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Pangur Ban

10th June 2010

Pangur Ban ma cat an me

Tis a sim’lar darg we dee

Huntin moosies, his delicht

Huntin wirds I sit aa nicht


Better than men’s praise tae pree

Tis tae screive wi buik on knee

Pangur, likewise, nae upstert,

Lives tae cairry oot his airt


Tis richt blythe oor lives tae see

Aboot oor darg, fu eidently

Fin we hae, in generous meisur

Ploys that gie us oors o pleisur


Whiles a moosie frae a neuk

Rins near Pangur’s raxxin cleuk

Whiles, ma harns will grup an get

A hale new meanin in its net


Agin the waa he sets his ee

Fierce an faist an sherp an slee

Agin the waa o wyceness, I

Aa ma pouers o kennin, try


Fin the moose lowps intae sicht

Fu is Pangur o delicht!

Aa the warld can gyang tae wrack

Fan a puzzle I can crack!


Sae thegither, we agree

Pangur Ban, ma cat an me

In oor hairts we finn oor bliss

I hae mine an he has his


Practice makketh cat an man

The perfect hunter, pangur Ban

I win wyceness day an nicht

Turnin derkness inno licht.


Sheena Blackhall

Anonymous Irish 8th century poem translated into English by Robin Flower and into Scots by Sheena Blackhall. Selected by the Scottish Poetry Library.