I have now finally plucked up the courage to have a go at trying to
translate stanza 8.
Below is a copy of my earlier transcription (once the problem of the
elongated ‘s’ was cleared up), and then an amended version together with
a tentative translation.
8. Ma ar n-eólus uaidh féin
fios na n-ôg sna n-aos
go naoi so naoi anuas
inur do fhaoi gac[h] aos
uaidh do•gheabh do grés
fer gACH bhuain re baos.
8. NEW VERSION
(a) Maar (n-)eólus úaidh féin
(b) fios na n-ôg ’s na naos
(c) go naoi ’s ó naoi anûas
(d) mûr do fhaoi gac[h] áo[i]s
(e) uaidh do•gheabh do grés
(f) fer gACH b(h)ûain re bao[i]s.
Great [is] learning of itself
the knowledge of precedents and of traditions
[handed on] to [one] person and from [that] person down.
[It is] a wall for the twilight of each age.
By it a man attains perpetually
every harvest in the face of foolishness.
Line (b): ‘fis óg’ is the standard etymological gloss on ‘fásach’
(precedent). And I treat ‘naos’ as gen. pl. of ‘noes’.
Line (c): ‘noe’ (person); and see DIL A 359.3 for ‘ó … anúas’.
Line (d): I have relied on Dineen for ‘faoi’ (twilight). Dineen in turn
relies on O’Donovan’s supplement to O’Reilly’s dictionary. I suspect
someone else will have a more convincing reading.
Line (e): ‘do-gheibh’ is a later form of ‘fo-gaib’.
One major problem is that my amendments to the final words in lines (d)
and (f) undermine the rhyme scheme (because they alter the quality of
the final consonants form broad to slender). [If the second 'na' in line
(b) could be treated as an extension of the fem. gen. sg. article to a
masc. noun (reading 'noes' as an o stem, or treating the headword as
'nós'), then we could extend the slender final consonant to it as well
('nao[i]s'). While that would cover off all our rhyming lines, we would
still have the problem of lines (c) and (e), which are meant to agree
with the rhyming lines in the quantity of their vowels and the quality
of their final consonants.]