A Comedy in Three Acts
[Roadside with big stones, etc., on the right; low loose wall at back with gap near centre; at left, ruined doorway of church with bushes beside it. Martin Doul and Mary Doul grope in on left and pass over to stones on right, where they sit.]
MARY: What place are we now, Martin Doul?
MARTIN: The top of the ridge.
MARY: The length of that. The sun's getting warm this day if it is late autumn
MARTIN: What way wouldn't it be warm and it getting high up in the south? You
were that length plaiting your yellow hair and you have the morning lost on us,
and the people are after passing to the fair.
MARY: It isn't going to the fair they'd be giving us a thing at all. It's well
you know that, but you must be talking.
MARTIN: If I didn't talk, I'd be destroyed in a short while listening to the
clack you do be making, for you've a strange, cracked voice, the Lord have mercy
on you if it's fine to look on you are itself.
MARY: Who wouldn't have a cracked voice sitting out all year in the rain
falling? It's a bad life for the voice, Martin Doul, though I've heard tell
there isn't anything like the wet south wind does be blowing on us for keeping a
white, beautiful skin - the like of my skin - on your neck and on your brows, and
there isn't anything at all like a fine skin for putting splendor on a woman.
MARTIN: I do be thinking odd times we don't know rightly what way you have your
splendor, or asking meself, if you have it at all, for the time I was a young
lad, and had fine sight, it was the ones with sweet voices were the best in
MARY: Let you not be making the like of that talk when you've heard Timmy the
smith and Mat Simon and a power besides saying fine things of my face, and you
know rightly it was "the beautiful blind woman" they did call me in Ballinatone.
MARTIN: There's someone coming on the road.
MARY: Let you put all this out of their sight, lest they'll be picking it out
with the spying eyes they have and saying it's rich we are, and not sparing us a
thing at all.
MARTIN: Leave a bit of silver for blind Martin, your honor. Leave a bit of
silver, or a penny copper itself, and we'll be praying the Lord to bless you and
you going the way.
SAINT: Are these the two poor blind people?
TIMMY: They are, holy father, they do be always sitting here at the crossing of
the roads, asking a bit of copper from them that do pass.
SAINT: It's a hard life you've had not seeing sun or moon, or the holy priest
itself praying to the Lord, but it's the like of you who are brave in a bad time
will make a fine use of the gift of sight the Almighty God will bring to you
MARTIN: There'll be wonders in this place, is it?
TIMMY: It's a fine holy man, Martin Doul, a saint of the Almighty God.
MARY: A saint, is it, Timmy the smith?
TIMMY: Did you never hear tell of a place across a bit of the sea, where there
is an island and the grave of the four beauties of God?
MARY: I heard of people walked round from the west and they speaking of that.
TIMMY: There's a green ferny well, I'm told, behind of that place, and if you do
put a drop of water out of it on the eyes of a blind man, you'll make him see as
well as any person as walking this world.
MARTIN: Is that the truth, Timmy? I think you're telling a lie.
TIMMY: No - no, I'm telling the truth.
SAINT: It's on a bare starving rock that there's the well of the saints, the way
it's little wonder, I'm thinking, if it's with bare starving people the water
should be used. And, so it's to the like of you I do be going, who are wrinkled
and poor, a thing rich men would hardly look at at all.
MARTIN: When they look on herself, who is a fine woman...
TIMMY: Whist now, whist, and be listening to the saint.
SAINT: If it's raggy and dirty are itself, I'm saying, the Almighty God isn't at
all like the rich men of Ireland; and, with the power of this water... He'll
have pity on you and put sight into your eyes.
MARTIN: And we'll be seeing ourselves this day? Oh, glory be to God!
SAINT: I'll cure you first, and then come for your wife. We'll go up now into
the church, for I must say a prayer to the Lord. And let you be making your mind
still and saying praises in your heart, for it's a great wonderful thing when
the power of the Lord is brought down upon your like.
TIMMY: God help him, what will he be doing when he sees his wife this day? Oh, I
think it was bad work we did when we let on she was fine looking, not a wizened,
wrinkled hag the way she is.
