>> A deg (?) ruithnecht am bulg dubh.
>> ni fudhan ni don min gil.
>> ciasa teimhen mo comainm.
>> is geal mo toigairm for nim.
>> Its fine shine in a dark bag
>> is of no use to the bright flour;
>> although my name is obscure
>> my summons to heaven is bright.
> It sounds like a conflation of Biblical images: the candle
> hidden under a basket (of no use for lighting the house)...
Hmmm, yes. And the contrasting second half reminds me of
the injunction to deal with heaven in private, out of view,
in obscurity ("faoi choim"):
Ach tusa, nuair a bhíonn tú chun guí, téigh isteach i do
sheomra, dún an doras ort féin, agus guigh chun d'Athar
atá ansiúd faoi choim. Feiceann d'Athair an beart faoi
choim agus cúiteoidh sé leat. Matha 6:6
That on top of the earlier promises in the Beatitudes to
the "meek" and the "pure in heart" and you can see where
our man might be coming from. But I think the sense of
humility or disability coming from not having a prominent
name/family to boast of is typically medieval Irish.
I suppose McCone would say the quatrain is squarely a
product of the "Christian Present", while Dillon might
look for its sensibility in the "Pagan Past".