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athgarvan

PANGUR BÁN, MY CAT

There are many cat-lovers writing on LJ. May I share this little poem with them.

"Pangur Bán" is an old Irish poem, written by a monk about his cat, in Gaelic, about the 9th century. The monk compares the cat's happy hunting of mice with his own scholarly pursuits.

I and Pangur Bán my cat,
'Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
'Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his simple skill.

'Tis a merry task to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our task we ply,
Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.        Translation from Old Gaelic by Robin Flower.
                                                     'Bán' is pronounced 'bawn'. It means 'white'.

Comments

i love it!
Thank You!!!

we have three cats
Janecat is old and mainly sleeps
Bebe is attracted to things that fly
moths and things i can not see
Risha Diva is hunter fierce
she gets bored and wants the chase
but mice we do not have
a plastic spoon is her device

i don't have time to rhyme this
but i appreciate yours!

Risha helps me in my scholarly pursuits
she doesn't mind my reading
we can share the space
but on the computer she wants my lap!
that makes it hard to use the cursor

i leave the rest unsaid lol
I can just see you like the monk of old in his cell or scriptorium keeping an eye on what the cats are up to.