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A Funeral At Muckross Abbey

A Funeral At Muckross Abbey image
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As we wcro upproaching tho old Muckross Abbey, our guidc told us tlieru was a funeral ihere, and perhaps tho young liidy would rather not go in just then, Oi the contrary, the young lady was sil tho more aniious to go. Although the burying-ground of Muckross i quite extensive, it lias been filled a great niany times. Formerly thcy buried their dend within a fenr leot of tho surface, nud oven a few ihchcp, sometimos ; and froíii tho íact tliat oíd noffins had to be exhumed to mako room for new ones, nnd the contenta being throwo around indiscriminately, tbe placo became alinost pestilential. Years atro, Co'onel Horbert had thig refuse ro moved ; and, although wild atid overgruwo vvith rank wceds, nothing diígusti'ig uow mect8 tbe eje. The entire raveyacl iK'OSicd filk-d wih peasants. Men iro.-Hüd iri a!l sorts of oomical costantes; women all wearing long cloaks with hoods, md ehildren cronebing by their sidi's. 'íhe men scemed little ceneeroed ubout tho funeral ; they were J standing, sulleiily lookiug around, or at:niüg vncantly into the open grave, or tul&lBg with their coicrudes. The woinen - mot-t of whom had their boodfl thronn liatlí and their rosaries ín their hands, wero kneeling in tho wet grasw, or on the low, ílat slabs, clospitiír their roPBrie, and raising ihein ahnost to their chins, their eyes uplifted and sw;:ying their bodiie backward and fürwnrd - were all jo ning m that wondorfíil iri-li funertil wail, which ia something indeacribabe, bui nerer to bo furgotten. It iinpresses one as being almost as burbarons as tho wur-whoops mul enes of Indians tiround their funeral pyres. It reniinds ouo ol winter winds waili:!r imoog lofiy treos i:i low, deep murtnury, ! and gradusilly ii-ing higher aud louder, until it bteunxs a shrill cry, then running down the gmut in murmura deep and deppairing. It h suclí a inslaneho'y ; dirge, it [iiukes : shuddt;r pass througti tho human fMine, for very í'ear oí sometliint!, one knows not what. Thero was no prieit al tho grave, and tho guiae told u thcy M'ldom went wiih the peasantry to tbeir Lunals. While i,cig!il)jrs were digging the grave, the ïiiönrers continued rulÏDg. Wljen the grave was completrd, and the cdSii about lo be lowered, two or tliree winnen, ptaüding near, took hold of it so despenituly it was iuipoasible, for a few secoüdn, to let it. down intii the open grave. A little io tbe rear of the crowd stood an oíd imn H wa? ijutíe grn.y, ond very wrinkled. As he stood quieily lookinft on iit what passed before hiir, lio would every few seconda raise his arm, nnd wipe away the unbi'lden tcars with his coa t-slot-ve. üliaf luid Btirred u) its bitter tbunt, and v;is welling over in the old mm's beurt. Feibaps he wns thinking that uro lont; hi.s old and feeble fraine would be consii'ticil to mother eartbi "TLe young may die, 'he old must.!' As the first shovel of earth raltlcd upon tho hollow-souuding coffin, a wild shiiok, shrill aud pieicing, went up froni the erowd of woraeu. A fuw seconiis more, and tho gruedy gravp was ü led - tho bcloved was at. rest. Tbe concourse of people soon dispursed, sonie li go to their homcf, tnd olhers, the younger ones, to clamber over the old abbey. l asked an aged peasant near, to break me pouje brunches of the farcous ewetree that grows in the court-yard, and oompletely filis up tho square opening b'jl'.vcen the Valls. He looked nt me a second, theo politely said i ''Eure, I'cl do anything to plaec yer ladyship, bul would na break the owlcl ewe-tree, ina'ain. Il's sartin death, ithin u twelvemontii, to him as breaks its branches." I brokc the branches myself, and tho old man looked on, eorrowfully shaking his head. He said, "God help ye, ina'am : but there's a world of bad luck in that." - From ' Two Dayt al Killarney ,' in the Oveki.and Montult jor October.


Old News
Michigan Argus