This poem was found in the margins of a manuscript in the Monastery of St Paul, Carinthia, Austria. It seems to have been written by an Irish monk, sometime around the ninth century.

Pangur Ban (Gaelic)

Messe [ocus] Pangur ban,
cechtar nathar fria saindan;
bith a menma-sam fri seilgg,
mu menma cein im saincheirdd

Caraim-se fos, ferr cach clu,
oc mu lebran leir ingnu;
ni foirmtech frimm Pangur ban,
caraid cesin a maccdan.

O ru-biam ­ scel cen scis ­
innar tegdias ar n-oendis,
taithiunn ­ dichrichide clius ­
ni fris 'tarddam ar n-athius.

Gnath-huaraib ar greassaib gal
glenaid luch ina lin-sam;
os me, du-fuit im lin chein
dliged ndoraid cu n-droncheill.

Fuachaid-sem fri freaga fal
a rosc a nglese comlan;
fuachimm chein fri fegi fis
mu rosc reil, cesu imdis.

Faelid-sem cu n-dene dul,
hi nglen luch ina gerchrub;
hi-tucu cheist n-doraid n-dil,
os me chene am faelid.

Cia beimini amin nach re
ni derban cach a chele;
mait le cechtar nar a dan
subaigthiud a oenuran.

He fesin as choimsid dau
in muid du-n-gni cach oenlau;
do thabairt doraid du gle
for mumud cein am messe.

Pangur Ban (English)
(by Robin Flower)

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 thing 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 tasks 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.

The Scholar and the Cat
(by Frank O'Connor)

Each of us pursues his trade,
I and Pangur my comrade,
His whole fancy on the hunt,
And mine for learning ardent.

More than fame I love to be
Among my books and study,
Pangur does not grudge me it,
Content with his own merit.

When ­ a heavenly time! ­ we are
In our small room together
Each of us has his own sport
And asks no greater comfort.

While he sets his round sharp eye
On the wall of my study
I turn mine, though lost its edge,
On the great wall of knowledge.

Now a mouse drops in his net
After some mighty onset
While into my bag I cram
Some difficult darksome problem.

When a mouse comes to the kill
Pangur exults, a marvel!
I have when some secret's won
My hour of exultation.

Though we work for days and years
Neither the other hinders;
Each is competent and hence
Enjoys his skill in silence.

Master of the death of mice,
He keeps in daily practice,
I too, making dark things clear,
Am of my trade a master.

From the Irish of Pangur Ban
(by Eavan Boland)

Myself and Pangur, cat and sage
Go each about our business;
I harass my beloved page,
He his mouse.

Fame comes second to the peace
Of study, a still day
Unenvying, Pangur's choice
Is child's play.

Neither bored, both hone
At home a separate skill
Moving after hours alone
To the kill

When at last his net wraps
After a sly fight
Around a mouse; mine traps
Sudden insight.

On my cell wall here,
His sight fixes, burning,
Searching; my old eyes peer
At new learning,

And his delight when his claws
Close on his prey
Equals mine when sudden clues
Light my way.

So we find by degrees
Peace in solitude,
Both of us, solitaries,
Have each the trade

He loves: Pangur, never idle
Day or night
Hunts mice; I hunt each riddle
From dark to light.

Aisling's Song
(English and Gaelic mix)

You must go where I can not,
Pangur Ban Pangur Ban,
Nil sa saol seo ach ceo,
Is ni bheimid beo,
ach seal beag gearr.
Pangur Ban Pangur Ban,
Nil sa saol seo ach ceo,
Is ni bheimid beo,
ach seal beag gearr.

Aisling's Song (English)

You must go where I can not
Pangur Ban Pangur Ban
Not in this world but fog
We is not live
Little short for a while,
Pangur Ban Pangur Ban.
Not in this world but fog,
We is not live,
But little short spell,
Little short for a while.

Pangur Ban
(перевод В.А. Заславского)

Забыл о славе я мирской
Ради уютной кельи
И Пангур белоснежный мой,
Со мной призванье делит.

И нет ни ссор, ни суеты,
Ни зависти меж нами.
И кот, и я увлечены
Любимыми делами.

Своим трудом я поглощен,
Святой наукой книжной.
И полон кот своих забот:
Его наука – мыши.

Врагу устроив западню,
Ко мне он мышь приносит.
А я – в сеть разума ловлю
Научные вопросы.

Пытлив и скор, кот вперил взор
В нору, где мышь таится.
Мои ж глаза глядят всегда
На книжные страницы.

Мой Пангур весело мурчит,
Когда добычу словит.
Я так же радуюсь, решив
Проблему в богословьи.

Сидим с котом мы за трудом,
Друг другу не мешаем,
Хоть занят я борьбой с грехом,
А кот – борьбой с мышами.

Отдам коту свою еду,
Свои печаль и радость.
И так вдвоем в ладу живем:
Монаху друг не в тягость.

Cat (J.R.R. Tolkien)

The fat cat on the mat
may seem to dream
of nice mice that suffice
for him, or cream;
but he free, maybe,
walks in thought
unbowed, proud, where loud
roared and fought
his kin, lean and slim,
or deep in den
in the East feasted on beasts
and tender men.
The giant lion with iron
claw in paw,
and huge ruthless tooth
in gory jaw;
the pard dark-starred,
fleet upon feet,
that oft soft from aloft
leaps upon his meat
where woods loom in gloom --
far now they be,
fierce and free,
and tamed is he;
but fat cat on the mat
kept as a pet
he does not forget. 

Cat (J.R.R. Tolkien)