A Monk and his Cat

I and Pangur Ban 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 tasks 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 Ban my cat and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Awwwww, how cute! Written by a 9th century Irish monk. Thanks to LentMadness commenter Barbara A. Cadwell who posted it for us in the comments on today’s voting.

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4 Responses to A Monk and his Cat

  1. Are you familiar with the verses Christopher Smart wrote to his cat Jeoffrey? Smart, an eccentric 18th c. Christian poet was confined to a Bedlam style asylum. The cat was his only companion.

    For I will consider my Cat Jeoffrey?
    For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him….

    Read more here: http://people.zeelandnet.nl/henklensen/smart.htm

    • I’d heard bits of it before, but never read the whole thing. Thanks for the link!

      • Brant says:

        Technically there never was a *whole thing* As I understand it the verses were written in various places and had to be assembled. I’m not sure why but I think my favorite line is “Though he cannot fly he is an excellent clamberer.”

        • Yes, that’s a great line! My favorite bit is

          For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
          For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.

          because I’ve learned so much from my cats about how to relax, and how to go after what you want!

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