Abbildungen der Seite

A. D.

Asser Menevensis, a British Historian, and Tutor to King Alfred, and to his children. He was the first Professor of Oxford, and Author of

the Life of Alfred, 874

Geraint, y Bardd Glas or Gadair, 880

Mab Cryg, a Bard, 880

Blegywryd,or Blegabredus.a British Historian, 914 Jonas Mynyw, a Bard, 920

Meilir Brydydd, Bard to Prince Gruffydd ab

Cynan, about 1100

Cellan Benccrdd, chief Bard of the Harp to

Prince Gruffydd ab Cynan, — 1086

Llewehn, and Gwrnerth, two Powissian

Grammarians and poets, 1030

Bieddyn Ddu was y CwA, a Poet, — 1090 Y Bcrgam, o Vaelor, in Denbighshire, a Poet,

about — —— 1090

Kobert Cuke of Normandy, brother to William Rufu*; who, about the year 1106, was confined by King Henry the First 28 years in Cardiff Castle: during that period he is said to have acquired a perfect knowledge of the Welsh language and poetry, and to have been admitted a Welfli Bard. This singular circumstance is recorded in an old Welsh history of the Lords of Glamorgan, from Jestin ab Gwrgant, down to Jasper Duke of Bedford.

Bishop Uiban, writer of Liber Landavensis, 1119 Cwrgan ab Rhys, a celebrated Bard, — 1130 Caradoc of Llancarvan, a British Historian, 1130 Jeffcry of Monmouth, a British Historian, and

Bishop of St. Asa ph, 1140

Howel, the son of Owain Gwynedd, a Bardic

Prince, — 1140

Pcryv ab Cadivor, a Poet, — — 1140
Gwalchmai, the son of Meilir, Bard to Prince

Owen Gwynedd, 1150

Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr, Bard to Prince Owen Gwynedd; to Madog ab Meredvdd, Prince of Powis; and to Prince Davydd ab

Owen Gwynedd, — 1160

T Llyvr D6 0 Gaer-Vyrddint i. e. The black Book of Carmarthen, which is in Hengwrt Library, Meirionyddshire, is supposed to be the oldest Welsh manuscript now extant: it is a quarto size, consisting of 108 pages, and contains the works of the Bards of the sixth century. The first part of it is very ancient; the writer unknown; and the latter part of it is thought to be transcribed from other

A. D.

old manuscripts by Cynnddelw Brydydd mazvr, i. e. Cynddelw the celebrated Bard, about A. D. 1150 Owain Cyveiliog, Prince of Powis, a Bard, 1160 Gwynvardd Brycheiniog, Bard to Prince

Rhys ab Gruffydd, —■— 1160

Dygynnelw, son of Cynddelw, a Bard, — 1170 Giraldus Cambrensis, a learned British His

storian, ■ ■ 1190

Llywarch Brydydd y Moch, Bard to Prince

Llewelyn ab Jorweth, . 1200

Morris Morgannwg, a Rhetorician and Poet, 1220 Einion, the son of Gwalchmai of Treveilir, Bard to Llewelyn ab Jorwerth, or Prince

Llewelvn the Great, ■ 1230

Daniel ab Llosgwrn Mew, a Bard, — 1200 Hen Gyrys o Jal; Bach Buddugre; or Gwyddvarch Gyvarwydd : a celebrated collector of Welsh proverbs, about the year — 1216

Meddygon Myddvai, who wrote a British book on Physic and Surgery, by order of Prince RhysGrvg, abour the year —. 1230

Ystudvach, a Poet,-and Warrior, who is often celebrated by the Bards for his hospitality; also, a collector of Welsh proverbs: of whom Davydd ab Gwilym fays:

"Gwir a ddywawd Ystudvach,
"Gydaifeirddyn ctftddacb."

