Liz Gabay wrote:
> Huallach doluig Tadg i tresaib
> ciarbo garg maisib
> isa tir ar druing tosaich
> i crich cian uill caisil.
> Huallach doluid Tadc i treasaib [/] ciarbo garg maisib
> Isa tir ar druing ar tosaig [/] i crich chian uill caisil
> In BB I get a syllable count of 8-5-7-6 which doesn't look consistent.
In Lec you get a syllable count of 8-5-8-6. Ignoring the second line for
a moment, that looks more regular. So we might well prefer the version
of line (c) that appears in Lec (with the extra 'ar').
What about line (b)? Well, if we look up the table of Irish metres in
Murphy's 'Early Irish Metics' (at pp 74-76) we see that there is no
known metre which has a first line of 8 syllables, and a second line of
5. However, there is a metre with 8-6-8-6; the 'rannaigecht' metre known
as 'dechnad mór'. Note that each line in that metre ends in a disyllable
- which is what we have here too.
It follows, then, that our line (b) actually has 6 syllables, not five.
The missing syllable appears once we realise that the 'm' in 'maisib'
isn't actuall an 'm' afetrall. The first three minims are rather 'i n-'.
There is very little way of telling that from the MS (though there is
a suspicion of it in Lec). Luckily, the metre points the way.
"ciarbo garg i n-aisib"
So, once we have identified the metre, it helps us considerably in
identifying the individual words.
Looking at the example given as no. at Murphy EIM p 30, we can also
expect lines (b) and (d) to rhyme
asaib : caisil
and lines (a) and (c) to consonate
tresaib ; tosaig
In example  there is alliteration within each line. The alliteration
appears to be lacking in our line (b), but we do have
tadg ... tresaib
tir ... tosaig
crich cian ... caisil
In our poem there also seems to be internal rhyme between a word in line
(a) and a word in line (b)
Tadg : garg
and between line (c) and one in (d)
druing : uill
Murphy does not indicate that that is a feature of his example . But
note that there we do in fact find the internal pairs
fáilti : báite
oscaraib : chostadaig
which do rhyme.