Cat Poems – Pangur Bán

An Irish monk who had fled from the Viking raids to the safe city of Reichenau on Lake Constance has immortalized his cat Pangur Bán in this lovely 9th century cat poem. (Pangur is a traditional Irish name and Bán means white.)                                 

                                                               I and Pangur Bán my cat,                                    

                          ‘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 task how glad are we  

                                   When at home we sit and find,    

                                 Entertainment to 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 Bán my cat and I   

                                  In our arts and in our bliss,

                                    I have mine and he has his. (Rowling, 1979)

Pangur Ban- cat poems

Pangur Bán Original Text
St. Paul’s Abbey




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