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Amelia Volume 1 Chapter 7


Book of the Dean of Lismore

[page 67}
IN connection with the preceding Obituary, some poems from the Collection known as the Dean of Lismores Book [1]   now follow. They are written in praise of some of the MacGregors, whose deaths are recorded in the Obituary, and they show the traditional Genealogies current in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Some remarks by Dr. Joseph Anderson on this subject are interesting :-

There are three separate Genealogies of MacGregor given by the MacGregor Bards in the collection of Sir James MacGregor Dean of Lismore. The oldest of them is introduced in the matter of fact manner of these old Sennachies. The author of this is McGillinduk the man of songs, as if all the world ought to have heard of his fame. He commences the genealogy with Duncan Beg and carries it down to Malcolm whom he styles son of Derval and names his wife as Mary. Malcolm son of Derval may be recognised from the obit in the Chronicle of Fortingall as the Malcolm son of John Dhu McAin Cham who died in 1440. This Genealogy as he is the last mentioned and is spoken of as in life, was probably composed before that time. Derval his mother is mentioned in the Chronicle of Fortingall as Dervogill Nyn Ean VcLachlan wife of John Dhu MacGregor as dying at Glenurchy in 1424. The second Genealogy written by Duncan MacDugal Moill in the lifetime of John Dhu Macpatrick, Grandson of the Malcolm who died in 1519, carries the Genealogy up to Kenneth McAlpin. Both are the same up to Duncan Beg, Great-Grandfather of that Gregor who was father to the John MacGregor whose obit is 1390. John Dow McPatricks mother may have been a Grant as the blood of Grant in thy apple-red cheeks and the death of John Grant in 1480 is noticed in the Chronicle

[page 68}
FIONNLADH RUADH AM BARD.

Fad a taim gun bhuaidh, fhaigheal domh is mithich,
Thainig tme thmhach, as an aoradh dhligheach,
Is e conair a theighinn, d iarraidh slait mhir
Gu flath treun nan Gaidheal, far nar fhaighear luchd suaill.
Gu Mac Grigoir dion, is ceann air na sgoilibh,
Ni bhi neomhn falamh, dlighear dhomh a mholadh.
Gu fear is treun coir, an toiseach gach samhradh,
Ni an samhach dha bhi, bithidh an amhaich gach h-amhuil.
N uair theireas iad uime, Grigoir nan ceuda,
Bithidh a chail am fogradh, gu trath os na treudaibh,
Eoin is ceann do n treud sin, rgh fhuair creach a ghabhail,
Theireas fin ceol, beul ri beul s a chamhar.
N uair a chi teaghlach armgheur, Mhic Grigoir am Bealach,
Slighe mhin n a choire, ni b eire riu an eallach.
'N uair chinneadar a chomhrag g a ghairm an cridhe namhaid,
Is ris fin do theigheadh, an riochd goile us bhrghaid.
De mhaisibh Mhic Grigoir, tothair chath r a chulthaobh
Gun diol ri daoinibh, us gach meodhar n a dhuna,
N uair dh fhagam mo bhuaidh, am eis air lar trod,
Mi ag innseadh mo mhc s e is millse le m oide.
Ge h-olc an loch mhir mo dheileanas innseadh,
Gon cliath ln loingsich s e air la cath is millse.
Cuimhnch gun bitheam romhad, Mhic Grigoir gun agadh,
Ri aghaidh gach trod an dail siad fada fada.
Ealasaid uasail iompaich mo mheuda,
A bhean nan ciabh boga, dh am buin an clr fada.

IS E UGHDAIR SO DUGHALL MACGILLE GHLAIS

Righ ghaisge ei reachd Eoin,
is asdaireach do dhuan a dhroing,
Ni nach bheil a amhra do chch,
fhuair an fhioradh an sidhe rgh
MacGrigoir nan greas geur,
toiseach is treine air gach tr,
Eadar or us creach a Ghall
is digh a bhi gu mall mn ;

FINLAY THE RED HAIRED BARD.

