verse beg. Fír uisci / maith a ciall, maith a tuigsi

  • Irish
  • verse
Irish poem attributed to Colum Cille, on precepts for (monastic?) life. According to Flower, it contrasts clerics past and present.
First words (verse)
  • Fír uisci / maith a ciall, maith a tuigsi
Ascribed to: Colum Cille
Colum Cille
(fl. 6th century)
founder and abbot of Iona, Kells (Cenandas) and Derry (Daire).

See more
f. 62(119)ra–rb
rubric: ‘Colum Cille cc’
beg. ‘Fíruisci maith a ciall, maith a tuigsi,’

33 qq. Here a further attribution to Colum Cille is found in an additional final quatrain (Is me Colum Cilli cáidh).

f. 41v
beg. ‘Fir uisgae sin fir uisci’
31 qq.
f. 16v
beg. ‘Fir uisgi / maith a ciall maith a tuicsi’
31 qq.
ff. 26v.11–27v.19
beg. ‘Fir usgi maith a ciald mait a tusci’
31 qq.
  • Irish
verse (primary)
Number of stanzas: 31 qq.



Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

Edition wanted
Translation wanted

Secondary sources (select)

OʼSullivan, Anne, and Pádraig Ó Riain [eds.], Poems on Marcher Lords: from a sixteenth-century Tipperary manuscript, Irish Texts Society, 53, London: Irish Texts Society, 1987.

“It praises the simple virtues of the early Irish saints, regretting the new interest in Latin learning and stressing the church’s duty of hospitality, particularly to poets and scholars. It is easy to appreciate the popularity of such a poem with the learned classes and their desire to see it included in manuscripts” [in this case, MS Additional 33993].

Flower, Robin, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the [British Library, formerly the] British Museum, vol. 2, London: British Museum, 1926.
– IIIF Presentation API v2: View in Mirador – IIIF Presentation API v3: View in Mirador
493, item 75
Smith, John, The Life of St. Columba: the apostle and patron saint of the ancient Scots and Picts, and joint patron of the Irish, Edinburgh: Printed for Mundell & son, and J. Mundell, College, Glasgow, 1798.
Internet Archive: <link>

Brief note on Fioruisge maith a ciall a tuigse, citing Colgan., p. 472.

Colgan, John, Triadis Thaumaturgæ seu divorum Patricii, Columbæ et Brigidæ, trium veteris et maioris Scotiæ, seu Hiberniæ sanctorum insulae communium patronorum acta, Louvain: apud Cornelium Coenestenium, 1647.  
comments: The title page reads in full (normalised spellng): Triadis Thaumaturgæ, seu divorum Patricii, Columbæ, et Brigidæ, trium veteris et majoris Scotiæ, seu Hiberniæ, Sanctorum insulæ, communium patronorum acta, a variis, iisque pervetustis ac Sanctis, authoribus Scripta, ac studio R.P.F. Joannis Colgani, in conventu F.F. Minor. Hibernor, Stritior, Observ., Lovanii, S. Theologiæ Lectoris Jubilati, ex variis bibliothecis collecta, scholiis et commentariis illustrata, et pluribus appendicibus aucta; complectitur tomus secundus sacrarum ejusdem insulæ antiquitatum, nunc primum in lucem prodiens.
Digital.onb.ac.at: <link> Google Books: <link>, <link>
472, item 14
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
December 2022, last updated: June 2023