The Welsh have a tradition, that these uncouth and savage mountains [of Snowdonia] formerly abounded with woods, and that they were felled by Edward I ... There may be more truth in another tradition, that this king ordered all the bards of Wales to be destroyed. It was a necessary policy, without which, he could not secure his new conquest. By these means, he eradicated the ﬁrst principles of resistance, which always arose from the inﬂammatory and prophetical songs of those turbulent and enthusiastic poetasters. If some should regret the poems, existence of which the massacre obstructed, they may ﬁnd some comfort on the reﬂection, that, it has given birth to one of the ﬁnest odes in the English tongue [Gray’s ode].