I continue with the last piece of Néide's answer to the question what
art he practices. The text is at:
* Stream of ? (Stokes: science)
.i.aiste_i~da.1_i~mad naêci\s.1 fál got^a cáic^.1 i-is fáil.
.i. aiste imda. nó immad na h-ecsi. nó fál gotha cáich. nó Inis Fáil.
* That means, many metres, or abundance of knowledge, or a hedge of
everyone's voice, or Inis Fáil.
Stokes translates sruth fáil as "stream of science," but apart from a
very late dictionary gloss: fál .i. achmhaing 'ability' (Peter
O'Connell's Irish-English Dictionary), there is no reason whatsoever
to think that fál means "science." Even DIL asserts: "Neither texts
nor glosses furnish sufficient ground for assuming a subst. fál =
learning." (DIL F 36.36)
DIL lists 6 different words fál:
1 fál: "hedge, fence, enclosure" – this word is well established.
2 fál: "king" – weakly attested, and might be metaphorical use of 1.
3 fál: "abundance" – very weakly attested, and the main witness,
O'Clery's gloss fál .i. iomad, could just be a quote from I2T.
4 fál: "science, learning" – very weakly attested (see above).
5 fál: "name of the stone at Temair; name of Ireland" – well
6 fál: "valley" – a Norman loan-word.
Additionally, McCone once mentioned to me that there was a gloss
somewhere that glossed fál as "penis" (i.e. Lia Fáil = penis-stone;
and Fianna Fáil = penis-warriors), but I can't find that.
Thus we only have two well-established OIr. meanings of fál, that is
"hedge" and the name of the stone at Temair. Bearing that in mind, we
could surmise that sruth Fáil could mean "stream of Ireland." But
this does not seem to fit well into the list of Néide's arts.
Obviously the glossator had the same trouble understanding what the
main text says. He gives us four different possible explanations, the
last of which corresponds to what I just proposed. The first three
are all very unclear to me in their relationship to sruth fáil. For
the first two proposals, the glossator apparently took sruth "stream"
standing metaphorically for "abundance."
In translating aiste imda in the gloss as "many metres" I followed
Stokes. The basic meaning of aiste is "characteristic, special
quality, peculiarity," so perhaps aiste imda means "many
In the transcription above I used _ to represent a middle-high
horizontal stroke that links one letter with the next.
* Abundant teaching (Stokes)
.i. foglaim do écsinib.
* That means, learning by students.
This is straightforward.
Aíl Ríg Rii\s Rede
Aíl ríg risi rede
* Request of kings, smooth tidings
.i.isaíl donarigaib nascéla taitne~c^a ui\a~se.
.i. is aíl dona rigaib na scéla taitnemcha uaim-se.
* That means, kings desire the brilliant stories from me.
Best/O'Brien read in both cases of aíl the fada over the a, but it's
very clearly over the i.
The glossator understood the last four words as belonging to one
line, but in fact these could also be two separate lines: áil ríg
"desire of kings," and risi réidi "smooth tales." But let's assume
that his reading is the intended one, then áil ríg "request of kings"
is an apposition to "smooth tales."
OSt3su a~mosR- CIADÁN dognii\su.
Os tussu, a mmo sruith, cia dán do·gni-siu?
* And thou, my wise-man, what art doest thou practice?