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Saturday, 15 November 2008

Dugald Buchanan Perthshire Scotland

Dugald Buchanan, (1716—68). Poet. He was a native of Ardoch in Strathyre, Perthshire. His education at the parish school was rudimentary and at the age of 14 he left Strathyre to live in Stirling and then in Edinburgh, where he remained until he was 18. He was then apprenticed to a carpenter and after marrying he returned to his native parish, but his new occupation offered little inner satisfaction. During this period the religious manifestations that had haunted him as a child became an obsession, and his diary, kept between 1741 and 1750, contains frightening descriptions of his spiritual struggles between good and evil. He became a travelling teacher and his work as an evangelist led to his being licensed as a preacher in 1753. He assisted with the publication of the first edition of the Gaelic New Testament and his own poems were published in 1767, a year before his death from fever in Kinloch Rannoch. All Buchanan's poems and songs reflect his fascination for subjects religious and moral, and his long poem La a Bhreitheanais ('The Day of Judgement') is preoccupied with the origin of evil and with the terrors that face the damned. There is little of the milk of human kindness or the balm of God's mercy in the poem, which is, nevertheless, made vivid and alive by Bochanan's lovingly described vision of the torments of the souls in hell. His songs, though didactic, offer a more contented view of the human condition and advocate a personal morality which eschews avarice and ambition and turns instead to the precepts of the scriptures.

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