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xxxviii. Introduction .
Dob lioumhur ai- leirg an locha
laoch laidir is òigfhear oll :
iomdha um Tatha taòiseach
sgiath flatiia agus craòiseach corr.^
Here, oll: corr are in - caus onance. The first couplet
has no internal rhyme; the seeond has thriath : sgìath;
Tatha: flatha; taòiseach: craòiseach (aicpill). The
alliteration is obvious (in the second Hne òigfhear : oll
alHterate). In the third line there is hiatus between
iomdha and uni ; in the fourth Hne agus must be read
'gus. The odd lines contain each eight syHables and
end on a dissyllable; the even Hnes contain seven
syllables and end on a monosyHable. This metre,
caHed Sèadna, is extraordinarily complex and difficult,
tho-ugh the finished rann looks simplicity itself. It may
be represented by the formula 2 (82 + 71), 2 + 4, meaning
that each ranìi consists of tivo couplets, containing
each a Hne of eight syllables ending on a dissyllable
and a line of seven syllabes ending on a monosyllable,
and that the second and foiirth lines of the rann have
6. To have a proper ending dùnadh, a poem must
repeat at the end the word, or part of the word, with
which it began. This device satisfied the desire for
completeness, and also indicated, in the closely written
lines of a manuscript, where one poem ended and
another began.
The classic metres of the above type represented in
the text are the following : —
1 Numerous on the lake side were the stalwart heroes and tall
young men; around the lord of Tay was many a leader, many
a shield of prince and taper spear.

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