Scribbled by a 9th century Irish monk, bored of his labours on the margin of St. Paul’s Epistles.
Translated By Robin Flower:
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 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.