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and admired for their poetic talents, even in the courts of those princes whose territories were most invaded by their Danish countrymen. This he expressly affirms of the Anglo-Saxon and Irish kings; and it is to the full as likely to have been the case with the Welsh princes, who often concurred with the Danes in distressing the English. I am led to think that the latter Welsh BARDS might possibly have been excited to cultivate the alliterative versification more strictly, from the example of the Icelandic SCALDS, and their imitators, the Anglo-Saxon Poets; because the more ancient British Bards were nothing near so exact and strict in their alliterations, as those of the middle and latter ages ; particularly after the Norman conquest of England, and even after king Edward the First's conquest of Wales * : whereas some centuries before this,

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* A very learned and ingenious“ rative, is condemned as much British Antiquary thus informs me, « by our Grammarians as a false “ Our prosody depends entirely" quantity by the Greeks and 6 on what you call ALLITERA- “ Romans. They had six or se« TION, and which our Gram- “ ven different kinds of this con« marians term Cyngbannedd, i. e.

o sonantical harmony, some of « Goncentus, vel Symphoria Consa; " which were of a loose natyre, 66 nantica. This at first was not " and were allowed in poetry as very

strict; for the Bards of the “ well as the most strict Allitera« sixth century used it very spa- « tion, &c."

ringly, and were not circum- 6 The most ancient IRISH 6 scribed by any rules. The “ POEMS were also ALLITERA« Bards from the (Norman) con- TIVE, according Mr.

quest to the death of Llewellyn," LLWYD of the Museum; and « our last prince, were more as he was well versed in all the * strict. But from thence to 4 branches of the Celtic now exu queen Elizabeth's time, the rules tant, viz. The British, Irish, " of Alliteration were to be ob- “ Armoric, Cornish, and Manks, a served with great nicety; so “ no person was better qualified " that a line not perfectly allite- « to judge in this matter." T.

to

the Icelandic metre had been brought to the highest pitch of alliterative exactness. This conjecture, how, ever, that the Welsh Bards borrowed any thing from the Poets of any other country, will hardly be al: lowed me by the British Antiquaries, who, from a laudable partiality, are jealous of the honour of their countryment; nor is it worth contending for : It is sufficient to observe, that a spirited emulation þetween the BARDS and the SCALDS might excite each of them to improve their own native poetry, and to give it all that artificial polish, which they saw admired in the other language. Whoever would understand thoroughly the poetry of both people, and compare their respective metre, may examine, for the

Icelandic

great number of

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of It would be unfair to conceal « believe before the Roman Cone the objections of the same learned « quest. Cæsar says, The Druids person, especially as it would de

« learned a prive the Reader of some very verses' by rote, in which, no Curious information concerning « doubt, a great deal of their the ancient Celtic Poetry. * s ir morality was couched, and their 6 can by no means think chat our mystical doctrines about the & Bards have borrowed their AL. « Oak' and the Misseltoe. These

LITERATION from the Scalds « kind of verses are, by the Britiof the north ; for there are ti tons, called 'Englyn Milwr, or

traces of it in some very old « THE WARRIOR'S SONG, and

pieces of the Druids still ex- “ consist of a triplet of seven * tant, which I am persuaded are syllables each verse, which are

older than the introduction of “ unirythm: For Rhyme is as

Christianity; and were com- “ old as poetry itself in ‘our lanko posed long before we had any “ guage. It is very remarkable e comnierce or intercourse with " that most of our old Proverbs

any of the inhabitants of Scan. 6 are taken from the last verse of « dinavia, or any branch of the as such a triplet, and the other “ Gothic race whatsoever, and I two seem almost nonsense; they

« mention

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Icelandic, WORMIUS's Literatura Runica; and for
the British, JOHN DAVID Rhys's Cambro-Britannice
Cymraeceve Linguee institutiones et rudimenta, &c.
Lond. 1592 *. ]

T:

mention the Oak, high Moun- marks on DRAYTON's Poliolbion. - tains, and Snow, with honour. -And a remarkable passage in “ Those are certainly remains of GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS (Cam" the Pagan Creed." T. briæ Descriptio, p. 260, 261.)

* See also some account of the beginning thus, Præ cunctis autem, Welsh Poetry in Selden's Re- &c.

T.

1

I D E A

OF THE

MORE ANCIENT EDDA.

IT

T is now time to describe what remains of the for

mer EDDA, compiled by SOEMUND, surnamed the LEARNED, more than a hundred years before that of Snorro. It was a collection of very ancient poems, which had for their subject some article of the Religion and Merality of Odin. The share that Sæmund had in them, was probably no more than that of first collecting and committing them to writing. This collection is at present considered as lost, excepting only three pieces, which I shall describe below : But some people have, not without good reason, imagined that this ancient EDDA, or at least the greatest part of it, is still preserved. It were to be wished, that the possessors of such a treasure could be induced to esteem the communication of it to the world, the greatest ad. vantage they can reap from it; and they are now urged, in the name of the public, to this generous aétion. Be that as it may, the admirers of the antiquities of the north have, in the fragments of this work,

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