"GOD SAVE YER HOLINESS." Frontispiece.
by D. R. McAnally, Jr.
Edition 1, (October 7, 2006)
THE GHOSTS, GIANTS, POOKAS, DEMONS, LEPRECHAWNS, BANSHEES, FAIRIES, WITCHES, WIDOWS, OLD MAIDS, AND OTHER MARVELS OF THE EMERALD ISLE
Popular Tales as told by the People
WEATHERVANE BOOKS - NEW YORK
Copyright (C) MDCCCLXXXVIII
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 77-72113
All rights reserved.
This edition is published by Weathervane Books
a division of Imprint Society, Inc., distributed by Crown Publishers, Inc.
a b c d e f g h
IN MEMORY OF YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP,
IS INSCRIBED TO
MR. JOSEPH B. McCULLAGH,
AS A MODEST TRIBUTE OF
The wonderful imaginative power of the Celtic mind is never more strikingly displayed than in the legends and fanciful tales which people of the humbler walks of life seldom tire of telling. Go where you will in Ireland, the story-teller is there, and on slight provocation will repeat his narrative; amplifying, explaining, embellishing, till from a single fact a connected history is evolved, giving motives, particulars, action, and result, the whole surrounded by a rosy wealth of rustic imagery and told with dramatic force an actor might envy. The following chapters comprise an effort to present this phase of unwritten Celtic literature, the material having been collected during a recent lengthy visit, in the course of which every county in the island was traversed from end to end, and constant association had with the peasant tenantry. As, however, in perusing a drama each reader for himself supplies stage-action, so, in the following pages, he is requested to imagine the charms of gesticulation and intonation, for no pen can do justice to a story told by Irish lips amid Irish surroundings.
PREFACE. THE SEVEN KINGS OF ATHENRY. TAMING THE POOKA. THE SEXTON OF CASHEL. SATAN'S CLOVEN HOOF. THE ENCHANTED ISLAND. HOW THE LAKES WERE MADE. ABOUT THE FAIRIES. THE BANSHEE. THE ROUND TOWERS. THE POLICE. THE LEPRECHAWN. THE HENPECKED GIANT. SATAN AS A SCULPTOR. THE DEFEAT OF THE WIDOWS.
"GOD SAVE YER HOLINESS." Frontispiece. Vignette "She 'll get all me Turf" "Divil roast ye wid it" "Is it spilin' me wall he is?" "Howld on, we 'll argy the matther" Initial: "The Seven Kinds of Athenry" A Modern Irish Village "All a-makin' love to the Young Princess" "DIVIL A WAN O' ME KNOWS," SAYS HE. "The Princess had disayved thim all complately" "All disconsarted entirely" Initial: "Taming the Pooka" Dennis and the Pooka "He'd a sight of larnin', had the King" "The Quane a-gosterin'" "IF IT'S AGGRAYBLE TO YE, I'LL LOOK IN YER MOUTH." The Pooka Spirits Initial: "The Sexton of Casbel" THE ROCK OF CASHEL. "Be aff wid yer nonsinse" "Where is me dawther?" "The Owld Man walkin' in Cormae's Chapel" Initial: "Satan's Cloven Hoof" Glendalough Saint Kevin and the Devil "An' so he's lame, an' must show his cloven fut" Initial: "The Enchanted Island" "Howld yer pace, ye palaverin' shtrap" "Howlin' wid rage" Initial: "How the Lakes were made" Lough Conn The Church by the Bog Initial: "About the Fairies" "Owld Meg" Eva calling the Cattle Initial: "The Banshee" The "Hateful Banshee" The "Friendly Banshee" Initial: "The Round Towers" "Crackin' their Haythen Shkulls" Initial: "The Police" The Police and the Tenants "Thither goes the poor old women every day" Initial: "The Leprechawn" Returning the next morning with the spade "Playing his pranks" Initial: "The Henpecked Giant" "AN' WHO ARE YOU, ME DEAR?" SAYS FINN, LOOKIN' UP. Illustration: Music: When I Was Single. "Finn gave in an' wint to work wid a pick an' sphade" Initial: "Satan as a Sculptor" A Barren Cliff THE DEVIL'S FACE. "Her masther stood be her side" "So the three av thim mounted the wan horse" "'Kape from me,' says the divil" Initial: "The Defeat of the Widows" AN' PHAT DOES THIM LETTERS SHPELL? The Widdy Mulligan The Widdy O'Donnell Missis McMurthry "OULD ROONEY AN' PADDY BLAGGARDIN' THE CONSTHABLE IVERY FUT O' THE WAY." "A good bargain they made av it"
THE SEVEN KINGS OF ATHENRY.
It was a characteristic Irish ruin. Standing on a slight elevation, in the midst of a flat country, the castle lifted its turreted walls as proudly as when its ramparts were fringed with banners and glittered with helmets and shields. In olden times it was the citadel of the town, and although Athenry was fortified by a strong wall, protecting it alike from predatory assault and organized attack, the citadel, occupying the highest ground within the city, was itself surrounded by stronger walls, a fort within a fort, making assurance of security doubly sure. Only by treachery, surprise, or regular and long-continued siege could the castle have been taken.
The central portion was a large, square structure; except in size, not differing greatly from the isolated castles found in all parts of Ireland, and always in pairs, as if, when one Irish chieftain built a castle, his rival at once erected another a mile or so away, for the purpose of holding him in check. This central fort was connected by double walls, the remains of covered passages, with smaller fortresses, little castles built into the wall surrounding the citadel; and over these connecting walls, over the little castles, and over the piles of loose stones where once the strong outer walls had stood, the ivy grew in luxuriant profusion, throwing its dark green curtain on the unsightly masses, rounding the sharp edge of the masonry, hiding the rough corners as though ashamed of their roughness, and climbing the battlements of the central castle to spread nature's mantle of charity over the remains of a barbarous age, and forever conceal from human view the stony reminders of battle and blood.
The success of the ivy was not complete. Here and there the corner of a battlement stood out in sharp relief, as though it had pushed back the struggling plant, and, by main force, had risen above the leaves, while on one side a round tower lifted itself as if to show that a stone tower could stand for six hundred years without permitting itself to become ivy-grown; that there could be individuality in towers as among men. The great arched gateway too was not entirely subjugated, though the climbing tendrils and velvety leaves dressed the pillars and encroached on the arch. The keystone bore a rudely carved, crowned head, and ivy vines, coming up underneath the arch, to take the old king by surprise, climbed the bearded chin, crossed the lips, and were playing before the nose as if to give it a sportive tweak, while the stern brow frowned in anger at the plant's presumption.
But only a few surly crags of the citadel refused to go gracefully into the retirement furnished by the ivy, and the loving plant softened every outline, filled up every crevice, bridged the gaps in the walls, toned down the rudeness of projecting stones, and did everything that an ivy-plant could do to make the rugged old castle as presentable as were the high rounded mounds without the city, cast up by the besiegers when the enemy last encamped against it.
The old castle had fallen on evil days, for around the walls of the citadel clustered the miserable huts of the modern Irish village. The imposing castle gate faced a lane, muddy and foul with the refuse thrown from the houses. The ivy-mantled towers looked down upon earth and stone huts, with thatched roofs, low chimneys, and doors seeming as if the builder designed them for windows and changed his mind without altering their size, but simply continued them to the ground and made them answer the purpose. A population, notable chiefly for its numerousness and lack of cleanliness, presented itself at every door, but little merriment was heard in the alleys of Athenry.
"Sure it's mighty little they have to laugh at," said the car-man. "Indade, the times has changed fur the counthry, Sorr. Wanst Ireland was as full o' payple as a Dublin sthrate, an' they was all as happy as a grazin' colt, an' as paceful as a basket av puppies, barrin' a bit o' fun at a marryin' or a wake, but thim times is all gone. Wid the landlords, an' the guver'mint, an' the sojers, an' the polis, lettin' in the rich an' turnin' out the poor, Irishmin is shtarvin' to death. See that bit av a cabin there, Sorr? Sure there's foorteen o' thim in it, an' two pigs, an' tin fowls; they all shlape togather on a pile av wet shtraw in the corner, an' sorra a wan o' thim knows where the bit in the mornin' is to come from. Phat do they ate? They're not in the laste purtickler. Spakin' ginerally, whatever they can get. They've pitaties an' milk, an' sometimes pitaties an' no milk, an' av a Sunday a bit o' mate that's a herrin', an' not a boot to the fut o' thim, an' they paddlin' in the wather on the flure. Sure the town's full o' thim an' the likes av thim. Begorra, the times has changed since the siven Kings held coort in the castle beyant yon.
"Niver heard o' the Siven Kings av Athenroy? Why ivery babby knows the whole shtory be heart, an' all about thim. Faith I'll tell it, fur it's not desayvin' ye I am, fur the ould castle was wan o' the greatest places in the counthry.
"Wanst upon a time, there was an ould King in Athenroy, that, be all accounts, was the besht ould King that iver set fut upon a throne. He was a tall ould King, an' the hairs av him an' the beard av him was as white as a shnow-flake, an' he had a long, grane dressin' gown, wid shamrocks av goold all over it, an' a goold crown as high as a gintleman's hat, wid a dimund as big as yer fisht on the front av it, an' silver shlippers on the feet av him. An' he had grane carpets on the groun' in the hall o' the ould castle, an' begob, they do say that everything about the coort was goold, but av that I'm not rightly sartain, barrin' the pipe. That was av goold, bekase there's a picture av him hangin' in Michael Flaherty's shebeen, an' the pipe is just the look av goold an' so it must have been.
