn, and to Prince Urien Reged, 540 a' Poet, Mathematician, and Historian, about 440 Cian, o Vaen Gwyngwn, a Bard,

520 Ystudvach, the Bard of Cystennyn son of Y Bardd Llwyd, Bard to Urien Reged,

540 Cynvor, King of Britain, about the beginning of Tristvardd, Bard to Urien Reged,

540 the fifth century.

Ugnach ab Mydno, a Bard,

545
Meugant, à celebrated Bard, Philosopher, Gildas ab Câw, or Gildas Badonius, a Bard,
and Mathematician, of Caerlleon seminary?, 460 and Author of the Epistle, ( a History of Britain,) 550

Merddin Emrys, Bardd Gwrtheyrn, or Philo Myrddin ab Morvryn, or Merlin of Caledo-
sopher and Counsellor to King Vottigern, and nia; a disciple of Taliesin, and Bard to Lord
a Prince of West Wales,
470 Gwenddolau ab Ceidiaw,

550 Gwion Bâch, mab Gwreang o Lanvair Dygynnelw, Bard to Prince Owain ab Urien, 570 y'Nghaereinion, yn Mhowys ; a Bard, about, 470 Avaon or Avagddu, son of Taliesin. His

Cywryd, Bard to Dunawd, the son of Pabo father, in one of his poems, says, he possessed
post Prydain,
480 greater abilities than himself,

560 Gwyddno Garanhir, a Bard, and a Prince of Culvardı, or Heinyn Vardd,

590 Cantre'r Gwaelod, in Meirionyddshire, which Afaph, a British Historian, and Bihop,

590 was swallowed up by the sea, about A. D.

500 Dyvedel mab Dysgyveddog, a Bard, Coll, son of Collvrewy, principal King at Elaeth, a Bard,

600 Arms, in Arthur's reign; about A.D.

500 Niniaw, or Nennius, Abbot of Bangor îs y for it appears in the Triads, that Coll gave the Coed, in Flintshire; and a disciple of Elvod. Eagle to Brynach, the Gwyddelian (or Irish He wrote the History and Antiquities of Britain man ;) and the Wolf to Menwaed of Arllech. in Latin,

603 wedd. This shews the great antiquity of armo Twrog, the writer of Tiboeth, a monastic rial bearings among the Britons.

record belonging to St. Beuno, which was forDyvrig, or Dubritius, was a Bard, and Bishop, 500 merly at Clynog Church, in Caernarvonshire. Cadair, a Bard; and Father of Elmur the Bard, 500 Also, Twrog is said to have written a British Aneurin Gwawdrydd, Mychdeyrn Beirdd, or Chronicles,

610 King of Bards, and Chief of the Gododinians, 510 Elvod, who wrote a Latin History of the

Gwalchmai mab Gwyar, named the golden Britons, and was a Bishop of North Wales in tongued warrior, a Bard 517 the reign of Cadvan,

710 Eliwlod, ab Madog, ab Uthur; a Bard, and Llywarch Hir, Bard to Brochwel Ysgithrog, Knight to King Arthur

519 Prince of Powis, Trustan mab Tallwch, a disciple of Merddin, Tysilio, a Bishop, and Author of Brut y and one of the chief warriors of King Arthur's Brenhinoedd, or The History of the British Court, 520 Kings,

620 Gwron ab Cynvarch a Bard, and King bef. Christ, 450 Samuel, Beulan, a learned Briton, who

Dewi Sant, a Bard. Giraldus wrote his life, 530 | added certain annotations to Nennius's History;
Llywarch Hên, a Cumbrian Prince, and Bard, 530 he flourised under Cadvan about the

Talhaiarn Tâd Awen, or Talhaiarn, Father Avan Verddig, Bard to King Cadwallon ab of the Muse, and domestic chaplain to Ambrosius, 540 Cadvan, about

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Hibernians: Is it not as feasible for the Father, Son, and Holy saved from purgatory: for the third, I must leave to the Irish
Ghoft, as for these three leaves, thus to grow upon a single falk. to find out. St. Patrick is said to have lived to the age of 120:
Then the Irish were immediately convinced of their error, and His life was written by Trychanus; by Evin; And Ninian.
were solemnly baptized by St. Patrick.

Bonedd Seint, or the Noble Descent of British Saints, the
This British Saint built several Churches and seminaries in Ire-Founders of Churches and Religious Houses, would be an
land ; that of Saball. Padhrig, or Patrick's Grange Domnach-mor inestimable work, if translated and published; as it would throw
Patrick, or Patrick's great Church ; and the Monastery of Armagh, much light on ancient history, as well as on British writers.
owed its foundation to him, and was the principal school of · Alfo, Fastidius Priscus, Bishop of London, was a learned
Ireland : in short he taught the Irish letters. Nennius's History Historian, A. D. 420.
says: “ Patrick, the Apostle of the Irish, wrote 365 books Isanus, and Atroclius, (as Vicentius fays) were British writers
of A, B, and C's; founded 365 Churches ; confecrated 365 and abbots, about the time of Arthur, d. D. 480.
Bishops ; ordained 3000 Presbyters ; converted and baptized Congellus, Abbot of Bangor Isycoed (as Bale fays,) wrote
32,000 men, in the region of Connaught ; and baptized seven several works, and flourished about 5 30.
Kings, the sons of Amolgith. He falted 40 days on the top Machútus, or Maelgonius, Samfon, Echbinus, and Vigna-
of Mount Eli, and obtained three petitions from Heaven for locus, (as Antonius says,) were British writers, about A. D. 569.
the believing Irith." (One of those petitions was, that no Keating's History of Ireland mentions Leavr Drum Sneachda,
venomous creatures should ever infest Ireland : another proba- The Book of Snowdon ; said to have been written before the
bly was, that they, who believed in his doctrine, thould be time of St. Patrick.

Arovan

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