Thanks for the comments Dennis. Going through line by line will hit a snag
in the next poem, as there are different ways phrases can be divided, but
we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
> I see two points of disagreement in the translations. (1) Is the man
> "good", or are the circumstances "well for" him? (2) Is he "laughed
> at" (derision) or "smiled at" (benevolence)?
I agree with you about the sense of fó, but I was going for literal
word-for-word meaning to begin with - as a speaker of Hiberno-Irish, I often
find it a useful approach, although it doesn't seem to give any useful
inight in this instance. As for the distinction between "smiled at" and
"laughed at", I think from the context it certainly isn't benevolent,
whichever is meant - Ailill's feeling pleased with himself because he's got
one over on Fergus. The last bit of prose before the rosc ends "gabaid
Ailill gári fris," using another word - gáire - a noun which can mean a
laugh or a smile, but seems to primarily mean laugh.