MOLLY: Why would he be vexed, and we after giving him great pride and joy the
time he was blind?
MARTIN: Oh, glory be to God...
SAINT: Laus Patri sit et Filio cum Spiritu Paraclito. Qui Sauae dono
gratiae misertus est Hiberniae...
MARTIN: Oh, glory be to God [music in], I see now surely! I - I see the walls of
the church, and - and the green bits of fern in them, oh, and yourself, holy
father, and the great width of the sky.
TIMMY: He doesn't know her at all.
MARTIN: That's Timmy, I - I know Timmy by the black of his head. And - and that's
Mat Simon, I know Mat by the length of his legs. Oh, it's no lie they told me,
Mary Doul. Oh, glory to God and the seven saints I didn't die and not see you at
all. The blessings of God on this day, and them that brought me the saint, for
it's grand hair you have. And soft skin, and eyes would make the saints, if they
were blind awhile and seeing again, fall down out of the sky. Hold - hold up your
head, Mary, the way I'll see it's richer I am than the great kings of the east.
Hold - hold up your head, I'm saying, for - for soon you'll - you'll be seeing me,
and I, not a bad one at all.
MOLLY: Let you keep away from me, and not be soiling me chin.
MARTIN: It's Molly's voice you have.
MOLLY: Why wouldn't I have me own voice?
MARTIN: Is it you is Mary Doul? I'm thinking you're more like what they said.
For you've beautiful hair, and white skin, and the smell of my own fire is
rising from your shawl.
GIRL: I'm not your wife, and let you get out of me way.
MARTIN: Where is it you have her hidden away? Isn't it a black shame for a drove
of pitiful beasts the like of you to be putting a fool's head on me on the grand
day of me life? Ah, you're thinking you're a fine lot, with your giggling,
weeping eyes, a fine lot to be making game of meself and the woman I've heard
called the great wonder of the west.
MARY: Which of you is Martin Doul?
MARTIN: It's her voice, surely.
MOLLY: Go up now and take her under the chin and be speaking the way you spoke
MARTIN: If I speak now, I'll speak hard to the lot of ya.
MOLLY: You're not saying a word, Mary. What do you think of himself, with the
fat legs on him, and the big neck like a ram?
MARY: I'm thinking it's a poor thing when the Lord God gives you sight and puts
the like of that man in your way.
MARTIN: It's on your two knees you should be, thanking the Lord God you're not
looking on yourself.
MARY: If I'm not so fine as some have said, I have my hair, and big eyes.
MARTIN: Your hair, and your big eyes, is it? I'm telling you there isn't a wisp
on any gray mare on the ridge of the world isn't finer than the dirty twist you
have on your head. There isn't two eyes in any starving sow isn't finer than the
eyes you do be calling blue like the sea.
MARY: What devil cured you with your talking of sows? The devil cured you this
day, I'm saying, and drove you crazy with lies.
MARTIN: Isn't it yourself is after playing lies on me, ten years, in the day and
the night, but now the Lord God has given eyes to me, the way I see you, an old
wizenedy hag, was never fit to rear a child to me itself.
MARY: I wouldn't rear a crumpled whelp the like of you!
MARTIN: Go on, I'm saying, and be seeking some lonesome place where the earth
can hide you away! Go on, now, for there's no man but would rather be blind a
hundred years, or a thousand itself, than to be looking on your like.
MARY: Maybe if I hit ya a strong blow you'd be blind again, and having what you
MARTIN: Keep off, now, lest I do strike out the little handful of brains you
have about on the road!
SAINT: Are their minds troubled with joy? Or is their sight uncertain, the way
is often does be the day a person is restored?
TIMMY: No, it's too certain their sight is, holy father, and they're out having
a great fight, because they're a pair of pitiful shows.
SAINT: May the Lord who has given you sight send a little sense into your heads,
the way it won't be on your two selves that you'll be looking, but on the
splendor of the spirit of God. For if it's on the like of that you do be
thinking, you'll not be minding the faces of men, but you'll be saying prayers
and great praises, and living the way the saints do be living, with little but
old sacks and skin covering their bones. And let the lot of you, who have seen
the power of the Lord, be thinking on it in the dark night, and to be saying to
yourselves it's great pity and love He has for the poor, starving people of
Ireland. And now the Lord send blessing on you all, for I'm going on now to
Annagolan, where there is a deaf woman, and then to Laragh, where there are two
men without sense, and I'm going to sleep this night in the bed of the holy
Kevin [music out], and to be praising God, and asking great blessing on you all.
