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Oh! warm is the heart that is waiting to fol J thee,
Though the storm-clouds of life may gather and blacken,
There is nothing this world can offer of pleasance
Now the voice of thy greeting in fancy I hear—
Then hasten the hour when again I shall meet thee!
I'll come with sweet flowers from t he vale and the mountain;
Thou'lt bathe them with kisses like dew from the fountain;
The breath of their fragrance, with sweetness surrounding.
Like the odors of morn when spring's smiles are abounding.
Thou'lt sing me the songs thou hast sung me so often,
I'll come to thee darling, at eve and at morning;
I'll come to thee, loved one, nor give thee a warning,
I'll come to the heart that will beat with devotion
Till life sinks to rest in eternity's ocean.
FATHER PHIL'S COLLECTION—Samuel Lover.
Father Blake was more familiarly known by the name of Father Phil. By either title, or in whatever capacity, th« worthy Father had great influence over his parish, and there was a free-and-easy way with him, even in doing the most solemn duties, which agreed wonderfully with the devil-maycare spirit of Paddy. Stiff and starched formality in any way is repugnant to the very nature of Irishmen. There are forms, it is true,and many m the Romish church, but they are not cold forms, but attractive rather, to a sensitive people; besides, I believe those very forms, when observed the least formally, are the most influential on the Irish.
With all his intrinsic worth, Father Phil was, at the same time, a strange man in exterior manners; for with an abundance of real piety, he had an abruptness of delivery, and a strange way of mixing up an occasional remark to his congregation in the midst of the celebration of the mass, which might well startle a stranger: but this very want of formality made him beloved by the people, and they would do ten times as much for Father Phil as for the severe Father Dominick.
On the Sunday in question Father Phil intended delivering an address to his flock from the altar, urging them to the necessity of bestirring themselves in the repairs of the chapel, which was in a very dilapidated condition, and at one cud let in the rain through its worn-out thatch. A subscription was necessary; and to raise this among a very impoverished people was no easy matter. The weather happened to be unfavorable, which was most favorable to Father Phil's purpose, for the rain dropped its arguments through the roof upon thekneelingpeoplebelow,in the most convincing manner; and as thev endeavored to get out of the wet, they pressed round the altar as much as they could, for which they were reproved very smartly by his Reverence in the very midst of the mass. These interruptions occurred sometimes in the most serious places, producing a ludicrous effect, of which the worthy Father was quite unconscious, in his great anxiety to make the I*ople repair the chapel.
A big woman was elbowing her way towards the rails of the altar and Father Phil, casting a sidelong glance at her. sent her to the right-about, while he interrupted his appeal to Heaven to address her thus:—
"Agnus Dei— You'd betther jump over the rails of flu althar, I think. Go along out o' that, there's plenty o' roou; ..i the chapel below there—"
Then he would turn to the altar, and proceed with the ser
.op, till, turning again to the congregation, he perceived some fresh offender.
"Orate, fratres!— Will you mind what I say to you, and go along out o' that, there's room below there. Throe for you, Mrs. Finn,—it's a shame for him to be thrampliii' on you. Go along, Darby Casy, down there and kneel in the rain,—it's a pity you haven't a decent woman's cloak under you, indeed !—OrtUe, fratres!"
Then would the serv ice proceed again, till the shuffling of feet edging out of the rain would disturb him, and casting a backward glance. he would say,—
"I hear you there,—can't you be quiet, and not be diiturbin' my mass, you haythens?"
Again he proceeded, till the crying of a child interrupted him. He looked around quickly—
"You'd betther kill the child, I think, thramplin' on him, Lavery. Go out o' that,—your conduct is scandalous—Dumintis vooiscum!"
Again he turned to pray, and after some time he made an interval in the service to address his congregation on the subject of the repairs, and produced a paper containing the names of subscribers to that pious work who had already contributed, by way of example to those who had not.
"Here it is," said Father Phil,—here it is, and no denying it,—down in black and white; but if they who give are down in black, how much blacker are those who have not given at all! But I hope they will be ashamed of themselves when I howld up those to honor who have contributed to the uphowlding of the house of God. And isn't it ashamed o' yourselves you ought to be, to lave His house in such a condition? and doesn't it rain a'most every Sunday, as if He wished to remind you of your duty ?—aren't you wet to the skin a'most every Sunday! Oh, God is good to you! to put you in mind of your duty, giving you such bitther cowlds that you are coughing and sneezin' every Sunday to that degree that you can't hear the blessed mass for a comfort and a benefit to you; and so you'll go on sneezin' until you put a good thatch on the place, and prevent the appearance of the evidence from Heaven against vou every Sunday, which is condemning you before your faces, and behind your backs too, for don't I see this minute a strame o' wather that might turn a mill running down Micky Mackavoy's back, between the collar of his coat and his shirt?"
Here a laugh ensued at the expense of Micky Mackavoy, who certainly was under a very heavy drip from the imperfect roof.
