Free (GPL) Dictionary (incorporating Konjugator and Rhymer)

Storfa aur, geirfa'r iaith

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Working with words has been causing headaches for a long time, as we can see from this wonderful poem written in the 9th century by an Irish monk at the Monastery of St Paul, in Carinthia. The Irish text is in Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus, edited by John Strachan and Whitley Stokes (1901-10, 1975); the version here is from CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts. The poem is in the deibhidhe metre: a quatrain of seven syllables per line, with an unstressed final syllable in the even lines rhyming with the stressed final syllable in the odd lines. The translation by T Gwynn Jones is in Awen y Gwyddyl (1922). The translation by Robin Flower is in 1000 Years of Irish Poetry, edited by Kathleen Hoagland (1947). The translation by Seamus Heaney is in Poetry, April 2006. I have not yet found a printed source for the translation by Eavan Boland.

Original Old Irish T Gwynn Jones Robin Flower Seamus Heaney Eavan Boland
Messe ocus Pangur Bán,
cechtar nathar fria saindán:
bíth a menmasam fri seilgg,
mu memna céin im saincheirdd.
Y mae i Bangur wen a mi
ein priod grefft, bob un, -
llygota yw ei helfen hi,
a mi, fy mryd fy hun.
I and Pangur Ban my cat,
'Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.
Pangur Bán and I at work,
Adepts, equals, cat and clerk:
His whole instinct is to hunt,
Mine to free the meaning pent.
Myself and Pangur, cat and sage
Go each about our business;
I harass my beloved page,
He his mouse.
Caraim-se fos (ferr cach clu)
oc mu lebrán, léir ingnu;
ní foirmtech frimm Pangur Bán:
caraid cesin a maccdán.
Gwell gennyf fi na phob rhyw glod
â'm llyfryn fod ynglŷn,
ac ni warafun Pangur ddim -
gwell ganddi'i champ ei hun.
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.
More than loud acclaim, I love
Books, silence, thought, my alcove.
Happy for me, Pangur Bán
Child-plays round some mouse’s den.
Fame comes second to the peace
Of study, a still day
Unenvying, Pangur's choice
Is child's play.
Ó ru biam (scél cen scís)
innar tegdais, ar n-óendís,
táithiunn, díchríchide clius,
ní fris tarddam ar n-áthius.
Pan fyddom yma - peth di boen -
a dim ond ni ein dau,
bydd gennym, er di-ddiwedd hoen,
ryw fodd i'n digrifhau.
'Tis a merry task to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.
Truth to tell, just being here,
Housed alone, housed together,
Adds up to its own reward:
Concentration, stealthy art.
Neither bored, both hone
At home a separate skill,
Moving after hours alone
To the kill.
Gnáth, h-úaraib, ar gressaib gal
glenaid luch inna línsam;
os mé, du-fuit im lín chéin
dliged n-doraid cu n-dronchéill.
Fe lŷn llygoden yn ei rhywd,
ar dro, drwy gyfrwys ddawn;
a minnau, syrth i'm rhwyd rhyw bwnc
ag ystyr dyrys iawn.
Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.
Next thing an unwary mouse
Bares his flank: Pangur pounces.
Next thing lines that held and held
Meaning back begin to yield.
When at last his net wraps
After a sly fight
Around a mouse, mine traps
Sudden insight.
Fúaichaid-sem fri frega fál
a rosc, a n-glése comlán;
fúachimm chéin fri fégi fis
mu rosc réil, cesu imdis.
Try hi ei llygad at y mur,
ac fel y tân y llysg;
trof innau lygad clir, os gwan,
yn erbyn pared dysg.
'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.
All the while, his round bright eye
Fixes on the wall, while I
Focus my less piercing gaze
On the challenge of the page.
On my cell wall here,
His sight fixes, burning,
Searching; my old eyes peer
At new learning,
Fáelid-sem cu n-déne dul
hi n-glen luch inna gérchrub;
hi tucu cheist n-doraid n-dil
os mé chene am fáelid.
Pan lyno wrth ei hewin hi
lygoden, naid a rhydd;
o ddeall hoff a dyrys bwnc,
mwynhad i minnau fydd.
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!
With his unsheathed, perfect nails
Pangur springs, exults and kills.
When the longed-for, difficult
Answers come, I too exult.
And his delight when his claws
Close on his prey
Equals mine when sudden clues
Light my way.
Cia beimmi a-min nach ré
ní derban cách a chéle:
maith la cechtar nár a dán;
subaigthius a óenurán.
Cyd bôm ni'n felly bob rhyw bryd,
ni byddwn anghytûn,
bydd ddifyr i bob un ei gamp,
bawb ar ei ben ei hun.
So in peace our task we ply,
Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.
So it goes. To each his own.
No vying. No vexation.
Taking pleasure, taking pains,
Kindred spirits, veterans.
So we find by degrees
Peace in solitude,
Both of us, solitaries,
Have each the trade
h-É fesin as choimsid dáu
in muid du-ngní cach óenláu;
du thabairt doraid du glé
for mu mud céin am messe.
Mae hi yn medru ar y gwaith
a wna o ddydd i ddydd,
a minnau wrthi'n ceisio dwyn
i'r golwg bethau cudd.
Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.
Day and night, soft purr, soft pad,
Pangur Bán has learned his trade.
Day and night, my own hard work
Solves the cruxes, makes a mark.
He loves: Pangur, never idle
Day or night
Hunts mice; I hunt each riddle
From dark to light.