> (a) Giolla as groide gart
> (b) giolla as garsa lûth
> (c) d’ fhuil Nêill na Naoi nGiall
> (d) nar laoi cêim ar ccûl
> Giolla whose generosity is promptest,
> Giolla whose vigour is swift.
> If Niall of the Nine Hostages was at hand
> (he would not take a backwards step /
> he has not taken a backwards step).
I think that about wraps it up! A few comments:
I assume "garsa" is a typo for "gasda" = "gasta" = nimble, quick,
alert, skilfull, etc., since it's pretty clear in the MS.
I do favour Micheál's suggestion to read the last line in the past
tense. I'm a bit unclear, however, about the verb which seems to
be "laoi" in the MS. Identifying this as the "3 sg. conjunct
perfect of 'luïd'" makes sense contextually. The verb survived
intact into EMI as "luaidh", and I guess "laoi" could be a shortened
or phonetic spelling of it. Did we have an example already in the
poem of -aoi used for -uaidh or -uaigh? (As a side note, I've seen
both "ó chuaigh i gcéin mo ghille mear" and "ó luaidh i gcéin..."
in the refrain of the Jacobite song of that name.)