I take it that the meaning is that worldly fame will be of no comfort in
hell. It does read a bit like our modern maxim, 'you can't heard in
Ireland recently: 'there are no pockets in a shroud').
(I couldn't say whether it's an elaborated proverb or a startling poetic
image. I like it though ...)
From: Old-Irish-L [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, 20 April 2005 2:14 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: bright flour, dark bag
In their edition of LU, Best and Bergin report that on page
83b "along the lower marg. in a sixteenth cent. hand is the
following quatrain, stained and obscure at beginning and end:
A deg (?) ruithnecht am bulg dubh.
ni fudhan ni don min gil.
ciasa teimhen mo comainm.
is geal mo toigairm for nim.
I translate this as:
Its fine shine in a dark bag
is of no use to the bright flour;
although my name is obscure
my summons to heaven is bright.
The first half looks like a proverb to me, or the elaboration
of a proverb, although it might also be a newly minted poetic
image. What do you think?