Arthurian and Grail Poetry
Yr Hengerdd is the oldest of the Celticized or Welsh poetry. It is the work of y
Cynfeirdd, the earliest poets, such as Aneirin, Taliesin, Myrddin, Llywarch Hen, and
other anonymous bards. These works, some of which may date back as far as the
sixth century survive in manuscripts such as Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin, Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch, Llyfr
Coch Hergest and the Llyfr Taliesin.
Robert Vaughan (1592-1667) of Hengwrt built up the single most important
collection of these important Welsh manuscripts, including Llyfr Du Caerfryddin, Llyfr Gwyn
Rhydderch and Llyfr Taliesin. His library was preserved by the Vaughan family and later the
Wynne family of Peniarth until the end of the nineteenth century. Sir John Williams
bought the library in 1898. In 1909, Sir Williams presented his collection including
the Peniarth and Llanstephan manuscripts to the new National Library of Wales. J.
Gwenogvryn Evans privately published editions of the manuscripts in the early years of
this century and Sir Ifor Williams published the standard editions, Canu Aneirin, Canu
Taliesin, and Canu Llywarch Hen over a period of thirty years. Many of the poems from Llyfr
Taliesin remain unpublished.
Here are provided a few of the many available poems and works from some of
these early manuscripts
Englynion Y Beddau or 'The Stanzas of the Graves'
Marwnad Cynddylan or The Death-song of Cynddylan
PaGur or Arthur and Cai
Moliant Cadwallon or In Praise of Cadwallon