> Da radh dol fainth(?)dil
> Well, at this stage I'm just trying to decipher the MS. The group of
> letters I have given as 'fainth(?) dil' has the following appearance
> in the MS:
(1) >The 'f' looks definite.
(2) >The 'a' looks definite.
>Then there are three minims that look more like 'in' than anything
else, >but could easily be 'ni' or 'm'. (But there is definitely no 'u'
(3) >Then there is a letter with a lenition mark over it. The letter
>looks like a 't', but it is pretty scrappy.
(4) >This is followed by 'dil' - or something very much like it. There
>no gap between this group of letters and the 't'. But each line of the
>stanza needs to end in a monosyllable.
Famous last words ... I would now say:
(1) The 'f' isn't an 'f' at all - it is my arch nemesis the 'elongated
s'. (I should have noticed that the little line at the centre of the
letter is not enough for an 'f'.)
(2) The 'ain' bit I actually got right!
(3)It is a 't', but the mark over it is fairly faint. I still read it as
indicating lenition, just to be on the safe side, but then I delete the
lenition in my translation.
(4)The final syllable can't be 'dil, because line (b) already ends in
'dil'. What I now think we have is 'oil'. What I took to be the supposed
d's 'horizontal ascender' is just the tail-end of the cross stroke of
the preceding 't'.
So I would now read this line as: da radh dol saint(h) oil
Here is a revised text and an attempted translation:
(a) Grâinne inGEN Airt
(b) Aigneth dűasach dil
(c) Daor oraind ni fhuil
(d) An crobhaing or [= ar] chin
(e) Da râdh dol [= dál] saint(h) oil [= áil]
(f) Lôgh dar dŰan do[a] dligh
Gráinne, daughter of Art,
Aignech, reward-giving [and] generous,
[so] precious to us: there is none
ahead of that band!
For reciting it apportion, a fervent wish!,
[The] price of our poem to him who deserves it.
According to Keating's History of Ireland (ii 2794 cited at DIL A
111.44f) Eanna Aighneach “used to give away whatever came to his hand.”
The poet is cunningly urging future audiences to display a similar
generosity when paying for recitations.
By treating 'oil' as 'áil' in line (e) I spoil the rhyme - a short vowel