The second of the primitive Bards is the Ovate, and it is incumbent upon him to be acquainted with literature, that is, to read and write, and to know the kinds of arts which may be beneficial to Bards and to the world, and to exhibit them in their authenticity before a Gorsedd or Chair, or a Bard of presidency. It is incumbent upon him, also, to collect and to search for knowledge, and to impart instruction in it, after it shall have obtained the judgment and privilege of Gorsedd; he is not bound to do more, except in virtue of a degree and grant. The dress of an Ovate is to be green, being of the same colour as knowledge and learning, which grow like the green vegetation of spring; and in the attainment of knowledge the Ovate is the chief of the Bards.
Barddas: The Voice of Gorsedd
4. There are three Bards of equality, namely: the Primitive Bard; the Druid; and the Ovate; for there should not, and cannot be supremacy to one over another of those three, though each has a privilege over the other, according to the privilege and speciality of office and obligation.
The function of an Ovate is to amplify and to improve good sciences in virtue of awen, reason, and circumstance, that is, inevitable obligation; on this account, the Gorsedd does not enquire concerning his teacher, when he is privileged a Bard, but merely concerning his sciences, his art, and his life. Those particulars are enquired after; and, it is in virtue of what he has of them, that he is privileged by the judgment and verdict of Chair or Gorsedd of vocal song. Two memorials and records appertain to him, namely, the memorial of vocal song, and the memorial of letters. And when his memorial and record are imposed upon a Primitive Bard by the verdict of Gorsedd, then those sciences will depend systematically upon the voice of Gorsedd, which cannot take place before an efficient judgment is pronounced upon what is so imposed.
Barddas: The Triads of Privilege and Usage
The second is an Ovate, according to awen, exertion, and circumstance; and his function is to poetize according to imagination, circumstance, and art, and to defer to the judgment of Gorsedd, until it becomes efficient.
The third is Ovatism; and it is incumbent upon an Ovate to endeavour after learning and knowledge, as he can, by means of hearing, seeing, and devising. That is, a poet ought to maintain all learning and knowledge which may be privileged by an efficient Gorsedd; an Ovate ought to improve and amplify learning and knowledge, and to submit them to the judgment of Gorsedd, until it becomes efficient; and a Druid ought to teach, according to the original usage and privilege of an efficient Gorsedd, and according to any new discovery, in respect of reason, nature, and cogency.
Ovatism; and it is incumbent upon an Ovate to endeavour and seek after learning, as far as he can, by means of the hearing and voice of the world, of sight and contingency, and of attempt, awen, and imagination.
98. The three sorts of the primitive Bards of the Isle of Britain: a Bard of privilege, or poet, to rule, and to record; a Druid, to teach; and an Ovate, to improve learning and knowledge.
an Ovate, on whom it is incumbent to genialize and to improve learning and sciences;
the Ovate, being a Bard according to sciences derived from imagination and circumstance.
It was in those days that the three primary Ovates, Cadog, son of Myl, the Wall of Greatness, Trysin, son of Erbal, and Rhuawn of the Silver Song, were instituted and privileged. The Ovates were appointed and enjoined to collect Bardic and good sciences, from whatever incident, and from whatever awen and imagination, to submit them to the judgment of Chair and Gorsedd, and to regulate them according to the sense, judgment, and system of art.
Barddas: The Triads of the Bards of the Isle of Britain