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±1x1. Introduction.
What is perhaps our earliest specimen of stressed
metre is a strophic iorram, entitled traditionally
Caismeachd Ailean nan Sop,^ and dating, if the
iraditian is correct, to well before 1550. It begins : —
Is mithich dhùinne mar bhun imihlachd
dàn bùrdain a chasgairt dhuit,
A fhleasgaich bhrìoghmhoir fhHuchas pbsan
le d' dhibh phrìseil nearfmhoraich.
The first strophe consists of a double-stressed w-phrase
thrice repeated, with its final stress penultimate,
followed by an a-phrase of three syllables Avith ante-
penultimate stress, represented shortly —
3 (is mithich dhùinne) chàsgairt dhuit.
The second strophe is exactly similar, except that its
distinctive vowel is i, and so on.^
A hymn by MacCulloch of Park, near Strathpeffer,
who died about 1600, shows similar structure —
lo'sa molaìm an crann toraidh
tha 'ga fhwran fèin gach lò
Air gach dwine bheir dha urram
bhios gu soflleir cinnteach dhò.^
4'epresented as
3 (lòsa mòlaim) fèin gach lò,
3 (àir gach dùine) cinnteach dhò.
Similarly in a hymn by Alexander Munro, teacher
in Strathnaver, who died before 22nd December, 1653 —
Claon toil m' fheòla mo bhaoithe is m' òige
an saoghal fòs 's na dea^ihna
Strì gu calms, sìor chlaoidh m' anma.
chaoidh gu damnadh sforruidh.*
^aacl, IV., 76; Gaelic Bards, 1411-1715.
2 By a />-phrase, ò-phrase, etc, is meant a phrase whose final
stressed vowel is // or à, etc.
3 Beliqulce Cdti<ye, II., 12. i (7;., 20.

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