Colmcille the scribe
My hand is cramped from penwork.
My quill has a tapered point.
Its bird-mouth issues a blue-dark
Beetle-sparkle of ink.
Wisdom keeps welling in streams
From my fine-drawn sallow hand:
Riverrun on the vellum
Of ink from green-skinned holly.
My small runny pen keeps going
Through books, through thick and thin,
To enrich the scholars' holdings —
Penwork that cramps my hand.
Quite so. An Irish 12th C text; translation by Seamus Heaney