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Menwy the Bard

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Davidharp

Menwy the Bard son of Teirgwaedd was one of the most famous of all bards. He owned a harp that played of itself, and it was said that its music was so full of beauty that it lifted the hearts of everyone who heard it.

Menwy appears in the short story "The Smith, the Weaver and the Harper", the sixth tale in The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain.
This page contains spoilers. If you do not wish to be spoiled, do not read further.

Menwy managed to see through Arawn Death-Lord's disguise when that awful tyrant was stealing the secrets and treasures of Prydain. Sensing Arawn's ruse, Menwy declined to trade his harp to the Death-Lord. Arawn, enraged, struck and shattered the instrument. Menwy laughed in defiance and openly criticized the king. Lloyd Alexander finished the tale: "The Lord of Death fled in terror of life."

Menwy was thus one of the few known to have defied the Death-Lord or even so much as perceived his true form. This event draws a relationship between harps and truth, a trait shared -- in a more ironic, even humorous way -- by Fflewddur's harp.

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