Pangur Ban

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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 tasks how glad are we
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to the mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way;
Oftentimes my keen thoughts 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.’

translated from a ninth century Irish poem

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