Towards Alba of the Ravens

This is a poem of Columkille’s, or at least ascribed to him. It is in very irregular metre, or rather changes its metre several times. The literal translation of the first few verses is as follows:– Delightful to be on Ben Edar (the Hill of Howth) before going over the sea, white, white; the dashing […]

I Stretch My Eye Across the Brine

198. Then Columcille and his household departed from Erin, and this is the number they were: twenty bishops, two score priests, thirty deacons, and two score sons of learning that had not yet the rank of priest or deacon, as the poet, even Dallan Forgaill, hath said in this quatrain: Forty priests their number. Twenty […]

I Would Not Speak Falsehood

On a time that Columcille was in Alba, he sent holy Baithin on certain errands to Aedan son of Gabhran. Aedan inquired of him who that man was, to wit, Columcille, of the which the folk of the Western World gave such great report. “He is a good man,” saith Baithin, “for he hath not […]

An Untimely Death

The Annals of the Four Masters record the dies natalis of St. Columba in the year 592, cheating the blessed man out of five whole years of his earthly life (though I am certain from my study of St. Adomnán’s Vita Columbæ that Columba would have been more than happy to give them up). St. Columba died […]

The Dove Is Flown to Scotland

As a result of the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne referred to in the last post, St. Columba was exiled to Alba where he established himself at Hy, the Iouan Isle, now called Iona. * * * Colum Cille went to Scotland, where he afterwards founded a church, which was named from him. — Annals of the […]

Glamis Manse Stone

The Glamis Manse Stone, also known as Glamis 2, is a Class II Pictish stone at the village of Glamis, Angus, Scotland. Dating from the IX Century, it is located outside the Manse, close to the parish church. It is inscribed on one side with a Celtic cross and on the other with a variety of Pictish symbols. The stone is a cross-slab 9 ft. 1 in. high, 4 ft. […]