I am a stranger long to success, tis time that I should have it,
Tis time now to desist, from satire justly due.
The way that I shall take, to seek a noble branch,
Is to the Prince of the Gael, where are no worthless guests.
To MacGregor the brave, head of all the schools;
Hes neither cruel nor sparing, to praise him is our duty.
To whom courage is a right; when summer time comes round,
Peace he never knows, hes in the throat of all his fellows
When men of him do speak, as Gregor of the blows,
Tis his delight to drive, flocks and herds before him.
Of that flock Johns [2]   the head, the king at lifting cattle.
I myself will sing, mouth with mouth at daybreak,
When his sharp-armed men see, MacGregor at the Bealach,
His way so gently soft, no weight to them their burdens.
Then when war arises, proclaimed in enemies hearts,
It is to him theyd gather, clothed in martial dress.
Tis of MacGregors fame, when fightings left behind
To men not to be cruel, his castle full of mirth;
When victory I had left upon the field of war,
When of the fight I spoke nought loved my patron more
Though sad, on the stormy lake, to tell of my grief,
To have a crew of mariners, is best in battle's day.
Remember Ill be with thee, MacGregor without stain,
In face of any foe, long, longs the time.
Gentle Elizabeth, change thou my state;
Woman of softest locks, and of the loftiest brow.

THE AUTHOR OF THIS IS DOUGALL MC GILLE GLAS

Bold as a Prince is John in each gathering
Twere long to sing his races glory ;
Of this there is no doubt mong men,
That he is the first of the race of kings,
MacGregor of the bravest deeds,
Is the boldest chief in any land ;
Between his gold and the Saxon spoil,
Well may he live in ease and peace.

Aon roghainn ghaisge Ghaidheil Ghreige,
leis nior meathaich meud achli
Fear is fearr agh us iochd,
an laimh an tir sliochd nan righe.
Seabhag deud gheal nan tri ghleann,
leis an leughar goil gach gniomh,
Lamh is crodha an cathaibh cinnidh
flath a s coir dhe n t-slioch rgh
Air Mac Phadruig nan gruaidh dearg,
n uair athfhasas fearg an uaireachd
Na h-alaich a bheir n a dheigh
nocha sln an luadh cath ;
Ogha Mhaoil Chaluim nan dearc corr,
ni sgaradh ri r gun dith,
Gille daimheach, sothrach, seang,
an lamh a s fearr um gach ni ;
Aicme Ghriogoir timchioll Eoin,
ni mar chaillte a bhuille sa mhin
Droing bhreagh air nach leughar lochd,
is gnath gort mar a th ;
Clann Ghriogoir an dream nach treig,
an m nach bitheas reidh ri rgh,
Gaidheil ge fulachdach na fir,
ni chuireadh siad sin am brgh;
Ni mo leo Gaidheil no Goill,
na saoir fhir o chuain an rgh ;
Aicme Ghrigoir nan colg cruaidh,
o bhorb shluagh ni n gabh sniomh
Brainean foirne nam fear fiala,
oighre Ghrigoir nan srian r,
Olc do dhuine air an dean creach,
miosad do neach theid 'nan toir ;
Flath Ghlinne Liobhainn nan lann,
sgiath bhrignmhor nach gann ri clir
Lamh mar Osgar anns gach cath,
is da is cosmhuil am flath fein ;
Urram eanaich d a ghruaidh dheirg,
a fhuair gun cheilg mar is coir
Air ghabhail einich do gach neach,
air thiolacadh each us ir


Choice for courage of the Grecian Gael
Whose meed of praise shall neer decay,
Abounding in charity and love,
Known in the lands of the race of kings
White-toothed falcon of the three glens,
With whom we read the bravest deeds,
The boldest arm midst fight of clans,
Best of the cheifs from the race of kings.
When on Mac Phadrick of ruddy cheecks
Wrath in battles hour awaked,
The men who with him share the fight
Are never safe amidts its blows.
Grandson to Malcolm of bright eyes,
Whom none could leave but felt their loss
The generous, gentle, shapely youth,
The readiest hand when oughts to do.
The race of Gregor stand round John,
Not as a weak one is their blow ;
The famour race without a fault,
Round him like a fence they stand.
Clan Gregor who show no fear,
Even when with the king they strive,
Though brave gael may be the foe,
That they count of little weight.
Gael or Saxon are the same,
To these brave men of kingly race,
Sons of Gregor bold in fight,
Bend not before the fiercest foe,
Prince of the host of generous men,
To Gregor of the gold bridles, heir,
Pity the men whom you may spoil,
Worse for them who you pursue.
Chief of GlenLyon of the blades,
Sheild and benefactor of the Church,
His arm like Oscars in the fight,
To whom in all things he is like
Kindness mantles on his red cheek,
Thy praise he justly wins ungrudged,
Benevolence when to men he shows,
Horses and gold he freely gives.

