The Visions of the Sleeping Bard eBook

Ellis Wynne
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 163 pages of information about The Visions of the Sleeping Bard.

Ellis Wynne appeared at a time when his country had sore need of him, when the appointed teachers of the nation were steeped in apathy and corruption, when ignorance and immorality overspread the land—­the darkest hour before the dawn.  He was one of the early precursors of the Methodist revival in Wales, a voice crying in the wilderness, calling upon his countrymen to repent.  He neither feared nor favored any man or class, but delivered his message in unfaltering tone, and performed his alloted task honestly and faithfully.  How deeply our country is indebted to him who did her such eminent service in the days of adversity and gloom will never be known.  And now, in the time of prosperity, Wales still remembers her benefactor, and will always keep honored the name of Ellis Wynne, the sleeping bard.


The Bardd Cwsc was first published in London in 1703, a small 24mo. volume of some 150 pages, with the following title-page

Gweledigaetheu Y Bardd Cwsc.  Y Rhann Gyntaf.  Argraphwyd yn Llundain gan E. Powell i’r Awdwr, 1703.” {0f}

A second edition was not called for until about 1742, when it was issued at Shrewsbury; but in the thirty years following, as many as five editions were published, and in the present century, at least twelve editions (including two or three by the Rev. Canon Silvan Evans) have appeared.  The text followed in this volume is that of Mr. Isaac Foulkes’ edition, but recourse has also been had to the original edition for the purpose of comparison.  The only translation into English hitherto has been that of George Borrow, published in London in 1860, and written in that charming and racy style which characterises his other and better known works.  He has, however, fallen into many errors, which were only natural, seeing that the Visions abound in colloquial words and phrases, and in idiomatic forms of expression which it would be most difficult for one foreign to our tongue to render correctly.

The author’s name is not given in the original nor in any subsequent edition previous to the one published at Merthyr Tydfil in 1806, where the Gweledigaetheu are said to be by “Ellis Wynne.”  But it was well known, even before his death, that he was the author; the fact being probably deduced from the similarity in style between the Visions and an acknowledged work, namely, his translation of the Holy Living.  The most likely reason for his preferring anonymity is not far to seek; his scathing denunciation of the sins of certain classes and, possibly, even of certain individuals, would be almost sure to draw upon the author their most bitter attacks.  Many of the characters he depicts would be identified, rightly or wrongly, with certain of his contemporaries, and many more, whom he never had in his mind at all, would imagine themselves the objects of his satire;

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The Visions of the Sleeping Bard from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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