"An' he was the besht King in Ireland, an' sorra a beggar 'ud come an the dure, but the King 'ud come out in his gown an' shlippers an' ax him how he come to be poor, an' sind him 'round to the kitchen to be warrumed wid a dhrop av whishkey an' fed wid all the cold pitaties that was in the panthry. All the people riz up whin he was a-walkin' down the shtrate wid a big goold-top shtick in his hand, an' the crown a-shinin' on his head, an' they said, 'God save yer Holiness,' an' he said, 'God save ye kindly,' mighty perlite, bekase he was a dacent mannered ould King, an' 'ud shpake to a poor divil that hadn't a coat on his back as quick as to wan av his ginerals wid a goold watch an' a shiny hat. An' whin he wint into a shop, sure they niver axed him to show the color av his money at all, but the man 'ud say, 'God save ye! Sure ye can pay whin ye plaze, an' I'll sind it be the postman whin he goes by.' An' the ould King 'ud say, 'Oh, I wont throuble ye. Bedad, I'll carry it,' an' aff the blessed ould King 'ud go, wid his bundles undher his arm, an' the crown on his head, as happy as a widdy wid a new husband.
"An' there was six other ould Kings, that was frinds to him, an' they was all as like him as six paze. Foor times a year they'd all come to Athenroy fur a bit av a shpree like, bekase the King av Athenroy was the ouldest av thim, an' they thought the worruld an' all av him. Faix, it was mighty improvin' to see thim all a-goin' to chapel in the mornin', an' singin' an' drinkin' an' playin' whisht in the avenin'. Sure thim was the blessed days fur the counthry.
"Well me dear, in coorse av time, the six ould Kings all died, God rest their sowls, but as aitch wan had a son to come afther him, the differ was mighty shmall, for the young Kings was dacent shpoken lads an' kept on comin' to Athenroy just like the ould Kings.
"Oh, bedad, I forgot to tell yez that the ould King had a dawther, that was the light av his eyes. She was as tall as a sargent an' as shtrate as a gun, an' her eyes was as blue as the shky an' shone like the shtars. An' her hairs was t'reads av goold, an' she was the beautifulest woman iver seen in Athenroy. An' shmall love there was for her, fur she was as cowld as a wet Christmas. She didn't shpake often, bekase she wasn't wan o' thim that 'ud deefen a smith, but whin she did, the tongue that was in the head av her was like a sting-nettle, an' 'ud lash around like a throut on land. An' ivery woman in the shtrate watched her like kites whin she set fut out o' the dure, bekase she dressed as fine as a fiddle, wid a grane silk gown, an' a blue bonnet wid yellow ribbins, an' a shtring av goold baids the size av plums 'round her neck.
"Musha, thin, it's a quare thing entirely, that min like wan woman betther than another. Begob, it's my belafe, savin' yer prisence, that there's not the differ av a cowld pitaty bechune thim all whin it's a queshtion av marryin' wan o' thim, an' if the whole worruld knewn that same, its few hurted heads there'd be along o' the wimmin. Well, it was the divil's own job, axin' yer pardon, but ivery wan o' thim young Kings tuk into his head to fall in love wid the Princess Bridget, fur that was her name, an' a good name it is; an' wan afther another, they'd shlip in whin they'd be passin', to pay their respicts. Whin wan o' thim found out that another wan was comin', he'd come the aftener himself to make up fur it, an' afther a while, they all found out aitch other, an' thin, begob all o' thim come to be beforehand wid the rest, an' from foor times in the year, it was foor times in the week that the gang o' them 'ud be settin' in the kitchen till the cock 'ud crow, all a-makin' love to the young Princess.
"An' a fine sight it was to see thim, bekase they was all shtrivin' to do somethin' for her. Whin she paled the pitaties fur the ould King's brekquest, sure wan o' thim 'ud be givin' her the pitaties, another wan 'ud catch the palin' an' the rest lookin' on wid the invy shinin' out o' their faces. Whin she dropped the thimble, you'd think the last wan 'ud jump out av his shkin to get it, an' whin she wint to milk the cow, wan 'ud carry the pail, another wan 'ud fetch the shtool, an' two 'ud feed the cow, an' two other wans 'ud hold the calf, an' aitch wan 'ud bless God whin she gev him the laste shmile, bekase she was so cowld, d' ye mind, that divil a wan o' thim all cud say that he'd get her at all.
"So at firsht, ould King Dennis, that bein' his name, was mighty plazed to see the young chaps all afther his dawther, an' whin he knewn they was in the kitchen, he'd shmoke his pipe an' have his sup be himself in the other room so as to lave thim; an' whin he saw thim hangin' over the wall o' the garden beyant, or peepin' through the hedge, he'd let on not to parsave thim; an' whin they folly'd the Princess to church, he was as proud as a paycock to see thim settin' behind her wid their crowns in a row undher the sate. But whin they kept an a-comin' ivery night in the week an' drinkin' his whishkey an' shmokin' his besht terbakky,—more-betoken, whin they begun' to be oncivil to aitch other, says he to himself, says he, 'Bedad,' says he, 'there'll be throuble if it kapes on thish-a-way. Sure I'll shpake to the gurrul.'
"So he called to the Princess, 'Biddy,' says he.
"'What, Father?' says she.
"'Come here to me,' says he.
"'Sure how can I? I'm busy,' says she.
"'Phat's that you're at?' says he.
"'I'm afther shwapin' the kitchen,' says she.
"'Lave aff,' says he. 'Come to me at wanst,' says he.
"The ould King was very starn, bekase he knewn it was only an axcuse she was afther makin,' an' she was lookin' that he'd be sayin' somethin' about the young Kings an' was afther dodgin' as long as she cud. So whin he shpoke so crass, she riz up aff the sate, for it was a fib she was tellin', an' she didn't shwape the kitchen at all, an' that was done be wan av the maids, an' gev a sigh, an' wint in the ould King's room.
"An' there was the ould King on his throne, his crown on his head, shmokin' his goolden dhudeen wid a glass o' grog at his side, as detarmined as he cud be. 'I'm wantin' to know,' says he, 'phat you're afther goin' to do,' says he, 'in regards av the young Kings,' says he.
"'Phat's that you're sayin', Father?' says she, mighty shly, as lettin' on not to see phat he was drivin' at. The ould King repated his statemint.
"'Troth, then, I dunno, Father,' says she.
"'Do you mane to marry thim, at all, at all?' says he.
"'Not all o' thim,' says she, shmilin'.
"'Well, which wan o' thim?' says he.
"'How can I tell?' says she.
"'Has any o' thim axed ye?' says he.
"'Hasn't they all?' says she.
"'An' which wan do ye love besht?' says he.
"'Sure how do I know?' says she, an' sorra a word more cud he get from her be all the queshtions he cud ax.
"But he tuk a dale av bother an' thin gev it up an' says to her, 'Go an' get the supper,' says he, 'come in the throne-room afther brekquest wid yer mind made.' But he was afeard she'd give him throuble fur it was the cool face she had, an' afther she was gone he set his crown over wan ear an' scrotched his head like a tinant on quarther day widout a pinny in his pocket, bekase he knewn that whoever the gurrul tuk, the other five Kings cud make throuble.
"So the next mornin', the Princess towld him phat she'd do, an' whin the Kings come that night, he walks into the kitchen where they were shmokin', an' makin' a low bow, he says, 'God save ye,' an' they all riz an' says, 'God save yer Holiness.' So he says, 'Bridget, go to bed immejitly, I'll shpake to the jintlemin.' An' she wint away, lettin' an to shmile an' consale her face, 't was the divil av a sharp gurrul she was, an' the ould King set on the table an' towld thim phat she'd do. He towld thim they must play fair, an' they said they would, an' thin he towld thim the Princess wanted to see which was the besht man, so they must have shports in her prisence, an' the next day afther the shports they'd find out who she was goin' to marry. So they all aggrade, an' wint home at wanst to get ready fur the shports.
"Faith, it 'ud 'uv done the sowl av ye good the next day to see the whole av Ireland at the shports whin the contist bechune the Kings kem.
"'T was held in the field beyant, an' they made a ring an' the six young Kings run races an' rassled an' played all the axcitin' games that was iver knewn, aitch wid wan eye on the shports an' the other on the Princess, that was shmilin' an thim all an' lookin' as plazed as a new Mimber o' Parlaymint, an' so did they all, bekase, d' ye see, before the shports begun, they was brought, wan at a time, in the coort, an' the Princess talked wid aitch be himself, wasn't it the shly purtinder that she was, fur whin they kem out, every wan was shmilin' to himself, as fur to say he had a very agrayble saycret.
"So the shports was ended an' everybody wint home, barrin' thim as shtopped at the shebeens. But sorra a wink o' shlape crassed the eyes av wan o' the young Kings, fur the joy that was in the heart o' thim, bekase aitch knewn he'd get the Princess.
"Whin the mornin' come, the like o' the flusthration that was in Athenroy was niver seen afore, nor sense aither, fur
"DIVIL A WAN O' ME KNOWS," SAYS HE.
whin the maid wint to call the Princess, sure she wasn't there. So they sarched the coort from the garret to the cellar an' peeped in the well an' found she was nowhere entirely.
"So they towld the ould King, an' says he, 'Baithershin, where is she at all,' says he, 'an' phat'ull I be sayin' to the young Kings whin they come.' An' there he was, a-tarin' the long white hair av him, whin the young Kings all come.
"'God save yer Holiness,' says they to him.
"'God save ye kindly,' says he, fur wid all the sorra that was in him, sure he didn't forgit to be perlite, bekase he was as cunnin' as a fox, an' knewn he'd nade all his good manners to make aminds fur his dawther's absince. So, says he, 'God save ye kindly,' says he, bowin'.
"'An' where is the Princess?' says they.
"'Divil a wan o' me knows,' says he.
"'Sure it's jokin' wid us ye are,' says the Kings.
"'Faix, I'm not,' says the ould King. 'Bad cess to the thrace av her was seen sense she went to bed.'
"'Sure she didn't go to bed entirely,' says the maid, 'the bed wasn't touched, an' her besht gown's gone.'
"'An' where has she gone?' says the Kings.
"'Tare an' 'ounds,' says the ould King, 'am n't I ignerant entirely? Och, Biddy, Biddy, how cud ye sarve me so?' a-wringing his hands wid the graif.
