Three Baptismal Bards of the Isle of Britain:
  • Merddin Emrys,
  • And Taliesin, Chief of Bards,
  • and Merddin, son of Madoc Morvryn.

There are thought to be two Merlins--Myrddin Emrys and Myrddin Wyllt. The first is the Myrddin who prophesied to Vortigern when he was a boy, and engendered the birth of King Arthur by transforming Uther Pendragon into the form of Gorlois. This Myrddin is the son of the devil, and a prophet.

The second Myrddin--Myrddin Wyllt or Merlinus Sylvesterus--is he who was present at the Battle of Arthuret and went mad when Gwenddolau was slain. This is the Wild Man of the Woods, the Lailoken, of the Welsh legends and poems in the Black Book of Carmarthen and Red Book of Hergest. Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote of the first; as for the second, either Geoffrey or a pseudo-Geoffrey compounded the two together to make the main figure of Vita Merlini.

Taliesin, of course, is the most famous of early Welsh bards--the Hengerdded. For his history, see the w/u.


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