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"Llwyth lliaws, anuaws eu henwerys
“ Gwyr gwlad yr Asia, a gwlad Gavis.” Thus translated :
“A numerous race, 'fierce were they named,'
Where this land of Gavis was situated has never, I believe, been solved by any of our modern geographers, bardic or otherwise.
I will try to unravel this mystery of by-gone ages by the broad light of philology, and circumstances contingent thereupon.
The Bardic Institute ever chanted the praises of Gwlad yr Haf, the land of summer, but very little notice was comparatively taken of the merits of gwlad y Gauaf, land of winter, gelidi prope flabra Aquilonis.
The Association of Asia with this land of Gavis, in the verse above, would imply, I apprehend, a no very distant contiguity of kin and country, in some sequestered nook or other of Europe. The term is derived from gauaf, winter, and îs, low, extreme, or deep; as Gauafis=Gafis=Gavis; just as Ver-esis, now L'osa, of the early Latini; and the river Æs-îs, of the Umbri, from æs, water, and is, as before.
And, as it is not disputed that a certain geographer, on his first visit to the north-eastern territories of Europe, bordering on Asia, found a certain tribe, clan, or nation, whom he called Tauridi, and to whom he assigned the inhospitable quality of fierceness, and so forth; and, again, as this very mental attribute was ironically granted by Taliesin—the historical bard, to a “llwyth lliaws,” a numerous race of the land of Gavis, either as a prehistorical fact not unknown to the Druidical order, by means of their corresponding members to the different schools of Europe, or, possibly, as a mere memento of a bias entertained towards the Gavisians by their Scythian and semi-Pelasgic visitors, or neighbors, who coveted their possessions as new fields for plunder or colonization-in such phrases as “Tauridi they were called,” but not by themselves ; or, “ fierce were they named," as well as in other similar phrases, derivable from misinterpretation, through ideality of sound, irrespective of sense, the locality may be traced.
X modern bard, in his description of the Roman invasion, alludes to these mountain warriors as a “llu digofant,” an irascible host; and as “llewod,” or lions, fighting for their lands and
“ Ger bron brodorion brwd eirias
Hence, it is not deemed very unreasonable, though the “ ray' of evidence is found to be an exceedingly small portion of
parallel light,' and coming, too, through the 'medium' of bodies so voluminous as the Homeric and bardic sources, to identify certain nomadic sections of the people, dwelling in the mountainous brumal regions of Norther Cimmeria, Cauconia, and the alleged ferocious Hyperboreans of Bastarnæ, at epochs bordering on the flood, with the ' multitudinous tribe' of “ Tauri et leones Britannici,” and “ Gwlad y gauaf,” the winter land of Gavis of our bardic poems. “Behold the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the
small dust of the balance.'
“Soon to the barks the Cymrians and their bands
“O terque quaterque beati
***** Ubi tot Simois correpta sub undis
BEFORE we quit this pre-Trojan land of ours let us cast a farewell glance at old Yscymdwr=Scamander, and his disunited boggy banks (from esgumu, to unassociate, disjoin, dissolve acquaintance, and dwr, water), and pay a filial trip to the
“High barrows, without marble, or a name,
“On the untilled and mountain-skirted plain.” And also :
“ Where, on the green and village-cotted hill, is
As much of Cymbro as of Trojan, without name-
and wend our way “ to Ida in the distance ;” and the crop-admiring slopes and double shank of Gârgâra at its base: Gargara, from gâr, a shank, a leg, a slope.
“Nullo tamen se Mysia cultu " Iactat, et ipsa tuas merantur gargara messes." Mysia, from maes, a field, and isa=isaf, lowest.
What a lovely sight is here! Turn where'er you will, enchantment thrills the soul with memories of the past !
“For, wheresoe'er I turn my ravished eyes,
“And still I seem to tread on classic ground." Across the disem bogueing waters of the Allwys fôr, Probont, or of distant Beisfor, methinks I view the vine-clad slopes and olive hills that overlook-protect from northern blasts, the Deffrobanian homes of Prince Hu Gadarn, Brenin Prydain, Celwyddon, Al Wyddyl, Galedin, and other noble chieftains of the British Isles.
On the Asian side, on sloping banks of evergreens, I seem to scan the fairest landscape of the world-of nature's grand design. Enchanting scenes, inlaid with hamlets, shrines, and gardens of Beisforian bliss, with fruit-producing trees of every kind ; flowers and shrubs of every hue, to please the palate and the eye ; as well as pine, or yew, or cypress trees, to grace and guard the urn, or cistfaen, of a Druid chief, and make the triumph of the grave immortal in its site.
“ Which charmed the charming Mary Montagu.” Again, methinks that on the height of yonder mound, now termed, through lack of history, the “ Giant's grave,” I view the sacred “ garnedd yn y beddrod ” of Cimbric royal lines of mighty kings, unknown by fame to Mede or Greek, and Roman knight, or Moslem Turk, or Christian Byzantine, or roaming Anglo-Saxon.
