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CHAPTER XXIII.
THE ANCIENT BARDS.
While Rome and Milan were devoting them-Belves almost entirely to ecclesiastical music, there had sprung up among the barbarian nations a school of music more consonant to their habits, being warlike in its style, and having for its object the celebration of the heroes of each coun­try, and the inciting of their descendants to similar deeds of glory. From earliest days Wales has possessed a guild of such singers, who were, in fact, the historians of the country, at a time when written books would have been nearly useless. The songs of the Welsh bards have been preserved traditionally by that people; while the songs of the druids who preceded them have been allowed to pass into utter oblivion, the latter having, evidently, not taken deep root in Welsh soil.
At the commencement of the sixth century, the bards of Wales exerted" all their energies of exhortation to animate their countrymen in the strife with the Saxon invaders, and when Wales was conquered by Edward i., (1284) he dreaded their influence so much that he is said to have






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III