The three duties of the Bards of the Isle of Britain
‘The bards were the learned order of the Britons. It seems a mistake to take the Bards and Druids as two sundry classes of men, as the Druids were of the learned order, and therefore bards; though, when, upon the conversion of the Britons to Christianity, the Druids lost their office, the name of bard remained only on the other branches of the learned order.
A bard’s person was holy. He bore no weapon, and no weapon was to be holden naked in his presence. Caesar says: – “The Druids are wont to abstain from war, nor do they pay taxes with others, and enjoy freedom from war service, and an immunity from all things;”…
…A Triad (the old Welsh historic poems) says, “The three necessary duties of the bards of the Isle of Britain – 1st, to manifest the truth, and to declare it; 2nd, to maintain a memorial of praise for what shall be good and excellent; and 3rd, to make peace prevail over anarchy and devastation.” – Barddas.’
taken from –
Notes on ancient Britain and the Britons (1858), William Barnes