>> Úaraib am gerr.
>> Úaraib am báeth.
>> Úaraib am fotae.
>> Úaraib am gáeth.
>> Acht am ferr,
>> rád nád cerr,
>> os mé gerr.
>> Cía messe?
> Sometimes I'm short,
> Sometimes I'm silly.
> Sometimes I'm long.
> Sometimes I'm wise.
> But I'm better,
> It's not wrong to say,
> When I'm short.
> Who am I?
> Oráit nó sermóin?
You're on the right track. Note, however, that "oráit" meant
"prayer" in OI. It's use to mean "oration" comes much later.
> (I tried to find an Old Irish word that corresponded to English
> "speech" or "oration." Several Old Irish words including --
> came up in the Dúil Bélrai when I put "speech/discourse/talk" into the
> search engine but I'm not sure any of these carries the meaning of a
> speech as given by a politician, teacher, or preacher.)
The traditional solution is word that has to do with speaking,
but doesn't focus on formal discourse. It's "insce", which
is defined as "saying" and "statement" in the on-line dictionary
(as well as grammatical "gender"; interestingly, Modern Irish
has both "insce" as a literary word meaning "speech, utterance",
and the by-form "inscne" meaning "gender"). Consider these
Trí búada insci: fosta, gáis, gairde. (Triads, #177)
Three virtues of speech: steadiness, wisdom, brevity.
"Cid as dech indsci?" ol Find.
"Gaes, gairde," ol in ingen. ("Tochmarc Ailbe", §10)
"What is the best of speech?" said Finn.
"Wisdom, brevity," said the girl.
From a modern source, the song "Seanchas" on the Clannad
album "Lore", we get the same advice in other words:
An seanchas gearr, an seanchas is fearr
An scéal is giorra is milse i mbéal
An chuid is lú an chuid is fearr
Focal nó dhó má thaithníonn lig dó