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Some Specimens of the Poetry of the Ancient Welsh Bards   By:

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THE ANCIENT WELSH BARDS

Transcribed from the [1862] John Pryse, Llanidloes edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

SOME SPECIMENS OF THE POETRY OF THE ANCIENT WELSH BARDS.

Translated into English,

WITH EXPLANATORY NOTES ON THE HISTORICAL PASSAGES, AND A SHORT ACCOUNT OF MEN AND PLACES MENTIONED BY THE BARDS.

BY THE REV. EVAN EVANS, (IEUAN PRYDYDD HIR.)

“Vos quoque, qui fortes animas belloque peremptas Laudibus in longum, Vates, dimittitis ævum, Plurima securi fudistis carmina Bardi.”

LUCANUS.

—“Si quid mea carmina possunt Aonio statuam sublimes vertice Bardos, Bardos Pieridum cultores atque canentis Phœbi delicias, quibus est data cura perennis Dicere nobilium clarissima facta virorum, Aureaque excelsam famam super astra locare.”

LELANDUS in Assertione Arturii.

REPRINTED FROM DODSLEY’S EDITION OF 1764.

PUBLISHED BY JOHN PRYSE, LLANIDLOES, MONTGOMERY; AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.

TO SIR ROGER MOSTYN, OF MOSTYN AND GLODDAITH, BART.,

Representative of the County, Lord Lieutenant, and Lieutenant Colonel of the Militia of Flintshire.

SIR,

I hope you will pardon my presumption in prefixing your name to the following small collection of British poems, to which you have a just claim, as being lineally descended from those heroes they celebrate, and retain in an eminent manner the worth and generous principles of your renowned ancestors. The British Bards were received by the nobility and gentry with distinguished marks of esteem, in every part of Wales, and particularly at Gloddaith and Mostyn, where their works are still preserved in your curious libraries. I hope, therefore, an attempt to give the public a small specimen of their works will not fail of your approbation, which the editor flatters himself with, from the generous manner with which you treated him, particularly by lending him some of your valuable books and manuscripts.

That you may long continue to be an ornament to your country, and a pattern of virtuous actions, and a generous patron of learning, is the sincere wish, of,

Sir, Your obliged Humble Servant, EVAN EVANS.

PREFACE.

As there is a natural curiosity in most people to be brought acquainted with the works of men, whose names have been conveyed down to us with applause from very early antiquity, I have been induced to think, that a translation of some of the Welsh Bards would be no unacceptable present to the public. It is true they lived in times when all Europe was enveloped with the dark cloud of bigotry and ignorance; yet, even under these disadvantageous circumstances, a late instance may convince us, that poetry shone forth with a light, that seems astonishing to many readers. They who have perused the works of Ossian, as translated by Mr. Macpherson, will, I believe, be of my opinion.

I mean not to set the following poems in competition with those just mentioned; nor did the success which they have met with from the world, put me upon this undertaking. It was first thought of, and encouraged some years before the name of Ossian was known in England. I had long been convinced, that no nation in Europe possesses greater remains of ancient and genuine pieces of this kind than the Welsh; and therefore was inclined, in honour to my country, to give a specimen of them in the English language... Continue reading book >>




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