>ferrde = better of it, better because of it, better off for it
OK. It makes sense to me now. It's just 'ferr' + the preposition 'de'.
>>And what would it refer to here?
> The subject is apparently the book of poems itself, somewhat
>personified. (My greater difficulty, BTW, is with the figurative
>use of "ionnradh".)
I presume that 'ionnradh' is being used figuratively for the process of
'ransacking its contents'. But "the book is better for its being
ransacked by us" doesn't make immediate sense to me. I could see how WE
might be better for having ransacked its contents, but not how it could
be better off.
However, perhaps we have to read this line with what follows: it is
better served by having its valuable contents ransacked by us than being
given to someone else less able to appreciate it and make good use of
(c) ferrde a ionnradh ûainn
(d) nî diongnADh a dhâil
(e) d’f[h]ilidh eile acht duinn
(c) [it is] better off [having its contents] ransacked by us,
(d) it is not a satisfactory state of affairs for it to be given
(e) to some other [less appropriate] poet instead of us
This time I am reading 'diongnadh' as = 'sásad' (act of providing
satisfaction > satisfactory state of affairs?). In addition to DIL D
129.3 see DIL D 94.39.