>In line (b) Lec has 'ect' with a mark of lenition over the 'c' (so
>This form may point to a metrical elision of the final -'a' of BB's
>'echta'. Cf stanza 12, where BB has 'ciarbo', the final -'o' of which
>must be elided for the metre, and Lec has the elided form 'ciarb'.
But that is wrong.
Both Eleanor Knott ('Irish Syllabic Poetry' p 11 - for the Early Modern
period) and Gerard Murphy ('Early Irish Metrics' p 39 - for Old and
Middle Irish) state that it is the second unstressed vowel which is
eldided, not the first. Final unstressed vowels are never elided.
So, certainly in the case of 'ciarbo olc' (where the initial vowel of
'olc' isn't unstressed anyway), and probably (I think) in the case of
'echta', the scribe of BB has added a vowel which was not in the original.