THE COUNCIL IN THE MARCHES OF WALES. By C. A. J. Skeel, F.R.Hi.t.S. W PRICE 7s. 6d. f.. PUBLISHED BY HUGH REES, LTD., Booksellers, Stationers, and Publisher's, 124, PALL MALL, S.W. (. ,'a
PROFESSOR JOHN MORRIS JONES ON WELSH POETRY. On Friday, the 20th inst., Professor J. Morris Jones, Bangor, delivered a lecture to a large and appreciative audience at the Engineers' Institute, Cardiff, on "Welsh Poetry." The lecture was delivered under the auspices of Cymry Cymreig Caerdydd, Alderman Thomas, J. P., presiding. Professor Jones said he had decided to speak on Welsh poetry because poetry formed so large a proportion of the best literature of Wales at all periods. Even after the production of good prose in the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- turies, during the fifteenth there was practically nothing but poetry. Poetry was a fine art; and the function of fine art was imitation. The painter imitated Nature with his brush, the sculptor with his chisel. The poet's medium was different, but his function was the same. With abstractions," said Mr. Watts-Dunton, the poet has nothing to do, save to take them and turn them into concretions." If this was on the whole true they would see how the eisteddfod committees of the last century had gone astray. The subjects they gave the bards year after year were abstractions. No one can pourtray an abstraction, and the best thing the bards could generally do was to string together a number of concrete examples. This was practically what Dewi Wyn had done in his famous Elusengarwch." Dwyn ei geiniog dan gwynaw, Rhoi angen un rhwng y naw. This, he said, was sterling poetry, and these de- scriptions were the parts of the awdl which had taken hold of the country's imagination. But a series of pictures like this did not constitute one picture, to say nothing of the poor stuff with which they were pieced together, This awdl lacked the unity which was essential to a work of art. There. was no need to give the bards abstract subjects. The history and tra- ditions of Wales supplied them with an abun- dance of subjects fitted for poetical treatment. The need of this was as yet only dimly recognised. A few years ago it was announced that a new poet (y bardd newydd) was to appear in Wales, but according to the predictions of those who looked forward to his coming he would be only the present bard with his vices exaggerated. Welsh literature, if it possessed only the works of Dafydd ap Gwilym, would be rich in the poetry of external nature. He could not help thinking that as a Nature poet Dafydd's position was almost unique. His intimate acquaintance with Nature in all her moods and forms was a source of continual wonder to him. Dafydd's voice indeed seemed to be the voice of Nature herself; he bad identified himself with her in a way which seemed impossible to any modern man. The lecturer then recited passages from the poet's works, including his description of the thunderstorm and the Summer in Glamor- gan." As regards the poetry of human nature, Welsh literature had nothing to compare with Shakespeare's great picture of it. Nearly all that is best in Welsh poetry was on a much smaller scale. But the eye to see and the heart to feel were there. He instanced Hywel Dafydd's picture of his destitution, Ieuan Brydydd Hir's description of old age, Uafydd N anmor's lament for his dead love, and other passages from the elegies. So far he had spoken only of the idea to be expressed he would now say a few words about the medium in which it was to be expressed The poet's medium was metrical language. The two words represented the two elements in it— language, the inner form, and metre, the outer form. The ideal and ihese two elements of the medium were recognised in some of the old Welsh triads, e.g., "Three faults of song—faulty metre, faulty language, and faulty meaning." To take first the inner form, poetry had a picturesque language of its own which differed from that of prose, and was called poetic diction. He would not attempt to define it, but he would mention one of its characteristics. It should be concrete, like the idea it had expressed. Mr. Watts- Dunton, quoting from George Eliot the lines- Speech is but broken light upon the depth Of the unspoken, remarks that "such an abstract phrase as 'the unspoken belongs entirely to prose." Welsh is less tolerant than English of abstract expressions, but many eisteddfodic competitors used them even in cynghanedd. They did not seem to know that the language of poetry should be poetical. The outer form, which he had called metre, included rhythm, rhyme, cynghanedd, and all the ornaments of verse. No critic of standing now denies that metre of some kind is essential to poetry. The cry for a "tragwyddol heol," if it meant the removal of all restrictions, was pure nonsense. Of course, a man might throw away all the shackles of metre, and write prose there was nothing to prevent him, only he must not call it poetry, even poetical prose. He further insisted that so far from being a hindrance metre was actually a help to one who was a master of it. If a defence of the cynghanedd were required there could be no stronger one than that. The cynghanedd was the most stringent form of verse in existence. Its work- manship was too minute for long works, but it was admirably fitted for the gems of poetry. He believed that it was worth cultivating, and that it would be cultivated as long as the Welsh language was spoken, and a Welshman had an ear for music. On the proposition of the Rev. E. Rees (" Dyfed "), and seconded by Mr. Eilir Evans, a hearty vote of thanks was passed to the lecturer.