"Well, at firsht the Kings looked at aitch other as if the eyes 'ud lave thim, bein' all dazed like an' sarcumvinted intirely. An' thin they got their wits about thim, an' begun to be angry.
"'It's desayvin' us ye are, ye outprobious ould villin,' says they to him. 'Musha, thin, bad cess to ye, bring out the Princess an' let her make her chice bechune us, or it'll be the worse fur ye, ye palaverin' ould daddy long-legs,' says they.
"'God bechune us an' harm,' says the ould King, 'sure d' ye think it's makin' fun av ye I am, an' me spindin' more than tin pounds yestherday fur whishkey an the shports? Faix, she's gone,' says he.
"'Where to?' says they.
"'Divil a know I know,' says he, wid the face av him gettin' red, an' wid that word they all wint away in a tarin' rage wid him, fur they consaved, an' shmall blame to thim, that he had her consaled in the coort an' was shtrivin' to chate thim.
"An' they wint home an' got their armies, an' come back wid 'em that night, an' while the ould King an' his min were all ashlape they made these piles av airth to take the city whin the day 'ud break.
"Whin the ould King riz an' tuk a walk an the roof wid his shlippers, sure phat 'ud he see but banners a-wavin', soords a-flashin', an' the ears av him was deefened wid the thrumpets. 'Bad scran to the idjits,' says he; 'phat's that they're afther?' says he. 'Isn't there more nor wan woman in the worruld, that they're makin' a bother afther Bridget?' So wid that he ordhered his min to get ready wid their waypons, an' before the battle 'ud begin, he wint out to thry an' make a thraty.
"While they were a-talkin', up comes wan av the King's tinants, wid a donkey an' a load av sayweed fur the King's garden, that he'd been to Galway afther. 'God save ye,' says he, a-touchin' his cap; 'where is the six Kings?'
"'An' phat d'ye want, ye blaggard?' says they, lookin' lofty.
"'I've a message fur yez,' says he, 'from the young Princess,' an' whin they heard him shpake, they all stopped to listen.
"'She sent her respicts,' says he, 'an' bid me tell yez that she was afther kapin' her word an' lettin' yer Honors know who she was goin' to marry. It's the King av Galway that's in it, if it's plazin' to ye, an' she says she'll sind yez a bit av the cake. I met her lasht night in the road ridin' wid him on a car an' had a bundle undher her arrum. Divil a taste av a lie's in it entirely.'
"Bad cess to the gurrul, it was thrue fur him, fur she had run away. But, my dear, it was as good as the theayter to see the six young Kings an' the ould King, a-lookin' at aitch other as stupid as a jackass, all as wan as the castle 'ad 'a' fallen on thim. But they was sinsible young fellys, an' seen the Princess had desaved thim all complately.
"'Bad scran to the gurrul,' says they, 'an' it's the blessed fools we was fur belavin' her.' Thin they come to talk to aitch other, an' wan says, 'Sure she thought most av me, fur she towld me she hoped I'd bate yez,' says he. 'Begob, she said to me that same,' says the other wans, an' they stud, scrotchin' the heads av thim an' disconsarted intirely.
"'An' phat's the good av fightin,' says the ould King, 'bein' as we're all in the thrap at wanst?'
"'Thrue fur ye,' says they. 'We'll dispinse widout her. We'll have it out wid the King o' Galway,' says they.
"An' they all wint into the coort an' had the bit an' sup, an' made a thraty forninst the King av Galway. It was the great war that was in it, the Siven Kings wid the King av Galway, an' bate him out o' the counthry intirely. But it's my consate that they was all fools to be afther fightin' consarnin' wan woman whin the worruld is full o' thim, an' any wan competint to give a man plenty to think av, bekase whin she gives her attinshun to it, any woman can be the divil complately."
TAMING THE POOKA.
The west and northwest coast of Ireland shows many remarkable geological formations, but, excepting the Giant's Causeway, no more striking spectacle is presented than that to the south of Galway Bay. From the sea, the mountains rise in terraces like gigantic stairs, the layers of stone being apparently harder and denser on the upper surfaces than beneath, so the lower portion of each layer, disintegrating first, is washed away by the rains and a clearly defined step is formed. These terraces are generally about twenty feet high, and of a breadth, varying with the situation and exposure, of from ten to fifty feet.
The highway from Ennis to Ballyvaughn, a fishing village opposite Galway, winds, by a circuitous course, through these freaks of nature, and, on the long descent from the high land to the sea level, passes the most conspicuous of the neighboring mountains, the Corkscrew Hill. The general shape of the mountain is conical, the terraces composing it are of wonderful regularity from the base to the peak, and the strata being sharply upturned from the horizontal, the impression given is that of a broad road carved out of the sides of the mountain and winding by an easy ascent to the summit.
"'Tis the Pooka's Path they call it," said the car-man. "Phat's the Pooka? Well, that's not aisy to say. It's an avil sper't that does be always in mischief, but sure it niver does sarious harrum axceptin' to thim that desarves it, or thim that shpakes av it disrespictful. I never seen it, Glory be to God, but there's thim that has, and be the same token, they do say that it looks like the finest black horse that iver wore shoes. But it isn't a horse at all at all, for no horse 'ud have eyes av fire, or be breathin' flames av blue wid a shmell o' sulfur, savin' yer presince, or a shnort like thunder, and no mortial horse 'ud take the lapes it does, or go as fur widout gettin' tired. Sure when it give Tim O'Bryan the ride it give him, it wint from Gort to Athlone wid wan jump, an' the next it tuk he was in Mullingyar, and the next was in Dublin, and back agin be way av Kilkenny an' Limerick, an' niver turned a hair. How far is that? Faith I dunno, but it's a power av distance, an' clane acrost Ireland an' back. He knew it was the Pooka bekase it shpake to him like a Christian mortial, only it isn't agrayble in its language an' 'ull niver give ye a dacint word afther ye're on its back, an' sometimes not before aither.
"Sure Dennis O'Rourke was afther comin' home wan night, it was only a boy I was, but I mind him tellin' the shtory, an' it was at a fair in Galway he'd been. He'd been havin' a sup, some says more, but whin he come to the rath, and jist beyant where the fairies dance and ferninst the wall where the polisman was shot last winther, he fell in the ditch, quite spint and tired complately. It wasn't the length as much as the wideness av the road was in it, fur he was goin' from wan side to the other an' it was too much fur him entirely. So he laid shtill fur a bit and thin thried fur to get up, but his legs wor light and his head was heavy, an' whin he attimpted to get his feet an the road 'twas his head that was an it, bekase his legs cudn't balance it. Well, he laid there and was bet entirely, an' while he was studyin' how he'd raise, he heard the throttin' av a horse on the road. ''Tis meself 'ull get the lift now,' says he, and laid waitin', and up comes the Pooka. Whin Dennis seen him, begob, he kivered his face wid his hands and turned on the breast av him, and roared wid fright like a bull.
"'Arrah thin, ye snakin' blaggard,' says the Pooka, mighty short, 'lave aff yer bawlin' or I'll kick ye to the ind av next week,' says he to him.
"But Dennis was scairt, an' bellered louder than afore, so the Pooka, wid his hoof, give him a crack on the back that knocked the wind out av him.
"'Will ye lave aff,' says the Pooka, 'or will I give ye another, ye roarin' dough-face?'
"Dennis left aff blubberin' so the Pooka got his timper back.
"'Shtand up, ye guzzlin' sarpint,' says the Pooka, 'I'll give ye a ride.'
"'Plaze yer Honor,' says Dennis, 'I can't. Sure I've not been afther drinkin' at all, but shmokin' too much an' atin', an' it's sick I am, and not ontoxicated.'
"'Och, ye dhrunken buzzard,' says the Pooka, 'Don't offer fur to desave me,' liftin' up his hoof agin, an' givin' his tail a swish that sounded like the noise av a catheract, 'Didn't I thrack ye for two miles be yer breath,' says he, 'An' you shmellin' like a potheen fact'ry,' says he, 'An' the nose on yer face as red as a turkey-cock's. Get up, or I'll lift ye,' says he, jumpin' up an' cracking his hind fut like he was doin' a jig.
"Dennis did his best, an' the Pooka helped him wid a grip o' the teeth on his collar.
"'Pick up yer caubeen,' says the Pooka, 'an' climb up. I'll give ye such a ride as ye niver dhramed av.'
"'Ef it's plazin' to yer Honor,' says Dennis, 'I'd laver walk. Ridin' makes me dizzy,' says he.
"''Tis not plazin',' says the Pooka, 'will ye get up or will I kick the shtuffin' out av yer cowardly carkidge,' says he, turnin' round an' flourishin' his heels in Dennis' face.
"Poor Dennis thried, but he cudn't, so the Pooka tuk him to the wall an' give him a lift an it, an' whin Dennis was mounted, an' had a tight howld on the mane, the first lep he give was down the rock there, a thousand feet into the field ye see, thin up agin, an' over the mountain, an' into the say, an' out agin, from the top av the waves to the top av the mountain, an' afther the poor soggarth av a ditcher was nigh onto dead, the Pooka come back here wid him an' dhropped him in the ditch where he found him, an' blowed in his face to put him to slape, so lavin' him. An' they found Dennis in the mornin' an' carried him home, no more cud he walk for a fortnight be razon av the wakeness av his bones fur the ride he'd had.
"But sure, the Pooka's a different baste entirely to phat he was afore King Bryan-Boru tamed him. Niver heard av him? Well, he was the king av Munster an' all Ireland an' tamed the Pooka wanst fur all on the Corkschrew Hill ferninst ye.
