Archive for November 23rd, 2014

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Piper’s Progress by Francis Sylvester Mahony (Father Prout)

When I was a boy
In my father’s mud edifice,
Tender and bare
As a pig in a sty:
Out of the door as I
Look’d with a steady phiz,
Who but Thade Murphy
The piper went by.
Says Thady, “But few play
This music – can you play?”
Says I, “I can’t tell,
For I never did try.”
So he told me that he had a charm
To make the pipes purtily speak;
Then squeezed a bag under his arm,
When sweetly they set up a squeak!
Och hone!
How he handled the drone!
And then the sweet music he blew
Would have melted the heart of a stone!

“Your pipe,” says I, “Thady,
So neatly comes o’er me,
Naked I’ll wander
Wherever it blows:
And if my poor parents
Should try to recover me,
Sure, it won’t be
By describing my clothes.
The music I hear now
Takes hold of my ear now,
And leads me all over
The world by the nose.”
So I follow’d his bagpipe so sweet,
And I sung as I leap’d like a frog,
“Adieu to my family seat,
So pleasantly placed in a bog.”
Och hone!
How we handled the drone!
And then the sweet music we blew
Would have melted the heart of a stone!

Full five years I follow’d him,
Nothing could sunder us;
Till he one morning
Had taken a sup,
And slipt from a bridge
In a river just under us
Souse to the bottom
Just like a blind pup.
He roar’d and he bawl’d out;
And I also call’d out,
“Now Thady, my friend,
Don’t you mean to come up?”
He was dead as a nail in a door –
Poor Thady was laid on the shelf.
So I took up his pipes on the shore,
And now I’ve set up for myself.
Och hone!
Don’t I handle the drone!
And play such sweet music? I, too,
Can’t I soften the heart of a stone!

From: Mahony, Francis and Kent, Charles (ed.), The Works of Father Prout (The Rev. Francis Mahony). Edited with Biographical Introduction and Notes by Charles Kent, 1881, George Routledge and Sons: London, pp. 487-488.

Date: 1837

By: Francis Sylvester Mahony (Father Prout) (1804-1866)