Summary Of 'The Ballad Of Father Gilligan' By W.B.Yeats
Father Gilligan,the old Priest was tired night and day because almost half of the residents under his parish were either in their beds being sick and decrepit or in their graves with grass growing on their burial.It so happened that he nodded on his chair at the moth hour of evening when a sick and dying man sent for him to perform the rites of extreme unction.
Soon Peter Gilligan began to complain that he had no rest or peace since people continued to die in his area. Realizing his mistake,he asked God's forgiveness by saying that it was his tired body that spoke those words and the words had not come out from his heart.He knelt and prayed,and soon fell asleep.The moths went away from the fields and Stars began to peer.After minutes,the Sky was covered with myriad Stars and the leaves shook in the wind.God covered the world with darkness and whispered to mankind.
It was the next day morning when sparrows began to chirp and the moths came back again to the fields.Having woken up from sleep,Father Gilligan stood upright on the floor.'Mavrone,mavrone' he yelled, thinking that the man had died.He roused his horse immediately and rode carelessly with the intention to reach the poor man's house at the earliest.
Father Gilligan rode by rocky lane and marshy places, and quickly reached the sick man's house.The sick man's wife opened the door and was astonished to see Father back again. Father Gilligan inquired about the sick man and came to know that he had died an hour ago.Repentance came to him and he swayed to and fro out of agony for he had not been able to do his assigned duty.
The dead man's spouse further told him that after he had gone away,her husband turned and died as merry as a bird.On hearing these words,old Priest Peter Gilligan understood what had happened.He understood that God had sent one of his Angels to perform Father Gilligan's duty.He knelt and prayed to God.He addressed God as One who has made the starry night.God,the omniscient had sent one of His Angels to help him who was tired and bleeding from within.Father Gilligan was grateful to God for being kind and merciful to him.