TANCHWA YN GOWERTON. Deg o Fywydau wedi eu colli. Bore dydd Sadwrn, wythnos i heddyw, cymerodd tanchwa ofnadwy le yn nglofa Elba yn Gowerton, heb fod ym mhell o Abertawe. Yr oedd y rhan hon o Forganwg wedi cael ei chadw rhag trychinebau o'r fath am lawer blwyddyn, a gwnai hynny y dychryn a'r arswyd oblegid y digwyddiad alaethus yn llawer mwy, Saif glofa Elba oddeutu milltir o orsaf Gowerton, ond pobl Penclawdd a'r Tair Croes yw bron yr oil o'r rhai a weithiant yno. Aeth y dynion a weithiant y nos i lawr i'r pwll nos Wener fel arfer, tua hanner cant o honynt, ac yr oedd pobpeth mewn trefn briodol. Ond yn fuan wedi hanner nos cymerodd ffrwydriad le mewn rhan o'r gwaith a elwid Talcen Rhif y Seithfed. Nid oedd y twrf yn gymaint, ond esgynodd lien o dan drwy'r pwll i wneyd y newydd yn hysbys. Aeth y goruchwyliwr ac ereill i lawr ar unwaith, a gwelwyd fod y ffrwyd- riad wedi achosi cwympiadau trymion, a bod rhai o'r dynion o dan y meini. Ond yn ffodus nid oedd y dinystr yn yr ystyr hon yn ddigon i atal nemawr ar y gwaith o ddwyn allan y lladd- edig a'r clwyfedigion. Erbyn eu cael i'r lan deallwyd fod deg wedi colli eu bywydau, a naw wedi eu clwyfo. Dyma enwau y rhai a laddwyd :— William Davies, Penclawdd, gwr priod, a theulu lliosog. Daniel Davies, Penclawdd, gwr priod. Edward Rees, Penclawdd, gwr priod. George Rees, Penclawdd, gwr priod. Alexander Ogilvie, Gowerton, sengl. William Bowen, Tair Croes, sengl. George Williams, Penclawdd, sengl. David J. Rees, Tair Croes, sengl. W. H. Morgan, Penclawdd, sengl. Tom Pratt, Penclawdd, bachgen. Yn ol yr hysbysrwydd diweddaraf y mae y rhai a glwyfwyd yn dod ym mlaen yn dda. Nid oes neb yn alluog i roddi unrhyw reswm paham y digwyddodd y ffrwydriad. Barna rhai fod hen waith cauedig yn agos, a bod rhywun ar ddam- wain wedi torri i mewn i hwnnw a gollwng nwy o honnof Ond nid yw hynny yn fwy na dyfaliad. Mae'r cydymdeimlad dwy§af yn cael ei ddangos tuag at y teuluoedd a daflwyd mor sydyn i drailcd a galar nror fawr/ i.. to' ;J, 1,
ESGOB LLANDAF. Bu farw'r Hybarch. Ddr. Lewis, Esgob Llan- dâf". boreu ddydd Mawrth diweddaf yn llawn dyddiau. Er wedi cyrhaedd ei 84 mlwydd o oedran, parhaodd i weithio yn galed hyd o fewn ychydig wythnosau i'r diwedd, ac 'roedd ei fywiogrwydd yn y blynyddau diweddaf yn syndod i lawer pan ystyrid ei oedran. Brodor o Benfro ydoedd, a ganed ef yn 1821. Graddiodd yn Rhydychain yn 1843, a chafodd yrfa dawel yn ei wahanol apwyntiadau eglwysig. Esgynodd i'r sedd esgobol yn 1883 o dan nawddogaeth Mr. Gladstone, ac am y 21 mlynedd y bu yn rheoli yn Llandaf gwnaeth lawer i eangu dylan- wad a defnyddioldeb yr Eglwys yno. Er ei ymlyniad cadarn a theyrngarol i'r Eglwys Wladol, gwnaeth fwy na neb o'i gyd- Esgobion i ennill serch ac edmygedd y Cymry, yn ei waith pendant yn gwrthod penodi ficeriaid Seisnig i fywiolaethau Cymreig. Ar un adeg yr oedd Ardalydd Abergafenny am benodi rhyw gyfaill yn ficer gwladol o fewn yr esgobaeth, ond gwrthododd yr Esgob gadarnhau y penodiad ar y tir nas gallai'r gwr ddeall Cymraeg, Bu'n helynt fawr rhwng yr Ardalydd ag yntau, a dygwyd yr achos o flaen yr awdurdodau, a'r Esgob ennillodd y dydd. Oddiar ddyddiau Owen Glyndwr hyd ganol y ganrif ddiweddaf yr oedd yr Esgobion wedi esgeuluso y Cymry yn druenus, a'r canlyniad naturiol oedd fod yr Eglwys wedi graddol golli ei phlant a'i dylanwad. Fel rheithior gwledig gwyddai Dr. Lewis hynny yn dda, a gofalodd ar ol esgyn i'r gadair Esgobol i beidio an- wybyddu y profiadau a ennillodd yn ei flynydd- oedd boreuaf. Canlyniad yr holl helynt fu i'r Esgob ddod yn hynod o boblogaidd, a llwyddodd i godi Esgobaeth Llandaf i fwy o weithgarwch nag a welwyd erioed yn ei hanes. Yr oedd yn ysgolor da, ac yn cymeryd llawer o ddyddordeb yn mhwnc addysg y genedl, ac yn ei farw collodd yr Eglwys un o'r hen batriarch- iaid mwyaf rhyddfrydol a Christionogol a fu ganddi ers hir amser. Hedd fo i'w lwch.