Aindrias Mac Craith

LifeWorksCriticismCommentaryQuotationsReferencesNotes

Life
?1708-1795 [anglice Andrew Magrath; “An Mangaire Súgach / The Merry Pedlar”)]; b prob. nr. Kilmallock, Co. Limerick; schoolteacher and leading member of Maigue school of poets with Seán Ó Tuama [“An Ghrinn”]; ‘Slán is ceád ón dtaobh so uaim’, addressed to Ó Tuama bids farewell to the Croom locality which he had to leave on account of a sexual indiscretion, 1738;
 
A dhatta dhil’ concerns an attempt to join the Church of Ireland, ending in rejection on account of his drinking songs; thereafter driven from Croom by the Catholic parish priest, reacting with the plaintiff ‘Is fánach faon mé is fraochmhar fuar’; in 1745 he wrote ‘Tá Pruise agus Poland fós ar mearathall’, an overtly Jacobite poem; ‘Is fada fá smúit gan inscailt Phoebus’ is an elegy for Ó Tuama, 1775;
 
in ‘Is tréith mé, is feas’s is fann’ he expresses mocking regrets for a wastrel existence; ‘Cá háit, cia hé, cá taobh’n-ar ghluais’ is a late poem on the rootlessnes of the poet; prob. d. at Kilmallock, where he settled after the death of his friends; called by Hardiman ‘a jovial, amatory, and political nature, which are current and popular chiefly in province of Munster’. CAB DIW DIB OCIL

[ top ]

Works
An tAth. Ó Duinnín, ed., Filídhe na Máighe (1906); Eigse na Máighe (1906), and Do. [reiss. edn.] with prefatory essay by Daniel Corkery (1952).

[ top ]

Quotations
A Canticle”: ‘Too long have the churls in dark bondage oppressed me ... But Phelim and Heber, whose children betrayed it, / The land shall relume with the light of their fame. / The fleet is prepared, proud Charles is commanding ... the Gael like a tempest shall burst on the foe. // The bards shall exult, the harp string shall tremble / And love and devotion be poured in the strain; / ’Ere Samhain our chiefs shall in Temor assemble / The Lion protect our own pastors again. // The Gael shall redeem every shrine’s desecration / In song shall exhale our warm hearts’ adoration / Confusion shall light on the foes’ usurpation, / And Erin shine out yet triumphant and free ... Your Charles is at hand ... The treaty they broke ... in loyalty blending ... Rush on like a tempest and scatter the foe!’ (Hardiman trans., reprint in A Cabinet of Irish Literature.)

[ top ]

References
Charles Read, ed., A Cabinet of Irish Literature (3 vols., 1876-78), cites bio-dates ?1723-?1790; b. Limerick, known as ‘Mangaire Sugach’ [here trans. ‘mixture of drollery’, err.]; selects “Canticle of Deliverance”, “Ol Dah - Song to Drink” [in Irish only], and “A Fragment - Bloghadh” [Irish and English; deemedf esp. popular in Munster]; a witty, high-spirited, author of a mass of songs of ‘a jovial, amatory, and political nature, which are current and popular chiefly in province of Munster’ [acc. Hardiman, and further:] ‘[...] as a poet he not only excelled the mob of English gentlemen who wrote with ease, but also many of those whom Dr Johnson has designated English poets. His habits and writings resembled those of Prior. Like him, Magrath delighted in mean company. His life was irregular, negligent, and sensual. He tried all styles from the grotesque to the solemn, and has not so failed in any as to incur derision or disgrace.’ Read remarks that the second two poems selected here have not previously been translated, the first presumably being from Hardiman’s collection.

[ top ]