"Ye see, in the owld days, the counthry was full av avil sper'ts, an' fairies an' witches, an' divils entirely, and the harrum they done was onsaycin', for they wor always comin' an' goin', like Mulligan's blanket, an' widout so much as sayin', by yer lave. The fairies 'ud be dancin' on the grass every night be the light av the moon, an' stalin' away the childhre, an' many's the wan they tuk that niver come back. The owld rath on the hill beyant was full av the dead, an' afther nightfall they'd come from their graves an' walk in a long line wan afther another to the owld church in the valley where they'd go in an' stay till cock-crow, thin they'd come out agin an' back to the rath. Sorra a parish widout a witch, an' some nights they'd have a great enthertainmint on the Corkschrew Hill, an' you'd see thim, wid shnakes on their arrums an' necks an' ears, be way av jewels, an' the eyes av dead men in their hair, comin' for miles an' miles, some ridin' through the air on shticks an' bats an' owls, an' some walkin', an' more on Pookas an' horses wid wings that 'ud come up in line to the top av the hill, like the cabs at the dure o' the theayter, an' lave thim there an' hurry aff to bring more.
"Sometimes the Owld Inimy, Satan himself, 'ud be there at the enthertainmint, comin' an a monsthrous draggin, wid grane shcales an' eyes like the lightnin' in the heavens, an' a roarin' fiery mouth like a lime-kiln. It was the great day thin, for they do say all the witches brought their rayports at thim saysons fur to show him phat they done.
"Some 'ud tell how they shtopped the wather in a spring, an' inconvanienced the nabers, more 'ud show how they dhried the cow's milk, an' made her kick the pail, an' they'd all laugh like to shplit. Some had blighted the corn, more had brought the rains on the harvest. Some towld how their enchantmints made the childhre fall ill, some said how they set the thatch on fire, more towld how they shtole the eggs, or spiled the crame in the churn, or bewitched the butther so it 'udn't come, or led the shape into the bog. But that wasn't all.
"Wan 'ud have the head av a man murthered be her manes, an' wid it the hand av him hung fur the murther; wan 'ud bring the knife she'd scuttled a boat wid an' pint in the say to where the corpses laid av the fishermen she'd dhrownded; wan 'ud carry on her breast the child she'd shtolen an' meant to bring up in avil, an' another wan 'ud show the little white body av a babby she'd smothered in its slape. And the corpse-candles 'ud tell how they desaved the thraveller, bringin' him to the river, an' the avil sper'ts 'ud say how they dhrew him in an' down to the bottom in his sins an' thin to the pit wid him. An' owld Belzebub 'ud listen to all av thim, wid a rayporther, like thim that's afther takin' down the spaches at a Lague meetin', be his side, a-writing phat they said, so as whin they come to be paid, it 'udn't be forgotten.
"Thim wor the times fur the Pookas too, fur they had power over thim that wint forth afther night, axceptin' it was on an arriant av marcy they were. But sorra a sinner that hadn't been to his juty reglar 'ud iver see the light av day agin afther meetin' a Pooka thin, for the baste 'ud aither kick him to shmithereens where he stud, or lift him on his back wid his teeth an' jump into the say wid him, thin dive, lavin' him to dhrownd, or shpring over a clift wid him an' tumble him to the bottom a bleedin' corpse. But wasn't there the howls av joy whin a Pooka 'ud catch a sinner unbeknownst, an' fetch him on the Corkschrew wan o' the nights Satan was there. Och, God defind us, phat a sight it was. They made a ring wid the corpse-candles, while the witches tore him limb from limb, an' the fiends drunk his blood in red-hot iron noggins wid shrieks o' laughter to smother his schreams, an' the Pookas jumped on his body an' thrampled it into the ground, an' the timpest 'ud whishle a chune, an' the mountains about 'ud kape time, an' the Pookas, an' witches, an' sper'ts av avil, an' corpse-candles, an' bodies o' the dead, an' divils, 'ud all jig together round the rock where owld Belzebub 'ud set shmilin', as fur to say he'd ax no betther divarshun. God's presince be wid us, it makes me crape to think av it.
"Well, as I was afther sayin', in the time av King Bryan, the Pookas done a dale o' harrum, but as thim that they murthered wor dhrunken bastes that wor in the shebeens in the day an' in the ditch be night, an' wasn't missed whin the Pookas tuk them, the King paid no attintion, an' small blame to him that 's.
"But wan night, the queen's babby fell ill, an' the king says to his man, says he, 'Here, Riley, get you up an' on the white mare an' go fur the docther.'
"'Musha thin,' says Riley, an' the king's counthry house was in the break o' the hills, so Riley 'ud pass the rath an' the Corkschrew on the way afther the docther; 'Musha thin,' says he, aisey and on the quiet, 'it's mesilf that doesn't want that same job.'
"So he says to the king, 'Won't it do in the mornin'?'
"'It will not,' says the king to him. 'Up, ye lazy beggar, atin' me bread, an' the life lavin' me child.'
"So he wint, wid great shlowness, tuk the white mare, an' aff, an' that was the last seen o' him or the mare aither, fur the Pooka tuk 'em. Sorra a taste av a lie's in it, for thim that said they seen him in Cork two days afther, thrading aff the white mare, was desaved be the sper'ts, that made it seem to be him whin it wasn't that they've a thrick o' doin'.
"Well, the babby got well agin, bekase the docther didn't get there, so the king left botherin' afther it and begun to wondher about Riley an' the white mare, and sarched fur thim but didn't find thim. An' thin he knewn that they was gone entirely, bekase, ye see, the Pooka didn't lave as much as a hair o' the mare's tail.
"'Wurra thin,' says he, 'is it horses that the Pooka 'ull be stalin'? Bad cess to its impidince! This 'ull niver do. Sure we'll be ruinated entirely,' says he.
"Mind ye now, it's my consate from phat he said, that the king wasn't consarned much about Riley, fur he knewn that he cud get more Irishmen whin he wanted thim, but phat he meant to say was that if the Pooka tuk to horse-stalin', he'd be ruinated entirely, so he would, for where 'ud he get another white mare? So it was a mighty sarious question an' he retired widin himself in the coort wid a big book that he had that towld saycrets. He'd a sight av larnin', had the king, aquel to a school-masther, an' a head that 'ud sarcumvint a fox.
"So he read an' read as fast as he cud, an' afther readin' widout shtoppin', barrin' fur the bit an' sup, fur siven days an' nights, he come out, an' whin they axed him cud he bate the Pooka now, he said niver a word, axceptin' a wink wid his eye, as fur to say he had him.
"So that day he was in the fields an' along be the hedges an' ditches from sunrise to sunset, collectin' the matarials av a dose fur the Pooka, but phat he got, faith, I dunno, no more does any wan, fur he never said, but kep the saycret to himself an' didn't say it aven to the quane, fur he knewn that saycrets run through a woman like wather in a ditch. But there was wan thing about it that he cudn't help tellin', fur he wanted it but cudn't get it widout help, an' that was three hairs from the Pooka's tail, axceptin' which the charm 'udn't work. So he towld a man he had, he'd give him no end av goold if he'd get thim fur him, but the felly pulled aff his caubeen an' scrotched his head an' says, 'Faix, yer Honor, I dunno phat'll be the good to me av the goold if the Pooka gets a crack at me carkidge wid his hind heels,' an' he wudn't undhertake the job on no wages, so the king begun to be afeared that his loaf was dough.
"But it happen'd av the Friday, this bein' av a Chewsday, that the Pooka caught a sailor that hadn't been on land only long enough to get bilin' dhrunk, an' got him on his back, so jumped over the clift wid him lavin' him dead enough, I go bail. Whin they come to sarch the sailor to see phat he had in his pockets, they found three long hairs round the third button av his top-coat. So they tuk thim to the king tellin' him where they got thim, an' he was greatly rejiced, bekase now he belaved he had the Pooka sure enough, so he ended his inchantmint.
"But as the avenin' come, he riz a doubt in the mind av him thish-a-way. Ev the three hairs wor out av the Pooka's tail, the charm 'ud be good enough, but if they wasn't, an' was from his mane inshtead, or from a horse inshtead av a Pooka, the charm 'udn't work an' the Pooka 'ud get atop av him wid all the feet he had at wanst an' be the death av him immejitly. So this nate and outprobrious argymint shtruck the king wid great force an' fur a bit, he was onaisey. But wid a little sarcumvintion, he got round it, for he confist an' had absolution so as he'd be ready, thin he towld wan av the sarvints to come in an' tell him afther supper, that there was a poor widdy in the boreen beyant the Corkschrew that wanted help that night, that it 'ud be an arriant av marcy he'd be on, an' so safe agin the Pooka if the charm didn't howld.
"'Sure, phat'll be the good o' that?' says the man, 'It 'ull be a lie, an' won't work.'
"'Do you be aisey in yer mind,' says the king to him agin, 'do as yer towld an' don't argy, for that's a pint av mettyfisics,' says he, faix it was a dale av deep larnin' he had, 'that's a pint av mettyfisics an' the more ye argy on thim subjics, the less ye know,' says he, an' it's thrue fur him. 'Besides, aven if it's a lie, it'll desave the Pooka, that's no mettyfishian, an' it's my belafe that the end is good enough for the manes,' says he, a-thinking av the white mare.
"So, afther supper, as the king was settin' afore the fire, an' had the charm in his pocket, the sarvint come in and towld him about the widdy.
"'Begob,' says the king, like he was surprised, so as to desave the Pooka complately, 'Ev that's thrue, I must go relave her at wanst.' So he riz an' put on sojer boots, wid shpurs on 'em a fut acrost, an' tuk a long whip in his hand, for fear, he said, the widdy 'ud have dogs, thin wint to his chist an' tuk his owld stockin' an' got a suv'rin out av it,—Och, 'twas the shly wan he was, to do everything so well,—an' wint out wid his right fut first, an' the shpurs a-rattlin' as he walked.
"He come acrost the yard, an' up the hill beyant yon an' round the corner, but seen nothin' at all. Thin up the fut path round the Corkscrew an' met niver a sowl but a dog that he cast a shtone at. But he didn't go out av the road to the widdy's, for he was afeared that if he met the Pooka an' he caught him in a lie, not bein' in the road to where he said he was goin', it 'ud be all over wid him. So he walked up an' down bechuxt the owld church below there an' the rath on the hill, an' jist as the clock was shtrikin' fur twelve, he heard a horse in front av him, as he was walkin' down, so he turned an' wint the other way, gettin' his charm ready, an' the Pooka come up afther him.
