Reference Number287
TitleCreag Hastain
AuthorMacleod, Kenneth
Date Of Edition1913
Date Of LanguageEarly 20th c.
Date Of Language Ed1900-1949
DateMacroEarly 20th c.
Date Of Language Notes[Note added 16/4/18:] It is likely that this poem was created in the early 20th century, possibly by the well-known minister, the Rev Dr Kenneth MacLeod (1871-1955), from Eigg. Creag Hàstain is in the west of North Uist, near to Baile Mòr and Pabail. Kenneth MacLeod served at one point as a lay missionary in Carinish in North Uist (see: Fasti ecclesiae scoticane, Vol. 4 (1915), p. 69. However, there is not enough information to confirm this and it should be verified that the poem wasn't composed by a local North Uist bàrd.
PublisherAlexander MacDougall
Place PublishedGlasgow
LocationNational and academic libraries
Geographical OriginsEigg
Geographical Origins EdArgyll
GeoMacroSkye, Raasay and Small Isles
Geographical Origins Notes
RegisterLiterature, Verse
Register EdLiterature, Verse
RatingB (TBC)
An unusual poem composed by Kenneth MacLeod in praise of Creag Hastain, Paible, North Uist.
Alternative Author NameAn t-Urr. Coinneach MacLeòid
Manuscript Or EditionEd.
Size And Condition23.7cm x 14.9cm [outside cover]; 21.7cm x 13.2cm [inside cover]
Short TitleCreag Hastain
Reference DetailsNLS: 1935.13
Number Of Pages8
Gaelic Text ByN/A
Social ContextFor more information about the author, see Text 48.
ContentsThe poem, which is unpaginated, appears between slightly larger covers. The Gaelic poem covering 2 pages, consisting of 10 verses, is followed directly by a rather loose English translation (presumably also by the author), also covering 2 pages. On the front cover is displayed a photograph of Creag Hastain by Erskine Beveridge. There is then a brief outline of this famous rock by the author as follows: ‘Creag Hastain is a rocky dune in the district of Paible, North Uist, where open-air services were held for many years by members of the Free Church of Scotland, after the disruption of 1843. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was regularly administered once a year at this place, the occasion attracting very large congregations of all Presbyterian denominations. These verses, in which an attempt is made by Kenneth MacLeod to recall and perpetuate the sentimental and sacred associations connected with “The Rock”, are dedicated to past worshippers and their descendants. An interesting note is appended to the rear cover as follows: ‘Sent to me, at Killearnan, by Dr. Ken. Macleod, son of the late Rev. Norman Macleod, Free Church Minister of North Uist, Nov. 19. 1913.’
LanguageGiven the subject-matter, the text is influenced by a religious register but is also clearly influenced by traditional praise poetry, and especially of nature and its place in religious worship. The verse is heightened to a fairly high degree in which the poet skilfully enthuses about Creag Hastain as being one of nature’s beauty spots created by God. The last verse may be given as an example: ‘Mairidh Creag Hastain anns an tìr / Mar thiomnadh nan daoine fìor, / Is canaidh clan o linn gu linn, / So ionad Dhé. / Mar charragh seasaidh i fa leth / Gus’n ruisg an saoghal là mòr a bhreith, / ’N uair loisgear suas le teine teth/an cruinne-cé.’ (p. 2).
It may be noted that preference is given to an apostrophe rather than a hyphen in such words as an t’saoghail (p. 1), n’ aithrich’ (p. 2), t’seana (p. 2), na h’ùir (p. 2), t’sluaigh (p. 2), t’sàcramaid (p. 2). Occasionally the passive voice appears, such as thogt’ (p. 1), Cha chualas (p. 1), Chitear (p. 1). Apostrophes are retained in the possessive determiner, e.g. ’na shuain (p. 1), ’N an suidhe (p. 2). There is a tendency for caduceus is some spellings, e.g. daoin’ (p. 1), carraig’ (p. 1), ghlinn’ (p. 1), cloich’ (p. 1), crois’ (p. 1), féisd’ (p. 2), chéil’ (p. 2). There are a number of examples of the dative plural such as innleachdaibh (p. 1), linntibh (p. 1), laoidhibh (p. 2). Other spellings of note are Cha’n (p. 1), so (p. 1), Tre (p. 1), tigh (p. 2), féin (p. 2).

The language reflects the Gaelic dialect of Eigg, Argyll.
OrthographyThe spelling conforms generally to the orthography of early twentieth century. Acute and grave accents are both retained. Accents do not appear on capital letters.
EditionFirst edition.
Other Sources
Further ReadingBlack, Ronald I. M. (ed.), An Tuil: Anthology of 20th Century Scottish Gaelic Verse (Edinburgh, 2002: Birlinn), 44-45, 720-22.
MacDhonnchaidh, Aonghas, ‘B’ Aithne Dhomh Coinneach MacLeòid’, Gairm, àir. 19 (An t-Earrach, 1957), 257-61.
MacGilleSheathanaich, ‘Coinneach MacLeòid’, Gairm, àir 13 (Am Foghair, 1955), 81-83.
MacGregor, Alasdair Alpin, ‘Poet of the Hebrides’, Scotland’s Magazine, vol. 57, no. 6 (Jun., 1961), 30-33.
Murchison, Rev. Thomas M. (ed.), Sgrìobhaidhean Choinnich MhicLeòid / The Gaelic Prose Writings of Kenneth MacLeod, The Scottish Gaelic Texts Society, vol.16 (Edinburgh, 1988: Scottish Academic Press).
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