The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg, Vol. I., ed. by J. Williams Ab Ithel, , at sacred-texts.com
Disciple. Pray, my noble and very knowing Teacher, since you are a Teacher, and a primitive Bard, according to the privilege and usage of the Bards of the Isle of Britain, out of your usual kindness to me, exhibit your art, and tell me the nature and tendency of the voice of the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle [of Britain], that I may know its purpose and meaning, and become myself a regular Bard of primary merit, even as you are.
Teacher. My brother in the faith and companion, Cadwgan, since thou art an institutional awenydd, under the auspices of the Bards of the Isle of Britain, I will tell thee, and will exhibit to thee the secret, with the request, and on condition, that thou listen diligently, ardently, and vigourously, to what I shall lay before thee, and not divulge what
I say. It is thus, namely The voice of the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain, is the old memorial, which has been preserved from the age of ages, and from the beginning, in respect to the art and sciences of the primitive Bards of the Isle of Britain, namely, the sciences concerning God and His goodness and dispensations, and the usages of the Bards of the Isle
p. 400 p. 401
of Britain, and their privileges, and art of vocal song, and the arrangement of letters, and the arrangement and preservation of the Cymraeg, and the memorial of the wisdom of the nation of the Cymry, and the memorial of the privileges and usages of the nation of the Cymry, their genealogies, nobility, inheritances, and the privileges of worthy marriages, and all other privileges and usages, which ought to be worthily remembered.
D. God bless you for your kindness and amiability, for they are very familiar to me; therefore, I shall ask points of you--point upon point, until I receive your judgment and instruction.
T. Ask, and a hundred welcomes to you, and I will answer in the best way I can.
D. Why does the water rise from the bottom of the earth to the surface, where it issues out, and also falls from the sky to the earth?
T. I will shew thee the reason;--every thing tends towards life and light; in the light is life, and in the sky above the face of the earth are the light and heat; the water in the centre of the earth, and beneath the surface of the earth, being in the dark, tends towards the light, with a view to life, for in every thing it is a primary law of God that there should be a tendency and an aim towards life and light. Again, water in the firmament runs against its will along the apertures of the aerial parts, and seeks resting places, but there are none such for it in any part of the world, except on the face of the earth, and thither it tends, and that place it eagerly seeks. And, because of these two primary laws from God which exist in every thing, every thing eagerly seeks its rest, where it can get it. This lesson is a lesson taught by wise men.
D. Why is the water in the sea briny?
T. I will shew thee the reason;--the centre of the earth is a rock of stone, and a branch of that rock runs along the bottom of the sea, and melts in the water, and hence it be-comes briny. And where the top of that rock approaches
p. 402 p. 403
the surface of the earth, springs of water are found to be saline in those localities, and salt is obtained from the water in those places. 1
403:1 p. 402 It is to be regretted that L. Morris should have omitted from a poem, which is inserted in the Myv. Arch. v. i. p. 47, a portion "containing an odd sort of philosophy about the origin of salt water, rain, and springs," as it might, notwithstanding its oddity, have been of service in ascertaining the amount and species of knowledge possessed by our Bardic ancestors on these matters.