Pangur Bán

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Pangur Bán (ca. 9th century) 
"Pangur Bán" is an Old Irish poem, written about the 9th century at or around Reichenau Abbey. It was written by an Irish monk, and is about his cat. Although the poem is anonymous, it bears similarities to the poetry of Sedulius Scottus, prompting speculation that Sedulius is the author. In 8 verses of four lines, the author compares the cat's activities with his own scholarly pursuits.

An English translation is available at English Wikisource.

The manuscript containing the poem Pangur Bán (at the bottom of the left-hand page)
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Version from the Old Irish Verse section of Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus
[ 293 ]

1. Messe ocus Pangur Bán, · cechtar nathar fria saindan
  bíth a menmasam fri seilgg · mu menma céin im saincheirdd.
2. Caraimse fos ferr cach clú · oc mu lebran leir ingnu
  ni foirmtech frimm Pangur Bán · caraid cesin a maccdán.
3. Orubiam scél cen scís · innar tegdais ar noendís
  taithiunn dichrichide clius · ni fristarddam arnáthius.
4. Gnáth huaraib ar gressaib gal · glenaid luch inna línsam
  os mé dufuit im lín chéin · dliged ndoraid cu ndronchéill.
5. Fuachaidsem fri frega fál · a rosc anglése[1] comlán
  fuachimm chein fri fegi fis · mu rosc reil cesu imdis.
6. Faelidsem cu ndene dul · hinglen luch inna gerchrub
  hi tucu cheist ndoraid ndil · os me chene am faelid.

[ 294 ]

7. Cia beimmi amin nach ré, · ni derban cách a chele
  maith la[2] cechtar nár a dán, · subaigthius a óenurán.
8. He fesin as choimsid dáu · in muid dungní cach oenláu
  du thabairt doraid du glé · for mu mud cein am messe.

Notes
  1. rosc is neuter (rosc n-airard n-adanta, LL. 253a45); hence the neut. article before glé
  2. maith la is written over a cancelled caraid
Version from Ernst Windisch’s Irische Texte

[ 316 ]

Messe ocus Pangur Bán, cechtar náthar[1] fria saindán
bíth a menma-sam fri seilgg mu menma céin im saincheirdd.

Caraim-se fos ferr cach clú oc mu lebran leir ingnu
ni foirmtech frimm Pangur Bán caraid cesin a maccdán.

O ru biam scél cen scís innar tegdais ar n-oendís
taithiunn dichrichide clius ni fristarddam arnáthius.

Gnáth huaraib ar gressaib gal glenaid[2] luch inna lín-sam
os mé dufuit im lín chéin dliged n-doraid cu n-dronchéill.

Fuachaid-sem fri frega fál a rosc anglése comlán
fuachimm chein fri fegi fis mu rosc reil cesu imdis.

Faelid-sem cu n-dene dul hi n-glen luch inna gerchrub
hi tucu cheist n-doraid n-dil os me chene am faelid.

Cia beimmi amin nach ré ni derban cách a chele
caraid[3] cechtar nár a dán, subaigthius a óenurán.

He fesin as choim sid dáu in muid dun gní cach oen láu
du thabairt doraid du glé for mu mud cein am messe.

Notes
  1. nádar mit Punktum delens unter d, und th über dem d Ms.
  2. zwischen glen und aid ein kleines Loch im Ms.
  3. caraid ist ausgestrichen und darüber von derselben Hand maith la geschrieben.


Public domain
This work is in the public domain in countries where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. See Copyright.