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Metadata for text 163
No. words in text8513
Title Deasbaireachd eadar am Papa agus an t-Athleasacha maille ri Laoidh Mholaidh do Chruith-fhear ’n t-Shaoghail, le Daibhidh MacAileir agus Laoidh, le Iain MacDhonuill, Ministeir Urachaduinn
Author Loudinn, Donncha
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1834
Date Of Language 18th c.
Publisher R. Menzies
Place Published Edinburgh
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries
Link Digital version created by National Library of Scotland
Download File PDF / plain text 
Geographical Origins Various
Register Religion, Verse
Alternative Author Name Duncan Lothian
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 18cm x 11cm
Short Title Deasbaireachd
Reference Details EUL, Sp. Coll.: C.R.Box4.26
Number Of Pages 36
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Duncan Lothian was born in Glen Lyon around 1730. He was for a time a miller in ‘Coire-Chòinnlidh’ (Corriechoille?) in Lochaber. While he was there, a little girl drowned under the mill wheel and, after the incident, Lothian composed the hymn Laoidh na Leabach. When he left Lochaber, Lothian became a turner and a maker of spinning-wheels, and he worked for a time with Dughall Buchanan at Kinloch Rannoch. Lothian later spent a few years in Glen Errochty, near Struan in Perthshire, before moving to Glen Fincastle. Lothian lived in Fincastle until his death, around 1812, at the age of 87. Paul Cameron states that Lothian was na dhuine diadhaidh, dleasnachail, a’ gabhail tlachd ann an eolas an Tighearna Iosa Criosd a chraobh-sgaoileadh (1891-92, p. 341).

In addition to this volume, Lothian published Comh-chruinneachidh Orainnaigh Gaedhaelach agus Bearla in 1780 (Text 164) and translated John Ewart’s Protestant Catechism, which was published as Leabhar Ceasnuighe Aithleasuighte in 1779 (Text 166).
Contents This volume begins with An Roimh-Radh (p. 3) by ‘Iain M‘Lachlainn, eildear am Fonnachastle’, who knew Lothian, and who wanted to re-publish his work to ensure that Lothian’s reputation would live on. He also gives us some information about Lothian’s life. The volume contains six poems as follows:

Deasbaireachd eadar am Papa agus an t-Athleasacha (pp. 5-15): by Lothian.

Sean Fhocail agus Comhadan (pp. 16-23): by Lothian.

Deoch an Doruis (p. 23): it is unclear who is the author of this poem (see Edition below).

Laoidh Mholaidh do Chruith’fhear an t-Saoghail (pp. 25-29): by Daibhidh MacAileir (David MacKellar).

Laoidh (pp. 30-32): Ann sam bheil neach araid a’ toirt Earrail dhusgaidh agus comhairle do’n Anam. This is in fact Mary Clark’s hymn, M’anam, imich thusa sàmhach. See Text 140, Laoidhean Bean Torra Dhamh, for information on earlier editions of this hymn.

An Criosdaidh aig Bruaich Iordain (pp. 33-36): by ‘Iain M‘Dhonuill, Ministeir an Sgire Urachaduinn’ (John MacDonald of Ferintosh). This is the second part of his three-part elegy on his father (see Text 118, Marbhrainn, A Rinneadh Air Diadhairibh Urramach).
Sources No sources are given for any of the poems in this volume. Although there are some divergences between the 1797 edition and the present volume (cf. Maclean, Typographia, p. 169), the text of poems 1 and 2 clearly derives from that of the earlier edition. (See further Edition below.)
Language Most of the poetry in this volume is religious, and it is consequently rich in religious vocabulary. Deasbaireachd eadar am Papa agus an t-Athleasacha (pp. 5-15) is particularly concerned with doctrine. It begins with a two-stanza introduction addressed to the reader: ‘Tha ’m PAPA agus an t-ATHLEASACHA \ An so a feuchainn nan ceuma, \ ’S gach seol a bha iad a leantuinn \ Mu’n deach’ iad mu’n seach air a cheile. \\ Tha punga na Creidimh air ’n dearbha, \ Le argumeintean tha ro laidir, \ A’s gu feud thu fhaicinn le d’ shùilibh \ Co am fear dhiubh bha ’s an fhàiling’ (p. 5). The poem proper begins with four further introductory stanzas, after which The Pope (P) and the Reformation (A) talk in turn about points of doctrine. Both sides occasionally refer to specific events from the Bible to back up their point, e.g.: ‘A. Cha chuala mi ionad meadhoin \ Bhi ’n taobh so de fhlaitheas na gloire; \ Chaidh Lasarus gu uchd Abrahaim, \ ’S chaidh Dives gu àros na doruinn. \\ P. ’S e Purgadan an t-ionad meadhoin, \ Mu ’m bheil mi labhairt an comhnuidh, \ An t-àit anns an ’d eisd na h-anama \ G’an glanadh o shalachar na feola’ (p. 10). Compare also: ‘A. O’n cheud tuiteam a rinn Adhamh \ O staid nan grasan le seachran, \ Cha ’n urrainn thu aon duine fheuchainn, \ A bha gu leir as eugais peacaidh. \\ P. Sacharias ’us Eils’bet, \ An dithis mu’n ghabh thu beachd, \ Ghluais iad neo-chiontach le chèil \ Ann uil’ ăithntibh Dhe ’s ’n a reachdaibh’ (pp. 12-13).