Einion Wan, a Bard, J 1240

Adda Vras, a Poet and pretended prophet, of Is-Conwy, in North Wales, about . 1240 Phylip Brydydd, a Cardiganshire Bard, — 1250 Einion ab Gwgon, a Bard, . 1450

Bieddyn Vardd, Bard to Llywelyn ab Gruf

fudd, the last Prince of Wales 1260

Davydd Benvras, Bard to the said Llywelyn, who was betrayed at Buellt in the year 1282. This Bard enumerates twenty battles that this

prince sought. Flourished about 1260

Meilir ab Gwalchmai,Bard to Llywelyn the last, 1260

Casnodyn Vardd ■ 1260

Gwilym Ryvel, a Poet, and Warrior, — 1260
Gruffydd ab yr Ynad Coch, Bard to the last

Prince Llywelyn, 1270

Edeyrn Davod Aur, a Bard and Grammarian, 1270

Minwyn, a Grammarian and Poet,

Llygad Gwr, a Bard, — 1270

Ednyved Vychan, a Bard, 1270

Einion Offeiriad, o Wynedd; a Rhetorician

and Poet, ■ 1280

Seisyll Bryfwrch, a Bard, — — 1280
Llywelyn Vardd ab Cywryd, — — 1280
Y Prydydd Bychan, o Ddeheubarth, — 1280
Cadwgan ab Cynvrig, a Poet, —1280

A. D.

Gwilym ddu o Arvon, Bard to P. Llywelyn 1320

Dr. Davydd Ddu, o Hiraddug, in Flintshire;

a Bard and Grammarian: from his knowledge

in chemistry and natural philosophy, he got the

name of a magician •, he lived about the year 1340

Trahaearn Brydydd Mawr, or Trahaearn the

noted Bard, 1370

Davydd ab Gwilym, or Davydd Morganwg;

Bard to Ivor Hael, (Lord of Maesaleg, in Monmouthshire,) and to the monastery of Strata

Florida 1370

Mabclav ap Llywarch, a Bard, —— 1370 Howel Ystoryn, a Poet, — — 1380 Yr Ystus Llwyd, a Poet, — — 1380 Sir John Gower, a native of Gwyr, or Gowerland, in Glamorganshire; the first English Poet, and Laureat to King Richard II. to whom he dedicated his works, about the year — 1380 Dr. Johnson, in his History of our English Language, fays, "The first of our authors, who can be properly said to have written English, was Sir John Gower; who, in his Confession of a Lover, calls Chaucer his disciple, and may therefore be considered as the Father of English Poetry."

Llywelyn Moel y Pantri, a Bard, —- 1400 Syr Gruffydd Lhwyd, ab Davydd ab Einion, chief Bard to Owen Glyndwr, the last Welsh

Chieftain, 1400

Llywelyn G6ch ab Meurig hen, o Nannau, 1400 Jolo G6ch, Lord of Llechryd, in Denbighshire, a Bard, 1400

lthel Ddu, o Vro Veilir, in Anglesey, called Dryw'r Gerdd, i. e. The Druid of Poetry, — 1400 Rhys Goch o Eryri, of Havod Garregog,

near Snowdon, a Bard, —- 1420

Llywelyn, or Lewis Glyn-Cothi j a Bard, and an officer under Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, — 1450 This Bard transcribed most of the old Welsh poems and records, in a folio volume, called Llyvr-Cocb, (which is still in Jesus College Library, Oxford,) from a very ancient manuscript, called Llyvr Hergeji.

Davydd ab Edmwnd, yr Awdur ariandlysog, or chief Bard, — 1450

A. D.

Gutto o'r Glyn, Bard to Llan Egwestl, Vale Crucis Abbey, in Denbighshire, 145°

Guttyn Owain, a Herald Bard, and Historian; resided chiefly at Ystrad Fflur Monastery in Cardiganshire, ■ 1480

Cynvrig ab Gronw, a Poet and Genealogist, who flourished about 1450. This Bard, and Syr Meredudd ab Rhys, who flourished in 1440 mentions the discovery of America, by Madoc, son of Owen Gwynedd.

Davydd Nanmor, an eminent Bard of Merionethshire, ■ 1460

Jorwerth Vynglwyd, Bard to Margam Abbey

in Glamorganshire, 1460

Jorwerth Cyriog, a chair'd Bard, — 1460

Llywarch Bentwrch, a Poet, 1460

Sir John Leiaf, a Herald Bard, 1480

Gruffydd ab Llewelyn ab Evan Vychan, a

Herald Bard, —— 1485

Inco Brydydd, 1480

Jevan Llwyd Brydydd, — — 1480 Rhys Nanmor, Bard to King Henry VII. 1480 Tudur Aled, of Dyffryn Aled, in Denbighshire, a celebrated Bard, ■ I49°

Lewis Morganwg, pencerdd y tair talaith, or chief Bard of the Principality of Wales; and

domestic Bard to Neath Abbey 1510

Syr Huw Pennant, Offeiriad, and Bard, — 1510 Gruffydd of Hiraethog, (in Denbighshire) an excellent Bard, that flourished about the year, 1530 He was the preceptor of four eminent poets at one time; and being asked, which of his pupils had the brightest genius; he returned the following answer: "tyJged'S S*m furfur* The learning of Shon Tudur. Govalus Symwnt Vychan. The diligence of Simwnt


Awenyddawl William Cynwal. The prolific genius of

William Cynwal.

