Here is another look at the first four stanzas in the light cast upon
them by the Scottish folktale. It would seem our poet has borrowed
someone’s book to transcribe it, and in return feels obliged to make
available some material from his own library (namely the collection of
verse attributed to Colum Cille which follows our poem in our MS and is
in a different hand.)
1. Dlighidh coire cnáimh
comhfhocUL sen sunn
fa chlâr bfûar nad fionn
as dûal a râdh r[i]um
A bone is meet for a cauldron
(This is an ancient saying)
Beneath a cold tarnished lid.
It is fitting to say it to me.
2. I:asacht leabhair linn
o la:och, f(h)ada:d f(h)îal;
ni leasg dunn a dhîol,
crudh ar fad a chîall.
The loan of a book to us,
o warrior, [is] a generous enlightenment;
we are not reluctant to make recompense for it:
its wisdom is an enduring treasure.
3. Gach gabhâil dar gab
fo-a-ngébha fann fáil
da lêan[t]ar-sa as lêir
fan leabhur-sa am lâim
Each taking of [a transcription from?] it
will weaken its bindings (?).
If I continue, it is clear,
at this book in my hand.
(I am tentatively taking line (b) as lit. ‘will find it weak of
4. Dréacht a Cholum chaigh (= chaidh)
Ad-chíu leas o lúagh
a chnáimh coire ar cúl
ba dán oile úan.
A selection [of verse] by Holy Colum [i.e Colum Cille]
I see a benefit from paying [it as]
its ‘cauldron bone’ [i.e. due recompense] in return:
the loan was the gift of a memorial (?)