An ancient Celtic poem: the monk and his pet cat
I and my white Pangur
Have each his special art:
His mind is set on hunting mice,
Mine is upon my special craft.
I love to rest – better than any fame! –
With close study at my little book;
White Pangur does not envy me:
He loves his childish play.
When in our house we two are all alone –
A tale without tedium!
We have sport never-ending!
Something to exercise our wit.
At times by feats of derring-do
A mouse sticks in his net,
While into my net there drops
A difficult problem of hard meaning.
He points his full shining eye
Against the fence of the wall:
I point my keen though feeble eye
Against the keenness of science.
He rejoices with quick leaps
When in his sharp claw sticks a mouse:
I too rejoice when I have grasped
A problem difficult and dearly loved.
Though we are thus at all times
Neither hinders the other,
Each of us pleased with his own art
Amuses himself alone.
He is a master of the work
Which every day he does:
While I am at my own work
To bring difficulty to clearness.