Mac Grigoir an teaghlaich ghrinn,
ni h-ioghnadh leinn n a chuirt cliar,
Ni bheil coimeas d a uchd geal,
ach am fear dhe n robh an fhiann ;
Aigesan tri freiceadan fionn,
braigh a ghille ni facadh riamh,
Lamh bu mhaith iorghuil an greas,
do b ionmhuinn leis fuileach fiadh
Cosmhuil a mheins mhodh,
ris an righ g a robh an Fhiann,
Ri h-agh Mhic Grigoir nan creach,
bheir roghadh gach neach am mian;
Maith is cumha a rosg gorm,
ri Mac CumhaiI nan corn fial,
Ionann an or fa dhuinn,
agus an run diolaidh cliar;
Ionann an suiridh s an sealg,
riu us Cu ceaird nam Fiann
A ta an rath air sliochd nan righe,
is maith an cliu us an ciall ;
Eineach us eangnath us iochd,
do cheangladh air an sliochd righ,
Fion us ceir, agus mel,
am miann sin le sealga fhiadh ;
Fine Eoin is gasda gniomh,
iad mar mhacaibh righ na Feinn,
Agus Eoin mar am Fionn fein,
n a cheann air gach daimh a. . . . .
Ge dhurachd leo flaitheas Feinn,
do chathaich ri linn na Feinn,
Is air Mhac Phadruig a ta an rath
sharuich se gu maith. . . . . . .
Mac Grigoir nan dochair a t ann,
ceann sochair ceaIl us cliar,
Taobh seang air am breithbbean,
o Gleannsrath nam fear fial ;
Comhrad dhuinn breth le Eoin,
is ni g a dheoin do ni,
A tiodhlacadh each us or,
fa n seach mar is coir do righ ;


Mac Gregor of the noble race,
No wonder bards should fill your court ;
To his white breast there is no match,
But he so famous mong the Feinn.
Three fair watches him surround,
Never as captives were his men ;
His arm in battles struggle strong,
Weel did he love to hunt the deer.
In mien and manners he was like,
The king who ruled amongst the Feinn.
Mac Gregor of the spoils, his fortune such
That choicest men do covet it.
Good and gentle is his blue eye,
Hes like Mac Cumhail of liberal horn,
Like when giving us his gold,
Like when bestowing gifts on bards,
Like in wooing or in hunt,
To the Cu Caird among the Feinn.
Fortune attends the race of kings,
Their fame and wisdom both are great,
Their bounty, prudence, charity,
Are knit to them, the race of kings ;
Wine, and wax, and honey,
These, with the stag hunt their delight.
Famous actions of Johns clan,
Like to the sons of the Fenian king ;
John himself was like to Finn,
First and Chief mongst all his men
Though many have sought Finns power.
Mongst those who fought the Feinn,
On Patricks son fortune attends,
His enemies he has overcome.
Mac Gregor who destroys is he
Bountiful friend of Church and bards ;
Of handsome form, of women loved,
He of Glenstray of generous men.
Easy tis to speak of John
His praise to raise loud in song,
Giving his horses and his gold,
Just as a king should freely give.

Righ neimh, Mhuire oigh,
dlighe mar is doigh mo dhion,
Mo bhreith s a chaithir gun cheilt,
s a bheil Athair Mhic an Aig Righ.


