7 syllables each line, except the 3rd line of 47. I suspect that 'is as' was
pronounced like 's as' giving one syllable. I see aicill at Bríain/C[h]ían,
slóg/ól, cniocht/bliocht, síth/fír. I put alliteration into capitals.
I thought 'mac' was stressed in the first line of 47 because it was at the
beginning of the name. It seems to me that 'mac' gets stressed when it is at
the start of a name (like Mac Murchú). But in a name like 'Liam MacMurchú' I
hear the stress on 'Liam' and 'Mur' while the 'mac' recedes into the
The abbreviation 'Samh.' at the end probably stands for 'samhoin' which
repeats the first word of the poem. I doubt the word was pronounced when
the poem was recited.
Gerard Murphy says "..if a poem begins with the name Dondchad it may
be concluded: (a) by a weak type of dúnad...in which the first consonant and
vowel (do) of the first syllable of Dondchad form the last syllable of the last
line of the poem, (b) by a stronger type of dúnad....in which the whole first
syllable (dond) forms the last syllable of the last line...(c) by a still more
excellent type of dúnad...in which the whole opening word Dondchad is
repeated as the last word of the last line."
Since the poem here ends in 'samh' I think we are looking at type b, which
Murphy calls " 'ascnam' approach".
As far as a summary, Neil McLeod did that at the beginning when he told us
there is a pattern of aicill and internal alliteration. The type of poem is called
Rannaigecht Dialtach or Rannaigecht Mór which refers to lines of 7 syllables
which end in a one-syllable word. It was very common.
>45. Ō beltaine don TAOIBH TES
>rachad go Brīan na nderc glan,
>ag Murc[h]adh fa n-īadand slōg
>bet ag ól no go ttī samh.
>46. Mo chīos ó Mhurchad mac Brīain,
>ō C[H]ONAING, ō C[H]ÎAN romc[h]ar,
>trī cēd UINGE d’ÔR nīr cniocht,
>trī cét BÔ BLIOCHT gacha samh.
>47. MÊ MAC Līag do chengladh síth,
>ollamh Brīain, is as fír damh,
>is as LEM LEATHGÔALA mo rígh
>ō s˙amoin no go ttī samh. Sam.