24 February, 2005
Scholar and Cat
~ Tigger ~
The print on display is a but a small section of Botticelli's painting "Birth of Venus" that dd and I picked up for 2 euro in Florence. The real painting is the size of a wall in a standard room in an average home.
We love our kitties, who bring laughter and sweet moments to our days. This poem seemed rather fitting...dh is a scholar and English Teacher, and he doesn't engage with our pets so much.
The Scholar and The Cat
by an Irish Monk, 8th or 9th Century
I and white Felix,
each of us two (keeps) at his specialty:
his mind is set on hunting,
my mind on my special subject.
I love (it is better than all fame)
to be quiet beside my book, with persistent inquiry.
Not envious of me White Felix;
he loves his childish art.
When we two are (tale without boredom)
alone in our house,
we have something to which we may apply our skill,
an endless sport.
It is customary at times for a mouse to stick in his net,
as a result of warlike struggles (feats of valor).
For my part, into my net falls
some difficult crux of hard meaning.
He directs his bright perfect eye
against an enclosing wall.
Though my (once) clear eye is very weak
I direct it against acuteness of knowledge
He is joyful with swift movement
when a mouse sticks in his sharp claw.
I too am joyful
when I understand a dearly loved difficult question.
Though we are always like this,
neither of us bothers the other:
each of us likes his craft,
rejoicing alone each in his.
He it is who is master for himself
of the work which he does every day.
I can perform my own task,
directed toward understanding clearly that which is difficult.