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Metadata for text 82
No. words in text3857
Title Dan Spioradail le Domhnull Cattanach, Sliabh Sgir Ceannghuisich
Author Cattanach, Domhnull
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1885
Date Of Language 1850-1899
Publisher Printed at the “Northern Chronicle” Office
Place Published Inverness
Volume N/A
Location National Library of Scotland
Link Digital version created by National Library of Scotland
Download File PDF / plain text 
Geographical Origins Badenoch
Register Religion, Verse
Alternative Author Name Cattanach, Donald
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 17.5cm x 12cm (bound in card 20cm x 12.5cm)
Short Title Dan Spioradail
Reference Details NLS: 1948.63(30)
Number Of Pages 11
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Donald Cattanach was born in Kingussie in 1813. He died in 1891. In that same year, shortly after his death, a 16-page allegory, composed by Cattanach and entitled Eachdraidh air Bail-’an-Righ a bha Fo Riaghladh nan Ceard a bhi air a Ghlacadh agus air a Ghlanadh, was published. Some years later, the four poems first published in 1885 were reprinted in Laoidhean Spioradail (Glaschu 1899), along with the works of Donald Matheson and Joseph MacKay. Cattanach’s four poems were later re-edited by Rev. Donald Mackinnon and re-published around 1948 (according to the Gaelic Union Catalogue) under the title Bardachd Dhomhnaill Chatanaich.

Neil Cameron states in the Roimh-radh to the 1899 edition that Cattanach was ‘cho aithnichte mar dhuine bha urramach ann am beatha na diadhachd, cho neo-chumanta thaobh na’m buadhan intinn a bhuilich an Tighearna air, agus cho soilleir na thuigse air teagasg focail Dhé ’us a bha ann an Gaeltachd na h-Alban na latha. Cha bhiodh e feumail moran a radh mu chliu a tha fathast ùr am measg an t-sluaigh. Bha an duine urramach so do luchd-aitichidh Bhadenoch ann an sioramachd Inbhirnis, far an robh e na fhear-ceasnachaidh. Chriochnaich e obair fo’n ghrein ann an Newtonmore anns a bhliadhna 1891, air dha bhi tiomchull ceithir fichead bliadhna a dh’aois’ (1899 edition, p. iv).
Contents This volume contains four poems by Donald Cattanach. There is no introduction.

Briseadh an Aithne (pp. 3-4) comprises 15 four-line stanzas. This poem tells the story of Adam and Eve and of Jesus, from the Nativity to the Resurrection.

An Fhasaich (pp. 5-7) comprises 15 four-line stanzas. This poem is on an Old Testament theme. It begins, ‘Mo thruaighe mo clarsaich bhi ’n aird an crochadh, \ Air geugaibh seilich na ’n crann, \ Laimh ri uisgeachan Mharah, ’s am bas alr [sic, for air] m’anam, \ Nach urra mi ’n t’ oran ud a sheinn’ (p. 7).

Na Geugaibh Seilich (pp. 7-9) comprises 20 four-line stanzas. Another poem on an Old Testament theme: ‘Cha robh iad ach na tri laithean innte \ ’Nuair gu uisgeachan Mharah a thainig iad; \ ’S ge’d a bha’n cridhe paideach, cha ghabh’t ol diubh, \ ’S cha robh’n so ach toiseachadh fasaich sgith’ (p. 7).

An Duthaich Is Fearr (pp. 9-11) comprises 20 four-line stanzas. In this poem, the author extols the joys of heaven. It begins, ‘Tha’n duthaich is fearr air taobh thall a bhais, \ An duthaich neamhuidh, mar tha’n fhirinn aig radh, \ A gheall Dia do Abraham, le cumhnant grais, \ Gu’m biodh a shliochd ga aiteach mar oighreachd gu brach’ (p. 9).
Sources
Language The language of these poems is typical of religious poetry of the nineteenth century. A number of devotional and biblical terms are used. For example, in the first poem we find ‘Le mnaoi na maighdean rugadh e, gu’n athair riamh air talamh aig. \ Immanuel, Dia maille ruinn chaidh ghin bho’n Spiorad Naomh, \ Fodh a lagh mar chumhnant rinneadh e ’n ait na thug n’ t-Athar dha, \ Chum bhi na eadar mheadhonair troimh fhulangas a bhais’ (p. 4), and ‘Thubhairt Maois ris na h-Aithrichean, gu’n rachadh faidh thogail doibh \ Dhe’m braithrean fein a theagaisgeadh, le cumhachd focal De, \ Do Dhaibhidh thug e toileachas ’s be cainnt a laithean deireanach \ Gu’m biodh a mhac sa Tighearna gu brach na Righ na aite’ (p. 4). In poem III we find ‘Bha saighdean teinnteach ga’n tilgeadh innte, \ Mar bhioruibh geur-adh a lot an cridh; \ ’S smuaintean aicheadh air bith an Ard-Righ, \ A teachd bho Shatan gu’m fagail sgith’ (p. 5).
Orthography The orthography is in general characteristic of the mid-to-late nineteenth century. No accents are used.
Edition This edition is stitched and bound in brown card. This edition was published within the author’s lifetime and appears to be the earliest published edition. However, a handwritten note on the cover of the NLS copy of Bardachd Dhomhnaill Chatanaich states that it was reprinted from the F.C. Record. Another handwritten note explains that this was the Free Church Record, but does not state the date or the edition in which it was published. It is unclear whether this refers to the Free Church Monthly and Missionary Record, which was in print between 1862 and 1900. It should be noted that the NLS online catalogue lists the title of this volume as Dain Spioradail rather than Dan Spioradail.

The orthography of the 1899 edition is almost the same as that of the 1885 edition. The orthography was substantially modernised for the 1948 edition, and there are some significant textual discrepancies between this edition and the earlier ones. For example, Le neo-chaochluidheachd a chomhairle deanamh laidir an earbs (this edition, p. 9) becomes Le a chomhairl’ gun chaochladh a’ neartach’ an earbs’ (1948 edition, p. 11). Since these poems may have been published in a Free Church periodical during their author’s lifetime (see above), it is possible that these readings go back to the author. However, it is more likely that the changes were made by the editor of the 1948 edition, Rev. Donald Mackinnon.

Interestingly, the title of each of the poems has undergone some change between the three editions. For example, the first poem in this edition, Briseadh an Aithne (1885), becomes Briseadh na h-Aithne (1889) and then An dà Cheann Cùmhnanta no Adhamh is an Dara h-Adhamh (1948). Similarly, Na Geugaibh Seilich (1885 and 1899) becomes Na Geugan Silich (1948); An Fhasaich (1885) becomes Am Fasach (1899) and An Fhàsach (1948); and An Duthaich is Fearr (1885 and 1899) becomes An Dùthaich as Fearr (1948).
Other Sources
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