Dafydd ab Edmwnd regarded form and elegance as matters of the highest importance. In his masterly poems in the Cywydd Deuair Hirion form he concentrated on smoothness and simplicity of language, but in his cywyddau gorchest he is much too excessive in his use of cymeriadau ; and in his awdlau he is content with nothing less than the most elaborate cynghanedd and the severest classical measures.
Most of his poems are cywyddau of love, and in this respect he followed tradition by writing serenades and satires addressed to ‘ Eiddig .’ He was more appreciative of feminine beauty than was Dafydd ap Gwilym , for he wrote gracefully and with consummate skill cywyddau describing the lady's loveliness and praising her golden hair and delicately flushed cheeks. Nature he mostly ignores, although he has a few superb descriptions of the bower in some of his cywyddau .
Although the poet was in the flower of his age at the time of the Wars of the Roses he makes no mention of the turmoil of the time. But, for all that, his patriotism is obvious and his work shows clearly his intense love for his own country. For the rest, Dafydd ap Edmwnd 's poems were, in accordance with the duties of a bard and the directions laid down in the poetic grammars, poems of praise and worship — praise of a harpist 's skill, or a soldier 's heroism; praise of a chieftain 's generosity, and of the scholarship of priest and abbot ; and laud of God the Father, God the Son, and the Virgin Mary for all their goodness. When he is not excessively technical, his works bear the imprint of a master, for his imagination and vision are splendid and his control of his technique is complete.
Thomas Roberts, M.A., (1885-1960) Bangor
Published date: 1959