An t-Athleasachadh is often quite abrupt in tone: ‘P. Ta thusa an aghaidh bhi measgadh \ Uisg a’ Bhaiste le salann, \ Ge d’ tha ’n Scrioptur ag feuchainn \ Gu bheil e feumail gu glanadh. \\ A. Nam biodh a leithid sin de ghnath \ ’S an fhasaich ’n uair rinn e toiseach, \ Cha robh de Chaidsearan ’s an talamh \ N’a chumadh salann ri Iordan’ (p. 14). The poem ends with ‘P. Tha mise ann àit nan Apstol, \ Labhairt gu ceart ris an t-shaoghal; \ Ag mìneachadh dhoibh an fhocail, \ Anns gach achd mar tha air fhoillseach’. \\ A. Thug an t-Abstol Pol mar shamhladh \ Air luchd teagaisg nach do thoill ris, \ Gu ’n rachadh Satan gu h-ullamh \ Ann an cruth Aingil na soillse’ (p. 15). There are a number of footnotes in this poem, which refer the reader to specific passages in the Bible.

The second poem in this volume, Sean Fhocail agus Comhadan, contains a versified collection of Gaelic proverbs and wise sayings, e.g.: ‘’S fearr a bhi bochd na bhi breugach; \ ’S fearr fheuchainn na bhi ’san dùil; \ ’S fearr am fear a chostas beagan, \ Na ’m fear a theicheas ann an cùil’ (p. 16); 'Is trom snithe air tigh gun tuthadh— \ ’S trom tubaist air na draigean— \ ’S duilich do mhnaoi beanas-tighe \ Dheanamh air na fraithibh fasa’ (p. 17); ‘’S math caraid ’s a chúirt, \ Ma thig neach gu trioblaid; \ Ach ’s fearr eun ’s an laimh \ Na dha air iteag’ (p. 18). The poem ends thus: ‘Ma ’s fior gach sean fhocal, \ A labhradh le luchd géire; \ Bheir foid breithe agus bais \ Duine air atha ’s air éigin’ (p. 23).

Deoch an Doruis is a short, light-hearted poem which reads ‘Slan do d’ mhnaoi ghil; slan do mhacaibh; \ Slan do d’ theach o ’m binne ceol; \ Slan do d’ sraidaibh geala gaineamhaich; \ Slan do d’ bheanntaibh o’m bi ’n ceo. \\ O ’n tharladh dhuinne bhi sona, \ ’S beairt dhona nach tig ruinn; \ Air ghaol síth, ’s air eagal conais, \ Thugar Deoch an Doruis dhuinn’ (p. 23). As explained below, it is unclear whether Lothian was the author of this poem.

Laoidh Mholaidh do Chruith’fhear an t-Saoghail, by Daibhidh MacAileir, is a song in praise of God. MacAileir begins by praising God for creating heaven and earth, and all the people on it. He deals briefly with Adam and Eve, before moving on to Jesus’s birth, life, and death, and what happens to us when we die. The following verses are typical: ‘Rinneadh leat gealach agus grian, \ Thogbhail fiadhnais air do ghloir, \ Cha’n aithris mi am mile trian, \ Do ghniomharra an Dia is mò’ (p. 25); ‘Chuir thu Adhamh an codal trom, \ ’S chaidh Leigh nan gras o’s a cheann, \ Agus do aisne a thaoibh do rinn, \ Bean o’n do ghein gach clann’ (p. 26).

