British mythology preserved by the ancient Druids, poems of the early bards, oral and written tradition, and legends, form the foundation- and corner-stones of the folk-lore and folk-stories of Wales. About two thousand, if not more, years before Christ the Druids of Britain taught the belief that the sun, moon, and stars had mysterious and mighty influences. Evidences of this are numerous in Wales, where Druidism, merging into Christianity, left many survivals in the form of May and Midsummer fire festivals and other periodical celebrations. Mingled with these was the primitive imagination that the elements, animals, birds, trees, flowers, plants, and herbs were semi-human, and capable of working out actions of pleasure and pain. The wind conveyed secrets, the waves had warning voices, trees whispered, animals and birds provided omens and tokens, while flowers, plants, and herbs had mystic attributes. With thunder, lightning, and storms the sorcerer and sorceress of old were supposed to be capable of destroying the enemies hosts. With incantation and spell the wizard was enabled to per- form his mysteries of defence and revenge. In later times their descendant, the Dyn Hysbys, or wise man, had rare gifts and magnetic influence, and the witch was associated with magical and uncanny deeds.



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Folk-Lore and Folk-Stories of Wales - E S Hartland 1909