King of Heaven, Mary Virgin,
Keep me as I should be kept.
To the great city fearless me bring
Where dwells the Father of the King

IS E UGHDAIR SO DUNCHADH MAC DHUGHAILL MHAOIL

Aithris fhreumh rna Eoin Mhic Phadruig,
no r creud cheileam,
Na bhitheann g a f hine nior fhanna ;
mu m a chinnidh do char sinn
Teirc ri aithris fhine fhanna
dh uailsibh Gaidheal nan glan dhil
Fochd na freumh gu bheil,
do luchd leughaidh nan leabhar.
Barail dleas doibh us domh,
feadh ard an fheasgair orna,
An fhuil righ an caomh,
chur an fhior dhream Ghrigoir ;
Mi ridh ri d ros glas,
eisd Eoin ri d sheanchas
Riamh de fhreumh tamaid,
righ seimh saor-theist.
Padruig athair, aithne dhuit,
Maolcholuim athair Phadruig,
Mac Eoin duibh na r dhubh brigh,
dligheach a chuire s a chreadradh
Eoin eile athair Eoin duibh,
Mhic Grigoir, Mhic Eoin aghmhoir,
Ta triar feara fa feile,
triar teamhaireach mu thromchleir,
Athair an Eoin sin oileanaich,
Maolchoiuim na r cheii a n,
Mac Dhunchaidh mhuiginir bhig reim,
onchoin air nach tig toibheum;
Dunchadh eile athair-san
Mac Gillfhaollain oirchill,
Da shaor leat n uair dh fhoir ri daimh
Mac Aoidh r o Urchaidh.


THE AUTHOR OF THIS IS DUNCAN MAC DOUGALL MAOIL.


History of the secret origin of John Mac Patrick
Why should I conceal it ?
What belongs to his race is not feeble
The bearing of that race we love
Seldom of a feeble race it is
Among the Gael of purest fame
That inquiry of their origin is made
By the men who read in books
Firm the belier to them and me,
During the evening time so dark
That in the blood of noble kings
Were the rights of true ClanGregor.
Now that Im by thy green dwelling,
Listen John to thy family story
A root of every root are we
Of famous kings of noble story
Know that Patrick was thy father
Malcolm father was to Patrick
Son of Black John, not black his breast,
Him who feasts and chariots owned
Another John was Black Johns father
Son of Gregor, son of John the lucky
Three they were of liberal heart
Three beneficient to the Church
The father to that learned John
Was Malcolm who his wealth neer hid
Son of Duncan surly and small
Whose standard never took reproach
His father was another Duncan,
Son of Gillelan of the ambush
Noble he was giving to his friends,
Son of the famous Hugh from Urquhay

Ceanan nan corr gatha,
athair Aoidh Urchaidh,
O Alpain a gharg mhein ghlan,
ardrigh nam balg bheum brioghmhor.
So an ceathramh tuaraisg a s tug,
umad a oighre Phadruig,
Cuimhnich ceart bheil fa d chaomh
dream o Alpain oighre Dhughaill,
Fear an fhichead is tu fhein,
Eoin dubh nach dubh cre,
Do cheart sheanchas is e sin,
gu Fearghus Mac Eirc aghmhoir.
A d chinneadh; nach crion ri fodhair
s linn do ghabh coron,
Da fhichead agus triur righ,
dlighear an fhuil s an ardfhreumh,
Tri tuathruidh, tri deasruidh,
an deigh Mhaolcholuim Chinnmhoir,
Da choigear choron a chinnidh,
o Mhaolcholum gu Alpain,
O Alpain suas is e bhitheas,
ceithir deug fir gu Ferghus,
Do cheart sheanchas is e sin,
riamh gu Ferghus Mac Eirc aghmhoir.
Cia lion de sheanchas
imar sin riamh gu Ferghus faighidir,
Iomadh fine oll fa d fhuil tathas
nach ireamar n uair irmheas,
Do bu sgth sgoil d an sgeulaibh,
gach righ a bheil fa d ur fhreumh
Fuil Artuir fa d urla fann,
maith do chuid do chuislean
Fuil Chuain, fuil Chuinn fad chneas,
da shuthain sothrain n fhine
Fuil Ghrantach ma'd ghruaidh mar ubhal,
fuil Neil nimheil neart-mhoir
Garg mhin a ceum s a gach greas,
de reim ard righ an aithris.


