The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg, Vol. I., ed. by J. Williams Ab Ithel, , at sacred-texts.com
(From the Blue Book.)
1. God is one, and there is only Himself who is God. Love thy God with all thy soul, with all thy heart, with all thy strength, with all thy endeavour, with all thy understanding, and with all thy affections. For it is He, and no other being, living or existing, that made thee, and doth maintain thee, with all His might, and with all His mercy.
2. Do not love or seek an image instead of God, whether of wood or stone, of gold or silver, or of any other material, and whether it be represented in colour or in effigy; for thou hast never seen God; and who has seen Him? Do not take this world, or any other world, however glorious it may appear to thee, in the place of God; because they are not God, but the work of God, for thy great good, and for that of others, millions of times beyond the extreme limits of thy understanding and comprehension. Do not take riches or possession of any kind, or the regard and greatness of the proud and sinful world, in the place of God. Take not either relation or friend, male or female, for a God. Do not place thy aim, thy heart, thy intention, thy affections, or thy confidence, upon one or other of these things, or upon anything that will cause thee to trust less to God, because of the claim and possession thou hast in them, Always remembering and bewaring, do not seek or retain or love any one of these things, in such a way as will make thee cleave less to thy
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[paragraph continues] God than if thou wert without them. If thou doest so, God will turn His face from thee, and will leave thee to stand on thy own footing, and on the rotten foundation of the things which thou worshippest.
3. Swear not to the Name of God, and do not mention His name disrespectfully and lightly, nor deem it of no consequence to listen to such language from the lips of another without reproving and counselling him charitably, kindly, and in a friendly manner, at the same time fearlessly and boldly. If this does not avail, then dwell no longer where thou art compelled to hear the Name of thy God disparaged, and do not, without necessity and cause of importance, mention the Name of thy God at any time.
4. Remember to rest on Sunday, that thy family, thy man servant, and thy maid servant, thy labouring man and labouring woman, may rest, and cast off their fatigue,--that thy ox, thy horse, and every other beast of toil, may enjoy rest, as they require. Remember that both man and beast have a claim to the time of rest;--there is no health without it. Remember that there is need of a time for thee to reflect, to consider, and to learn thy duty towards God and man. Without this there cannot be that rotation, which ought to be, and which pleases God, in respect of man or property, of world or existence, of animation or life. God, in His six working days, made the worlds and all that are in them, consisting of heaven and celestials, of earth and terrestrials, of worlds, beings, and existences, of all essence and essentials. God rested on His seventh day, that He might consider His work; and on beholding it, He knew that all was good. Do thou, also, on thy seventh day, consider the work of thy six days, and review sharply, sincerely, and vigorously every particle of it, whether it be the work of thy hands, or the work of thy mind, or the work of thy affection, or the work of thy intellect; and then let thy conscience speak, according to its judgment, the language of God in its own undeceitful language, and it will be well for thee, and very well, if it can say that such work was good.
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[paragraph continues] Consider the work of thy next six days, with full purpose, and full resolution to do it better than thou didst that of the preceding. Try to bring every thing, whether it be the work of the body, or the work of the mind, or the work of the affection, or the work of the intellect, onward and on-ward, from better to better, as long as thy life continues, and at the end of it, thou shalt rest from all thy labour in a world and existence, where thou shalt see, and canst truly say of every thing, that "it is very good."
5. Remember to love and honour thy father and mother, as thou wouldest that thy son and daughter should honour thee. They have seen and heard more than thou; give credence to them with respect and obedience. They have nourished and cherished thee with love and care; do thou, also, cherish them in their need, feebleness, and old age. They love thee sincerely, they love thee indeed more than any other persons do; therefore it is from their own mouths only that thou wilt obtain truth; though they should deceive all others, they will not deceive thee, because of the love they have for thee. Believe what they say, and act accordingly. Bear in mind the loss of losing the only ones that tell thee the truth. Bear in mind the love of the only ones that have suffered in truth for thee. Repay them; render love for love; render care for care; do unto them, as they have done unto thee. Run obediently at their bidding, as they have ran carefully, lovingly, and quickly at thy cries, when thou wert a feeble child. Thou wert not suffered to complain long; do not suffer them to complain long in their feebleness. By loving and reverencing thy father and mother, thou wilt love and reverence thy God, Who on that account will bestow upon thee His blessing. Thou shalt prosper in thy life and means; thou shalt increase in wealth and understanding; thou shalt have ease in thy conscience, and consequently ease in every thing else; and from this ease of mind, thou shalt have long health, and consequently long life. And these things God promises to add to thee immeasurably beyond what may be given to thee by any
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thing else, or through any other means hitherto endued with existence, other than what is in God Himself, and His infinite power, knowledge, and love. He says the word; He will do it.
