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Aurel Sercu

Message in a Welsh heart and an Irish bottle

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Diolch/Thank you, Eirian,

William Williams "Pantycelyn" wrote hundreds of popular hymns, and given people's propensity not just to sing them but to memorise them, it wouldn't be inconceivable for Eluned Morgan to have quoted those words in her work (consciously or unconsciously).  Or she might have made up the phrase from new without being aware of the hymn version.


It's true that lines from both the Bible, hymns and poetry were much-used for epitaphs, and adapted as well.  For example, "He hath done what he could" which is Biblical, was originally "She hath done what she could", but is seen as a civil and military epitaph with the gender changed to male.  Some epitaphs (in the UK mainly, I think) were penned by local bards at the family's request, so are more difficult to pin down.  



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The Scorer
23 hours ago, Eirian said:

I just noticed this topic and am interested to see that you've quoted the Welsh verse on the grave of my great uncle Edward Jones. I have previously tried to find out where the verse came from, without success. The link in Hywyn's post doesn't seem to work any more. If any of you did manage to track it down, I'd love to know where it came from. Many thanks! Eirian


P.S. added later: I think I may have now found the source of the quote! It could possibly be adapted from a hymn by William Williams (the person who wrote the words for 'Bread of Heaven'). The words of a different hymn by Williams are quite similar:  ". . . Daeth bore teg a hyfryd 'nol stormus ddu brydnawn." (From Hymnbook Aberth Moliant pub. J Haddon & Co 1875.)

Edward's parents were quite religious, so it's likely that they could have just adapted the words slightly from something familiar to them.



I've tried to Google the original link, but it doesn't seem to be recognised, at least not in it's complete form. I'm getting this message: "Your search - http://welshnewspapers.llgc.org.uk/en/page/view/3124432/art72/foreu teg brydawn - did not match any documents".


The shortened link will get me to "Welsh Newspapers Online" or "Wales Online Newspaper", and I've opened this link, which gets me to a search engine at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. However, this asks me for the title of the newspaper which, unless I've missed it, I don't know!


Hopefully someone else will be able to help, but I think that I've reached a dead end .... unless something else comes to mind! 

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Diolch yn fawr, Hywyn, for the new link - it works. I will also look for the original article it is reviewing. But I suspect that Eluned Morgan was quoting (perhaps subconsiously Clive suggests) from the same William Williams hymn. I'm sure the family would have been more likely to quote a hymn they knew by heart, rather than an article about Patagonia. It might also explain the strange/incorrect circumflexes, if they were writing from memory. Thanks everyone for helping unravel the mystery of the quote. Eirian

Edward Grave small.jpg

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