>> 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 its recompense;
>> its ‘cauldron bone’ in return
>> should be another poem from us.
> Or reading "ba" as the past tense (since the gift poem is
> finished and being copied out) would make sense, too.
That does my head in a bit. The word ‘ba’ would have been chosen at the
time the poem was still being composed (and only stanza 4 at that). I
guess the poet could have thought forward to the time the patron was
reading the poem, but then I would have expected the present tense. No?