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And vindicate his wrongs;
And grateful Cambria's songs.
On sea, on land, thou still didst brave
Yon moss-grown fount, beside;
The waters' scaly pride,
In future times thy honour'd name
Shall emulate brave Urien's fame!
Surrounded by the numerous foe,
Well didst thou deal th' unequal blow.
More horrid than the lightning's glance,
Flastj'd the red meteors from thy lance,
Dire, and more dire, the conflict grew;
Thousands before thy presence flew;
While borne in thy triumphal car,
Majestic as the god of war,
Midst charging hosts unmov'd you stood,
Or waded thro' a sea of blood.
Immortal fame shall be thy meed,
Due to every glorious deed ,
Which latest annals shall record,
Beloved and victorious Lord! - <
Grace, Wisdom, Valour, all are thine,
Owain Glyndwrdwy divine!
Meet emblem of a two-edg'd sword,
Dreaded in war, in peace ador'd!
Steer thy swift ships to Albion's coast
Pregnant with thy martial host.
Thy robes are white as driven snow,
But terrible in war thou art,
Loud Fame has told thy gallant deeds,
Strike then your harps, ye Cambrian Bards;
Though heroic Poetry was afterwards no more attempted in Wales, a long series of Bards succeeded, who by their elegies and odes have made their names memorable to ages. Among these Davydd ab Gwilym ', the Welsh Ovid, possesses a deserved pre-eminence. He often adds the sublime to the beautiful; of which his Cywydd y Daran1, or Ode of the Thunder, is a noble proof. It is the picture of a well-chosen scene, admirably varied: it opens with placid ideas, and rural images; a lovely maiden, and a delightful prospect: then succeeds a sudden and tremendous change of the elements i the beauties of nature overshadowed and concealed; the terror of animals, and the shrieks of the fair-one. A thousand instances of similar excellence might be produced from the writings of this elegant Bard, and his contemporaries. Let those who complain that by the present scarcity of works of genius they are reduced to bestow on Horace, Pindar, and Gray, a tenth perusal, explore the buried treasures of Welsh Poetry, and their search will be rewarded with new sources of pleasure, and new beauties of language and fancy.
* The seal of O-wain Glyndnxir, as described in a MS. was, the effigy of Oivain sitting in a chair of state, holding a scepter in his right hand, and a globe in his left; and by his side were three lions, two and one: on the other, he is represented on horseback.
1 Davydd ab Gnxilym, flourished about the year 1370. All this Bard's poems are published in an octavo volume, with an account of his life, &c. in English. The title is, Barddouiaclh Davydd ab Gwilym 1 and fold by Williams, Bookieller, in the Strand.
1 The Ode of the Thunder is in p. 20 of Davydd ab Gwi lym's Works. For the following remarks I am obliged to that excellent Welfli critic, the late Mr. Lewis Morris. "Mr. Pope, in his Preface to the Iliad, enumerating Homer's excellencies, next to his boundless invention places his imitative sounds, and
makes them peculiar to him and Firgil, and fays that no other poet ever reached this point of art.
"Davydd ab G-ivilym, if I mistake nor, has also a strong claim to this excellency. You mult either allow of the atomical philosophy; or thar, copying nature by its own light, he intended his Cyiuydd y Daran should found what it really is—a description bt thunder and lightning, though in his love poems, and other soft subjects (of which I have now by me near a hundred), he is as'smooth, and glides as easy, as an Italian song.
"Let those who are not over partial to the school languages, and are proper judges of ours, compare this poem in its sounds, and the loftiness ot its metaphors, with the best passages of this kind in the above authors; and I doubt not but they will deem this boldness of comparison exculable, let Homer's character be ever so sacred." Thsau V ben oesoedd.
ODE ODE TO THE SUN*, by Davydd ab Gwilym K
Translated into English, by Mr. David Samiuell.
This Ode was written by the Bard, to testify his gratitude to the inhabitants of the county of Glamorgan, who had (it would seem) by a general subscription, raised a sum of money to liberate him from confinement, into which he had been thrown, on account of a sine laid upon him, for an illicit amour with the wife of a person of the name of Cymirig Cynin\ whom he had latiiizcd in several parts of his work, under the name of B<wa bah, or the little Hunchback.
Yr Haul dig ar vy neges
Rbed ti, cyd bycb rhod y tis, &c.
While Summer reigns, delightful Sun!
The fairest planet thou, that flies
O thou! with radiant glory crown'd,
Before all planets thee I prize,
* Milton finely calls the Sun, "The eye and foul of this world."
'See the I ife and Writings of Davydd ab Giuilym, p. 180. glinted by Williams, in the Strand.
But o'er her green vales through the day,
Great Sun! how wide thy glory streams!
A name immortal shall belong
Were hospitality denied
4 North Wales. s Glamorgan.
'A river in Glamorganshire. Also, there is a venerable town and castle of that name.
Dear Morvydh claims my first regard,
Full oft, when Night her mantle spread,
Her voice I know the groves among,
Absent from her I find no rest,
At her approach my sorrows fly, My heart exults with ecstasy; The faithful Muse renews her strain, Poetic Visions fire my brain; Sound judgement leads my steps along, And flowing language crowns my song; But not one happy hour have I If lovely Morvydh be not nigh.
Monody on Sion ESs, or John the Nightingale, so called from his celebrity on the Harp, for which he had no equal. He was sentenced to die for man-slaughter: his weight in gold was offered for his ransom; but the law required life for life!
This pathetic Elegy was fung by Davydd ab Edmwnt, a celebrated Bard, who obtained the badge of the British Olympics, about A. D. 1450.