No modern petroclastic Goth is here to desecrate the teuevos of a tomb, “rimmed round with stones ” and Druid slabs. A Dervish, close at hand, within the precincts of a Tekeh, is seen from age to age, with superstitious awe, to decorate the sacred soil with shrubs and flowery beds appropriate to the scene.
Again, across the sea, on either side of Lemnos, in the distant west, I scan, in fond embrace, three lofty mainland peaks, that too, perhaps, have tales to tell of pre-Pelasgic deeds and sights beyond the ken of ancient or of modern schools of science and of art. In haste! The wind has changed! The Cimbric bark, with flag unfurled, “ whose flag has braved four thousand years the battle and the breeze," awaits a freighted crew at yon Sigæum point.
During the sail across, to all who wish to lend an ear, a something of the past, a yarn, as sailors say, I have to spin about this very sea, about this very outlet, too, of rushing waters, wafted by the gentle gales,' and rapid current of its stream; so little known in pre-Achæan times of what they did, in safe retreat within their life-spared creeks, as well at first to Cimbric fleets, as in such succeeding times to Dardanian barks that from the Aigswn and the straits did issue forth, in shattered, timbershivered plight.
“ The wind swept down the Euxine, and the wave
The British and foreign classic societies, alas ! in the perversity, if not anility of their souls (and seemingly unconscious to their own loss when travelling on Cimmerian sites), are stoically regardless of the proprieties and properties of a language that ought long ago to have had a professorial chair in the principal universities in Europe. Let the scorner be chary of his sneer.
The inevitable result of this statu quo' principle is that these self-satisfied professors are seen ever capering,' and jumping the empty claims' of a Varro and his school, on the golden banks of the Ægæan sea, in order to catch a stray Asiatic or Cimmerian goat, or Grecian aię, and throw the little innocent, 'springing' animal as a marine holocaust, with, if you will, aię impetuosity, into the skipping sea, in all the don-like pomp and ceremony of a donna fair, dashing a bottle of Falernian wine against the nameless quarters of a ship, to baptise or dub it with a name.
Listen to, and judge for yourselves, the oracular voice of the cosmopolitan charmer that hath bewitched the worn-out world in teens in favor of its dicta. “ Annon in mari terraque ab his regionum noto? In mari, quod nominarîunt a capris Egæum pelagus ? ad Syriam montem Taurum ? in Sabinis Canterium montem ? (Have not the characteristic indications of regions, both by sea and land, been taken from then ? was not the Ægean sea derived from Acyes (Capris)? the mountain on the northern confines of Syria, from Tavpos ? and that in the territory of the Sabines from Cantherium ?j” an animal of some genus or other to be hereafter revealed.
Our modern parrot-acceptors and repétiteurs,' as well as the ancient inventors of these anile conceptions, and fabled incongruities, seem to us Cimmerians of the outer world to have stood still for ages, like the fussy little squirrel in his cage,
" And still he's in the self-same place
“Where at his setting-out he was ;”. as far as progressive knowledge of the past is concerned; or, perhaps, it might be said, as far as enlarged original views of countless classic roots come within their unavailing grasp, they contrive to represent, by no means inaptly, the Linncan Limax, which appears “to have the power of becoming torpid at pleasure, and, independent of any alterations in temperature, as well as when attached at Midsummer-term to the walls of its little college, the faculty of remaining in this dormant state for years."
“ The snail, “ Where'er he dwells, dwells alone; “ Except himself, has chattels none, “ Well satisfied to be his own
" Whole treasure.”
This ever-breathing, yet dormant school, relying as it does on this sandy, dust-eyed foundation, created by the capering antics of a goat, a bull, or gelding, must, forsooth, come to grief with the avať avdowy te OEwy te himself, in reference to a false deduction, formed of one of his essential prerogatives, of “acyloxos, the stormappeaser,” the tempest-restrainer; who, as Zeus, I am almost sure, will not allow himself to be thus. quietly dubbed a sort of bottleholder' of an eastern, or westerr, prize-fight, to suit the peculiarities, or whims, of any school, or nation, or, in fact, a ' a mere goatskin-holder,' of the putrid, unwholesome, waters of a Pallus Maethus, to please any Senatus Academicus in Europe. Could the “dies iræ, dies Jovis in favillâ ” have been penned in anticipation of the proffered insult ?
Shakespeare, too, must have had an inkling, a presentiment, of something wrong, if not rotten, in the state, when a 'capering' Billy or a Nanny was called in, pro formâ, to represent the character of the Ægæum, when he pithily exclaimed :
"To be once in doubt
If such be not the origin of the term Ægæum, what, then, can be the interpretation of it?
This Ægean sea, in comparison to the stormy, roaring, bleak, isle-less, bay-less, port-less, surge-inhospitable, character of the Black Sea, or Axinus, must havė at once presented a striking contrast to the earliest Cimmerian navigators, who, in happy accordance with their invariable adhesion to the laws and formulæe of nature in such matters, gave it the appropriate name of