Kennan of the pointed spear
Of Hugh from Urquhay was the father
From Alpin of stately mien and fierce
Mighty king of weighty blows.
This is the fourth account thats given
O thee who art the heir of Patrick
Remember well thy backbone line,
Down from Alpin, heir of Dougal
Twenty and one besides thyself
John the Black not black in heart.
They genealogy leads us truly
To the prosperous Frergus Mac Erc
Of thy race which wastes not like froth
Six generations wore the crown
Forty Kings were and three
Their blood and origin are known
Three there were north, three to south
After the time of Malcolm Kenmore
Ten of the race did wear the crown
From the time of Malcolm up to Alpin
From Alpin upwards we do find
Fourteen kings till we reach Fergus
Such is thy genealogy
To Fergus, son of Erc the prosperous
How many are there of thy race
Must there have been from thee to Fergus
Noble the races mix with thy blood
Such as we cannot number
The Schools would weary with our tale
Numbering the kings from whom art sprung
The blood of Arthur is in thy bosom
Precious is that which fills thy veins ;
The blood of Cuan, the blood of Conn,
Two wise men, glory of the race
The blood of Grant in thy apple-red cheek,
The blood of Neil the fierce and mighty
Fierce and gently, all the times,
Is the story of the royal race.

IS E GHDAIR SO MAC GILLIONDAIG AM FEAR DN.

Buaidh thighearn air thoisichibh,
a ta o ths an cinne,
Airidheach de na h-oig fhearaibh,
gach aon fhear a breith fios,
Ceud tighearn na tir-sa,
Dunchadh beag fa mr aigne,
Do dh fhag mar a chuid dilib,
aig clann Ghriogoir an gaisge.
Dunchadh mr de mhileadhaibh
athair beannaichte Mhaolcholuim,
Seanair Eoin aonfhlaith nior gheill,
cunradhn uair a chunbhail.
Grigoir deagh-mhac Dhunchaidh,
mac o Eoin do b e oighre,
Fear aibheasach on chontath
o Loch thaobh sholuis Tulaich.
Eoin dubh angoilgeillte,
mac aireadhach Eoin mhic Grigoir,
Sealgair dhamh dhreachach,
ts gach cogadh do fhrtheal.
Maolcholum go dheagh chunbhal,
aithnichte Eoin d is a athar
Deisceart glinne geal Urchaidh,
maiseach do chaidh ma cachta,
A ta toiseach an uibhireachd,
do chloinne Ghrigoir o Ghallaibh,
Ga bheil tri thighearn be,
grdh sealga, us be ghaisge.
An aimsir Chuinn cheud chatha,
do chuala ml a mhac samhail,
Fionn ni ghabh o gheur lannaibh,
Mac Cumhail nan grath calm.
Sealg Eirinns thighearnas
aig Mac Cumhail n a coillich
Aoibh dha no tighearnas,
air criochaibh clanna Ghuill.
D fhiodh r a linn da n leigeadh,
o Charaidh gu Carn Bhalair.


THE AUTHOR OF THIS IS MAC GILLINDAK, THE MAN OF SONGS


The Lords have precedence of Chiefs,
It has been so from the beginning ;
It is commendable in young men,
That each should have his knowledge of this
The first who was Lord of this land,
Was Duncan beg (little) of the great soul,
He who as a legacy has left,
Their bravery to the ClanGregor.
Duncan, great by many spoils,
Was the blessed father of Malcolm ;
Grandfather he was to Princely John,
Him who never broke his pledge.
Gregor, excellent son of Duncan,
Was son to John and was his heir ;
Famous man he was of the country,
From the bright shores of Loch Tullich,
Swarthy John, [3]   so pure in speech,
Princely John son of McGregor, [4]  
Hunter of the well formed deer,
He like a king aye led the fight,
Malcolm of unbending truth,
Know thou John, succeeds his father,
Southwards in fair Glenurchay,
Handsome he was amongst its valleys.
The first place mong their ancestors,
Is given by the Saxon to ClanGregor,
Of whom were three chiefs loved the hunt,
And were most active in the fight.
In the days of Conn of hundred battles,
I heard something like this,
Of Finn of spears and sharp sword,
Cumhas son of famous deeds,
That of Erin the hunting and lordship
Belonged to Mac Cumhal of long locks,
Patrimony and lordship he had not
Over the lands of the race of the Gaul.
Forest right they had all their life,
From kerry north to Carn Valair.

