BETA

Miss Honor’s Wedding.

I.

Ould Sir Maurice’s youngest daughther, do I mind her, Sir, did
ye say ?
1
Miss Honor is it ?  Och, sure, the same as I’d sane her but
yistherday ;
2
An’ her weddin’—Ay, Sir, her weddin’ I said. How long since ?
Well, I dun,
3
But a matther o’ tin yare back belike ; anyway’t is wan while ago.4

II.

We thought little inough o’ the match here below in the town.
Paple said
5
Miss Honor’d a right to ha’ looked at home, if so be she’d a mind
to wed.
6
There was plinty o’ betther than he did be afther her thin, ye’ll
be bound,
7
An’ she reckoned the greatest beauty in the siven counties around.8
Yit she nades must take up wid a sthranger ; I b’lave ’twas from
Scotland he came.
9
No, Sir, I ne’er chanced to behould him, an’ I disremimber his
name
10
A big man, I’ve hard tell, as yersilf’s, Sir, an’ plisint o’ spache,
but a bit
11
Conthrary some whiles in his timper, an’ come av a quare wild sit.12
Not aquil no ways to Miss Honor : sure, whin she’d be ridin’ the
road,
13
As many’s the time I’ve sane her, be the look av her no wan’d
ha’ knowed
14
Whither ’twas to the Arl, or the Countiss, or ould Andy the fiddler,
she bowed ;
15
A rael lady, tho’, mind ye, some Quality thought her proud.16

III.

Howsomiver, a sthranger or no, ould Sir Maurice was plased an’
contint,
17
An’ they sittled to have a great weddin’ down here at the indin’
o’ Lint ;
18
An’ I mind the white sloe-flower was miltin’ from off the black
hidges like hail
19
In the sunshine, whin back to the Castle the family came wid a
dale
20
O’ grand company, frinds an’ relations ; the house was as full as a
fair.
21
But, a couple o’ days to the weddin’, Kate Doyle, that’s in sarvice
up there,
22
She run in wid a missage to say they’d a kitchin-maid tuk to her
bed
23
Wid the awfulest toothache at all, an’ her cheek swilled the size
av her head,
24
An’ they wanted a girl be the wake, an’ she’d spoke to the Misthriss
for me
25
So I slipped up that night afther supper, as proud o’ me luck as
could be.
26

IV.

Thin nixt day, whin they’d gone to the dinner, Kate showed me
the grandeur they’d got
27
Sittled out in the library : all av her prisints, a tarrible lot.28
Sure, I couldn’t be tellin’ ye half, lit alone nare the whoule o’ the
things,
29
There was wan o’ the tables was covered wid bracelits, an’
brooches, an’ rings ;
30
An’ the big silver plates did be shinin’ like so many moons thro
the mist ;
31
An’ the joogs wid their insides pure gould, an’ the taypots, an’
arns, an’ the rist.
32
But the iligint chayney—och saints ! the wee cups wid the handles
all gilt,
33
An’ their paintins O’ flower-wrathes an’ birds—if ye’d break wan,
bedad, ye’d be kilt.
34
An’ the jools, och ! the jools was that yattty, I’d ha’ sted there star-
gazin’ all night ;
35
There was diminds like raindhrops that aich had a fire-sparkle
somehow alight,
36
An’ ! the parls like as if they’d been sthringin’ the bits o’ roand
hailstones for bades,
37
An’ the rid wans an’ green, if a rainbow was sowin’ ye’d take them
for sades ;
38
An’ the grand little boxes to hould thim, all lined wid smooth
satin below
39
Sure, it’s well to be her, Kate,’ sez I, an’ sez she : ‘ Och, begorra,
that’s so.’
40

V.

Will, the morn, be the bist o’ good luck, Kate an’ I got the chanst
to slip out,
41
An’ away wid us off to the Charch, where the folk was all standin’
about,
42
Tho’ it wanted an hour to the time, an’ we squazed to a sate at
the door,
43
That was thrailed round most tasty wid wrathes that they’d putt
up the avenin’ before.
44
An’ it’s there we’d the greatest divarsion behouldin’, for afther a
while,
45
All the guists was arrivin’ an’ roostlin’ in vilvits an’ silks up the
aisle,
46
Ivery wan lookin’ finer than t’other, wid sthramers, an’ fithers, an’
lace
47
But the sorra a sign o’ the bridegroom was sane comin’ nigh to
the place.
48
That was sthrange now ; an’ folk did be sayin’ they wondhered
what kep’ him, an’ thin
49
It samed Quality’s silves got onaisy, for ye’d see the grand bonnits
begin
50
Niddle-noddlin’ togither to whusper ; an’ wan o’ the gintlemin ’d
quit,
51
Slippin’ out be the little side door, an’ look down the sthraight road
for a bit
52
An’ come back, blinkin’ out o’ the sun, wid a head-shake, for
nothin’ he’d spied ;
53
Till at last, in the thick o’ their throuble, in landed Miss Honor—
the bride.
54

VI.

