Sacred Texts  Legends/Sagas  Celtic  Barddas  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg, Vol. I., ed. by J. Williams Ab Ithel, [1862], at



1. The three materials of every being and existence: calas, and hence every motionless body and solidity, and

p. 372 p. 373

every hardness and concretion; fluidity, and hence every cessation, migration, and return; and nwyvre, 1 hence every animation and life, and every strength, understanding, and knowledge, and the same is God, without Whom there can be no life and vitality.

Others say:--

There are three materials of every thing, namely: calas, and hence every corporeity; fluidity, and hence every colour and form, and every course and return; and nwyvre, and hence every life, being God, from Whom proceed every soul, animation, strength, and understanding, for where He is not, neither one nor another of these things can exist.

Others say:--

There are three primary elements: calas, hence every hardness and solidity, and it is dead; fluidity, and hence every progress and mutation, and every alteration, colour, and form, and every discrimination, and every concurrence, and it is dead; and nwyvre, which is God, from Whom proceed every life, strength, and intellect, and every perception and sense.

Thus, according to other wise men and teachers, as may be seen in the old account:--

There are five elements: earth; water; air; fire; and nyv; 2 and the nyv is God, from Whom are all life and orderly motion.

Others say:--

Calas, or earth, water, breath, uvel, 3 and nwyvre, and every one of them is dead, except the nwyvre, which is God, from Whom comes all life.

According to another mode, as other teachers say from an old account:

p. 374 p. 375

Earth, water, firmament, fire, and nyv; and the nyv is God, and life, and intellect. From the first four are all death and mortality; and from the fifth are all life and animation, all power, knowledge, and motion.

2. The three constituents of life: motion; knowledge; and awen.

3. The three constituents of knowledge: original awen; facile reason; and inevitable necessity.

4. The three constituents of art: instruction from a master, who knows it; innate understanding that will comprehend it; and the exercise of congenial awen.

5. Three principles: innate understanding; vigorous 1 affection; and the rises of natural temperament.

6. The three concurrences of life: body; soul; and privilege.

7. The three constituents of awen: knowledge, or understanding; vigorous affection; and devotion.

8. The three concurrences of art: correct system; firm justice; and discreet skill in practising it.

9. The three elevations of art: information from him who knows it; genial understanding to comprehend it; and needful occasion to practise it.

10. Three privileges which ought to be conferred upon him who teaches and demonstrates any good art that was not previously known: the privilege of innate nobility as a Cymro; the privilege of honorary art; and the protection of the Bards of the Isle of Britain, namely, that he should not, except of his free will, bear weapons of offence, or en-gage in war and battle.

11. The three principal adornments of every thing: time; place; and quality. Others say: The three principal elements.

.12. The three principal elements of knowledge: Awen from God; the exercise of the understanding; and the demonstration of a master.

13. The three principal elements of Awen from God: innate justice; habitual kindness; and natural understanding.

p. 376 p. 377

14. Three things that will confirm and honour Awen from God: energetic industry; correct meditation; and courteous affection.

15. Three things 1.


373:1 p. 372 Dr. Pughe gives the following meanings to this word,--"the ethereal sphere; the firmament, the atmosphere," and in support thereof quotes from Taliesin and Llywarch Hen:

Addwyn haul yn ewybr yn nwyfre.

Glorious is the sun moving in the firmament.--Tal.

Gorddyar adar, gwlyb traeth,
Eglur nwyfre, ehelaeth ton;
Gwyw calon rhag hiraeth.

Clamorous are the birds, the strand is wet,
Clear is the welkin, ample the wave;
The heart is palsied with longing,--Ll. Hen.

p. 373

It is compounded of nwyf and rhe, nwyf signifying "a subtil pervading element; a fine ethereal fluid;" and rhe, "a swift motion."

373:2 "Nyf " seems to be but another form of nwyf, and nwf, and has the same signification.

373:3 "Ufel," according to Dr. Pughe, is "elementary fire; a spark of fire."

375:1 p. 374 Al. "natural."

377:1 p. 376 The rest are wanting.

Next: The Triads of Bardism, Called the Triads of Ionabwy. The Elements