Roimhe ghabh na seisir,
bha aig n a fhiodha.
O shamhainn gu bealltainn, bhuineadh,
air ni gach t d a Fhianaibh
An t-sealga fa soimheamh samhradh,
aig an inbhe in fhiodha
Iomadh cis nach irmhear,
aig Fionn no aig fear a airmhidh.
Fiacha Eirinn da roinn,
air Mhac Cumhail n a fhiodh.
Fiodh mhoir ridir dh Fhiantaibh,
air bruachaibh gach buinne,
Aig sin ni bheil diongairean,
Mhaoilcholuim aig Mac Muirne.
Ni dheaadh Fionn fein sealg,
gun sireadh a cheada,
Sealg Albainn gun fharraid
aig Maolcholum s a chreacha.
Cunbhalach n an coshealg
Mac Grigoir is garg daoine,
Nior mhince coin cro-dhearg,
gu longphort cloinne Bhaoisgne.
Linn trodach de thoisichibh,
eiridh leis an la catha,
Fir iad air oirieachaibh
g luchd ti san tchair.
Ceannas fion us fidhantais
coitchinn is cli dh a chinneadh
Air barn ghaisge ghl dhearbhas,
Mac Grigoir grdh ni bheil.
Iomadh n a chnirt coluath,
saolaim cuideachd a s colg teann,
Or dearg air an dornairibh,
airm leoghain Loch Abh.
Co sheirm eadar clrsaichibh,
na doine an lich n an lamhaibh
A luchd ti o thaibhlisibh
a dol far gheibhear gadhar.


But he possessed the old rights,
Which previously were his.
From Hallowmas on to Beltin,
His Feinn had all the rights.
The hunting without molestation,
Was theirs in all these forests.
Many the tribes I cannot tell,
Belonged to Finn and his men,
Tribute in Erin possessed,
By Mac Cumhail from the forsests.
A noble forests right to the Feinn,
On the banks of every stream.
But Malcolms [5]   large tributes
Did not belong to Mac Muirn ;
Finn himself would never hunt
Without first asking leave.
The hunting of Scotland, without leave
Belongs, with its spoil to Malcolm.
Constant in the hunt together
Are Mac Gregor and his fierce men ;
No oftner did the blood-red hounds
Enter the fort of Clan Boisgne,
A fighting band fo Chieftains
Arose with him in battles day,
Men whose dress sparkled with gold,
Men who conquered in the fight.
The heads of Clans and of huntsmen
In the common fame of his race.
No trial of bravery of skill
Will show weakness of MacGregor.
Many in his halls are found together,
Men who carried well-sharped swords,
Red gold glittered on their hilts,
The arms of the lion of Loch Awe.
Harmonious music among harps,
Men with dice-boxes in their hands
Men who leave the game of tables,
Go and lead forth the hounds.

Mac Grigoir bos barr chorcuir,
Mac Diarbhuill buaidh a Ghallaibh,
Aon chara na calmachd a lamh,
le r rinig gach rath buaidh.
Buaidh feile ri filidhibh,
a ni Mac Laomuinn a chosnadh,
Do mhadaibh a chli ceann-aigh,
air thiolacadh a lamh luath.
Mairidh muime ollamhan,
mingheal is maith com,
Na cliar g a comoladh,
corcra a gruaidh no sugh.


Mac Gregor of red-pointed palms,
Son of Dervail, the Saxons terror,
No hand like his amidst the fight,
He tis that ever victory won,
Liberal he ever was to bards,
Gifts which Mac Lamond knows to earn,
Famous for managing his hounds,
A hand so ready with its gifts,
Mary who stands by his side,
Of noble mind and handsome form,
Poets unite to give her praise,
Her with cheeks as berries red.


[1] A Selection of Ancient Gaelic Poerty from a MS. Collection. Edited with a Translation and Notes, by the Rev. Thomas McLaughlan, and an Introduction and additional Notes by William F. Skene, Esq., 1862. Particulars about the Dean and his family are given in Chapter XIII. volume 1 chapter 8

[2] Supposed to be John dubh MacGregor of Glenstray, died May 24, 1519. - Obituary.

[3] John Dubh, ob, 1415

[4] John Cham McGregor, page 21 volume 1 chapter 2

[5] Assumed to be Malcolm, son of John Dubh McGregor. He died on the 20th April 1440, and the poem appears to have been written in his lifetime. From the references in the poem, Malcolms mother was Dervogil (ob 1424), and his wife Mary.