Saturday, 26 March 2016

Pangúr Bán

Pangúr Bán is a famous poem composed by an Irish monk during the 9th century. In the poem, the unnamed monk compares his work with that of his cat, Pangúr Bán. The original text is now preserved in the Reichnenau Primer, St. Paul’s Abbey in the Lavanttal of Austria. The text below is the Robin Flower translation. I post this poem as a memorium to my own pets, Grimalkin (the ginger male) and Cleopatra (the white female).

I and Pangúr 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;
Pangúr 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 Pangúr’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,
Pangúr Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangúr perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.

No comments:

Post a Comment