Ond, n'td oes dim cuddiedig But nothing is unknown rhag William Lljn." to William Llyn.

For the list of the succeding Bards, I must refer my readers to the end of Dr. John Davies's Antiqua Linguœ Britannica. And to Mr. EdwardLhuyd's Catalogue of ancient British Manuscripts, and Welsh writers, in his Archaologia Britannica, p. 225.258, &c.

Aneurin Givazvdrydd, myebdeyrn Beirdd3, that is, Aneurin with the flowing Muse, King of Bardsj (brother to Gildas Albanius, the British historian,) who lived under the patronage of Mynyddawg of Edinburgh, a prince of the North; whose Eurdorchogion, or warriors wearing the golden Torres, 363 in number, were all slain, except Aneurin and two others, in a battle with the Saxons at

[blocks in formation]

Cattraetb, on the eastern coast of Yorkshire. His Gododin, an Heroic Poem, written on that event, is perhaps the oldest and noblest production of that age. Being composed in a northern dialect, that of the men of Deira, and Bernicia; it is at present in many places difficult and obscure'. The following passage, versified by Mr. Gray, from Mr. Evans's specimens, will, though a fragment, give an ample proof of the genius of Aneurin *.


Selected from the Gododin.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Had I but the torrent's might,

With headlong rage, and wild affright,

Upon Deira't squadrons hurl'd,

To rush, and sweep them from the world!

Too, too secure, in youthful pride
By them my friend, my Hoel, died,
Great Kian's son; of Madoc old
He ask'd no heaps of hoarded gold j
Alone in nature's wealth array'd,
He ask'd, and had the lovely maid.

Have ye seen the tufky boar
Or the bull, with sullen roar,
On surrounding foes advance?
So Caradoc bore his lance.

VedeFs name, my lay, rehearse,
Build to him the lofty verse,
Sacred tribute of the Bard,
Verse, the hero's sole reward.
As the flames devouring force,
As the whirlwind in its course,
As the thunder's fiery stroke,
Glancing on the lhiver'd oak;
Did the sword of Vtdel's mow
The crimson harvest of the foe.

To Cattraetb's vale, in glitt'ring row

Twice two hundred warriors got

Ev'ry warrior's manly neck

Chains of regal honour deck,

Wreath'd in many a golden link:

From the golden cup they drink

Nectar, that the bees produce,

Or the grape's extatic juice.

Flush'd with mirth, and hope, they turn;

But none from Cattraeth's vale return,

Save Aeron brave, and Conan strong,

(Bursting thro' the bloody throng),

And I, the meanest of them all,

That live to weep, and sing their fall. — —

[merged small][ocr errors]

Taliesin, who in one of his poems gives an honourable testimony to the fame of Aneurin % was like him called Penbeirdd, Chief, or King of Bards. He lived in the reign and enjoyed the favour of Maelgivn Gwynedd, King of all Wales. He was found, when an infant, exposed in a wear, which Gwyddno Garan~ Mr, the King of Cantre'r Gzvaelod, had granted as a maintenance to Prince Elphin his son. Elphin, with many amiable qualities, was extravagant •, and, having little success at the wear, grew discontented and melancholy. At this juncture Taliefin was found by the fishermen of the prince, by whose command he was carefully fostered and liberally educated. At a proper age the accomplished Bard was introduced by his princely patron at the court of his father Gwyddno, to whom he presented, on that occasion, a poem called Hanes Taliesin, or Taliefin's History; and at the same time another to the prince, called Dyhuddiant Elphin1, the consolation of Elphin, which the Bard addresses to him in the person and character of an exposed infant. Taliefin lived to recompense the kindness of his benefactor: by the magic of his Song he redeemed him from the castle of Teganwy, (where he was for some misunderstanding confined by his uncle Maelgwn,) and afterwards conferred upon him an illustrious immortality.

Taliesin was the master, or poetical preceptor of Myrddin ap Morvryn: he enriched the British Prosody with five new metres: and has transmitted in his poems such vestiges as throw new light on the history, knowledge, and manners of the ancient Britons and their Druids, much of whose mystical learning he imbibed.