Laoidh (pp. 30-32), by Mary Clark, is discussed as part of Text 140 (Laoidhean Bean Torra Dhamh). In this hymn, we are told of the goodness of God, and urged to go to Him and lay our burdens on Him. Typical are the following verses: ‘Thig le Irioslachd is Dochas \ Dh’ iarruidh Comhnadh o’n Aon bheartach, \ Creid an tus go bheil e maoineach, \ ’S iar do dhaonnachd reir a phailtis. \\ Thig le d’ Dhoille, Ciont’, is Daoirse, \ Fag na Aonar airsan ’n Leathtrom, \ Dh’ iarruidh Teagasg, Riaghladh, ’s Saoradh; \ Tha e aonta re ’n toirt seachad’ (pp. 30-31); ‘Ge’d ’bhiodh Freasdal dhuit ar uaireabh, \ Tuill’ is cruaidh a reir do bheachdsa, \ Tuig gur Gliocas thug ma ’n cuairt è; \ ’S gheibh thu buannachd as a phailteas’ (p. 31). A footnote informs us that aonta means Deonach.

An Criosdaidh aig Bruaich Iordain is the second part of a three-part elegy written by John MacDonald of Ferintosh for his father (see Text 118, Marbhrainn, A Rinneadh Air Diadhairibh Urramach). In it the author describes the mixed feelings of the penitent Christian as he stands on the river bank, preparing to make his way across: ‘Tha ’n fheoil a’ crith, ’s cha ’n ioghna e, \ Dol sios gu Iordan bais; \ Tha sgail na ’h-oidhch’ ag iathadh orm; \ ’S tha cianalas a’ fas; \ Oir se tha romham siorruidheachd, \ Nach tomhais grian no la; \ An cuan ata neo-chriochannach, \ Gun iochdar ann no traigh. \\ Ach tha mo shuil ri Slanuighear, \ Bha grasmhor fad mo chuairt, \ ’Sa threoirich troimh an fhasaich mi, \ Nach fag e mi san uair; \ Ach fos gu ’n dean e teasairgin \ Dhomh fein, san t-seasamh chruaidh, \ ’S gu sgoilt e dhomh na h-uisgeachan, \ Gu r[u]ig mi null le buaidh’ (p. 33).
Orthography The orthography of Lothian’s poems is typical of late 18th-century and early 19th-century publications. Accents are fairly frequently added, usually correctly in terms of the history of the language, but sometimes erratic in form (e.g. and may be written for and ). There is some uncertainty over the spelling of gh/dh and th between vowels (e.g. snith’ for snighe) but in general the spelling is reasonably consistent and careful.
 
As to dialect, Lothian’s speech habits can perhaps be detected in the omission of -adh in verbal nouns (e.g. orduch’); but the subject matter of Poem 2 and especially of Poem 1 militate against extensive use of colloquialisms and dialectal forms.
 
A detailed study of the relationship between texts in this volume and in the 1797 edition is needed before a proper assessment can be undertaken. Equally, the orthography and dialect of Poems 4-6 need to be evaluated against the texts found in the main sources for these poems.
Edition Second edition. There is evidence for a distinct printing of this second edition, dated 1833: see Maclean, Typographia, p. 169. Lothian’s work was originally published in 1797, in a volume of 21 pages which contained the first three poems found in the 1834 edition. The 1833 edition was entitled Connsachadh Eadar am Papa agus an Reformation, and its subtitle continued: maille ri Sean fhocail gheur agus comhadan, \ Agus mòran de chomhairlibh glice; \ ’S ma shaoileas tu gu bheil iad feumail \ Cuimhnich an leughadh ni ’s trice.’ It states that these two poems were by Donncha Loudin. This leaves a question as to whether the third poem, Deoch an Doruis, which is not mentioned on the title page, was also by Lothian.

Since the text of the 1834 edition was materially revised, editors should check the 1797 edition and use it for excerpting from Poems 1-3 wherever appropriate. Editors should also use the earliest published versions of Poems 4-6 in the first instance, except insofar as a reading in this volume may possess lexicographical value in its own right.
Other Sources
Further Reading Cameron, Paul, ‘Perthshire Gaelic Songs’, TGSI, 18 (1891-92), 340-62.
Maclean, Donald, Typographia Scoto-Gadelica (Edinburgh, 1915: J. Grant).
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