With the benefit of all of Dennis’s comments, here is how I would now
read and translate stanza 10.
(a) Ua bháit[h]er bûaigh n-ôg
(b) adhbh ciuil lebur lêir
(c) ’na n-io[n]gh(n)ais ni h-âil
(d) a dîoghrais bii déin
(e) a ccuinghID nir chôir
(f) aran suilmhir sêimh
(a) By extinction [there is] a complete victory!
(b) A musical instrument, a serious book:
(c) it is not desirable to be without them
(d) in a choice, fleeting life.
(e) Requesting them were not proper
(f) [if it be] for one of [only] meagre eloquence.
>> Ua bait[h]er buaigh n-ôg
> I see a long mark over the 'a' in "bháith-", and maybe a ponc over the
Yes – I see them now too.
> The only sense I can make of this is as the past tense of the
> construction "táthum, etc." But I don't know if the little superscript
> support the suffixed pronouns -um or -unn -i or -us = I or we or he or
No – the symbol over the ‘t’ is the unambiguous ‘er’ contraction (the
I read the conjunction ‘ó’ (+ lenition) with the passive of ‘báidid,
‘ó bháither’ (after there is an extinguishing).
This passive construction is discussed (somewhat briefly) at the end of
GOI §514. I have always found the explanation at p 51 of Gordon Quin’s
Old Irish Workbook to be more helpful.
I read ‘buaigh’ as ‘búaidh’ (victory). I treat line (a) as stating the
medieval Christian doctrine that total victory over the perils of the
world lies in death; in joining Christ in heaven.
>> na n-ioghnais nî h-âil
> I think we need to read the ponc over the 'g' as nasalization
That is an excelelnt suggestion! Of course, we can’t actually read the
lenition mark as nasalization – we have to treat it as an error.
>> a dioigh rais bii dêin
>I read "dîoghrais" as one word = zeal, earnestness; affection;
>Then "bii", that's what it is, is a problem for me. A form of "at•tá"
> habitual present? "Déin" must be an oblique form of "dían" =
>eagar, etc., perhaps used adverbally?
I note that díograis can be used as a substantive with following
genitive to mean ‘choice, best of’. See DIL D 95.46. I treat. ‘bii’ as
the genitive of substantive ‘béo’. Literally: ‘in regard to a choice
swift living’. (I now note that there is a length mark in the MS over
the ‘e’ of ‘déin’.)
>> a ccuinghIDH nir chôir
>a ccuingidh (= gcuingidh) nír chóir
>= requesting them would not be proper
I have followed your treatment of ‘nir’ as conditional. But the only
examples of ‘nir’ I have are preterite. Is it also conditional?
(Are you saying you can see length marks over the ‘i’ and ‘o’? I still
can’t see them.)
> aran suilmhir sêimh
> = from the mild-mannered affable one.
Can ‘ar’ indicate the source from which the request is sought? I think
it means rather the thing ‘in regard to which’ the request is made. Cf
the examples with ‘ar’ and ‘for’ at DIL C 595.57-58. I read literally
‘for a meagre eloquent one’. I assume this is an injunction to study
seriously rather than waste your time on trashy novels! Or does ‘ar’
here refer to the person on whose behalf the request is made? (Don’t
waste the good books and harps on those of meager talents?)