Come follow her on the road, trades of Galway, the fishermen, and the carpenters, and the weavers! It is by no short road we will carry her that never will walk any road from this out! By Williams-gate, beside Lynch’s gallows, beside the gaol of the hangings, the salmon will make their leap as we pass!
Men at Door: We will. We will follow her, McDonough.
Others: Give us the first place.
Others: We ourselves will carry her!
McDonough: Faith, Catherine, you have your share and your choice this day of fine men, asking to carry you and to lend you their strength.
I will give no leave to traffickers to put their shoulder under you, or to any that made a refusal, or any seaside man at all.
I will give leave to no one but the sheep-shearers from Eserkelly, from Moneen and Cahirlinny and the whole stretch of Cregroostha. It is they have friendship for music, it is they have a wish for my four bones.
(Sheep-shearers come in.
They are dressed in white flannel. Each
has a pair of shears at his side. The first carries a crook.)
First Sheep-shearer: Is it within there she is, McDonough?
First Hag: Go in through the door. The boards are around her and a clean quilt over them. Have a care not to leave down your hands on it, and they maybe being soiled with the fair.
(They take off their hats and go in.)
McDonough: (Turning to her door.) If you got no great honour from your birth up, and went barefoot through the first of your youth, you will get great respect now and will be remembered in the times to come.
There is many a lady dragging silk skirts through the lawns and the flower knots of Connacht, will get no such grand gathering of people at the last as you are getting on this day.
It is the story of the burying of McDonough’s wife will be written in the book of the people!
(Sheep-shearers appear at inner
door. McDonough goes out,
squeezing the pipes. Triumphant music is heard from outside.)
THE BOGIE MEN
A message sent to America from Dublin that our Theatre had been “driven out with hisses”; an answering message from New York that the Playboy, the cause of battle, was now “as dead as a doornail,” set me musing with renewed delight on our incorrigible genius for myth-making, the faculty that makes our traditional history a perpetual joy, because it is, like the Sidhe, an eternal Shape-changer.