Irish Poetry, from the English Invasion to 1798

By Rusell K. Alspach | Go to book overview

5
The Seventeenth Century: Fingal, Forth,
and Bargy

SEVERAL seventeenth-century poems done in the dialect spoken in Fingal and in the baronies of Forth and Bargy have come down to us. The name "Fingal," meaning "the land of the Norseman, or foreigner," was used for the English Pale generally; it referred actually to the coastal land some miles north of Dublin. Fynes Moryson speaks of it thus: "And to the North [from Dublin] lies Fengall, a little Territory, as it were the garner of the Kingdome, which is environed by the Sea and great Rivers, and this situation hath defended it from the incursion of Rebels in former civill warres."107Arthur Young, writing in 1778, defines Fingal as "a territory near Dublin, extending along the coast, inhabited by a people they call Fingallians; an English colony planted here many years ago, speaking nearly the same language as the Barony of Forth, but more intermixed with Irish in language, etc., from vicinity to the capital."108

Both Fingal and the baronies of Forth and Bargy in south county Wexford evidently gave way only in part to the Irish language and customs; hence, the inhabitants of these districts kept largely their own speech. Stanihurst is detailed about it:

To this day [ca. 1577] the dregs of the old ancient Chaucer English are kept as well there [Forth and Bargy] as in Fingal, as they term a spider, an attercop; a wisp, a wad; a lump of bread, a pocket or picket; a sillibuck, a coprous; a faggot, a blease, or a blaze; . . . a physician, a leach; a gap, a shard; a base court or quadrangle, a bawen, or . . . a barton. . . .109
____________________
107
Op. cit., IV, 188-89.
108
Quoted by Hogan, op. cit., p. 39.
109
Holinshed Chronicles, London, 1808, VI, 4.

-37-

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Irish Poetry, from the English Invasion to 1798
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Part I - The Poetry 1
  • Introduction 3
  • 2 - Gaelic or English? 4
  • 3 - From the Invasion to 1400 12
  • 4 - The Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries 26
  • 5 - The Seventeenth Century: Fingal, Forth, and Bargy 37
  • 6 - From 1700 to 1798 49
  • Part II - The Matter of Ireland 57
  • I - Introduction 59
  • 2 - The Beginnings: Campion to Walsh 61
  • 3 - Molyneux, Swift, and Maccurtin 75
  • 4 - Keating and Dermod O'Connor 81
  • 5 - After Keating 95
  • 6 - Some Early Translators of Gaelic Poetry 103
  • 7 - Charlotte Brooke 110
  • 8 - To the Nineteenth Century 122
  • Bibliography 133
  • Index 141
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