Our first text is published online!
This is ‘Canu i Gadfan’ (a song for Cadfan), an extensive poem (178 lines) sung by Llywelyn Fardd about 1150. It is the earliest of three poems composed by twelfth-century Welsh poets to the saints: ’Canu Tylisio’ by Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr and ‘Canu i Ddewi’ by Gwynfardd Brycheiniog will appear shortly on the website. ‘Canu i Gadfan’ was copied into the Hendregadredd Manuscript about 1300, by a scribe probably working in the scriptorium at Strata Florida. The main focus of the poem is Cadfan’s church in Tywyn, Meirionnydd, and especially the rights and privileges of the church and its location in the beautiful landscape of the land of Dysynni. We have no Life or Vita of Cadfan as we do, for example, in the case of St David; therefore the poem is an important source of information about Cadfan, the traditions about him and his relics, namely his crosier and Book of Gospels which were kept in his church in Tywyn in the Middle Ages.