The Celtic Literature Collective

Pangur Bán
Codex S. Pauli (the Reichenau Primer)
Stift St. Paul Cod. 86a/1
9th C.

Messe ocus Pangur Bán · cechtar nathar fria saindan
bíth a menmasam fri seilgg · mu menma céin im saincheirdd.
Caraimse fos, ferr cach clú · oc mu lebran leir ingnu
ni foirmtech frimm Pangur Bán · caraid cesin a maccdán.
Orubiam scél cen scís · innar tegdais ar noendís
taithiunn dichrichide clius · ni fristarddam ar náthius.
Gnáth huaraib ar gressaib gal · glenaid luch inna línsam
os mé dufuit im lín chéin · dliged ndoraid cu ndronchéill.
Fuachaidsem fri frega fál · a rosc anglése comlán
fuachim[m] chein fri fegi fis · mu rosc reil cesu imdis.
Faelidsem cu ndene dul · hinglen luch inna gerchrub
hi tucu cheist ndoraid ndil · os me chene am faelid.
Cia beimmi amin nach ré · ni derban cách a chele
maith la cechtar nár a dán · subaigthius a óenurán.
He fesin as choimsid dáu · in muid dungní cach oenláu
du thabairt doraid du glé · for mu mud cein am messe.


I and Pangur Bán, each of us two at his special art:
his mind is at hunting (mice), my own mind is my special craft.
I love to rest--better than any fame--at my booklet with diligent science:
not envious of me is Pangur Bán: himself loves his childish art.
When we are--tale without tedium--in our house, we two alone,
we have--unlimited (is) feat-sport--something to which to apply our acuteness.
It is customary at times by feats of valour, that a mouse sticks in his net,
and for me there falls into my net a difficult dictum with hard meaning.
His eye, this glancing full one, he points against the wall-fence:
I myself against the keenness of science point my clear eye, though it is very feeble.
He is joyous with speedy going where a mouse sticks in his sharp claw:
I too am joyous, where I understand a difficult dear question.
Though we are thus always, neither hinders the other:
each of us two likes his art, amuses himself alone.
He himself is the master of the work which he does every day:
while I am at my own work, (which is) to bring difficulty to clearness.

Stokes, Whitley, & Strachan, John. Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus: a Collection of Old-Irish Glosses Scholia Prose and Verse, vol. II: Non-Biblical Glosses and Scholia. Cambridge: University Press, 1903. p. 293-4