[Village roadside, on left the door of a forge, with broken wheels, etc., lying about. A well near centre, with board above it, and room to pass behind it. Martin Doul is sitting near forge, cutting sticks.]
TIMMY: Let you make haste out there... I'll be putting up new fires at the
turn of the day, and you haven't a half of them cut yet.
MARTIN: I'll be destroyed whacking your old sticks till the turn of day, and I,
with no food in me stomach would keep the life in a pig. Ah, let you come out
here and cut them yourself if you want them cut.
TIMMY: Do you want me to be driving you off again to be walking the road? There
you are, and I giving you your food, and a corner to sleep, and money with it,
and, to hear the talk of you, you'd think I was after beating you, or stealing
MARTIN: You'd do it handy, maybe, if I'd gold to steal.
TIMMY: There's no fear of your having gold - a lazy, basking fool the like of
MARTIN: No fear, maybe, and I here with yourself, for it's more I got a while
since and I sitting blind on the road, than I get in this place working hard,
and destroying myself, the length of the day.
TIMMY: Working hard, is it? I'll teach you to work hard, Martin Doul. Strip off
your coat, now, and cut the lot of them, or I'll not put up with you another
MARTIN: God save ya, Molly Byrne.
MOLLY: God save ya.
MARTIN: That's a dark gloomy day and the Lord have mercy on us all.
MOLLY: Middling dark.
MARTIN: Power of dirty days, and dark mornings, and shabby-looking fellows we
have to be looking on when we have our sight, God help us, there's one fine
thing we have, to be looking on a grand, white, handsome girl, the like of you.
Every time I set me eyes on you [music in] I do be blessing the saints, and the
holy water, and the power of the Lord Almighty in the heavens above.
MOLLY: I'll tell your wife if you talk to me the like of that.
MARTIN: Is there no living person can speak a score of words to me without
putting me in mind of the old woman, or that day either with the holy man and
his tinkling bell?
MOLLY: I was thinking, it'll be a fine thing to put you in mind of the day you
call the grand day of your life.
MARTIN: Grand day, was it? Or a bad, black day when I was roused up and found I
was like the little children do be listening to the stories of an old woman, and
they dreaming after in the dark night that it was in grand houses of gold they
are, with speckled horses to ride, and to be waking again, in a short while, and
they destroyed with the cold and the thatch dripping, maybe, and the starved ass
braying in the yard. For I've heard tell there are lands beyond in Cahir Iveragh
and the Reeks of Cork with warm sun in them, and a fine light in the sky. And
light's a grand thing for a man ever was blind, or a woman with a fine neck, and
a skin on her the like of you, the way we have a right to go off this day till
we'd have a fine life passing abroad through them towns of the south, and we
tellin' stories maybe, or singing songs at the fairs.
MOLLY: Well, isn't it a strange thing when your own wife's after leaving you
because you're a pitiful show, you'd talk the like of that to me?
MARTIN: It's a strange thing, maybe, for all things is strange in the world. But
there's one thing I'm telling you, if she walked off away from me, it wasn't
because of seeing me, and I no more than I am, but because I was looking on her
with me two eyes, and she getting up, and eating her food, and combing her hair,
and lying down for her sleep.
MOLLY: Wouldn't any married man you'd have be doing the like of that?
MARTIN: I'm thinking by the mercy of God it's few sees anything but them is
blind for a space. It's few sees the old woman rotting for the grave, it's few
sees the like of yourself. Though it's shining you are, like a high lamp would
drag in the ships out of the sea.
MOLLY: Keep off from me, Martin Doul.
MARTIN: Come along with me now, for I'm seeing you this day, seeing you, maybe,
the way no man has seen you in the world. Let you come on now, to the lands of
Iveragh and the Reeks of Cork, where you won't setting down the width of your
two feet and not be crushing fine flowers, and making sweet smells in the air.
