Proxying for DeMello...
(Poem #167) Pangur Ban
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.
Written by a student of the monastery of Carinthia on a copy of St Paul's Epistles. Translated by Robin Flower. I guess I like this poem more for the context than for the words themselves... somehow, the image of the apprentice monk, toiling over his precious manuscripts, while Europe slept through the Dark Ages, seems particularly poignant. Nothing much more to say. thomas. PS. You can find the original Irish text of this poem (and a nice commentary on the intricacies of translation) at http://www.ceantar.org/pangur.html PPS. Our dearly-beloved Martin will be back on Saturday... apparently there's been a network outage of some sort at Brookhaven , so he's temporarily offline.  Scary thought, innit?