David Stifter wrote:
> Cormac íar coraib cen chuibdius
> ro·adair dia fhelius
> a lis cían cíarb(o) olc in turus
> a lot ina leigius
> Cormac, after contracts without justification,
> followed to his (own) vanity/futility
> his far(-removed) advantage, although the journey was bad,
> In his healing was his ruin.
Given that 'adraid; can take either the accusative of 'do' of the thing
followed, there is a case for seeing the 'do' construction here, with
'feles' as to object of the 'following' rather than 'les'. We can then
take 'a lis' to be the preposition 'i' followed by the accusative. That
way we can read:
"Cormac, after unjust compacts,
followed his vanity
into a distant dwelling - though the deed [he did there] was evil:
his [Tadg's] wounding in his healing."
I am still, however, tempted to agree with David that there might be an
error in transmission here - the last line hangs in the air a bit.
Namely, the one I first suggested, that 'adair' is an error for 'agair'
(obtained [on account of his vanity]). If that were the case, the
grammatical object (the last line) is a long way from the verb, and the
verb is immediately followed by 'do', so that it might have been easy
enough for a copyist to assume that 'adair' was meant instead.
Against that, 'adair' forms a rhyme with 'caraib' (though the MSS
actually have 'coraib', which doesn't rhyme), whereas 'agair' (with
unlenited 'g') would not.
All in all, I think I would be inclined to go with the translation I
have here, based on -'adair', and leave any speculation about scribal
errors to a footnote. (Assuming it ever comes to that!)
This is not the first occasion that David has pressed me hard enough to
get me to rethink the tack I was taking, and I am grateful for all of
them (not least because he seems to be almost invariably correct to do so!).