Thursday, March 17, 2011

In honor of St Patrick's Day--an Irish poem

A poem about Pangur Ban

I and Pangur Ban, 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 thing to see
At our task how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
Into 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 tasks 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 by Robin Flowers (we think)

I am indebted to
vulpeslibris for the translation.


jzdro said...

Hello, Miriam,

I am sorry to have been away so long. I do so enjoy your posts. Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you - and since that is past, Happy Saint Joseph's Day also - April 19th.

Thank you for posting this terrific cat-and-scholarship poem.

All this winter, here in the foothills of the Adirondacks, a Wild Cat has deigned to live in one of our barns, and has hunted mice all the while. We have blessed that Cat every day we checked our empty domestic mousetraps.

So yes, it is nice to see Cat and Scholarship receive their due.


miriam said...

Thank you, jzdro, for the comment and the compliment, and welcome back.