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Book of the Dean of Lismore

A collection of poems in Gaelic compiled by James MacGregor, Dean of Lismore in Argyll, and his brother Duncan, who also contributed five poems of his own creation. The verse falls into three  parts: bardic /panegyric/ formal; occasional/miscellaneous/informal,      and heroic poetry from the Ossianic cycle common to both Scotland and Ireland. Although the phonetic method of transcription led to the mutilation of several of the works, the Book of the Dean of Lismore is a rich source of Gaelic verse before 1500 and its rediscovery in the middle of the 18th century proved the range and catholicity of early Scottish Gaelic bardic verse. Of the 88 poems in the first group the subject matter ranges from praise poems, laments, satires, clan poetry and love songs to poems commenting on contemporary society. They were composed from the early 14th century to the time of the compilation of the book (between 1512 and 1526), mainly by professional bards but also by clan chiefs and others such as Finlay, chief of Clan MacNab, and Isabella, Countess of Argyll.

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