Och, an’ she was a bride !  Not a sowl but was wishin’ good luck
to her groom.
55
All in white, like a branch o’ wild pear, whin ye scarce see the
stim for the bloom,
56
An’ her dark hair just glintin’ wid glames, like the bird’s wing
that sthrakes off the dew
57
Och, a beauty complate, from the crown av her head to the point
av her shoe.
58
Wid her hand on Sir Maurice’s arm, an’ he lookin’ as proud as ye
plase,
59
An’ eight iligint bridesmaids behind her, aich pair dhrissed as like
as two pase,
60
Wid their booquees o’ flowers like big stars in a thrimble o’ far
laves ; ye’d say
61
Be the scint they’d dhropped sthraight out av hiven ; I remimber
the smill to this day.
62

VII.

But, nixt minyit, in afther thim stippeda sthrange gintlemin none
av us knew
63
In a tarrible takin’, an’ pantin’ as if ’twas a bellers he blew ;64
Wid a yallerish slip in his hand o’ the sort they’ve for missages
tuk
65
Off the tiligrumph wires, an’ he ups to where Quality stared at
him, sthruck
66
Ava hape like ; an’ somethin’ he sez, that I couldn’t exactually
hare,
67
Bat a somethin’ the others weren’t wishful Miss Honor should
guiss, that was clare,
68
For they all wint hush-hushin’; howiver, I’m thinkin’ she hard
what he said,
69
An’ I saw her take hould o’ the paper, an’ whativer was in it she
read.
70

VIII.

I misdoubt what’s the thruth o’ the story. Some said all the
while he’d a wife
71
In the States unbeknownst, that was somehow found out, so he’d
run for his life ;
72
An’ some said he was coortin’ a Marquis’s daughther in England
instead ;
73
But some said it was naught on’y just a fantigue he’d tuk into his
head.
74
But whativer the raison might be, an’ whativer had happint amiss,75
The ind av it was, he was niver sit eyes on from that day to this.76

IX.

Sure now, Quality’s quare in their ways : Whin me cousin ran off
to inlist,
77
Throth, the bawls av his mother an’ sisthers were fit to ha’ frighted
the bist ;
78
An’ last winther whin Norah Macabe had hard tell that her swate-
heart was dhrowned,
79
It’s her scrames ’u d ha’ tirrified nations—ye’d hare thim a good
mile o’ ground.
80
Bat, Miss Honor, as still an’ as quiet she tarned back be the way
that she came,
81
Down the aisle, past the pews wid the paple set starin’ in rows just
the same ;
82
An’ right out to the shine o’ the sun, that should niver ha’ lit on
her head
83
Till she walked wid a ring on her hand, an’ the girls sthrewin’
flowers where she’d thread.
84
So she passed thro’ the yard, where the folk all kep’ whisht as the
dead in their graves ;
85
Not a sound in the warld save the flutther o’ win’ thro’ the
ivergreen laves,
86
An’ a lark somewhere singin’ like wild up above in the clare light
alone,
87
Till the carriage dhruv off from the gate, an’ we hard the whales
grate on the stone.
88
Thin ould Molly O’Rourke, that stood by wid her head in her
raggety cloak :
89
Now, the Saints may purtect her,’ sez she, ‘for the heart o’ the
crathur is broke.’
90

X.

An’ sure maybe ould Molly was right ; I dunnó, for they tuk he
away
91
To disthract av her mind, so they said, to some counthries far over
the say ;
92
Some most quarious onnathural place, where I’m tould the sun’s
scorchin’ an’ hot
93
All the yare, an’ the paple is mostly ould naygurs as black as the
pot ;
94
An’ a sthrame thro’ it full o’ thim bastes o’ great riptiles that
swally ye whoule,
95
Wid the disolit diserts around, where ye’ll see ne’er the sight av
a sowl
96
Warser land than the blackest o’ bogs, just as bare as the palm o’
yer hand
97
Savin’ whiles barbarocious big imiges sthuck in the midst o’ the
sand,
98
An’ gazabos o’ etones stuffed wid bones o’ the hayjus ould haythins
inside
99
Ay, in Aygypt—belike that’s the name. But, at all ivinte, there
she died.
100

XI.

Yis, she died, Sir ; an’ there she was buried, she niver sit fut her
agin ;
101
An’ it’s naught but the thruth that her like I’ve not looked on
afore her or sin’.
102
An’ bad luck thin to thim that ’u d harm her. A pity—a pity,
bedad,
103
If ye come to considther the plisure in life she’d a right to ha’
had.
104
So in Spring, whin the hidges is greenin’, an’ cuckoos beginnin’
to call
105
Poor Miss Honor I mind, an’ her weddin’, that was niver a weddin’
at all.
106