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Pangur Ban


I found this poem the other day in a compendium of animal poems. I thought it had a really nice flow to it (although that could be due to the skill of the translator) and couldn’ beleive it had been written more than 1200 years ago, incredible!
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.
 -- Anon., (Irish, 8th century)
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