MOLLY: Leave me go, Martin Doul! Go, I'm saying!
MARTIN: Let you not be fooling. Come along now down to the little path through
MOLLY: Timmy! Timmy the smith! Did you ever hear that them that loses their
sight loses their senses along with it?
TIMMY: He has no sense, surely, and he'll be having himself driven off this day
from where there's good sleeping and feeding, and wages for his work.
MOLLY: He's a bigger fool than that, Timmy. Look on him now, and tell me if that
isn't a grand fellow to think he only has to open his mouth to have a fine
woman, the like of me, running along by his heels.
TIMMY: Oh, he's a wicked man and it's no lie. But he'll walk off from us this
day and not be troubling us more.
MARTIN: Let you not put shame on me Molly, before herself. Let you not put shame
on me, I say, I after saying fine words to you and dreaming... dreams in the
night. Is it a storm of thunder is coming or the last end of the world? The
heavens is closing, I'm thinking, with - with - with darkness and great trouble
passing in the sky.
TIMMY: I've heard them say it's many the Saint cures be losing their sight after
MARTIN: Is it darkness of thunder is coming, Mary Doul? Do you see me clearly
with your eyes?
MARY: I see you a sight too clearly and let you keep off from me now!
MOLLY: That's right, Mary. That's the way to treat the like of him is after
standing there at me feet and asking me to go off with him, till I grow an old
wretched road-woman the like of yourself.
MARY: When the skin shrinks on your chin Molly Byrne, there won't be the like of
you for a shrunk hag in the four quarters of Ireland. For it's them that's soft
and flabby do be wrinkled young, and that stringy reddish hair of yours does be
soon turning the like of a handful of thin grass you'd see rotting, where the
wet lies, at the north end of a sty. It's a fine pair you'd make, surely!
TIMMY: There's your old rubbish now, Martin Doul, and let you take it up for
it's all you have, and walk off through the world.
MARTIN: Look on him, Molly, look on him, I'm saying, for I'm seeing him still,
and let you raise your voice, and bid him go into his forge, and be sitting
there be himself with his red nose, sneezing and sweating, and he beating old
bits of iron till the judgment day.
MOLLY: Keep him off from me, Timmy!
TIMMY: Go along after your wife, who's a fit match for you, and leave Molly with
MARTIN: Won't you raise your voice, Molly, and lay hell's long curse on his
MOLLY: I'll be telling him it's destroyed I am with the sight of you and the
sound of your voice. Go off now, after your wife, and if she beats you again,
let ya go down among the sluts of the town and you'll learn one day, maybe, the
way a man should speak with a well-reared civil girl the like of me. Come up now
into the forge till he'll be gone down a bit on the road, for it's near afeard I
am of the wild look he has come in his eyes.
TIMMY: Let me not find you here again, Martin Doul. It's well you know Timmy the
smith has great strength in his arm, and it's a power of things it has broken a
sight harder than the bone of your skull.
MARTIN: And that's the last thing I'm to set [music in] me sight on in the life
of the world - the villainy of a woman and the bloody strength of a man? Oh, God,
pity a poor blind fellow, the way I am this day with no strength in me to do
hurt to them at all. Yet, if I've no strength in me I've a voice left for me
prayers, and may God blight them this day, and me own soul the same hour with
them, the way I'll see them after, Molly Byrne and Timmy the smith, the two of
them together in a high bed, and they screeching in hell. It'll be a grand thing
to look on the two of them; and they twisting and roaring out, and twisting and
roaring again, the one day and the next day, each day, always, and ever. It's
not blind I'll be that time, and it won't be hell to me, I'm thinking, but the
like of heaven itself.
[The same Scene as in first Act, but gap in centre has been filled with briars, or branches of some sort. Mary Doul, blind again, gropes her way in on left, and sits as before. She has a few rushes with her. It is an early spring day.]
MARY: Ah, God help me, God help me. The blackness wasn't so black at all the
other time as 'tis this time, and it's destroyed I be now, and hard set to get
my living working alone. And no thought in my mind but long prayers that Martin
Doul'll get his reward in a short while for the villainy of his heart.
