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Irish Cats and Scribes

From a ninth-century manuscript by an Irish scribal scholar, quoted in “How the Irish Saved Civilization,” by Thomas Cahill:

I and Pangur Ban my cat,

„Pangur Bán“

„Pangur Bán“ (Photo credit: Михал Орела)

‘Tis a like task we are at:

Hunting mice is his delight,

Hunting words I sit all night.

 

‘Tis a merry thing to see

At our tasks how glad are we,

When at home we sit and find

Entertainment for our mind.

 

“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.

 

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.

 

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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Old Books, Poetry

 

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