> (a) Giolla as groide gart
> (b) giolla as gasda lûth
> (c) d’ fhuil Nêill na Naoi nGiall
> (d) nar laoi cêim ar ccûl
>>> Giolla whose generosity is promptest,
>>> Giolla whose vigour is swift.
>>> If Niall of the Nine Hostages was at hand
>>> (he would not take a backwards step /
>>> he has not taken a backwards step).
> I was quite taken with Micheál's alternative reading for line (c).
Absolutely yes. I wasn't focused on that line, just (d),
so I let that slip. Sorry!
> do you think of translating the whole thing as follows?
> Giolla whose generosity is promptest
> Giolla whose vigour is swift.
"gasda" could equally well be "swiftest" I think, which
gives a more complete parallel with line (a).
> [He is] of the bloodline of Niall of the Nine Hostages,
> he has not taken a backwards step.
"nâr laoi..." could also, I think, be a negative relative:
"who has not taken a backwards step"