MARTIN: The devil mend Mary Doul for putting lies on me, and letting on
she was grand. The devil mend the old saint for letting me see it was
lies. The devil mend Timmy the smith for killing me with hard work, and
keeping an empty, windy stomach in me, in the day and the night. Ten
thousand devils mend the soul of Molly Byrne, and the bag with....
MARTIN: Mary Doul, is it? Is it Mary Doul, I'm saying?
MARY: There's a sweet tone in your voice I've not heard for the space. You're
taking me for Molly Byrne, I'm thinking, and you not seein' at all.
MARTIN: You've - you've no call to be talking, for I've heard tell you're as
blind as meself.
MARY: If I am, I'm bearing in mind I'm married to a thick, dark lump of a fellow
looks the fool of the world.
MARTIN: Ha, and you'll be bearing in mind, I'm thinking, what you seen a while
back when you looked into a well, or a clear pool, maybe, when there was no wind
stirring and a good light in the sky.
MARY: I'm minding that, surely, for I seen a thing in them pools put joy and
blessing in my heart.
MARTIN: They were saying below I was losing me senses, but I never went any day
the length of that. Would you have me think you're not a wrinkled, poor woman is
looking three scores, or two scores and a half?
MARY: I would not, Martin. For when I seen myself in them pools, I seen my hair
would be gray, or white, maybe, in a short while, and I seen with it I'd a face
would be a great wonder with soft, white hair falling 'round it, the way when
I'm an old woman there won't be the like of me surely in the seven counties of
MARTIN: Ah, you're a cute thinking [music in] woman, Mary Doul, and it's no lie.
MARY: I am, surely, and I'm telling you a beautiful, white-haired woman is a
grand thing to see.
MARTIN: Did you think to look, Mary Doul, would there be a whiteness the like of
that coming on me?
MARY: On you, God help you! In a short while you'll have a head on you as bald
as an old turnip you'd see rolling around in the muck. You need never talk of
your fine looks again, Martin Doul, for the day of that talk's gone forever.
MARTIN: Well, that's a hard word to be saying. I - I was thinking if I'd a bit of
comfort, the like of yourself, it's not far off we'd be from the grand old days
went before, and that'd be a wonder, surely.
MARY: I can't help your looks, Martin Doul. 'Twasn't meself made you, with your
rat's eyes, and your big ears, and your grizzledy chin.
MARTIN: There's one thing you're forgetting, if you're a cute thinking woman
MARY: Your slouching feet, is it?
MARTIN: It's this, Mary Doul. I'll be letting me beard grow in a short while, a
beautiful, long, white, silken, streamy beard you never seen the likes of in the
eastern world. Ah, a white beard's a grand thing for making the quality stop and
they be stretchin' out their hands with good silver or gold, and a beard's a
thing you'll never have, so you may be holding your tongue.
MARY: Well, it's a great pair we are, surely, and it's great times we'll have
yet, maybe, and great talking before we die.
MARTIN: Great times from this day, surely, with the help of the Almighty God,
for a priest itself would believe the lies of an old man would have a fine,
white beard growing on his chin.
MARY: There's the sound of one of them twitterin' yellow birds do be coming in
the springtime from beyond the sea, there'll be a fine warmth now in the sun,
and a sweetness in the air, the way it'll be a grand thing to be sittin' here
quiet and easy, smelling the things growing up, and budding from the earth.
MARTIN: I'm smellin' the sweet grass a while back sprouting on the hill, and if
you'd hold your tongue, you'd hear the lambs of Grianan, though it's near
drowned their crying is with the full river makin' noises in the glen.
MARY: The lambs is bleating, surely, and there's cocks and laying hens making a
fine stir a mile off on the face of the hill.
MARTIN: What's that is sounding in the west?
TIMMY: I've heard tell that Martin Doul and Mary Doul were seen this day about
on the road, holy father, and we were thinking that you'd have pity on them and
cure them again.
SAINT: I would, maybe, but where are they at all? I have little time left when I
have the two of you wed in the church.
MOLLY: Look beyond, Timmy.