"'The top o' the mornin' to yer Honor,' says the Pooka, as perlite as a Frinchman, for he seen be his close that the king wasn't a common blaggard like us, but was wan o' the rale quolity.
"'Me sarvice to ye,' says the king to him agin, as bowld as a ram, an' whin the Pooka heard him shpake, he got perliter than iver, an' made a low bow an' shcrape wid his fut, thin they wint on together an' fell into discoorse.
"''Tis a black night for thravelin',' says the Pooka.
"'Indade it is,' says the king, 'it's not me that 'ud be out in it, if it wasn't a case o' needcessity. I'm on an arriant av charity,' says he.
"'That's rale good o' ye,' says the Pooka to him, 'and if I may make bowld to ax, phat's the needcessity?'
"''Tis to relave a widdy-woman,' says the king.
"'Oho,' says the Pooka, a-throwin' back his head laughin' wid great plazin'ness an' nudgin' the king wid his leg on the arrum, beways that it was a joke it was bekase the king said it was to relave a widdy he was goin'. 'Oho,' says the Pooka, ''tis mesilf that's glad to be in the comp'ny av an iligint jintleman that's on so plazin' an arriant av marcy,' says he. 'An' how owld is the widdy-woman?' says he, bustin' wid the horrid laugh he had.
"'Musha thin,' says the king, gettin' red in the face an' not likin' the joke the laste bit, for jist betune us, they do say that afore he married the quane, he was the laddy-buck wid the wimmin, an' the quane's maid towld the cook, that towld the footman, that said to the gardener, that towld the nabers that many's the night the poor king was as wide awake as a hare from sun to sun wid the quane a-gostherin' at him about that same. More betoken, there was a widdy in it, that was as sharp as a rat-thrap an' surrounded him whin he was young an' hadn't as much sinse as a goose, an' was like to marry him at wanst in shpite av all his relations, as widdys undhershtand how to do. So it's my consate that it wasn't dacint for the Pooka to be afther laughin' that-a-way, an' shows that avil sper'ts is dirthy blaggards that can't talk wid jintlemin. 'Musha,' thin, says the king, bekase the Pooka's laughin' wasn't agrayble to listen to, 'I don't know that same, fur I niver seen her, but, be jagers, I belave she's a hundherd, an' as ugly as Belzebub, an' whin her owld man was alive, they tell me she had a timper like a gandher, an' was as aisey to manage as an armful o' cats,' says he. 'But she's in want, an' I'm afther bringin' her a suv'rin,' says he.
"Well, the Pooka sayced his laughin', fur he seen the king was very vexed, an' says to him, 'And if it's plazin', where does she live?'
"'At the ind o' the boreen beyant the Corkschrew,' says the king, very short.
"'Begob, that's a good bit,' says the Pooka.
"'Faix, it's thrue for ye,' says the king, 'more betoken, it's up hill ivery fut o' the way, an' me back is bruk entirely wid the stapeness,' says he, be way av a hint he'd like a ride.
"'Will yer Honor get upon me back,' says the Pooka. 'Sure I'm afther goin' that-a-way, an' you don't mind gettin' a lift?' says he, a-fallin' like the stupid baste he was, into the thrap the king had made fur him.
"'Thanks,' says the king, 'I b'lave not. I've no bridle nor saddle,' says he, 'besides, it's the shpring o' the year, an' I'm afeared ye're sheddin', an' yer hair 'ull come aff an' spile me new britches,' says he, lettin' on to make axcuse.
"'Have no fear,' says the Pooka. 'Sure I niver drop me hair. It's no ordhinary garron av a horse I am, but a most oncommon baste that's used to the quolity,' says he.
"'Yer spache shows that,' says the king, the clever man that he was, to be perlite that-a-way to a Pooka, that's known to be a divil out-en-out, 'but ye must exqueeze me this avenin', bekase, d'ye mind, the road's full o' shtones an' monsthrous stape, an' ye look so young, I'm afeared ye'll shtumble an' give me a fall,' says he.
"'Arrah thin,' says the Pooka, 'it's thrue fur yer Honor, I do look young,' an' he begun to prance on the road givin' himself airs like an owld widdy man afther wantin' a young woman, 'but me age is owlder than ye'd suppoge. How owld 'ud ye say I was,' says he, shmilin'.
"IF IT'S AGGRAYBLE TO YE, I'LL LOOK IN YER MOUTH."
"'Begorra, divil a bit know I,' says the king, 'but if it's agrayble to ye, I'll look in yer mouth an' give ye an answer,' says he.
"So the Pooka come up to him fair an' soft an' stratched his mouth like as he thought the king was wantin' fur to climb in, an' the king put his hand on his jaw like as he was goin' to see the teeth he had: and thin, that minnit he shlipped the three hairs round the Pooka's jaw, an' whin he done that, he dhrew thim tight, an' said the charm crossin' himself the while, an' immejitly the hairs wor cords av stale, an' held the Pooka tight, be way av a bridle.
"'Arra-a-a-h, now, ye bloody baste av a murtherin' divil ye,' says the king, pullin' out his big whip that he had consaled in his top-coat, an' giving the Pooka a crack wid it undher his stummick, 'I'll give ye a ride ye won't forgit in a hurry,' says he, 'ye black Turk av a four-legged nagur an' you shtaling me white mare,' says he, hittin' him agin.
"'Oh my,' says the Pooka, as he felt the grip av the iron on his jaw an' knewn he was undher an inchantmint, 'Oh my, phat's this at all,' rubbin' his breast wid his hind heel, where the whip had hit him, an' thin jumpin' wid his fore feet out to cotch the air an' thryin' fur to break away. 'Sure I'm ruined, I am, so I am,' says he.
"'It's thrue fur ye,' says the king, 'begob it's the wan thrue thing ye iver said,' says he, a-jumpin' on his back, an' givin' him the whip an' the two shpurs wid all his might.
"Now I forgot to tell ye that whin the king made his inchantmint, it was good fur siven miles round, and the Pooka knewn that same as well as the king an' so he shtarted like a cunshtable was afther him, but the king was afeared to let him go far, thinkin' he'd do the siven miles in a jiffy, an' the inchantmint 'ud be broken like a rotten shtring, so he turned him up the Corkschrew.
"'I'll give ye all the axercise ye want,' says he, 'in thravellin' round this hill,' an' round an' round they wint, the king shtickin' the big shpurs in him every jump an' crackin' him wid the whip till his sides run blood in shtrames like a mill race, an' his schreams av pain wor heard all over the worruld so that the king av France opened his windy and axed the polisman why he didn't shtop the fightin' in the shtrate. Round an' round an' about the Corkschrew wint the king, a-lashin' the Pooka, till his feet made the path ye see on the hill bekase he wint so often.
"And whin mornin' come, the Pooka axed the king phat he'd let him go fur, an' the king was gettin' tired an' towld him that he must niver shtale another horse, an' never kill another man, barrin' furrin blaggards that wasn't Irish, an' whin he give a man a ride, he must bring him back to the shpot where he got him an' lave him there. So the Pooka consinted, Glory be to God, an' got aff, an' that's the way he was tamed, an' axplains how it was that Dennis O'Rourke was left be the Pooka in the ditch jist where he found him."
"More betoken, the Pooka's an althered baste every way, fur now he dhrops his hair like a common horse, and it's often found shtickin' to the hedges where he jumped over, an' they do say he doesn't shmell half as shtrong o' sulfur as he used, nor the fire out o' his nose isn't so bright. But all the king did fur him 'ud n't taiche him to be civil in his spache, an' whin he meets ye in the way, he spakes just as much like a blaggard as ever. An' it's out av divilmint entirely he does it, bekase he can be perlite as ye know be phat I towld ye av him sayin' to the king, an' that proves phat I said to ye that avil sper'ts can't larn rale good manners, no matther how hard they thry.
"But the fright he got never left him, an' so he kapes out av the highways an' thravels be the futpaths, an' so isn't often seen. An' it's my belafe that he can do no harrum at all to thim that fears God, an' there's thim that says he niver shows himself nor meddles wid man nor mortial barrin' they're in dhrink, an' mebbe there's something in that too, fur it doesn't take much dhrink to make a man see a good dale."
THE SEXTON OF CASHEL.
All over Ireland, from Cork to Belfast, from Dublin to Galway, are scattered the ruins of churches, abbeys, and ecclesiastical buildings, the relics of a country once rich, prosperous and populous. These ruins raise their castellated walls and towers, noble even in decay, sometimes in the midst of a village, crowded with the miserably poor, sometimes on a mountain, in every direction commanding magnificent prospects; sometimes on an island in one of the lakes, which, like emeralds in a setting of deeper green, gem the surface of the rural landscape and contribute to increase the beauty of scenery not surpassed in the world.
Ages ago the voice of prayer and the song of praise ceased to ascend from these sacred edifices, and they are now visited only by strangers, guides, and parties of humble peasants, the foremost bearing on their shoulders the remains of a companion to be laid within the hallowed enclosure, for although the church is in ruins, the ground in and about it is still holy and in service when pious hands lay away in the bosom of earth the bodies of those who have borne the last burden, shed the last tear, and succumbed to the last enemy. But among all the pitiable spectacles presented in this unhappy
THE ROCK OF CASHEL.
country, none is better calculated to inspire sad reflections than a rural graveyard. The walls of the ruined church tower on high, with massive cornice and pointed window; within stand monuments and tombs of the Irish great; kings, princes, and archbishops lie together, while about the hallowed edifice are huddled the graves of the poor; here, sinking so as to be indistinguishable from the sod; there, rising in new-made proportions; yonder, marked with a wooden cross, or a round stick, the branch of a tree rudely trimmed, but significant as the only token bitter poverty could furnish of undying love; while over all the graves, alike of the high born and of the lowly, the weeds and nettles grow.