"And is it laugh in'you are, you haythens?" said Father Phil, reproving the merriment which he himself had purposely created, that he rniaht rrprore it. "Laughin' is it you are, at your backslidings and insensibility to the honor of God,- -laughin' because when you come here to be saved, you are lost entirely with the wet; and how, I ask you, are my words of comfort to enter your hearts when the rain is pouring down your backs at the same time? Sure I have no chance of turning your hearts while you are undher rain that might turn a mili,—but once put a good roof on the house, ami I will inundate you with piety! Maybe it's Father Dominick you would like to have coming among you, who would grind your hearts to powdher with his heavy words." I Here a low inurmur of dissent ran through the throng.) "Ha! ha! so you wouldn't like it, I see,—very well, very well,—take aire ihen, for if I find you insensible to my moderate reproofs, rou hard-hearted naythens, you malefacthors and cruel perlecuthors, that wont put your hands in your pockets because your mild and quiet poor fool of a pasthor has no tongue in his head! I say, your mild, quiet, poor fool of a pasthor. (for I know my own faults partly, God forgive me!) and I can't spake to you as you deserve, you hard-living vagabonds, that are as insensible to your duties as you are to the weather. I wish it was sugar or salt that you were made of, and then the rain might melt vou if /couldn't; but no, them naked rafthersgrins in your face to no purpose,—youchate the house of God,—but take care, maybe you wont chate the divil so aisy." (Here there was a sensation.) "Ha! ha! that maked you open your cars, does it? More shame for you; you ought to despise that dirty enemy of man, and depend* on something better,—but I see I must call you to a sense of your situation with the bottomless pit undher you, and no roof over you. O dear! dear! dear! I'm ashamed of you— throth, if I had time and sthraw enough, I'd rather thatch the place myself than lose my time talking to you ; sure the place is more like a stable than a chapel. Oh, think of that! —the house of God to be like a stable!—for though our Redeemer was born in a stable, that is no reason why you are to keep his house always like one.
"And now I will read you the list of subscribers, and it will make you ashamed when you hear the names of several good and worthy Protestants in the parish, and out of it, too. who have given more than the Catholics."
He then proceeded to read the following list, which he interlarded copiously with observations of his own; making viva voce marginal notes as it were upon the subscribers, which were not unfrequently answered by the persons so noticed, from the body of the chapel, and laughter was often the consequence of these rejoinders, which Father Phil never permitted to pass without a retort. Nor must all this be considered in the least irreverent. A certain period is allowed between two particular portions of the mass, when the priest may address his congregation on any public matter, an approaching pattern, or fair, or the like, in which exhortations to propriety of conduct, or warnings against faction, fights. Ac., are his themes. Then they only listen in reverence. But when a subscription for such an object as that already mentioned is under discussion, the flock consider themselves entitled to " put in a word " in case of necessity. This preliminary hint is given to the reader, that he may better enter into the spirit of Father Phil's
COR THE REPAIRS AND ENLARGEMENT OP BALLYSLOUGHGUTTnERY CHAPEl.
Philip Blake, P. P.
Micky Hickey, £0 7s. 6d. "He might as well have made it ten shillings; but half a loaf is betther than no bread."
"Plaze your Reverence," says Mick, from the body of the chapel, " sure seven and sixpence is more than the half uf ten shillings." (A laugh.)
"Oh, how witty you are I Faith, if you knew your prayers as well as your arithmetic, it would be betther for you, Micky."
Here the Father turned the laugh against Mick.
Billy Riley, £0 3s. id. Of course he means to subscribe again?"
John Dwyer, £0 \T,s. Od. "That's something like! I'll bo bound he's only keeping back the odd five shillings for a brush full o' pamt for the althar; it's as black as a crow, instead o' being as a dove."
He then hurried over rapidly some small subscribers aa follows:—
Peter Hefferman, £0 1x. 8d
James Murphy, £0 2s. 6d.
Mat Donovan, £0 la. 3d.
Luke Dannely, £0 3s. Od.
Jack Quigly, £0 2s. Id.
Pat Finnegan, £0 2s. 2d.
Edward O'connor, Esq., £2 0x Od. "There's for you! Edward O'Connor, Esq.,—a Protestant in the parish,—two pounds."
"Long life to him!" cried a voice in the chapel.
"Amen!" said Father Phil; "I'm not ashamed to be clerk to so good a prayer."
Nicholas Fagan, £0 2s. 6d.
Young Nicholas Fagan, £0 5s. Od. "Young Nick is betthei than owld Nick, you see." Tim Doyle, £0 Is. 6tf.
Owny Doyle, £1 0s. Od. "Well done, Owny na Coppal,— you deserve to prosper, for you make good use of your thrivlngs."
Simon Leary, £0 2s. M.; Bridget Murphy, £0 10s. Od. "You ought to be ashamed o' yourself, Simon: a lone widow-woman gives more than you."