This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original
book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not
illustrated. 1868 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XI . RECENT
CRITICISM OF MYTHOLOGICAL POEMS EXAMINED. Such then being, so far
as we can gather it from the scanty materials afforded to us, the
real position of the Cymric population, and the leading features of
their history prior to the twelfth century, as well as of their
literature subsequent to that period, the question before us is
this, What place does this very peculiar body of ancient poetry
really occupy ? Arc we to regard them as ancient poems which have
come down to us from an early period of Cymric literature, and
possessing from their antiquity an historic value independently of
their literary merit, if they have any ? or are we to set them
aside as so beset with suspicion, and as evincing such evidence of
fabrication in a later age, as to render them valueless for all
historic purposes? That the bards to whom these poems are in the
main attributed, are recorded as having lived in the sixth century,
is certain. We have it on the authority of the Genealogia annexed
to Nennius, written in the eighth century. That this record of
their having lived in that age is true, we have every reason to
believe, and we may hold that there were such bards as Taliessin,
Aneurin, Llywarch Hen, and Myrddin, at that early period, who were
believed to have written poems. That the poems which now bear their
name do not show the verbal forms, and orthography of that age, and
that the form of the language of these poems has not the aspect
which the language of the sixth century ought to exhibit, is
equally certain. But this implies no more than that we do not
possess transcripts of these poems made at that period. With the
exception of two fragments, the oldest transcript we now possess is
that in the Black Book of Caermarthen, a MS. of...
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