"Sure there's no saxton, Sorr," said car-man Jerry Magwire, in answer to a question, "We dig the graves ourselves whin we put them away, an' sometimes there's a fight in the place whin two berryin's meet. Why is that? Faith, it's not for us to be talkin' o' them deep subjects widout respict, but it's the belafe that the last wan berrid must be carryin' wather all the time to the sowls in Purgathory till the next wan comes to take the place av him. So, ye mind, when two berryin's happen to meet, aitch party is shtrivin' to be done foorst, an' wan thries to make the other lave aff, an' thin they have it. Troth, Irishmen are too handy wid their fishts entirely, it's a weak pint wid 'em. But it's a sad sight, so it is, to see the graves wid the nettles on thim an' the walls all tumblin'. It isn't every owld church that has a caretaker like him of Cashel. Bedad, he was betther nor a flock av goats to banish the weeds.
"Who was he? Faith, I niver saw him but the wan time, an' thin I had only a shot at him as he was turnin' a corner, for it was as I was lavin' Cormac's chapel the time I wint to Cashel on a pinance, bekase av a little throuble on me mind along av a pig that wasn't mine, but got mixed wid mine whin I was afther killin' it. But, as I obsarved, it was only a shot at him I had, for it wasn't aften that he was seen in the daytime, but done all his work in the night, an' it isn't me that 'ud be climbin' the Rock av Cashel afther the sun 'ud go to slape. Not that there's avil sper'ts there, for none that's bad can set fut on that holy ground day or night, but I'm not afther wantin' to meet a sper't av any kind, even if it's good, for how can ye tell about thim. Sure aven the blessed saints have been desaved, an' it's not for a sinner like me to be settin' up for to know more than thimselves. But it was the long, bent body that he had, like he'd a burdhen on his back, as they say, God be good to him, he had on his sowl, an' a thin, white face wid the hair an' beard hangin' about it, an' the great, blue eyes lookin' out as if he was gazin' on the other worruld. No, I didn't run down the rock, but I didn't walk aither, but jist bechuxt the two, wid a sharp eye round the corners that I passed. No more do I belave there was harrum in him, but, God's prisence be about us, ye can't tell.
"He was a man o' Clare be the name av Paddy O'Sullivan, an' lived on the highway betune Crusheen an' Ennis, an' they do say that whin he was a lad, there wasn't a finer to be seen in the County; a tall, shtrappin' young felly wid an eye like a bay'net, an' a fisht like a shmith, an' the fut an' leg av him 'ud turn the hearts o' half the wimmin in the parish. An' they was all afther him, like they always do be whin a man is good lookin', sure I've had a little o' that same exparience mesilf. Ye needn't shmile. I know me head has no more hair on it than an egg, an' I think me last tooth 'ull come out tomorrer, bad cess to the day, but they do say that forty years ago, I cud have me pick av the gurruls, an' mebbe they're mishtaken an' mebbe not. But I was sayin', the gurruls were afther Paddy like rats afther chaze, an' sorra a wan o' thim but whin she spied him on the road, 'ud shlip behind the hedge to shmooth her locks a bit an' set the shawl shtraight on her head. An' whin there was a bit av a dance, niver a boy 'ud get a chance till Paddy made his chice to dance wid, an' sorra a good word the rest o' the gurruls 'ud give that same. Och, the tongues that wimmin have! Sure they're sharper nor a draggin's tooth. Faith, I know that well too, for I married two o' them an' larned a deal too afther doin' it, an' axin' yer pardon, it's my belafe that if min knewn as much before marryin' as afther, bedad, the owld maid population 'ud be greatly incrased.
"Howandiver, afther a bit, Paddy left carin' for thim all, that, in my consate, is a moighty safe way, and begun to look afther wan. Her name was Nora O'Moore, an' she was as clever a gurrul as 'ud be found bechuxt Limerick an' Galway. She was kind o' resarved like, wid a face as pale as a shroud, an' hair as black as a crow, an' eyes that looked at ye an' never seen ye. No more did she talk much, an' whin Paddy 'ud be sayin' his fine spaches, she'd listen wid her eyes cast down, an' whin she'd had enough av his palaver, she'd jist look at him, an' somehow Paddy felt that his p'liteness wasn't the thing to work wid. He cudn't undhershtand her, an' bedad, many's the man that's caught be not undhershtandin' thim. There's rivers that's quiet on top bekase they're deep, an' more that's quiet bekase they're not deep enough to make a ripple, but phat's the differ if ye can't sound thim, an' whin a woman's quiet, begorra, it's not aisy to say if she's deep or shallow. But Nora was a deep wan, an' as good as iver drew a breath. She thought a dale av Paddy, only she'd be torn limb from limb afore she'd let him know it till he confist first. Well, my dear, Paddy wint on, at firsht it was only purtindin' he was, an' whin he found she cudn't be tuk wid his chaff, he got in airnest, an' afore he knewn it, he was dead in love wid Nora, an' had as much show for gettin' out agin as a shape in a bog, an' sorra a bit did he know at all at all, whether she cared a traneen for him. It's funny entirely that whin a man thinks a woman is afther him, he's aff like a hare, but if she doesn't care a rap, begob, he'll give the nose aff his face to get her. So it was wid Paddy an' Nora, axceptin' that Paddy didn't know that Nora wanted him as much as he wanted her.
"So, wan night, whin he was bringin' her from a dance that they'd been at, he said to her that he loved her betther than life an' towld her would she marry him, an' she axed was it jokin' or in airnest he was, an' he said cud she doubt it whin he loved her wid all the veins av his heart, an' she trimbled, turnin' paler than iver, an' thin blushin' rosy red for joy an' towld him yes, an' he kissed her, an' they both thought the throuble was all over foriver. It's a way thim lovers has, an' they must be axcused, bekase it's the same wid thim all.
"But it wasn't at all, fur Nora had an owld squireen av a father, that was as full av maneness as eggs is av mate. Sure he was the divil entirely at home, an' niver left off wid the crassness that was in him. The timper av him was spiled be rason o' losing his bit o' money wid cards an' racin', an' like some min, he tuk it out wid his wife an' dawther. There was only the three o' thim in it, an' they do say that whin he was crazy wid dhrink, he'd bate thim right an' lift, an' turn thim out o' the cabin into the night, niver heeding, the baste, phat 'ud come to thim. But they niver said a word thimselves, an' the nabers only larned av it be seein' thim.
"Well. Whin O'Moore was towld that Paddy was kapin' comp'ny wid Nora, an' the latther an' her mother towld him she wanted fur to marry Paddy, the owld felly got tarin' mad, fur he was as proud as a paycock, an' though he'd nothin' himself, he riz agin the match, an' all the poor mother an' Nora cud say 'udn't sthir him.
"'Sure I've nothin' agin him,' he'd say, 'barrin' he's as poor as a fiddler, an' I want Nora to make a good match.'
"Now the owld felly had a match in his mind fur Nora, a lad from Tipperary, whose father was a farmer there, an' had a shmart bit av land wid no end av shape grazin' on it, an' the Tipperary boy wasn't bad at all, only as shtupid as a donkey, an' whin he'd come to see Nora, bad cess to the word he'd to say, only look at her a bit an' thin fall aslape an' knock his head agin the wall. But he wanted her, an' his father an' O'Moore put their heads together over a glass an' aggrade that the young wans 'ud be married.
"'Sure I don't love him a bit, father,' Nora 'ud say.
"'Be aff wid yer nonsinse,' he'd say to her. 'Phat does it matther about love, whin he's got more nor a hunderd shape. Sure I wudn't give the wool av thim fur all the love in Clare,' says he, an' wid that the argymint 'ud end.
"So Nora towld Paddy an' Paddy said he'd not give her up for all the men in Tipperary or all the shape in Ireland, an' it was aggrade that in wan way or another, they'd be married in spite av owld O'Moore, though Nora hated to do it, bekase, as I was afther tellin' ye, she was a good gurrul, an' wint to mass an' to her duty reg'lar. But like the angel that she was, she towld her mother an' the owld lady was agrayble, an' so Nora consinted.
"But O'Moore was shrewder than a fox whin he was sober, an' that was whin he'd no money to shpend in dhrink, an' this bein' wan o' thim times, he watched Nora an' begun to suspicion somethin'. So he made belave that everything was right an' the next time that Murphy, that bein' the name o' the Tipperary farmer, came, the two owld fellys settled it that O'Moore an' Nora 'ud come to Tipperary av the Winsday afther, that bein' the day o' the fair in Ennis that they knew Paddy 'ud be at, an' whin they got to Tipperary, they'd marry Nora an' young Murphy at wanst. So owld Murphy was to sind the car afther thim an' everything was made sure. So, av the Winsday, towards noon, says owld O'Moore to Nora,—
"'Be in a hurry now, me child, an' make yersel' as fine as ye can, an' Murphy's car 'ull be here to take us to the fair.'
"Nora didn't want to go, for Paddy was comin' out in the afthernoon, misthrustin' that owld O'Moore 'ud be at the fair. But O'Moore only towld her to make haste wid hersilf or they'd be late, an' she did. So the car came, wid a boy dhriving, an' owld O'Moore axed the boy if he wanted to go to the fair, so that Nora cudn't hear him, an' the boy said yes, an' O'Moore towld him to go an' he'd dhrive an' bring him back tomorrer. So the boy wint away, an' O'Moore an' Nora got up an' shtarted. Whin they came to the crass-road, O'Moore tuk the road to Tipperary.
"'Sure father, ye're wrong,' says Nora, 'that's not the way.'
"'No more is it,' said the owld desayver, 'but I'm afther wantin' to see a frind o' mine over here a bit an' we'll come round to the Ennis road on the other side,' says he.
"So Nora thought no more av it, but whin they wint on an' on, widout shtoppin' at all, she begun to be disquisitive agin.
"'Father, is it to Ennis or not ye're takin' me,' says she.
"Now, be this time, they'd got on a good bit, an' the owld villin seen it was no use thryin' to desave her any longer.
