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MS G 50 (The Poems of Blathmac)

Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in National Library of Ireland

G 50

Amra Choluim Chille; Amra Senáin; Devotional Verse

17th cent. Paper. 20.5 + 15 cms. Pp. 142. The scribe who is unidentified writes in a good hand. Edw. O'Reilly, in whose possession this ms. was - no. 14 in his collection - states in his catalogue (R.I.A. 23 H 1 written 1825) that "it appears to be written 150 years." Many of the ms. leaves show partial watermarks. How the manuscript came into Edward O'Reilly's possession is not at present clear, but it may well have been one of a group of mss. which he acquired or borrowed from one John O'Clery (See E. O'Curry's ms. catalogue of the mss. in the Academy Collection, First Series, Vol. ii, p. 477, dated 1846). This John O'Clery was, according to O'Curry, the direct descendant of Peregrine O'Clery, one of the Four Masters. At that date (i.e. 1846) John O'Clery, then sixty-seven years old, held a humble situation in the gas works on the Ringsend road.

The first leaf (pp. 1-2), now fragmentary, is badly stained on the recto as is the outer margin of p. 3. The outer margins of pp. 4-10 are also stained, but the staining does not affect the legibility of the text in these pages. What is now the last leaf (pp. 141-42) is badly stained on the verso. Following p. 142 is a fragment of an unnumbered leaf which contained some of the remaining quatrains of the poem beginning on p. 133. The rest of the ms. is in good condition. The pagination appears to be modern (O'Reilly's?). The number 33 with a line drawn through it appears on the top of p. 3. For account of items in this ms. see J. Carney, Ériu, xviii, pp. 1-4.

The ms. is bound in boards the binder inserting three blank leaves after the front cover and three before the back cover. The date 1821 appears in the watermark of these blank leaves. On the recto of the first of these leaves O'Reilly (?) has written the following in pencil: Dallan Forgaill's Poems 1 Amhra Coluim Cille, 2 Amhra Seonan or Elegies on St. Columb & St. Senan. O'Reilly's bookplate is affixed on the verso of the third fly-leaf and under which is written Phillipps Ms. 10276. The relevant excerpt from O'Reilly's Sale Cat. is pasted on the outside of the front cover.


1 [Amra Choluim Chille]. The first leaf, now fragmentary and badly stained on the recto (p. 1), contained the beginning of the Commentary (cf. Eg. 1782, fol. 1, col. 1). The verso (p. 2) contained 9 qq. of the poem beg. "Aodh mac Ainmerech na neall" (the first quat. was presumably at the end of p. 1. Cf. Eg. fol. 1, col. 1). P. 3 (of which the outer margin is badly stained) begins here ⁊ ar rochtain richidh do Dallan correponding more or less with Eg. fol. 1, col. 2, 4th line from the end. The remainder of the Commentary is well preserved here and ends on p. 24 followed by the Introductory Prayer Dia dia doroghus. The Introduction to the Amra proper Locc don ealadhuinse beg. on p. 36, and the Amra proper Ni dissceoil d'Ui Nell beg. on p. 39 and ends p. 105 l.12. With the exception of the first leaf this version of the Amra is complete and appears to be closer to Eg. and to Stowe than to the published versions (see Stokes, Rev. Celt. xx, p. 30 for complete list). The Commentary and scholia in this version are in some places fuller than those in the Eg. and Stowe copies.

105, l13 Adamnán or Baoithfn. Headed Catbarr annso no hymon no ortho ro chan Adomnan mac Ronain maic Tinne no comadh e Baoithin mac Brenoinn maic Fearghosa maic Conaill Ghulban do neth an cathbarr so sios dano. Beg. Coloim Cille co Dia domerail i tias ni mostias. Ends p. 107, l.20. See ed. (from Rawl. B 502) Grosjean, Rev. des Études Indo-Europ. i. 1938, and ed. (from T.C.D. E.4.2) Bernard and Atkinson, Irish Liber Hymnorum, p. 184, 1898.

107, l.21 Dallán Forgaill. Headed Laoidh imrind innso do rinne Dallan do Coloim C. Beg. Fo reir Choloim cen ad-fias. Ends p. 114, l.2. "This is an archaic glossed poem ... It consists of twenty-five stanzas of alliterative syllabic rhyming verse, but a single line of one quatrain is missing": J. Carney, Ériu xviii, 1.

114 Amra Senáin]. Preface beg. Amhrai Senain maic Geirrcind indso ⁊ ba sruith amhra an ti Senan .i. laithi naon do Senan ina ernaighte and contains 4 qq. beg. (p. 114) Narach gobha gart go ngail not in Stoke's ed. Z.C.P. iii, p. 222 (these quatrains are included in later copies for which see R.I.A. 24 C 29, and 3 B 2). The epilogue in Stokes's ed. (p. 225) is included in the Preface in this copy. The Amra proper beg. (p. 115) Senan soer sidatoir silem. Ends p. 117.

118 Beg. Imbu macan coig bliadhna, 48 qq. The Irish Gospel of Thomas. Ed. From this ms. with translation J. Carney, Ériu, xviii, pp. 10-26.

121 Beg. Mairi mathair an maic bic, 8 qq. (quat. 4 beg. Gein ro genair re mbethaib, which is in a different metre, appears to be instrusive). On the Virgin Mary. Ed. from this ms. with translation J. Carney, Ériu, xviii, pp. 26-29.

122, l.3 Headed Blatmac mac Con Breatan maic Conngosa do Fheroibh Rois di ricchne an duthrachtsa do Mairi ⁊ da Mac. Beg. Tair chucom a Maire boidh, 149 qq. For information on author see J. Carney, Ériu, xviii, pp. 1-3.

133 An Blathmhac cedna. Beg. A Maire a grian ar ccloinne, 127 qq. The last seven quatrains on p. 142 are for the most part illegible owing to staining on the outer half of the page. Following p. 142 is a fragment of an unnumbered leaf the recto of which contains fragments of 12 qq. of this poem, while the verso contains fragments (badly stained) of 7 qq. which may or may not be part of this poem. For information on author see J. Carney, Ériu, xviii, pp. 1-3.