The Gaelic Bards from 1411 TO 1517
By The Rev. A. Maclean Sinclair


PREFACE

THIS WORK is especially intended for Gaelic-speaking Canadians. Some of them, it is true, take very little interest in the past; they forget or ignore their obligations to it. But others are of a nobler stamp. They work hard to make a comfortable living for themselves; still they find some leisure hours for reading the poetry, legends, traditions, and history of their ancestors. They are Canadians by birth and are thoroughly loyal to their own country; but they are Kelts by blood, and are not ashamed of the poetic, warm-hearted, and warlike people from whom they have sprung. The Old Highlanders had faults, but they were men.

I have in this work given specimens of the compositions of the best known poets and song-writers of the Gaeldom of Scotland from 1411 to 1513, or from the Battle of Harlaw to the Battle of Sheriffmuir. I have also given a brief account of every author respecting whom it was possible for me to obtain any information. I have added glossaries and explanatory notes, which I trust may be useful in making the poems intelligible. I have not given as many poems as I would like to have given, and for the very good reason that I could not afford to pay for a larger work.

I have departed to some extent from the common orthography. I am very far, however, from thinking that the mode of spelling I have adopted is free from faults. Still I do not suppose that it can, as a mere experiment, do any harm.

I have prepared the first fifteen pages of the Introduction for the benefit of English readers who speak Gaelic and would like to be able to read it. I feel confident that any person of ordinary intelligence who can read English and speak Gaelic can, if he will only try, learn to read Gaelic in a very few hours.

Several of the poems in this work are from Dr. Maclean's MS. I feel convinced that it would be useful, especially for philological purposes, to publish that MS. verbatim et literatim. I shall be glad to hand it over to any person or persons who
will agree to do so.

The printers of this work do not understand a word of Gaelic. I live twenty miles from Charlottetown, and it was inconvenient to send me proofs more than once. In consequence of these facts there are a few typographical errors. Fortunately, however, they are not of very much importance. They can cause no difficulty to any reader.

A. Maclean Sinclair.
Belfast, Prince Edward Island,
October 28th, 1890.

You can download The Gaelic Bards here


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