The first poem which I have chosen for a specimen of Taliesin's manner, is his description of the battle of Argoed Lluyvain, in Cumberland, fought about the year 548, by Goddeu, a King of North Britain, and Urien Reged, King of Cumbria, against Fflamddwyn, a Saxon general, supposed to be [da, the first King of Northumberland. I am indebted to the obliging disposition of the late Mr. Whitehead, for the following faithful and animated versification of this valuable antique .

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

1"be Battle of Jrgoed Llwyvaln 4
Morning rose: the issuing fun
Saw the dreadful fight begun:
And that fun's descending ray
Clos'd the battle, clos'd the day.

Fflamddwyn pour'd his rapid bands,
Legions four, o'er R ged's lands.
The numerous host from side to side
Spread destruction wild and wide,
From Argoed's s summits, sorest crown'd,
To steep Arvynydd's 6 utmost bound.
Short their triumph, short their sway,
Born and ended with the day!

FlusiVd with conquest, Fflamddwyn said,
Boastful at his army's head;
"Strive not to oppose the stream,
Redeem your-lands, your lives redeem.
Give me pledges?" Flamddwyn cried.
M Never", Urien's son replied,
Owen7, of the mighty stroke.
Kindling, as the hero spoke,

* This is one of the ii great battles of' Urien Reged, celebrated by Taliefin in poems now extant. See Carte's History of England, p. 211, and 213. where there is much valuable information relating to the ancient Britons,

5 A district of Cumberland, the country of Prince Llynuarch Hen, from whence he was driven by the Saxons.

6 Some place on the borders of Northumberland.

7 Owen ap Urien acted as his father's general; and is called, in the British Triades, "one of the three Cavaliers of Battle."


[ocr errors]

Cenau, God's blooming heir ,
Caught the flame, and grasped the spear;
"Shall Cod's issue pledges give
To the insulting foe, and live?
Never such be Briton's shame,
Never, 'till this mangled frame,
Like some vanquished lion, lie
Drench'd in blood, and bleeding die 8."

Day advanc'd: and ere the fun
Reach'd the radiant point of noon,
Urien came with fresh supplies.
"Rife, ye sons of Cambria, rife,
Spread your banners to the foe,
Spread them on the mountain's brow;
Lift your lances high in air,
Friends and brothers of the war j
Ruth like torrents down the steep,
Thro' the vales in myriads sweep;
Fflamddwyn never can sustain
The force of our united train."

Havoc, havoc rag'd around,
Many a carcase strew'd the ground;
Ravens drank the purple flood;
Raven plumes were dy'd in blood;
Frighted crowds from place to places
Eager, hurrying, breathless, pale,
Spread the news of their disgrace,
Trembling as they told the tale.

These are Taliefin's rhimes,
These shall live to distant times,
And the Bard's prophetic rage
Animate a future age.

Child of sorrow, child of pain,

Never may I smile again,

If, 'till all-subduing death

Close these eyes, and stop this breath,

Ever I forget to raise

My grateful songs to Urien's praise!

About the beginning of the sixth century, Urien, son of Cynvarcb ab Meirchion, King of Reged; (a territory in Caledonia, bordering on the TJlradclwyd Britons", to the south;) who was bred in King Arthur's Court, and was one of his knights: he had great experience in war, and great power in the country by the largeness of his dominion, and the number of his vassals: he was still greater by his reputation and wisdom; and by his valour in defending his country against the encroaching Saxons. After several engagements, with various success, he at last prevailed so far against Theodoric, son of Ida, as to force him to fly into Holy Island for safety. Urien, the glory of his country, who had braved death so often in the field, and sought it in vain among the thickest of his enemies, fell at last in the midst of his own men, in the year 560, by the treachery of Morgan's, brother to Rbydderch, from mere envy, on

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

8 Cenau led to the assistance of Urien Reged, the forces of his father Coel Godbebog, king of a northern tract, called Goddeu, probably inhabited by the Godini of Ptolemy. Owen ap Urien and Cenau ap Coel were in the number of Arthur's Knights: See

Lewis's History of Britain, p. 101. and Carte's History of England.

9 The Stratb-cliuyd Britons inhabited the west part of Scotland: and the Cumbrians dwelt from the wall southward as far as the Ribble, in Lancashire.


« ZurückWeiter »