TIMMY: Hm? Let you get up out of that. You were near losing a great chance by
your sleepiness this day, Martin Doul. The two of them's in it, God help us all!
MARTIN: What is it you want, Timmy, that you can't leave us in peace?
TIMMY: The Saint's come to marry the two of us, and I'm after speaking a word
for yourselves, the way he'll be curing you now. For if you're a foolish man
itself, I do be pitying you, for I've a kind heart, when I think of you sitting
blind again, and you after seeing a while and working for your bread. You're
going wrong. It's this way, Martin Doul. This way.
SAINT: Let you not be afeard, for there's great pity with the Lord.
MARTIN: We're - we're not afeard, holy father.
SAINT: It's many a time those that are cured by the Well of the Saints lose
their sight when a time is gone, but those I cure a second time go on seeing to
the hour of death. I've only a few drops left of the water, but, with the help
of God, it'll be enough for the two of you, and let you kneel down now upon the
ground. You can kneel down here, I'm saying. We'll not trouble this time going
to the church.
TIMMY: Are you gone mad in your head, Martin Doul? It's there you're to kneel.
Did you not hear His Reverence, and him speaking to you now?
SAINT: Kneel down here, I'm saying, the ground's dry at your feet.
MARTIN: Let you go on your own way, holy father. We're - we're not calling you at
SAINT: I'm not saying a word of penance, or fasting itself, for I'm thinking the
Lord has brought you great teaching in the blindness of your eyes, so you've no
call to be fearing me now, but let you kneel down till I give you your sight.
MARTIN: We're not asking our sight, holy father, and let you walk on your own
way, and be fasting, or praying, or doing anything you will, but leave us here
in our peace, at the crossing of the roads, for it's best we are this way, and
we're not asking to see.
SAINT: Is his mind gone that he's no wish to be cured this day, to be living or
working, or looking upon the wonders of the world?
MARTIN: It's wonders enough I seen in a short space for the life of one man
SAINT: I never heard tell of any person who wouldn't have great joy to be
looking upon the earth or the image of the Lord thrown upon men.
MARTIN: Them is great sights, holy father. What was it I seen when I first
opened me eyes but your own bleeding feet, and they cut with the stones?
That - that - that was a great sight, maybe, of the image of God. And what was it
I seen on me last day but the villainy of hell looking out from the eyes of the
girl you're coming to marry. The Lord have mercy on ya with Timmy the smith. And
what was it I seen on the roads when the north winds would be driving and the
skies would be harsh till you see the horses and the asses and the dogs itself
maybe with their heads hanging and they closing their eyes?
SAINT: And have ye never heard tell of the summer, and of the fine spring, and
of the places where the holy men of Ireland have built up churches to the Lord.
I listen to madmen I'm thinking it would be talking to the like of that. And
wishing to be closed up and seeing no sight of the grand, glittering sea or the
flowering grass that is opening above and will soon have the hairs shining. As
if it was fine creels of gold they were rising to the sky.
MARTIN: Is it talking now you are of Knock and Ballavore [music in]? Ourselves
had finer sights than the like of them, I'm telling ya, when we were sitting on
the road hearing the birds and bees humming in every weed of the ditch, when
we'd be smelling the sweet, beautiful smells that does be rising in the warm
nights, when you hear the swift, flying things racing in the air till we'd be
looking up in our own minds into a grand sky, and seeing lakes, and big rivers,
fine hills for taking the plow.
SAINT: There's little use talking with the like of him.
TIMMY: Would you cure Mary Doul, Your Reverence, who is a quiet, poor woman, and
never did hurt to any?
SAINT: If you have any sense, Mary, you'll kneel down at me feet, and I'll bring
the sight again into your eyes.
MARTIN: You will not, holy father! Would you have her looking on me and saying
hard words to me to the hour of death?
SAINT: If she's wanting her sight, I wouldn't have the like of you stop me at
all. Kneel down, I'm saying.
MARY: Let us be, holy father. And then, in a short while, we'll be known again
as the people is happy and blind, and be having an easy time, with no trouble to
live, and we getting half pence on the road.