"'I'm not,' says he, 'but it's to Tipperary ye're goin', where ye're to be married to Misther Murphy this blessed day, so ye are, an' make no throuble about it aither, or it'll be the worse for ye,' says he, lookin' moighty black.
"Well, at first Nora thought her heart 'ud shtand still. 'Sure, Father dear, ye don't mane it, ye cudn't be so cruel. It's like a blighted tree I'd be, wid that man,' an' she thried to jump aff the car, but her father held her wid a grip av stale.
"'Kape still,' says he wid his teeth closed like a vise. 'If ye crass me, I'm like to murdher ye. It's me only escape from prison, for I'm in debt an' Murphy 'ull help me,' says he. 'Sure,' says he, saftenin' a bit as he seen the white face an' great pleadin' eyes, 'Sure ye'll be happy enough wid Murphy. He loves ye, an' ye can love him, an' besides, think o' the shape.'
"But Nora sat there, a poor dumb thing, wid her eyes lookin' deeper than iver wid the misery that was in thim. An' from that minit, she didn't spake a word, but all her sowl was detarmined that she'd die afore she'd marry Murphy, but how she'd get out av it she didn't know at all, but watched her chance to run.
"Now it happened that owld O'Moore, bein' disturbed in his mind, mistuk the way, an' whin he come to the crass-roads, wan to Tipperary an' wan to Cashel, he tuk the wan for the other, an' whin the horse thried to go home to Tipperary, he wudn't let him, but pulled him into the Cashel road. Faix, he might have knewn that if he'd let the baste alone, he'd take him right, fur horses knows a dale more than ye'd think. That horse o' mine is only a common garron av a baste, but he tuk me from Ballyvaughn to Lisdoon Varna wan night whin it was so dark that ye cudn't find yer nose, an' wint be the rath in a gallop, like he'd seen the good people. But niver mind, I'll tell ye the shtory some time, only I was thinkin' O'Moore might have knewn betther.
"But they tuk the Cashel road an' wint on as fast as they cud, for it was afthernoon an' gettin' late. An' O'Moore kept lookin' about an' wonderin' that he didn't know the counthry, though he'd niver been to Tipperary but wanst, an' afther a while, he gev up that he was lost entirely. No more wud he ax the people on the road, but gev thim 'God save ye' very short, for he was afeared Nora might make throuble. An' by an' by, it come on to rain, an' whin they turned the corner av a hill, he seen the Rock o' Cashel wid the churches on it, an' thin he stopped.
"'Phat's this at all,' says he. 'Faix, if that isn't Cashel I'll ate it, an' we've come out o' the way altogether.'
"Nora answered him niver a word, an' he shtarted to turn round, but whin he looked at the horse, the poor baste was knocked up entirely.
"'We'll go on to Cashel,' says he, 'an' find a shebeen, an' go back in the mornin'. It's hard luck we're afther havin',' says he.
"So they wint on, an' jist afore they got to the Rock, they seen a nate lodgin' house be the road an' wint in. He left Nora to sit be the fire, while he wint to feed the horse, an' whin he come back in a minit, he looked for her, but faith, she'd given him the shlip an' was gone complately.
"'Where is me dawther?' says he.
"'Faith, I dunno,' says the maid. 'She walked out av the dure on the minit,' says she.
"Owld O'Moore run, an' Satan an' none but himself turned him in the way she was afther takin.' God be good to thim, no wan iver knewn phat tuk place, but whin they wint wid a lanthern to sarch fur thim whin they didn't raturn, they found the marks o' their feet on the road to the strame. Half way down the path they picked up Nora's shawl that was torn an' flung on the ground an' fut marks in plenty they found, as if he had caught her an' thried to howld her an' cudn't, an' on the marks wint to the high bank av the strame, that was a torrent be razon av the rain. An' there they ended wid a big slice o' the bank fallen in, an' the sarchers crassed thimselves wid fright an' wint back an' prayed for the repose av their sowls.
"The next day they found thim, a good Irish mile down the strame, owld O'Moore wid wan hand howlding her gown an' the other wan grippin' her collar an' the clothes half torn aff her poor cowld corpse, her hands stratched out afore her, wid the desperation in her heart to get away, an' her white face wid the great eyes an' the light gone out av thim, the poor craythur, God give her rest, an' so to us all.
"They laid thim dacintly, wid candles an' all, an' the wake that they had was shuparb, fur the shtory was towld in all the counthry, wid the vartues av Nora; an' the O'Brian's come from Ennis, an' the O'Moore's from Crusheen, an' the Murphy's an' their frinds from Tipperary, an' more from Clonmel. There was a power av atin' an' slathers av dhrink fur thim that wanted it, fur, d'ye mind, thim of Cashel thried fur to show the rale Irish hoshpitality, bekase O'Moore an' Nora were sint there to die an' they thought it was their juty to thrate thim well. An' all the County Clare an' Tipperary was at the berryin', an' they had three keeners, the best that iver was, wan from Ennis, wan from Tipperary, an' wan from Limerick, so that the praises av Nora wint on day an' night till the berryin' was done. An' they made Nora's grave in Cormac's Chapel just in front o' the Archbishop's tomb in the wall an' berried her first, an' tuk O'Moore as far from her as they cud get him, an' put his grave as clost be the wall as they cud go fur the shtones an' jist ferninst the big gate on the left hand side, an' berried him last, an' sorra the good word they had fur him aither.
"Poor Paddy wint nayther to the wake nor to the berryin', fur afther they towld him the news, he sat as wan in a dhrame, no more cud they rouse him. He'd go to his work very quite, an' niver shpake a word. An' so it was, about a fortnight afther, he says to his mother, says he, 'Mother I seen Nora last night an' she stood be me side an' laid her hand on me brow, an' says "Come to Cashel, Paddy dear, an' be wid me."' An' his mother was frighted entirely, for she parsaved he was wrong in his head. She thried to aise his mind, but the next night he disappared. They folly'd him to Cashel, but he dodged an' kept from thim complately whin they come an' so they left him. In the day he'd hide an' slape, an' afther night, Nora's sper't 'ud mate him an' walk wid him up an' down the shtones av the Chapel an' undher the arches av the Cathaydral, an' he cared fur her grave, an' bekase she was berried there, fur the graves av all thim that shlept on the Rock. No more had he any frinds, but thim o' Cashel 'ud lave pitaties an' bread where he'd see it an' so he lived. Fur sixty wan years was he on the Rock an' never left it, but he'd sometimes show himself in the day whin there was a berryin', an' say, 'Ye've brought me another frind,' an' help in the work, an' never was there a graveyard kept like that o' Cashel.
"When he got owld, an' where he cud look into the other worruld, Nora came ivery night an' brought more wid her, sper'ts av kings an' bishops that rest on Cashel, an' there's thim that's seen the owld man walkin' in Cormac's Chapel, Nora holdin' him up an' him discoorsin' wid the mighty dead. They found him wan day, cowld an' shtill, on Nora's grave, an' laid him be her side, God rest his sowl, an' there he slapes to-day, God be good to him.
"They said he was only a poor owld innocent, but all is aqualized, an' thim that's despised sometimes have betther comp'ny among the angels than that of mortials."
SATAN'S CLOVEN HOOF.
Among the beautiful traits of the Irish character, none is more prominent than the religious element. Philosophers declare that the worshipping principle is strong in proportion to the lack of happiness in the circumstances of life, and at first glance there seems a degree of truth in the statement; for the rich, enjoying their riches, are likely to be contented and to look no further than this world; while the poor, oppressed and ground to the earth by those whom they feel to be no better than themselves, having that innate sense of justice common to all men, and discerning the inequality of worldly lots, are not slow to place implicit belief in the doctrine of a final judgment, at which all inequalities will be righted, and both rich and poor will stand side by side; the former gaining no advantage from his riches, the latter being at no disadvantage from his poverty.
There is, however, good reason to believe that in the days of Ireland's greatness there was the same strength of devotion as at present. Ireland is so full of ruined churches and ecclesiastical buildings as to give color of truth to the statement of a recent traveller, "it is a country of ruins." Rarely is the traveller out of sight of the still standing walls of a long deserted church, and not infrequently the churches are found in groups. The barony of Forth, in Wexford, though comprising a territory of only 40,000 acres, contains the ruins of eighteen churches, thirty-three chapels, two convents, and a hospital of vast proportions. Nor is this district exceptional, for at Glendalough, Clon-mac-nois, Inniscathy, Inch Derrin, and Innis Kealtra, there are groups of churches, each group having seven churches, the edifices of goodly size, and at Clonferth and Holy Cross, there are seven chapels in each town, so close together as to cause wonder whether all were called into use.
One manifestation of the religious element of the Irish nature is seen in the profound reverence for the memory of the saints. Of these, Ireland claims, according to one authority, no less than seventy-five thousand, and it is safe to say that the curious inquirer might find one or more legends of each, treasured up in the unwritten folk-lore of the country districts. To the disadvantage of the minor saints, however, most of the stories cluster round a few well-known names, and nothing delights the Irish story-teller more than to relate legends of the saints, which he does with a particularity as minute in all its details as though he had stood by the side of the saint, had seen everything that was done, and heard every word that was spoken; supplying missing links in the chain of the story from a ready imagination, and throwing over the whole the glamour of poetic fancy inseparable from the Irish nature.
The neighborhood of Glendalough, County Wicklow, is sacred to the memory of Saint Kevin, and abounds with legends of his life and works. The seven churches which, according to tradition, were built there under his direction, are now mostly in ruins; his bed, a hollow in a precipice, is still shown, together with his kitchen and the altar at which he once ministered. In the graveyard of one of the churches is a curious stone cross, of considerable size, evidently monumental, though the inscription has been so defaced as to be illegible. On the front of the cross there is a deep indentation much resembling that made by the hoof of a cow in soft earth, the bottom of the indentation being deepest at the sides and somewhat ridged in the middle. Concerning this cross and the depression in its face, the following legend was related by an old peasant of the neighborhood.