6. Kill not, and do no murder upon any account whatsoever. Do not take away the life of either man or beast, except to prevent thyself from being killed, as when thou killest the enemy that would kill thee, when thou canst not escape, and leave him his life; or when thou killest an animal to obviate hunger, when thou canst not have food otherwise that will keep thee from dying. He that slays shall be slain; 1 and though the body may not be slain, the soul shall be slain. If he escape in this world, he shall suffer grievously in the next world. Blood must be rendered for blood; God hath sworn it.
7. Commit no theft; take not from any man, or from any living or existing being, his own property, by forcible violence, whether it be done publicly or privately. Take not from any living being his property, by treachery, or cunning, or extortion, or oppression. Take not, in any of these ways, his goods, or understanding, or time, or opportunity, or memory, or art, or anything that belongs to one or other of these particulars.
8. Abstain from fornication, and do not commit adultery and concubinage. It is not lawful for any one to nourish the children of others. It is not lawful for any one to divert affianced affection from her whose due it is. Do unto the wife of another, as thou wouldest that another should do unto thy wife, Do unto the daughter of another, as thou wouldest that another should do unto thy own daughter and sister: and remember!
9. Tell no falsehood of any kind, nor on any account whatsoever. Be not a perjurer, or a traitor, or an unjust witness against thy neighbour, or any other man whatsoever. Bear no calumny against any man, or reproach, or satire. Do not love falsehood in another. Conceal not the truth, when it is required of thee, on any occasion whatsoever.
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[paragraph continues] Conceal not the truth by word, or deed, or behaviour, or appearance; because the lie that comes from these things is not less than that which comes from the tongue and speech. Though it may be against thy father or mother, against thy brother or sister, against thy son or daughter, against the wife of thy bosom, against thy own life, yet tell the truth. For the falsehood, of whatever kind it may be, will be against thy own soul--it will be told, exhibited, and performed against God and His truth.
10. Be not covetous of any thing, lest any one should give to thee what ought to be given to one who is poorer than thou--lest thou shouldest impoverish another by having what thou covetest--lest, from coveting any thing whatsoever, thou shouldest .commit injustice with the view of obtaining it--lest, by setting thy mind upon what thou covetest, thou shouldest forget thy God and His laws--lest thou shouldest omit from memory what is of greater worth, for the sake of what thou covetest. Covet not thy goods, or possessions, or any of thy own property, which can be dispensed with agreeably to the laws of God, lest thou shouldest refuse to the poor and needy what, out of charity and justice, ought to be given or done to them. But love thy neighbour as thou lovest thyself; this, however, thou canst not do, whilst there is covetousness in thy heart. Thou canst not love God above all, or love His laws more than the goods of the world, or love thy neighbour more than mortal and terrestrial things. Covet not the house or farm of thy neighbour, or his wife or daughter, or his man servant or maid servant, or his ox or horse, or any thing else that belongs to him, lest thou shouldest think of obtaining, or taking, or willing them, in a way that is not consistent with the will and laws of God. But seek of God what thou wantest, and thou shalt obtain it, if thou askest it by faith and sincere belief, and if the occasion be just, and thy necessity unavoidable, and if its acquisition be not injurious to thee. Believe in thy God, and trust in Him with hope and faith, and thou shalt have from Him what, in His sight, is sufficient
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and useful for thee. He knows thy wants, and what may be for thy advantage, better than thou knowest thyself, and assuredly He will not fail to give thee anything but what may be disadvantageous and injurious to thee.
By keeping these laws incessantly, thou shalt obtain from God love and peace, in the world which now is, and in the world which is to come; and from man thou shalt obtain respect, advantage, good will, and abundance, without there being need in thy house, or an enemy to thy conscience--long life in the world which now is, and eternal life, and endless felicity, in the world to come.
275:1 p. 274 Literally, "the ten words of the law," which phraseology has been, also, retained in the Welsh Prayer Book, though it is not now popularly used. When the Cymry embraced Christianity, they manifested a special veneration for the Ten Commandments, as is evidenced by the fact that "the ten words of the law, the Gospel of John, and the blessed cross," constitute a Triad of the instruments of swearing, which succeeded the more ancient forms which had been used by the Bards, and which shall be hereafter described.
When Taliesin took the Bardic vow " on the Altar of St. Teilo at Llandaf," among other things he is made to say,--
From the ten words of the law may God judge me,
If my lips divulge where it is.--MS.
281:1 p. 280 This is the motto of the Chair of Powys, and is supposed to be co-eval with its foundation in the 6th century. It is quoted by Davydd ab Gwilym,--
He who slays another with bright steel
To prevent delay, shall be slain.