Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

5 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

[No title]


WE have read a volume of sermons published by the Rev. John Hughes, Vicar of Llanbadarn Fawr, and Incumbent Curate of St. Michael's, Aberystwith; the substance of which, the author states in his preface, was delivered at St. Michael's Chapel in the year 1837 The object of the author has been, To unfold the characters of the principal persons men- tioned in the Book of ROTH, and to illustrate and improve the various incidents related concerning them :—" How far Mr Hughes has succeeded in his attempt, will be best seen by reading these sermons, which ought to be placed by every head of a family before his household. Perhaps there is not a book in the Sacred volume, which contains more practical examples of the exercise of perseverance, firmness, and self-denial, and of the earthly rewards consequent upon the ex- ercise of these excellent qualities, than are to be met with in the Book of Ruth. This short book, of which it is probable Samuel was the penman, is thus spoken of by the Commentators Henry and Scott.- There is perhaps no history that has been wrought into so many different forms, transfused into so many diflerent languages, and accommodated to so many situations, as the history of Ruth." In each of these sermons Mr. Hughes has made an admirable application of the subject to his readers, and we think that the public are deeply indebted to him for his publication.- We have lately met with a little work, which can- not fail being read with intense interest, entitled, Translations into English verse from the Poems of DAVYTH AP GWILYM, a Welsh Bard of the fifteenth Century." prefixed to which is a sketch of the life of the renowned Bard who has been com- pared to Petrarch;" though in all the peculiarities of his genius, our Bard approaches more nearly to Burns than to any poet, whether of his own or other countries. He has the same originality, the same intense sympathy with nature, and, above all, the same magic transitions, from satire and raillery, to wild sublimity and deep pathos." The compiler of this sketch acknowledges, that for its materials he is indebted to the ingenuity and research of Dr. William Owen Pughe, to whom he dedicates, by permission, the volume before us; a tribute which, the Transla- lator says, is due from him to the illustrious preserver of the songs of the Demetian Nightingale." We purpose, from time to time, giving occasional extracts from this Sketch of the life of DAVYTH AP GWI- LYM," of which the following is the commencement. ONE of the most remarkable consequences of the conquest of Wales by Edward J. was the depression of that loftv poet- ical spirit which had previously distinguished the Welsh nation Before that event the Cambro-British bards appear to have devoted their genius to the grand theme of national independence. Habituated to regard the martial spirit of their countrymen as the only bulwark against foreign oppres- sion, they naturally selected the single virtue of military prowess as the great subject of their eulogy and their songs. Hence it was, that with the destruction of their country's freedom, they appear to have lost the only object of their art and the sole source oftheirinspiration; and nearly a century elapsed before we find any symptoms of its reviving influence To this result other causes must have powerfully coiiti-ibuted; the jealous policy of the English authorities, by whom the bards were justly viewed as the great promoters of a spirit of independence among the people; the fanaticism of the mendicant friars, who appear to have denounced many of the refinements and amusements oflife as at variance with Chris- tianity; and, above all, that general feeling of fear and des- pondency, which always pervades a recently subjugated nation, and destroys all sympathy with the joyous songs of the minstrel. About the middle of the fourteenth century the poetical genius of the Welsh began to break forth anew, but with its characteristics essentially ehanged both in sentiment and style, the, A%Yen*'of the bards had undergone a complete re- lution. We no longer meet in their works with those war- like scenes, and those songs in praise of the heroes of their country. which occur so often in the poems of their prede- cessors. The Welsh minstrel was now content to tune his harp to themes of love and social festivity; and sportive allusions to objects of nature, and to the picturesque manners of that interesting period, were made to supply the place of lays in celebration of martial achievements. Whatever may have been lost in fire and sublimity by this transition was perhaps more than compensated by the superior polish, vivacity, and imaginativeness, which distinguish the bards of the new school. The dawn of the epoch here noticed was signalized by the birth of Davyth ap Gwilym, on whom the appellation of the Petrarch of Wales has, with some degree of propriety, been bestowed.—To be continued. Awen' the term applied to the poetical inspiration of the bards.



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