"Ye must know, that among all the saints that went to heaven from Ireland's sod, there isn't wan, barrin' Saint Patrick, that stands in a betther place than the blessed Saint Kevin av Glendalough, fur the wondherful things that he done is past all tellin'. 'Twas he that built all the churches ye see in the vale here, an' when he lived, he owned all the land round about, fur he restored King O'Toole's goose, that the king had such divarshun in, when it was too ould to fly, so the king gev him all that the goose 'ud fly over, an' when the goose got her wings agin, she was so merry that she flew over mighty near all the land that King O'Toole had before she come back at all, so he got it.
"'Twas he too that put out o' the counthry the very last sarpint that was left in it, afther Saint Patrick had druv the rest into the say, fur he met the baste wan day as he was walkin' in the hills and tuk him home wid him to give him the bit an' sup, an' the sarpint got as dhrunk as a piper, so Saint Kevin put him in a box an' nailed it up an' flung it into the say, where it is to this blessed day.
"But 'tis my belafe that the besht job o' work he ever done was markin' the divil so if you'd meet him an the road, you'd know in a minnit that it was himself an' no other that was in it, an' so make ready, aither fur to run away from him, or to fight him wid prayin' as fast as ye cud, bekase, ye see, it's no use fur to shtrive wid him any other way, seein' that no waypon can make the laste dint on his carkidge.
"In thim days, an' before phat tuk place I'm tellin' ye av, the divil was all as wan as a man, a tall felly like a soger, wid a high hat comin' to a pint an' feathers on it, an' fine boots an' shpurs an' a short red jacket wid a cloak over his shoulder an' a soord be his side, as fine as any gintleman av' the good ould times. So he used to go about the counthry, desavin' men an' wimmin, the latther bein' his chice as bein' aisier fur to desave, an' takin' thim down wid him to his own place, an' it was a fine time he was havin' entirely, an' everything his own way. Well, as he was thravellin' about, he heard wan day av Saint Kevin an' the church he was afther buildin' an' the haythens he was convartin' an' he says to himself, 'Sure this won't do. I must give up thriflin' an' look afther me bizness, or me affairs 'ull go to the dogs, so they will.'
"It was in Kerry he was when he heard the news, an' was havin' a fine time there, fur when Saint Patrick convarted Ireland, he didn't go to Kerry, but only looked into it an' blessed it an' hurried on, but though he didn't forget it, intindin', I belave, to go back, the divil tuk up his quarthers there, to make it as sure as he cud. But when he heard av Saint Kevin's doin's, it was too much fur him, so he shtarted an' come from Kerry to Glendalough wid wan jump, an' there sure enough, the walls o' the church were risin' afore his eyes, an' as he stud on that hill he heard the avenin' song o' the monks that were helpin' Saint Kevin in the work. So the divil was tarin' mad, an' stud on the brow o' the hill, cursin' to himself an' thinkin' that if any more churches got into Ireland, his job o' work 'ud be gone, an' he'd betther go back to England where he come from. He made up his mind though, that he'd do fur Saint Kevin if he cud, but mind ye, the blessed saint was so well beknownst to all the counthry, that the divil was afeared to tackle him. So he laid about in the grass, on his breast like a sarpint fur three or four days till they were beginnin' to put the roof on, and then he thought he'd thry.
"Now I must tell ye wan thing. The blessed saint was at that time only a young felly, though they don't make 'em any betther than he was. When he left home, he'd a shweetheart be the name o' Kathleen, an' she loved him betther than her life, an' so did he her in that degray that he'd lay down an' die on the shpot fur the love av her, but his juty called him fur to be God's priest, an' he turned his back on father an' mother an' saddest av all on Kathleen, though it was like tarin' out his heart it was, an' came to Glendalough. Kathleen was like to die, but afther a bit, she got over it a little an' went into a convent, for, says she, 'I'll marry no wan, an' 'ull meet him in heaven.' But Saint Kevin didn't know phat had become av her, an' thried hard not to think av her, but wanst in a while the vision av her 'ud come back to him like the mem'ry av a beautiful dhrame.
"Now about this time, while the divil was layin' about in the bushes a-watchin' the work, an' the tower of the big church was liftin' itself above the trees, the blessed saint begun to be onaisy in his mind, fur, says he to himself, 'Things is too aisy entirely. It's just thim times when all is goin' on as smooth as a duck on a pond that the divil comes down like a fox on a goslin' an' takes every wan unbeknownst, so wins the vict'ry. I'll have a care, fur afther the sunshine comes the shtorm,' says he. So that avenin' he ordhered his monks to say a thousand craydos, an' two thousand paters an' aves, an' afther that was done, he got in his boat an' crassed the lake. He climbed up to his bed above ye there, an' said his baids agin an' went to slape, but the divil was watchin' him like a hawk, for he'd laid a thrap fur the blessed saint to catch him wid, that was thish-a-way.
"Every body knows how that Satan is shlicker than a weasel, an' has a mem'ry like a miser's box that takes in everything an' lets nothin' go out. When ye do anything, sorra a bit av it 'scapes the divil, an' he hugs it clost till a time comes when he can make a club av it to bate ye wid, an' so he does. The owld felly remimbered all that passed betune Kathleen an' the blessed saint, an' he knewn how hard it was fur Saint Kevin to forgit her, so he thought he'd put him in a fix. Afther the saint had cuddled up in his shtraw wid his cloak over him an' was shnoring away as snug as a flea in a blanket, comes the divil, a-climbin' up the rock, in the exact image o' the young Kathleen. Ye may think it quare, but it's no wondher to thim that undherstands it, fur the divil can take any shape he plazes an' look like any wan he wants to, an' so he does for the purpose av temptin' us poor sinners to disthruction, but there's wan thing be which he's always known; when ye've given up to him or when ye've baten him out o' the face, no matther which, he's got to throw aff the disguise that's on him an' show you who he is, an' when he does it, it isn't the iligant, dressed-up divil that ye see an' that I was just tellin' ye av, but the rale, owld, black nagur av a rannychorus, widout a haporth o' rags to the back av him, an' his horns an' tail a-shtickin' out, an' his eyes as big as an oxen's an' shinin' like fire, an' great bat's wings on him, an', savin' yer prisince, the most nefairius shmell o' sulfur ye ever shmelt. But before, he looks all right, no matther phat face he has, an' it's only be the goodness o' God that the divil is bound fur to show himself to ye, bekase, Glory be to God, it's his will that men shall know who they're dalin' wid, an' if they give up to the divil, an' afther findin' out who's in it, go on wid the bargain they've made, sure the fault is their own, an' they go to hell wid their eyes open, an' if they bate him, he's got to show himself fur to let thim see phat they've escaped.
"Well, I was afther sayin', the divil was climbin' up the rock in the form o' Kathleen, an' come to the saint's bed an' teched him an the shouldher. The blessed saint was layin' there belike dhraming o' Kathleen, fur sure, there was no harm in that, an' when he woke up an' seen her settin' be his side, he thought the eyes 'ud lave him.
"'Kathleen,' says he, 'is it yoursilf that's in it, an' me thinkin' I'd parted from you forever?'
"'It is,' says the ould desaver, 'an' no other, Kevin darlint, an' I've come to shtay wid ye.'
"'Sure darlint,' says the saint, 'ye know how it bruk me heart entirely to lave ye, no more wud I have done it, but be the will o' God. Ye know I loved ye, an' God forgive me, I'm afeared I love ye still, but it isn't right, Kathleen. Go in pace, in the name o' God, an' lave me,' says he.
"'No Kevin,' says Satan, a-throwin' himself on Kevin's breast, wid both arrums round his neck, 'I'll never lave ye,' lettin' an to cry an' dhrop tears an the face o' the blessed saint.
"It's no aisy matther to say no to a woman anyhow, aven to an ugly woman, but when it's a good-lookin' wan that's in it, an' she axin' ye wid her arrums round ye an' the crystal dhrops like that many dimunds fallin' from her eyes that look at ye like shtars through a shower av rain, begob it's meself that doesn't undhershtand why Saint Kevin didn't give up at wanst, an' so he wud if he hadn't been the blessed saint that he was. But he was mightily flusthered, an' no wondher, an' stud there wid his breast hayvin', a-shtrivin' to resist the timptation to thrade a crown in heaven fur a love on airth.
"'Lave this place, Kevin,' says the tempther, 'an' come wid me, we'll go away an' be happy together forever,' an' wid that word, an' as the fate av the saint was trimblin' in the balances, the holy angels o' God stud beside him, an' wan whishpered in his ear that the Kathleen he loved before was a pure, good woman, an' that she'd 'a' died afore she'd come to him that-a-way.
"'No,' says he, wid sudden shtrength. 'It's not Kathleen that's in it, but an avil sper't. God's prisence be about us! Get you gone Satan an' sayce to throuble me,' an' that minnit the blessed saint jumped up aff the ground an' wid his two feet gev the owld rayprobate a thunderin' kick in the stummick, an' when he doubled up wid the pain an' fell back an' clapped his hands together on the front av him, Saint Kevin gev him another in his rare, axin' yer pardon, that sent him clane over the clift, wid Saint Kevin gatherin' shtones an' flingin' thim afther him wid all the might that was in him. So the minnit the saint kicked him the very foorst kick, Kathleen disappeared, an' there was the owld black Belzebub a-tumblin' over, an' fallin' down to the lake, holdin' his stummick an' thryin' hard to catch himself wid his wings afore he'd hit the wather. But he did by the time he got to the bottom an' flew away, bellerin' worse nor a bull with a dog hangin' to his nose, so that all the monks woke wid fright, an' cudn't go to shlape agin till they'd said a craydo an' five aves apiece, but the blessed saint set be his bed a-sayin' his baids the rest o' the night wid a pile o' shtones convaynient to his hand fur fear the divil 'ud come back. But Satan flew over an that hill an' rubbed himself before an' behind too, where the saint had kicked him, an' didn't go back, for he'd enough o' the saint fur that time. But he was mightily vexed, an' not to lose the chance fur to do some mischief before he'd go away, he pulled down all the walls that the poor monks had built that day.