MOLLY: Let you not be a raving fool, Mary Doul. Kneel down now and let him give
you your sight, and himself can be sitting here if he likes it best, and taking
half pence on the road.
TIMMY: That's the truth, Mary, and if it's choosing a willful blindness you are,
I'm thinking there isn't any in this place will ever be giving you a bit of
copper, or be doing the little things you need to be at all living in the world.
MOLLY: If you had your sight, Mary, you could be keeping a watch on him day and
night the way no other woman would get near him at all.
MARY: That's the truth, maybe...
SAINT: Kneel down now, I'm saying, for it's in haste I am to be on with the
marriage and walking me way before the fall of night.
TIMMY: Kneel down, Mary! Kneel down when you're bid be the saint.
MARY: Maybe it's right they are, and I will if you wish it, holy father.
SAINT: Go aside now, we're not wanting you here.
MARTIN: Would ya keep off yourself, holy father!
SAINT: Let you take that man and drive him down upon the road.
MARTIN: Make them leave me go, holy father! Make - make - make them leave me go I
say, and you can cure her this day or do anything you will.
SAINT: Let him be, let him be if his sense is come to him at all.
MARTIN: You - you - you may cure herself, surely. I wouldn't stop you at all, and
won't she have great joy looking upon your face. But let you cure meself along
with her. The way I'll see when it's light she's telling and you'll be looking
out night and day upon the holy men of God. I'm waiting now, holy father.
SAINT: With the power of the water from the grave of the four beauties of God...
with the power of this water, I'm saying, that I put upon your eyes...
MARTIN: If I'm a poor, dark sinner, I've sharp ears, God help me, and it's well
I heard the little splash of water you had there in the can. Go on now, holy
father, for if you're a fine saint itself, there's more senses is in a blind
man, and more power maybe than you're thinking at all. Let you walk on now with
your worn feet and your welted knees, and your fasting, holy ways. For if it's a
right some of you have to be working and sweating the like of Timmy the smith,
and a right some of you have to be fasting and praying and talking holy talk the
like of yourself, I'm thinking it's a good right ourselves have to be sitting
blind, hearing a soft wind turning round the little leaves of the spring and
feeling the sun and we not tormenting our souls with the sight of the gray days,
and the holy men, and the dirty feet is trampling the world.
TIMMY: It'd be an unlucky, fearful thing, I'm thinking to have the like of that
man living near us at all in the townland of Grianan. Wouldn't he bring down a
curse upon us, holy father, from the heavens of God?
SAINT: God has great mercy, but great wrath for them that sin.
TIMMY: Go on, now, Martin Doul. Go on from this place. Let you not be bringing
great storms or droughts upon us, maybe, from the power of the Lord.
MARTIN: Keep off now, the yelping lot of you, or it's more than one maybe will
get a bloody head on him me say with the pitch of me stone. Keep off now, and
let you not be afeard for we're going on the two of us to the towns of the
south, where the people [music in] will have kind voices, maybe, and we won't
know their bad looks or their villainy at all. Come on now, we've seen too much
of everyone in this place, and it's small joy we'd have living near them, and
hearing the lies they do be telling from the gray of dawn to the night.
MARY: That's the truth, surely, and we're right to be gone. If it is a long way
itself, as they do be saying, we have to be walking with a slough of wet on the
one side and a slough of wet on the other.
TIMMY: There's a power of deep rivers with floods in them where you do have to
be leaping the stones and you going to the south, so I'm thinking the two of
them will be drowned together in a short while, surely.
SAINT: They have chosen their lot, and the Lord have mercy on their souls. And
let the two of you come up now into the church, Molly Byrne and Timmy the smith,
till I make your marriage and put my blessings on you all.
John Millington Synge, - leading figure in the Irish literary renaissance
- was a poetic dramatist of great power who portrayed the harsh rural conditions of the Aran Islands.
Born April 16, 1871, Rathfarnham, near Dublin, Ireland — died March 24, 1909,
Watch a dramatization of 'The Well of the Saints' here:
The Well of the Saints
A Comedy in Three Acts
by J. M. Synge
1.st produced in 1905, by the Irish National Theatre Society